Update: The first teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been unveiled during Star Wars Celebration 2017. Check it out below!
Original article follows…
If you’re new to the page then read on for everything we know so far about Star Wars Episode VIII, but if you’re familiar with the latest news then scroll down for some recently released set photos which we’ve just updated the page with.
We might be a few excruciating months away from the release of Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, but as The Force Awakens taught us, that time can fly past very quickly.
Here’s the good news: Production wrapped on the eighth episode back in July, which means the film is definitely on track for its December 15 release date.
Despite being less than a year away, however, there hasn’t been too much said about what the sequel to one of 2015’s highest grossing films has in store.
That said, we’ve done a bit of digging and found some information of our own.
So, what do we expect to see from Episode VIII? If you haven’t yet seen The Force Awakens, a) what is wrong with you? and b) spoilers will lie ahead. Big ones. We’re talking massive, planet-destroying spoilers. Got it? Good.
Episode VIII title and release date
Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi will hit cinemas on December 15 2017, after being pushed back from its initial release date of May 26 the same year. It means waiting an extra seven months, but we did think that the original timeframe was a bit ambitious for a film of this scale.
The title is obviously a cryptic one. The Last Jedi could mean any number of things but chances are good that it’s a reference to Luke’s new padawan, Rey.
Considering that both Luke and Leia are Jedi, there are obviously more than one of the galactic space wizards left in the galaxy but Rey, as we know from Episode VII The Force Awakens, might be the last person to carry the title Jedi.
Scary as it might seem, it could also be a reference to the possible deaths of Luke and Leia in the franchise, making the title very literal.
Of course, this is all just conjecture at this point as Rey, Luke and Leia are all seen in the latest trailer alive and well.
Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi poster
Episode VIII casting
JJ Abrams will be hopping off the director’s chair and handing over the reins to Rian Johnson, best known for writing and directing Brick and Looper (and a few episodes of Breaking Bad). Abrams will stay as executive producer, however.
It’s been confirmed that all of the original cast members (barring Harrison Ford) will be making a return. Joining them this time is Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern, and newcomer Kelly Marie Tran.
So who, exactly, are these new cast members going to play in Episode 8?
Well, again, there’s no confirmation here, but Del Toro was recently listed on a site called Wikiwand as Sir Vicrum Fett, a clear homage and perhaps descendent of Jango Fett and perhaps a brother to Boba Fett, the feared and very easily killed bounty hunter from the original trilogy.
As for Laura Dern, according to our sister site GamesRadar+, she’s most likely going to play Admiral Holdo, a stylish New Order commander who’s as smart as Leia but with a vicious twist.
Finally, newcomer Kelly Marie Tran, we actually have some good information on how she’ll fit into The Last Jedi. She’ll be playing the role of Rose, a member of The Resistance forces a.k.a. what became of the Rebel Alliance after the establishment of the New Republic at the end of Episode VI.
Episode VIII: what we know of the story so far
Little is known about what VIII’s story will hold, but we do know that it will pick up straight after The Force Awakens, with Rey having discovered Luke Skywalker’s whereabouts, as confirmed by the teaser trailer.
The Force Awakens left many questions unanswered. Who is Rey really? Is Finn Force sensitive? What’s with C-3PO’s red arm? Why is R2-D2, the bearer of all knowledge who refuses to tell anyone anything, such a dick?
Colin Trevorrow, who will be directing Episode IX, has already promised us a “profoundly satisfying” answer to the mystery surrounding Rey’s parents.
“Rey is a character that is important in this universe, not just in the context of The Force Awakens, but in the entire galaxy,” he said. “She deserves it. We’ll make sure that that answer is something that feels like it was something that happened a long time ago, far away, and we’re just telling you what happened.”
One theory is that Luke is Rey’s father, but… surely it’s got to be something more interesting than that, right?
The Force Awakens ended with a wounded Kylo Ren being taken to Supreme Leader Snoke to complete his training – but what does that mean? And more importantly, who is Snoke? One theory that has been floating about, courtesy of this tweet, is that Snoke is actually Vader, who didn’t really die. We don’t buy it for a second, but the scar is admittedly convincing.
We expect some of the film will show Luke training Rey, harking back to his own training from Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back. It will also be interesting to see how Kylo Ren’s character develops. He just murdered his own father, but he’s still conflicted between the dark side and the light – or was Han’s death the final part of his transition to Sith?
Either way, it’s a script that’s been well received by Kylo Ren actor Adam Driver. Speaking to Collider, he’s compared the next entry to the hallowed Empire Strikes Back.
Episode VIII set photos
On April 28 director Rian Johnson celebrated hitting the halfway point in the Episode 8’s filming schedule by releasing a couple of set photos.
The photos don’t shed much new light on the film, but it’s nice to see confirmation that Episode 8 will indeed contain the ships and shiny helmets that the series is known for.
Bonus: A Tribute to Carrie Fisher
One of the cinema world’s most tragic losses last year was that of Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia). Her death came as a bitter shock and one that no one could have predicted. While many in the community mourn her loss, we feel there needs to be a heartfelt thank you given to the woman who helped inspire thousands of women to be leaders, actresses and good-hearted people.
A fantastic tribute debuted at Star Wars Celebration 2017 which we feel has perfectly summarized the life of the actress and her contributions to the series.
Want more on Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi? Keep checking back here as we approach the film’s December 15, 2017 release date.
Joe Osborne and Nick Pino have also contributed to this report