Star Wars: The Force Awakens hit theaters hard this weekend pulling in a tremendous amount of $248 million dollars, passing the past record holder of the biggest opening weekend domestic box office gross, Jurassic World by over 40 million dollars! That also includes the global opening weekend record, set at $529 million, also beating Jurassic World. This will be the first of many Star Wars films we will get to see in the years to come. We have Rouge One, the first Star Wars anthology film being released on the same weekend as The Force Awakens came out next year in 2016, and hey, they obviously did something right! This movie will not be continuing the story after Episode 7 but fill in some of the gaps between Episode III and IV, like Star Wars: Rebels is doing right now on Disney XD, which will most likely have a lot of tie-ins.
No worries, Episode 8 will be released only 5 months after Rogue One, being released in May of 2017. It is notable to mention that this is the same week that the film that started this all, Star Wars: A New Hope, was released in theaters back in 1977, having its 40th anniversary. Having said all this, let's talk about the next film in this new sequel trilogy.
OBVIOUSLY, MAJOR SPOILERS LIE FOR THE FORCE AWAKENS AND OTHER STAR WARS FILMS AHEAD
At the end of Episode VII, we see Rey take off in the Millennium Falcon, along with Chewbacca and R2-D2 to a mysterious aquatic planet with little islands to find old Luke Skywalker hiding out in the first Jedi Temple. First of all, Rey has got to be Luke's son. I don't know who Luke would 'play poker' with but that's for the movie to explain. Anyways, a majority of Episode 8 will be Luke Skywalker training Rey to become a Jedi. When I saw the movie for the first time and we saw the location of where Luke was hiding, I jumped out of my seat and it was then where everything all lined up.
Lucasfilm went to go film at the Emerald Isle for Star Wars: Episode 8. There were earlier reports out of Ireland said that Star Wars: The Force Awakens was returning to the rocky island of Skellig Michael, which was the location where Rey met Luke Skywalker at the end of the movie. In September, they began filming there again for Episode 8, as they stated it was not for re-shoots. Watch this video and you will see some familiar views.
That is obviously where that last scene in Episode 7 was. When we heard this news originally, we blew it off besides the fact that they are really going out to shoot some practical shots. This is the reason why I jumped out of my seat because when Rey was walking up those stairs, I recognized the location immediately. But what does this have to do with the force ghosts and what lined up exactly?
Hayden Christensen Is Filming For Episode 8
Only a few weeks after the news of Lucasfilm going to shoot in Ireland for Episode 8, we find out Hayden Christensen is filming for Episode 8. This enraged Star Wars fans as they blame Hayden's "bland" performances as one of the main things that ruined the prequel trilogy. In reality, it is not his fault as George Lucas gave him that role. He was pretty bad in Attack of the Clones, which is my least favorite Star Wars movie to date, but I still don't hate the movie. I don't hate the prequels and I think Revenge of the Sith made a great comeback and was a pretty great film, along with the performance of Hayden Christensen. If he comes back to the franchise, I'm sure he could do a great job if he is handed a great script, I hope.
What Will Anakin's Role Be?
This news dropped in September, months before the release of The Force Awakens. Therefore, most people just speculated he would be in a flashback or maybe a force ghost. Now after watching The Force Awakens (twice) and linking these two news drops, we've got a single confirmation that he will be a force ghost, along with Obi-Wan Kenobi and Master Yoda. They will have been with Luke in exile and Rey will get to meet her (hopefully) grandfather and two of the wisest Jedi. For Obi-Wan, they will probably get Ewan McGregor, who played a pretty good role in the prequels. He was technically in The Force Awakens, as you hear him scream Rey during her vision when she touched Anakin's lightsaber. If that doesn't hint at them introducing force ghost Kenobi to Rey, I don't know what else could. Yoda would be easy as they would definitely get Frank Oz to voice Yoda, as he did in Star Wars Rebels.
What About the Other Jedi?
What would be really awesome is that Luke was sent to this unnamed aquatic planet by his father, Obi-Wan, and Yoda. This could be where all the Jedi spirits lie. How cool would it be if we get to see all these ancient Jedi and Rey gets to meet all of them. Samuel L. Jackson and Liam Neeson returning would be absolutely insane! This could really give Rey, and even Luke, a new perspective of the Jedi. I am aware that J.J Abrams has said he will not be mentioning the prequels, but that was for [Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens](tag:711158). Plus, even though Abrams is producing the next film, it is Rian Johnson who will be directing.
Overall, I think this has a very well good chance of happening, at least the part of the three ghosts showing up. I expected them to show up in The Force Awakens, but then again I also thought Luke would show up for more than 30 seconds.