Ever since [Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens](tag:711158) was released, we've been eagerly anticipating the next chapter in the saga. From counting down the unanswered questions to coming up with new theories, fans just can't wait for Star Wars 8. But while we all assumed Episode 8 would pick up where The Force Awakens left off, it now seems likely that there might be a large time jump between the two films...
Spoilers ahead: make the jump to hyperspace if you haven't seen the movie yet!
There are some very clear parallels between Star Wars 7 and the original trilogy, to the point that at times The Force Awakens feels like a bigger version of A New Hope. And now it looks like we can add another parallel to the list...
Rey is the same age Luke was in 'Episode 4'!
Both Luke and Rey were 19 years old when they began their heroic stories, journeying from desert planets to train as a Jedi Knight. Rey's age was revealed in the official Visual Dictionary, and later confirmed by Lucasfilm's Star Wars website.
"Rey was born 11 years after the Battle of Endor."
Why is this important? Aside from confirming that Rey really is the saga's new Luke Skywalker, the new characters' ages prove that the new trilogy is following the pattern of the originals.
We've got two young protagonists (Finn is 23), one slightly older flyboy (Poe Dameron is 32), going up against black-clad villains who are essentially space Nazis. So far so good, but this structure has huge implications for Episode 8...
There will probably be a year gap in the story!
Every Star Wars film so far has spaced out the films' stories by a few years. There's about two years between each of the movies in the original trilogy, while the prequel films feature even bigger time gaps (there are 10 years between The Phantom Menace and Attack Of The Clones, and three years between Clones and Revenge Of The Sith).
With each new Star Wars movie, the audience is immediately immersed in an ongoing story, and the opening crawl helps to explain what happened in between.
Because The Force Awakens follows the structure of A New Hope, it's highly likely that the new trilogy will use the same pattern. Which means there'll be about a year gap between episodes 7 and 8. I don't know about you, but I'm hoping we at least get a flashback to Rey and Luke's conversation on the island: we still don't know what he said!
Comics and books fill in the gaps...
If you just can't wait to find out what happens between the films, fear not! Disney and Lucasfilm are hard at work to create stories that fill in the gaps in the Star Wars saga's storytelling. In the run up to The Force Awakens, there were a ton of comics published by Marvel to explain what happened after Return Of The Jedi.
And it looks like we'll get a fresh batch of stories before Episode 8, like Poe Dameron's comic, which will be published in April.
Of course it's unlikely that we'll get any details about the time in between episodes 7 and 8 before Star Wars 8 is released, but we'll definitely get some backstory information about the new characters soon.
The future's bright and full of Star Wars. And we couldn't be more excited.