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Star Wars Episode 8: The Last Jedi release date, trailers, news and more

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luke skywalker

Star Wars Episode 8 arrives this year and we've put together a round-up of everything you need to know about Star Wars: The Last Jedi, including the release date, trailers, news, plot, cast, and leaks.

Bear in mind this post contains spoilers for every Star Wars movie, including The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.

Star Wars Episode 8: The Last Jedi News – The latest leaks, rumours and news

(Update: 26 April 2017): While everyone eagerly awaits the arrival of Star Wars Episode eight, the latest news concerns the as yet untitled final film in the new trilogy. Episode nine will will arrive less than 18 months after December’s The Last Jedi, with a May 24, 2019 release date set.

The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi were originally scheduled to arrive in May and were pushed back until December 2015 and 2017 respectively, so we're not sure this May 24 release date will remain in place. But it's exciting to hear about the next instalment this early on.

Star Wars Episode 8: The Last Jedi plot – What can we expect?

The Last Jedi is a direct sequel to The Force Awakens, and continues the ongoing Skywalker saga.

To recap, The Force Awakens was set about 30 years after Episode 6 (Return of the Jedi) – and The Last Jedi resumes immediately where the Force Awakens left off. That means Rey has just turned up on Ahch-To, meeting Luke Skywalker – prepare for Karate Kid style training montages in abundance.

The good news is that plenty of characters are set to reprise their roles, including Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, John Boyega as Finn, and Daisy Ridley as Rey. And audio buffs will be pleased to hear than John Williams has also returned to score the movie.

At the helm is Rian Johnson (who has a healthy directorial back-catalogue that includes Looper, Brick, and Breaking Bad), while Ram Bergman (Looper, Don Jon) produces. This is Johnson’s first time directing a Star Wars movie, continuing the work of J. J. Abrams who directed The Force Awakens.

Speaking about the experience of taking over the project back in 2014, Johnson said:

"I'm just starting into it, but so far, honestly, it's the most fun I've ever had writing. It's just joyous. But also for me personally, I grew up not just watching those movies but playing with those toys, so as a little kid, the first movies I was making in my head were set in this world. A big part of it is that direct connection, almost like an automatic jacking back into childhood in a weird way. But I don't know, ask me again in a few years and we'll be able to talk about that.”

rey

In an interview with USA Today in January 2017, Johnson described how the narrative would carry over to the next movie immediately: "I don't want to skip ahead two years. I want to see the very next moment of what happens". He revealed that Rey and Luke's relationship is the key relationship in the movie, and that addressing why Luke is in self-imposed exile on Ahch-To and what he'll do next is a "large part of the movie". He added: "[Rey'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."

We’re also expecting a darker feel to the movie overall. The first clue is the new red logo, which has typically been the colour used to convey evil in the Star Wars film franchise. There’s that, and a quote from John Boyega, who said: “Rian Johnson is great. It’s a different take, darker, bigger. Someone will say: ‘How do you get bigger than Force Awakens?’ But it’s crazy.”

And in an interview with Empire, director Rian Johnson revealed the three films that influenced his approach to Star Wars: The Last Jedi:

Twelve O’Clock High was a big touchstone, for the feel and look of the aerial combat as well as the dynamic between the pilots. Three Outlaw Samurai for the feel of the sword-fighting, and the general sense of pulpy fun. And To Catch A Thief was a great film to rewatch, for the romantic scale and grandeur."

Star Wars YouTuber Mike Zeroh reckons Luke Skywalker is going to feature very prominently in the movie, too, after some fans were disappointed by his brief, dialogue-free appearance in The Force Awakens.

Zeroh says he spoke to a “close contact from Ireland” who spoke to crew members who shot scenes with Mark Hamill. He says: “They got onto the subject of an estimated amount of screen time for Mark Hamill when it comes to this film. Supposedly Luke Skywalker will be getting in or around 35% of screen time in Star Wars Episode VIII. That kind of sounds like what Han Solo got in The Force Awakens.”

Unfortunately, this sort of leak is tough to verify, so we can’t say for certain whether any of Zeroh's claims are accurate – sorry folks.

Some concept art, tweeted by star John Boyega, gave us a look at the three heroes of the upcoming movie, Rey (Daisy Ridley), Poe (Oscar Isaac), and Finn (John Boyega).

Rey's sporting a new look, and appears to be holding Luke Skywalker's lightsaber, which the new hero tried to return to Skywalker at the end of The Force Awakens. What does this mean? Who knows. And with almost a year to go, it's going to be a long wait to find out.

Meanwhile, notable Star Wars theorist Mike Zeroh has claimed a source on the set of The Last Jedi has informed him the crew have been filming scenes for Han Solo's funeral in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Previous reports have claimed Dubrovnik has been used as a setting for Supreme Leader Snoke's home planet.

Star John Boyega has hinted that much of the sci-fi speak Star Wars has become known for will be returning this time around. An Instagram post shows Boyega, who plays Finn, squinting at a painting of himself with a particularly arcane phrase from the films displayed below.

The actor refers to the "most complex Star Wars lingo" in the caption for the photo, while fans have been trying to figure out exactly what a "BIO-HEXACRYPT" is.

A post shared by BOYEGA (@jboyega_) on

Elsewhere, The Force Awakens director JJ Abrams reckons Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill should win an Oscar for his efforts in The Last Jedi.

Abrams told The New York Daily News: “I think we are all going to be very upset if he does not win an Oscar, and no one more upset than Mark.

"He is hysterically funny. He has done comedy. He is an amazing guy — he can do anything.”

Hamill has never won an Oscar, but could next year be the year the Academy finally recognises his acting talents? Abrams certainly thinks it should be, which bodes well for a memorable performance in The Last Jedi.

Who is (are) the Last Jedi?

Much of the post-title reveal hype has focused around who the “last Jedi” actually is. Part of the confusion stems from the fact that Jedi can be both singular and plural, so the title could be referring to one person, or multiple.

A German translation of the film's title in a teaser poster may hold the key to this mystery. IGN Germany reports that the German teaser poster for the film is written as "Die Letzten Jedi" – the plural form of the phrase. The singular would be “Der Letzte Jedi”. It follows news that the Spanish translation of the film's title also gives away that the Jedi in question is in fact plural. We're yet to get any official confirmation, however.

In any case, we know for certain that Luke Skywalker is a Jedi, so here’s actor Mark Hamill’s take on the new title (courtesy of Uproxx):

"I mean, I was told way back when we were doing the film what [the title] was and I really liked it. I didn’t realise, though, that actual phrase is in the crawl for Episode VII,” said Hamill. "By the way, when you read The Force Awakens script, the very first two words are, 'Luke Skywalker has vanished.' Ooh, baby, this is going to be good! I’m going to have a great part!"

He continued: "But down later in the crawl, and I can’t quote it exactly, I saw on Twitter this morning, 'until Skywalker, the last Jedi, is destroyed.' I thought, well, I didn’t know that! I’ve only seen it twice – VII, I mean. And I was wondering why they would use that phrase if it was used that way, because it specifies me. And I think it’s very ambiguous. Is the last Jedi Leia? Is it me? […] Is it someone we’ve never met before? Or is it Rey? Because she seems to have the Force as well. So we’ll all wait and see."

And here’s another Hamill interview (this time via AP) on the same subject:

Finally, there's this quirky fan theory (from aptly named Reddit user AnakinKardashian) posits that Snoke is the titular Force wizard:

"It was pretty cool how we saw Jedha in Rogue One,” AnakinKardashian writes. "But was there also a strategic reason? What if we are supposed to get in the mindset that the Jedi order is very, very ancient? In one of the most recent star wars novels, Palpatine sends someone to Jakku to uncover an ancient secret. In The Force Awakens, we see that luke is looking for the original Jedi temple.”

"What's with this sudden obsession with Jedi history? In the force Awakens novel, snoke reveals that he is very old. But we don't know how ancient he is,” the fan theory continues. "Kylo Ren’s lightsaber is confirmed to be an ancient version of the lightsaber. Where did he get it? Snoke.”

snoke

AnakinKardashian goes on: "Now keep in mind the title of episode 8, the last jedi. What if we are learning about early Jedi because we are going to find out how different the ancient Jedi order is? What if what we know as Jedi are not really Jedi after all? What if snoke is the last Jedi, in its original form? It makes sense that we are learning about early Jedi.”

"It makes sense that kylo Ren has this ancient version of the weapon. It makes sense that Luke went to look for the original Jedi temple in order to learn about Snoke,” the user adds.

Star Wars Episode 8: The Last Jedi Release Date – When does Episode 8 premiere?

Despite only just receiving a full title, Episode VIII was actually announced way back in 2012 – when Disney acquired Lucasfilm.

Principal photography ended in July 2016, although some shoots continued until at least September last year.

The film is due to be released in UK cinemas on December 15, 2017, while the sequel – titled Episode IX for now – is scheduled for a 2019 release.

But the cogs are well in motion for The Last Jedi already. In fact, Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney, has revealed that he’s already seen Star Wars: The Last Jedi – lucky, eh? In a statement issued alongside Disney’s Q1 2017 earnings report, Iger said: “Star Wars: The Last Jedi, otherwise known as Episode VIII, will open in December and I just saw it last week.”

He continued: “It’s a great next chapter in the iconic Skywalker family saga. It will be followed by our Han Solo origin film, which is just going into production."

Star Wars Episode 8: The Last Jedi trailers – Official videos from Disney

The official first teaser trailer for The Last Jedi has arrived, and it's a good'un. At two minutes long, it seems the rumours of a "full-trailer feel" were correct, with plenty of new footage to feast your eyes upon. Without further ado, here it is:

Debuting at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando, Florida on Friday, the teaser transports us back to the planet Ahch-To, where we last left Rey and Luke at the end of Episode VII. Rey undergoes some training, and it seems we can expect a lot of Luke playing the wise old Jedi teacher this time around.

But it's the end we're most excited about, when Luke offers an explanation for the choice of title: “I only know one truth,” he says while appearing in silhouette, “It’s time for the Jedi to end.”

Naturally, the internet has responded with a veritable cavalcade of rumours and speculation. What on earth does Luke mean by "end"? Could he possibly be turning to the dark side?

Well, Mark Hamill himself has responded to that very question. Speaking at Star Wars Celebration following the trailer reveal, the Luke Skywalker actor responded to the question, saying: "It's possible, anything's possible." Is he just messing with us? Possibly. We'll have to wait to find out.

Prior the official trailer, the official Star Wars YouTube channel posted two videos about the movie, which you’ll find below:

And in January, Director Rian Johnson shared our first glimpse of the opening crawl for Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi.

In an Instagram post, Johnson uploaded an image of the editing studio, commenting: "Felt so good to drop this into the cut this morning."

Check it out:

Felt so good to drop this into the cut this morning.

A photo posted by Rian Johnson (@riancjohnson) on

The post came just days after Disney confirmed that the next Star Wars movie will be called Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The name was revealed in a post to Twitter, along with a shiny new logo.

What’s mildly interesting (if you’re into over-analysis) is that the ‘Star Wars’ text is now red, rather than the traditional yellow. Could this mean we’re gearing up for a darker Star Wars film than we’ve seen previously? Here’s hoping.

Check out the new logo:

star wars the last jedi

We’ve also seen some shots from the set, including images from filming on location in Dubrovnik:

Elsehwere, the first clips from The Last Jedi were shown off at Disney's annual shareholders meeting in Denver, and the footage will, for now, remain under wraps for anyone not in attendance.

Fortunately, a Los Angeles times reported provided us with some insights via Twitter:

It all sounds very intriguing, and we're sure a teaser trailer will be forthcoming in the near future so stay tuned.

Star Wars Episode 8: The Last Jedi Cast and Characters – Who's back, and who's new?

Here's a list of Star Wars: The Last Jedi actors and characters, as announced so far:

  • Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker
  • Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa
  • Adam Driver as Kylo Ren
  • Daisy Ridley as Rey
  • John Boyega as Finn
  • Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron
  • Lupita Nyong'o as Maz Kanata
  • Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux
  • Anthony Daniels as C-3PO
  • Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma
  • Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke
  • Benicio del Toro as a villain
  • Peter Mayhew and Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca
  • Mike Quinn as Nien Nunb
  • Timothy M. Rose as Admiral Ackbar
  • Billie Lourd as Lietuenant Connix
  • Simon Pegg as Unkar Plutt
  • Jimmy Vee as R2-D2
  • Tom Hardy as Stormtrooper
  • Gary Barlow as Stormtrooper
  • Gareth Edwards (Rogue One director) cameo
  • Warwick Davis in unspecified role
  • Noah Segan in unspecified role

Rumours have been circulating that Yoda could return for the next Star Wars instalment, despite the former leader of the Jedi council dying at the end of 1983’s Return of the Jedi. Ever since the voice of Yoda, Frank Oz, was seen on the set of The Last Jedi last year, however, the speculation has been ramping up, and now Oz has spoken with Variety about his possible return.

Unfortunately, the actor was unable to either confirm or deny whether he'll be involved in the project. As he explained:

“I feel like I’m a prisoner at war here, and I can only give you my name, rank and serial number. To be true to the people who asked me, and they are kind of my family, I have to say I’ve been asked not to talk about it. I love Yoda. I would be happy to talk to you about it at the time they let me.”

Nothing's certain then, but it certainly seems likely Oz has something to do with the new film, even if he can't say exactly what it is.

Star Wars Episode 8: The Last Jedi – What’s happening with Carrie Fisher?

What’s unique – and upsetting – about Star Wars: The Last Jedi is that it’s almost certainly the last movie that will ever star Carrie Fisher. The actress, famous for playing Princess Leia Organa, passed away unexpectedly at the end of 2016, throwing the future of the Star Wars franchise into question.

What’s important to note is that Fisher had already finished shooting her scenes for The Last Jedi, so Episode 8 shouldn’t be significantly impacted.

However, there is plenty of concern about how Fisher’s passing will affect Episode IX; Variety and Reuters both report that she was slated for a key role in the upcoming sequel. Disney hasn’t revealed how the death will be addressed just yet, but Lucasfilm has confirmed that Fisher’s performance won’t be recreated using CGI.

carrie fisherActress Carrie Fisher, who played Princess Leia Organa in several Star Wars films, passed away unexpectedly late last year

Star Wars Episode 8: The Last Jedi leaked script – Is it legit?

Major spoiler warning here, folks. Back in 2016, details of a leaked script were posted to Reddit. Is it legitimate? Well it's hard to say. Many of the details seem credible, although the post listed the movie's working title as 'Echoes of the Dark Side'. We now know that the actual title is 'The Last Jedi', which could serve to discount the script leak – alternatively, the title may have just been changed.

In any case, the post reveals a number of potential important plot points about the next Star Wars movie – click here for the full post. Alternatively, here are a few of the main spoilers (which haven't been verified):

  • There are three plot threads (Rey, Finn, Kylo) that don't converge until the final act
  • Rey trains with Luke; Finn and Poe are captured by Kylo Ren
  • Rey is the reincarnation of Anakin Skywalker, and thus Luke's father (really, guys?)
  • Ewan McGregor returns as Obi-wan to guide Luke
  • Kylo tortures Finn to draw Rey out of hiding

Of course, we should reiterate that this could be a complete hoax, so try not to read into any of this too much.

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Watch: TV Buying Guide

What do you think of the Episode 8 title? Let us know in the comments.

jimmy

January 24, 2017, 9:44 am

wow, now you are a film review website! (for a film that's 10 months off still)
FFS, can't you just stick to what people want, tech product reviews and news!!

Paul

January 29, 2017, 6:18 am

so now we know luke dies

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