A mere 6 months to go until the release of the next chapter in the continuing saga that is Star Wars as Episode VIII hits theatres on December 17th and anticipation as expected is very high.
Things went out right bananas a couple of months ago during the Star Wars Celebration in Orlando when The Last Jedi panel, led by director Rian Johnson and Kathleen Kennedy, revealed the first poster for the film and debuted a proper teaser as well. For a full recap of that panel see my earlier post where I cover the whole weekend including the panel. Here is the trailer again if you’ve somehow missed it…
I posted a one year preview a while back and since then we’ve learned a few things about the movie so instead of repeating myself, I’ll just focus on the new information and things revealed by the trailer and panel.
One of the first things we see in the trailer is a new planet. The planet is called Crait and is described by Johnson as:
“It’s way out there. It’s very remote. It’s uncharted. It’s a mineral planet and so there are mines on it.”
We know that the mining operations on Crait have funded both sides of the war and is a strategic planet which both the alliance and the First Order want control of.
One thing the panel revealed was new comer Kelly Marie Tran’s (who was in attendance) character would be called Rose Tico and is listed as being a “maintenance worker for the resistance”. This contradicts previous information which had her listed as someone who hadn’t choses sides and was an information broker for whomever paid the most. Tran has the largest part to play for the newcomers and her plotline involves a mission behind enemy lines with Boyega’s Finn.
More recently, thanks to Vanity Fair, we’ve been given some great looks not only at the returning cast but the new characters including the above mentioned Tran, but also Benicio Del Toro and Laura Dern….
Del Toro’s character is described as a “shady character” of unclear allegiances who goes unnamed in the film but is called DJ by the filmmakers. As for Dern she plays a prominent officer in the Resistance named Vice Admiral Holdo. As stated in earlier pieces, she’s at odds with Leia and Poe and the rest of the more radical rebels.
One rumor that was quashed recently was that Carrie Fisher would be appearing in Episode IX in CGI form. Although they had the family’s permission to use her likeness, it was decided against taking that path.
Fisher did complete all her required scenes for Episode VII before shooting wrapped. “She was having a blast,” said Kennedy. “The minute she finished, she grabbed me and said, ‘I’d better be at the forefront of IX!’ Because Harrison was front and center on VII, and Mark is front and center on VIII. She thought IX would be her movie. And it would have been.” For their part, Johnson and Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow has stated they have worked around this loss and made her absence part of the overall narrative.
Something more recent that’s got people buzzing is some leaked footage that hit the net a couple of weeks back. The footage shows Luke on Ahch-To standing on his meditation rock staring at binary suns. The shot sounds like a combination of the Yoda training sequences in Episode IV and a younger Luke gazing at the twin suns on Tatooine with that great John Williams score. It’s rumored Williams was asked to compose something similar for this scene indicating Luke will be in some type of reflective state.
And in true Star Wars form, director Rian Johnson says Luke Skywalker has not been living alone on that island where Rey found him. An “indigenous race of caretaker creatures” have been keeping Luke company on Ahch-To, site of The First Jedi Temple. Johnson says they are definitely not Ewok-like.
It will be interesting to finally see Luke portrayed as a Jedi Master which is something we really haven’t seen on film. We know from the “Bloodline” story that Luke, even as recently as 3 years prior to The Force Awakens, was out in the galaxy still quite actively involved and not in a “catatonic” like state we see him now. And it’s clear his fully developed abilities and Rey’s burgeoning ones will be on full display in this one if the trailer and rumors are any indication.
Another maybe more interesting tidbit courtesy of a Japanese promotional poster has a tag line that when translated reads,
“The Most Shocking Truth in Star Wars History Will Soon Be Revealed…”
“Be ready for the shocking truth surpassing the previous stories.”
So, this obviously got the online community worked up as you can imagine with rumors flying abound. The smart money is it has something to do with Rey’s past and her connection to Kylo Ren but nothing has been confirmed and will never likely be confirmed by the studio, especially if it’s a momentous plot McGuffin. Bigger than the Vader/Luke scene in Empire Strikes Back? Pretty tall order…
We’ve learned a few inconsequential things about Supreme Leader Snoke mainly he is not “human” and that he is from the far reaches of the galaxy past the outer rim. We also learned from director Rian Johnson that much like the Emperor in the original trilogy, we won’t learn the whole story on Snoke until the third film, Episode IX.
The next thing to look out for will be a full length proper trailer which should be coming out shortly as reports have it that the “cans” have been shipped to the theatres. Insiders who claim to know the contents have spoken about it in some detail:
- The runtime will be 2 minutes and 48 seconds
- It will show Luke in action and on his meditation rock
- Shots of a new space battle involving Resistance Bombers taking out Tie Fighters on an unknown planet
There are some little things floating around but nothing worth mentioning yet as they are very clearly just rumors at this point, backed by nothing but fan boy wishes. With still a 1 month preview to go here, we’ve got time to tackle any massive details, spoilers and new footage at that point. Still, things are taking shape and with everything I’m hearing, plus some personal theories, this is going to be something folks.
Till next time…MTFBWY.