Although he’s been working on the film for years now, writer/director Rian Johnson has said close to nothing about Star Wars: Episode VIII. In fact, the only thing he has said about his upcoming film that yes, Episode VIII will pick up just moments after the ending of J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens, marking a first for the franchise. Now with the film fast approaching (not really…), the director has spoken up just a bit about Episode VIII, this time focusing on Luke and Rey.
USA Today recently released their 2017 preview, and rather than reveal a new look at the film like all the others, the news outlet snagged a comment from the writer/director. While briefly speaking with USA Today, Johnson teased the following about his Episode VIII:
“I don’t want to skip ahead two years. 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.”
As I said above and as we’ve known for some time, the highly anticipated sequel will open moments after The Force Awakens conclusion on Ach-to, the planet Rey, Chewbacca, and R2-D2 find Luke Skywalker after his self-exile. But what makes Johnson’s comments so interesting is that he says “a large part of the movie” will take place on Ach-to, addressing why Luke is there and what he’ll do next. How much time exactly? Why did Luke search out the first Jedi temple? How long has he been there? Those final moments of The Force Awakens not only raised a ton of questions, but seems to be the driving force behind its sequel.
Another interesting aspect of Johnson’s comments are those of Rey and her coming to “realization that she has this power and this gift.” The Force Awakens has a ton of moving parts and parts that we’ll see going forward, but the film was about Rey. The subtitle was and is referring to her. She is who we’ll be following through these new saga films, as well as Kylo Ren with a little flare of Finn and Poe in there. As Johnson teases, we’ll be following this journey with Rey as she comes to terms with this power she’s been gifted with. As the director says, she’s been pulled into a much larger world, one all of us fans cannot wait to see her attack with full force, with Luke by her side.
Now that you’ve heard my thoughts, what about you readers? What do you think about Johnson’s comments? Do they get you excited for Episode VIII even more? Are Luke and Rey the new Master and Padawan duo? What are you looking forward to the most in the sequel? Star Wars: Episode VIII hits a theater in a galaxy near you on December 15th, 2017.