We’ve got a long wait ahead of us before Star Wars: Episode VIII hits theaters, but we already know a bunch of things about what’s expected from the next title in the saga. Rian Johnson’s Star Wars episode is currently in post-production, and it’ll be a while until we even get to see the first trailer for the movie. However, there have been plenty of leaks that detail some of the action in Episode VIII, so here’s what we know so far. Caution: Spoilers follow below.
For starters, you should know that Johnson also wrote the script for the untitled Episode VIII. He did so while spending six weeks at Skywalker Ranch, where he received dailies from Episode VII.
“It was probably really healthy creating the story based on our reactions to the footage rather than the cultural reactions. It was a unique experience,” Johnson told the Star Wars Celebration attendees in July, according to Business Insider.
His Star Wars episode will start exactly where the prior one ended. That means we might not get a crawl at the beginning of the movie. “I don’t want to skip ahead [after] that last moment of Episode VII. I want to see what happens next,” the writer/director said.
The movie will show Rey and Luke’s encounter, and Luke will actually talk this time around. He’s going to have plenty of dialogue, unlike in the first episode of the new trilogy. “I was looping (recording additional dialogue) Episode VIII yesterday,” Mark Hamill said at the same event. “Rian Johnson is amazing. His dialogue will make you forget ‘May the Force be with you.”
We might also see more of Leia in Episode VIII, and Carrie Fisher confirmed that there would be a Han Solo funeral scene in the new movie.
But Episode VIII will not focus on legacy characters. The Force Awakens may have been a movie for longtime fans, but Episode VIII is something else entirely. ‘The second film is where we zoom into the characters, getting to the heart of them and challenging them,” Johnson said.
One of these characters is Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren, and he said recently that the movie feels like one of the best films from the original saga.
“It’s similar to how The Empire Strikes Back has a different tone,” Driver said while promoting his movie Paterson at the Toronto International Film Festival. “For that people always go ‘oooh, it’s dark’ but I don’t know that it necessarily is. It’s just different in tone in a way that I think is great and necessary but also very clear. (Johnson) trusts (that) his audience is ready for nuance and ambiguity. He’s not dumbing anything down for someone, and that’s really fun to play.”
As for the plot of the movie, more flashbacks are expected, which could explain who Rey’s parents are or even the origin of Kylo Ren and the Ren Knights, and why they’re fighting the Jedis.