[Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens](tag:711158)deftly set up a story that will carry across two more films. We're all eager to see where the plot will go in Star Wars Episode 8, especially with all those burning unanswered questions. But now we have almost a year to wait, as Star Wars 8 has been pushed back to December 15th 2017.
So why the delay? Well, it seems as though the script was in a serious need of a rewrite after the immensely positive fan reaction to the new Star Wars 7 characters...
We Need More Finn & Rey
Initially, Episode 8 was going to focus on a few new characters: two new female roles have been confirmed, and Lucasfilm are eyeing actresses for the roles. But now it seems as though their roles have been reduced, so the film can focus more on The Force Awakens' protagonists.
Both The Hollywood Reporter and The Wrap have reported on the rewrites being aimed at boosting Rey and Finn's stories.
"I said before there were two young female roles, now I actually heard that the rewrite will make these roles smaller. They want to get to know better the characters they already have. So the new rewrite is shrinking the new roles in order to spend more time with Rey, Poe and so on." - Jeff Snelder, The Wrap.
This actually makes a lot of sense: production on the Star Wars 8 script had to begin in early 2015, as Disney wanted the movies to be released as close together as possible. It's fantastic to know that Lucasfilm are taking the fan reaction into account, ensuring the plot focuses on the characters we love.
Borys Kit, of The Wrap, commented on this...
Introducing new characters to a revered franchise was always a risk, but Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron have captured the imaginations of many a fan. We're desperate to find out what happens to these characters next, so here's what we think the rewrites should focus on...
Rey Training With Luke Skywalker
Ok, the Episode 8 was always going to focus on this, but if the rewrites really do give Rey more screentime, this means we'll get to see her develop her powers more through training. Rey's journey is of crucial importance to the new trilogy: she is, after all, our new Jedi hope.
Sidelining her story to focus on more new characters would be a real shame, so hopefully these script rewrites will treat her well.
Kylo Ren's Backstory
Kylo Ren is a fantastic character, and the choice to have him be obsessed with Darth Vader was a smart move. As JJ Abrams commented, The Force Awakens was never intended to present a ready-made hero and villain in the form of Rey and Kylo Ren. Instead, this is just the start of both their journeys.
"Long before we had this title, the idea of The Force Awakens was that this would become the evolution of not just a hero, but a villain. And not a villain who was the finished villain, but someone who was in process."
Episode 8 will present an interesting parallel between Rey and Kylo Ren, as both complete their training.
Kylo Ren's motivation is baffling. Why does he want to finish what Darth Vader started? What, exactly, did Darth Vader start? It all comes back to how Ben Solo was convinced by Supreme Leader Snoke to join the Dark Side, which happened when he was a child (according to the official novel). A clear purpose is vital for a good villain, so hopefully Episode 8 will give Kylo Ren this.
Finn & Poe Dameron: Road Trip
Alright, this is a little bit of wishful thinking. The end of Star Wars 7 sees Finn recovering with the Resistance, which leads me to hope that his story will progress from there. It seems likely he'll train to become a Resistance soldier, and maybe a pilot, but the fantastic thing about Finn is we've never seen a character like him in the movies before.
His plot could literally go anywhere, from joining the Resistance, to persuading other Stormtroopers to defect, or even discovering his latent Force abilities.
But there's one thing we absolutely need from Finn in Episode 8, and that's for him to team up with Poe Dameron. They have an excellent dynamic, and it would be a shame to waste the fun of these two characters running missions together. Pretty please, Rian Johnson?
Oh, The Potential...
This isn't to say we don't want new characters at all. On the contrary, adding new characters is essential to keep the story fresh. But it's good to know that Lucasfilm are focusing on what fans want to see, and are dedicated to developing Finn, Rey, and Poe Dameron (also, more Captain Phasma would be fab).
Although the Star Wars 8 delay is aggravating, at least we know the creative team has the time to make the film absolutely perfect. And we couldn't be more excited!