WARNING! POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE FORCE AWAKENS!
Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens was an instant hit as soon as it hit cinemas. In its Opening Weekend, it got the second highest revenue of all time worldwide, only beaten by Jurassic World, a film that also surpassed other great films as one highest grossing films ever.
At this point, The Force Awakens is at a jaw-dropping 1.870b worldwide, having beaten Jurassic World and taking its place as the third most highest grossing film of all time, behind James Cameron's Titanic and Avatar.
The film received great reviews, and I'm sure Roger Ebert would've given it a delightful rating if he was still around. Although some fans believe it was a ripoff of the original film, Star Wars IV: A New Hope, others think it is a fantastic way to revive the famous saga.
Which leaves the new trilogy on a good start.
Now to the upcoming sequel, Star Wars Episode VIII. Kathleen Kennedy confirmed on the premiere night that every single cast member was returning for the sequel, including the man who's character died in the film.
It was confirmed a while back that director Rian Johnson would helm the film. You may not know this, but Johnson's films don't tend to hit the cash, although they seem to receive pleasurable reviews and box office actors such as Joseph Gordon Levitt and Bruce Willis.
I believe Johnson can create a fantastic film that would hit the 90 percent section on Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic, but a lot of you know sequels don't do as well as the first, also proven by Star Wars' own Attack of the Clones and Empire Strikes Back.
We've also learnt a lot of tidbits about The Force Awakens and Episode VIII, such as that the upcoming sequel will be 'weird' and nothing Star Wars has ever seen, and how Abrams wishes he directed Star Wars Episode VII. This has got to be a good film.
Back to the announcement of all the cast coming back: Max Von Sydow, who played the mysterious elder Jakku villager Lor San Tekka, will be returning for the sequel. This could potentially tell us how he knows the Skywalker's and the Solo's, and how he had the map to Luke's location.
Han Solo could return in a vision or a hologram, although there is speculation that Kennedy only stated his return so she would not spoil the film. And, predictably, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac and John Boyega will be reprising their roles as the lead characters.
Next, we also learnt from Star Wars: The Force Awakens that Poe Dameron was originally going to die, mimicking what Harrison Ford thought should have happened to his character in either Return of the Jedi or Empire Strikes Back.
We could see Poe's death in Episode 8 and not have a big three, which could mess up stuff for fans. But The Force Awakens didn't exactly set up the big three all too well. Finn knew Poe and Finn knew Rey. Poe didn't know. When in the original Star Wars, Luke met Han and then they both met Leia.
Finally, what am I thinking will happen? Well, I talked about The Force Awakens copying A New Hope, and we probably won't expect that in Episode 8, but I believe that the start of the sequel will be slightly familiar, such as a battle against the Resistance on a planet, before going off in super weird directions.
Rey, or all three of them, could meet Lor San Tekka, and he would explain himself and basically just fill in that plot hole from the start of The Force Awakens, like the conversation Han and Leia have in the film which is totally obvious it's filling in the 30 year gap since Jedi.
Now it's time to guess the gap! The Star Wars Saga tends to have about three year gaps between each movie, but that's only two of them. The minimum so far is one year, in between Empire and Jedi. So, will Episode 8 break that? Six months? Three months?
Even if they did, the Opening Crawl isn't a recap of the previous film, they can't say "The Resistance has located Luke Skywalker" or something like that. I caught Wikipedia stating this unconfirmed gap:
So, will it be one year after? Will Rey be trained by Luke? Will Kylo be trained by Snoke? Or will it start of where The Force Awakens finished, with Luke actually saying something to Rey.
That brings me to Luke. His fate is unknown, but it's highly likely that the First Order will find him and kill him. And ... will Luke have that "I am your Father" line to Rey? Or will he go "Who are you"? Or "What are you doing here"?
It won't be as big as The Force Awakens, meaning box office. The Hobbit's sequels didn't do better than the first. I wouldn't expect the Big Number 8 too, either.
And the title of the new film? Well we learnt not so long ago that Episode VII's alternate title was Shadow of the Empire, familiar to the Expanded Universe multimedia project known as Shadows of the Empire. We could be expecting Episode VIII's title to be that, or Shadow of the First Order, or jokingly, The First Order Strikes Back.
If you get more news or tidbits on the upcoming film, please tell me, and the fate of the new film can be determined!