We’ve talked about Star Wars: The Force Awakens a lot but today we’re going to talk about the next film in the series. Given the assorted questions and mysteries that The Force Awakens left us at the end, it’s only natural that fans are already speculating about what’s to come in Episode VIII. I’ve combed through some threads at Quora and some Star Wars fan forums to look for the most interesting theories about what we can expect to see in Episode VIII, and some of these ideas might turn out to be better than what we get in the actual film.
David Mullich, an instructor
I think that Star Wars Episode VIII will be about Luke Skywalker training Rey to be a Jedi; Supreme Leader Snoke completing Kylo Ren’s training in the Dark Side to deal with the new threat of Rey; and Leia, Poe, and Finn gearing up the Rebellion for another confrontation with the First Order. However, with this being the middle film of a trilogy, I think that it will end with the bad guys being more victorious than the good guys. In other words, it will closely follow the story structure of The Empire Strikes Back, just as The Force Awakens did A New Hope.
This is a solid outline of what may indeed happen in Episode VIII, although I really do hope that Disney decides to take more risks with the next movie than he took in The Force Awakens. The Star Wars universe is filled with rich lore and there’s a lot that’s worth exploring beyond blowing up bigger and scarier Death Stars.
Looking for some more specific predictions, I went over to Star Wars fan forum The Cantina to see what some of the fan speculation is for more granular aspects of the upcoming movie’s plot.
Here, for example, are some popular choices for what Mark Hamill’s first lines of dialogue will be in Episode VIII:
- “Why have you come?”
- “How did you find me?”
- “Where did you get THAT Lightsaber?”
- “The Force has guided us to this moment”
- “Luke Skywalker… Now that’s a name I’ve not heard in a long time…”
These are all fine but my personal favorite suggestion is “NO child support.”
Here, meanwhile, is some speculation about Luke’s role in the galaxy that shows why he’s so important to the continuation of the Jedi:
I’ve just come back from another viewing of TFA, and I had a thought on the fate of the Jedi.
When Snoke was discussing the danger of Luke’s return, he said “If Skywalker returns, the new Jedi will rise”. This seemed strange to me, as even should Luke return it would take him years to find new force-sensitives and train them in the Jedi arts from scratch, leaving plenty of time for the First Order’s opportunity to kill him and prevent this. That’s when it clicked that there may still be some of Luke’s students out there, already near the completion of their training and in hiding as they await their master’s return.
In Return of the Jedi, Luke says “I am a Jedi”, to which Yoda replies “not yet”. Only when Luke defeats Vader does he become a Jedi. This logic could be applied to The Force Awakens, where Luke is the only true, fully-trained Jedi, however there could be a number of apprentices hidden in the galaxy whose training has been halted by Luke’s disappearance.
This could be why Snoke is worried about Luke’s return – he is the only one who can complete their training and create a new generation of jedi. And if they are already well-trained this should not take long to do. It’s possible that when Ben “destroyed it all”, this means the temple, the teachings, the few jedi who have already completed their training (it makes sense that they would sacrifice themselves to get the younger students to safety).
This could just be me in wishful thinking, as I was looking forward to seeing the new generation of jedi in the new film and disappointed to see Luke’s status as the galaxy’s last jedi still remains thirty years later. But after thinking on this I believe what I have written could indeed be the case.
This fan also speculates that a lot of the next film will be about Luke training Rey in the Force, though he also has some other interesting suggestions about other aspects of the story:
To me it is clear that the next episode will deal with Rey being trained by Luke (and also, convincing Luke to come back to assist his sister in the fight against the FO). At the same time, Kylo will get additional training from Snoke, so these two story lines must be mirroring each other somehow.
Finn, I guess, would wake up from his coma. I really liked how he interacted with Poe, so I guess they would be working together. Since we witnessed the destruction of the “New Republic”, I am assuming some of the work would revolve around this theme: trying to enforce the resistance, getting support from the other worlds against the onslaught of the FO.
I feel that there needs to be sort of an assault from the FO agains the Resistance, which will bring all key players together. The assault could be organised/led by Benicio del Toro, if he is the new “Thraw”.
Rey and Kylo have already fought, and Rey might even feel cocky by this time, so maybe she will lose this time — if Rey and Kylo have another duel. I do think though that there needs to be a duel: it could also be between Luke and Kylo? (In which Luke would die?)
True to its nature, there needs to be sort of a twist. We all assume that Luke is Rey’s father. Maybe the twist would be that this is not the case?
Now that I’ve gone through some fan theories, I’d like to offer my take on what I want to see come next. In short, I would love to see the story play some devil’s advocate and show us exactly why the First Order might prove attractive to many people in the galaxy.
Yes, the Empire was evil but it also seemed to preserve some semblance of order in what could otherwise be a chaotic galaxy. I think it would be interesting to see the ways that Luke, Leia and the other rebel alliance leaders failed to rebuild some areas of the galaxy that were left to fend for themselves after the fall of the old Empire. This sort of postwar chaos would make an authoritarian regime promising the return of law and order very attractive to people who were tired of living in anarchy.
This would be at the center of Luke’s crisis of confidence in Episode VIII: He would now be questioning whether he really made the right choice in completely destroying the Empire instead of, say, just taking out the Emperor and taking over the operation for himself while reforming its most brutal practices. After all, there are real reasons why the Dark Side is seductive and in The Force Awakens we weren’t really given any indication of what those reasons are.
Or, Disney could just make a carbon copy of The Empire Strikes Back and rake in a ton of money anyway… but hopefully he goes for something more.