We might have a little more than a year to go until Star Wars Episode VIII finally hits theaters, but that hasn't stopped us from pouring over every rumor to try and cobble together what we can of the plot. And so far, the production of #StarWars8 has been riddled with far more set leaks than #TheForceAwakens, leading to some very interesting speculation from fans online.
A while ago, many sources reported on set leaks that detailed a crucial scene near the beginning of Star Wars Episode 8, as Kylo Ren successfully pursued Rey to Luke Skywalker's island of Ahch-To, leading to a brutal battle between the two Jedi and the Knights of Ren.
However, there were some strange inconsistencies between these reports and others from different scenes. That's not unduly surprising — as happened with Rogue One, directors often shoot very different scenes to those that end up in the final cut. But subsequently, the author of #StarWars leak blog I Was Raised To Do One Thing (who claims to have sources within the Star Wars set) has explained the discrepancies, and why such a climactic battle sequence takes place just after the movie begins.
A Vision To Teach Rey
According to this anonymous author, who sifted through the leaks before speaking to another source to corroborate his findings, this sequence is actually a vision given to Rey by Luke Skywalker. This would be eerily similar to the vision Luke himself experienced while training with Yoda on Dagobah, foreshadowing his later battles with Darth Vader — and the fact that Vader was in fact his father.
As Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens proved, Lucasfilm are not one to shy away from a little bit of repetition in the Star Wars saga, and seems likely that Episode VIII will parallel Empire Strikes Back — and not just because The Force Awakens sequel is reportedly a lot darker in tone.
So, back to the Ahch-To fight scene between Luke, Rey, and Kylo Ren. Something of a rematch for Rey and Kylo Ren, this scene also features Luke systematically cutting down the Knights of Ren one by one in what is sure to be a thrilling, and chilling, battle sequence. Ultimately though, it all leads up to Rey and Kylo Ren going one-on-one, fighting desperately along a cliff face overhanging the stormy sea below. Atmospheric stuff.
Rey Must Kill Kylo Ren
Rey then disappears off the edge of the cliff, but this exact move wasn't shot on location — as the author points out, Rey dangling off the edge would have been filmed in a studio for safety reasons.
But here's where things get confusing. According to the blog author, some of this sequence will take place later on, but the bulk of it will be a vision given to Rey by Luke Skywalker as part of her training. This connects to a major plot point, reported by the website Making Star Wars several months ago:
Rey is reluctant with (if not angry at) Luke Skywalker because she has to kill Kylo Ren and she doesn’t want to do it.
It seems that the vision is meant to show Rey just how powerful Kylo Ren and his Knights are at their full strength, and how her only choice is to kill Ren when she gets the chance again. Rey, fledgling idealistic young Jedi that she is, refuses to take this narrow option, and wants to find another way to defeat him. Which is a perspective Luke should sympathize with, considering how reluctant he was when Yoda told him to kill his own father.
The question remains — just how accurate are these leaks? Well, they're all cobbled together from a bunch of hearsay reports of the Skellig Island set combined with rumors and whispers from within the production. Which is to say, they could be accurate, they could be wildly misinterpreted, or they could be part of a sequence that won't even end up in the film.
It seems unlikely that they're bald faced lies, but it also seems unlikely that the final cut of Star Wars 8 will closely resemble what has been reported thus far. There's a lot we can't tell without seeing the script, and obviously we have no concrete proof of any of this.
So while this is a cool sequence, it may not actually be in the film quite in the way the leakers/rumor-mill-churners envision it. Which is probably a good thing, as so far this seems like a tired rehash of Empire Strikes Back — and considering that The Force Awakens' considerable similarity to A New Hope was the main complaint against new film, the last thing we want right now is for Episode 8 to do the same thing with Empire.