Posted by Eleanor Tremeer @eleanortremeer
MP staff writer. I talk about superheroes a lot. Sometimes I'm paid for it.
Eleanor Tremeer

With the daunting task of emulating the iconic success of the original Star Wars trilogy, and recovering from the critical failure of the prequels, the bar was set incredibly high for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens — and yet, this movie exceeded our wildest expectations.

Now, with two years to wait for the continuation, we have plenty of time to speculate about what surprises Star Wars Episode VIII may bring. New Star Wars 8 rumors are coming to light all the time, and we've compiled them all so that you don't have to hunt for them!

Star Wars Episode 8 News, Rumors & Spoilers

Updated 19/10/16:

Set leaks have surfaced that describe Finn's recovery in a "bacta suit", which seems to be similar to the bacta tank Luke Skywalker used in Empire Strikes Back.

Bacta is a fictional healing substance that stimulates tissue regrowth and accelerates healing. After Finn's recovery, he apparently sets off on a mission that could make him a real "big deal" in the Resistance. This lines up with previous rumors we've heard about his plotline.

There were other reports from the Ireland set, stipulating that Daisy Ridley wore a green-screen sleeve for much of the shoot. Combined with Ridley's recent revelation that Rey will be injured in Episode 8, this has lead many fans to believe she may lose a hand in the upcoming movie, paralleling Luke and Anakin Skywalker.

Rey packs up her belongings in 'The Force Awakens'. [Lucasfilm]
Rey packs up her belongings in 'The Force Awakens'. [Lucasfilm]

A description of a previous version of Rey's vision has surfaced, claiming that Luke's lightsaber was part of the scene that introduced the Knights of Ren. According to this rumor, one of the Knights uses Luke's saber to kill a group known only as "the Seven". Fans have already begun speculating that we may see a flashback to this scene in Star Wars 8, explaining how Maz Kanata got the lightsaber.

Some crafty fans may have figured out what Supreme Leader Snoke's grand plan is, and it's pretty complicated. Using the Dark Side of the Force, Snoke may intend to transfer his consciousness — or "essence" — to Kylo Ren, using his protege to extend his own life. Darth Bane attempted this with his own apprentice, Darth Zannah, but she was able to resist him. Darth Sidious was known to practice this with several clones of himself. Could Snoke be planning to do the same with Kylo Ren?

A new canon book, Aftermath: Life Debts, may have revealed Snoke's identity to be Gallius Rax, the Imperial Grand Admiral responsible for battling the Rebel Alliance after Return of the Jedi — and eventually forming the First Order with General Hux's father.

Several new rumors suggest that Leia may defend herself with the Force at Han Solo's funeral, prompting Finn to embark on a journey to find the culprit, teaming up with Aya — a new character played by Kelly Marie Tran.

Finn books passage off Maz Kanata's planet. [Lucasfilm]
Finn books passage off Maz Kanata's planet. [Lucasfilm]

Rumors from multiple sources suggest the plot for Star Wars 8 may reveal the origins of the Force itself, with Rey revealed as the newest reincarnation of the Chosen One, the first Jedi to learn the ways of the Force.

Adam Driver was spotted filming scenes with Daisy Ridley and Mark Hamill, coinciding with a set leak that described a fight scene between Kylo Ren, Rey, and Luke Skywalker.

Star Wars Episode 8 Trailer

No full length Star Wars 8 trailer has been released yet, but Lucasfilm have released this teaser trailer announcing the start of production on Star Wars 8.

The teaser shows the opening scenes of Star Wars 8, as it was later revealed that this film would continue directly on from the closing scene of The Force Awakens.

Star Wars Episode 8 Release Date

The Star Wars 8 release date is sometime around the 18th of December, 2017. This is a tradition set by The Force Awakens and continued by Rogue One. Presumably, all new Star Wars films — the untitled Han Solo film, Star Wars Episode 9, and more — will release around this time for many years to come.

Star Wars Episode 8 Plot Synopsis

The official plot synopsis for Star Wars 8 was released in February, revealing that the focus of the film would be Rey's journey.

Rey took her first steps into a larger world in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and will continue her epic journey with Finn, Poe, and Luke Skywalker in the next chapter of the continuing Star Wars saga, Star Wars: Episode VIII.

Get wrecked, Kylo. [Lucasfilm]
Get wrecked, Kylo. [Lucasfilm]

This synopsis is likely to change later on, as Lucasfilm reveal the story being explored by Star Wars 8. Everything else we know about Star Wars 8 plot is largely gathered from the rumors you can read in the section above.

Star Wars Episode 8 Cast & Characters

— Daisy Ridley / Rey: Newcomer Daisy Ridley will reprise the role of Rey as part of the Star Wars 8 cast. Just as Rey faces her own journey to become a Jedi, Ridley has been embarking on many new projects since The Force Awakens.

— John Boyega / Finn: Still one of the most important of the Star Wars 8 characters, Finn will co-lead the story in the sequel. Before then, John Boyega will appear in the new Pacific Rim 2, as Stacker Pentecost's son.

Rey and Finn quickly bonded in 'The Force Awakens'. [Lucasfilm]
Rey and Finn quickly bonded in 'The Force Awakens'. [Lucasfilm]

— Oscar Isaac / Poe Dameron: The Resistance's hotshot pilot will return in Star Wars 8, but details on his journey are scarce. In the meantime, Oscar Isaac appeared in X-Men: Apocalypse, and has a new movie coming out with Christian Bale called The Promise.

— Adam Driver / Kylo Ren: He may not be Darth Vader, but Kylo Ren will continue to emulate his hero by plaguing our heroes in Star Wars 8. Before that, Adam Driver will appear in several independent films, as well as reprising his role in the TV show Girls.

— Mark Hamill / Luke Skywalker: After appearing in a grand total of 20 seconds in Star Wars 8, Luke will return in full force in Star Wars 8. Hamill has also recently starred in a feature length adaptation of Batman: The Killing Joke, to mixed reviews.

Luke Skywalker in 'Star Wars 8'. [Lucasfilm]
Luke Skywalker in 'Star Wars 8'. [Lucasfilm]

— Carrie Fisher / General Leia Organa: Although mourning the death of Han Solo, Leia returns in Star Wars 8 to lead the Resistance against the First Order.

— Andy Serkis / Supreme Leader Snoke: Although unconfirmed, we're all assuming the legendary motion-capture king Serkis will return as Snoke in Star Wars 8, dropping more hints about his true identity.

— Kelly Marie Tran / Aya: The name of Tran's new character has not been confirmed, although several rumors specify it as Aya. Tran previously appeared in several College Humor skits and other comedy shows, including Jimmy Kimmel Live. According to hints from Rian Johnson, Tran's role in Star Wars 8 is crucial.

Kelly Marie Tran will star in 'Star Wars 8'. [College Humor]
Kelly Marie Tran will star in 'Star Wars 8'. [College Humor]

— Laura Dern: The Jurassic Park star will appear in Star Wars 8, possibly as the Resistance general who replaces Leia after the attempted assassination. According to other rumors, Dern's character may have a shared history with Leia.

— Benicio Del Toro: The Sicario actor has been cast as the main villain for Star Wars 8, although we still don't know who he is or what role he plays in the story.

Star Wars Episode 8 Theories

Oh, nutty fan theories, you help us while away the years in between Star Wars instalments. The theories for The Force Awakens became infamous before the movie was even released, and the Star Wars Episode 8 theories are no different.

Who is Rey, really? [Lucasfilm]
Who is Rey, really? [Lucasfilm]

From Rey's true parents (I'm rooting for Rogue One's Jyn Erso) to the identity of Supreme Leader Snoke, these theories could hold the secrets of Star Wars 8... or they could be totally crazy. It's up to you to decide.

Star Wars Costumes

The Star Wars costumes have long been known for their weird and wonderful designs. While we don't yet know what the costumes for Star Wars 8 will be, we can still look back on some of the best of the best...

Leia earns her title of "Huttslayer". [Lucasfilm]
Leia earns her title of "Huttslayer". [Lucasfilm]

...while getting excited for the new costumes set to debut in Rogue One.

Star Wars Easter Eggs

Any geeky franchise worth its salt is stuffed full of Easter Eggs, and the Star Wars Easter Eggs are something else. While we still don't know what Easter Eggs Star Wars 8 will offer us, The Force Awakens set the bar pretty gosh darn high...

Star Wars Timeline

With the franchise jumping back and forth through the in-universe chronology, it can be hard to keep track of the Star Wars timeline. Check out this video for a full breakdown:

Where To Watch Star Wars Episode 8 Online

What are you doing trying to watch Star Wars 8 online? It's not been released yet! And when it is released, Lucasfilm and Disney are very hesitant to allow websites to stream their movies. You can pay to download The Force Awakens from Amazon and iTunes now, but don't hold your breath for the Star Wars movies to be added to streaming services like Netflix.

Star Wars Merchandise

The Star Wars merchandise has always been a huge part of Lucasfilm's success. George Lucas even sold Star Wars toys before A New Hope was even released, like an action figure for the original, female version of Luke Skywalker.

In the second draft of the script, Skywalker was a woman. [Lucasfilm]
In the second draft of the script, Skywalker was a woman. [Lucasfilm]

Nowadays the best place to buy Star Wars merch is the Disney Store, but thanks to Lucasfilm's many, many marketing arrangements, you can get Star Wars toys pretty much anywhere.

Star Wars Episode 8 Comic Book

Lucasfilm have teamed up with Marvel to release several comic books in the gap between movies, but there is no solo Star Wars 8 comic book yet. However, in the meantime you can check out everything from Han Solo's adventures to Poe Dameron's, with the latter filling in some backstory for The Force Awakens.

Poe Dameron and Black Squadron in the new comic. [Marvel]
Poe Dameron and Black Squadron in the new comic. [Marvel]

Tell us in the comments: Have you heard any Star Wars 8 rumors lately?

[Header image by Nguyen Dong]