With Rogue One still dominating the box-office, fans are looking ahead to the release of Star Wars: Episode VIII. USA Today recently conducted a preview of 2017’s biggest films and talked to Episode VIII writer-director Rian Johnson. While the director couldn’t reveal too much, he did acknowledge that the film won’t jump ahead, but will deal with the conflict set up by the first film, he also states that Episode VIII will focus on the relationship between Rey and Luke.
Remember that Star Wars: The Force Awakens cliffhanger with new heroine Rey (Daisy Ridley) bringing Jedi master Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) his old lightsaber on a remote intergalactic island? Writer/director Rian Johnson is picking up right where they left off in the beginning of the Star Wars saga’s still-untitled next chapter. “I don’t want to skip ahead two years,” Johnson says. “I want to see the very next moment of what happens.” How Rey and Luke relate to each other is the key relationship in Episode VIII, and Johnson says “a large part of the movie” will be spent addressing why Luke’s there and what he’ll do next. Like Luke, Rey has been pulled into a bigger world by connecting with the Force, “but part of what’s she’s dealing with is the realization that she has this power and this gift,” Johnson adds. “She’s taking her first step to coming to terms with this thing inside her that she never knew was there and is just starting to reveal its potential.” Another cliffhanger: How General Leia might figure in the film in light of Carrie Fisher’s death last month.
It makes sense that Johnson doesn’t want to jump ahead in time. The Force Awakens did a great job setting up this new trilogy, and creating these relationships it would be a disservice to jump ahead instead of developing these new relationships. It is also exciting to hear how Johnson plans on expanding Rey’s knowledge of the Force and the internal struggle that her role in the Galaxy demands.
Star Wars: Episode VIII opens December 15th.