You loved The Force Awakens. Of course you did. Or at the very least, you liked it a lot. Enough to have you speculating about who Rey is descended from, and why Snoke's face is so cratered.
J.J. Abrams masterfully borrowed from the series's history while weaving a bunch of new mysteries for our new gen heroes - which is all the excuse we need to start furiously hyping and simultaneously trying to second-guess Episode 8.
So without further ado, here are 7 stories, clues, hints and mysteries set to be expanded on in VIII.
1. Jedi Finn
Personally, I'm on the fence about Finn becoming a Jedi. It could be overkill, and we saw in one of the funnier moments of Episode 7 that Finn has literally no idea how the Force works. Then again, neither did Rey, and she got to grips with it absurdly quickly.
Speaking to British Vogue, John Boyega talked up the physicality of Finn's role in Episode 8:
My part in the next film will be much more physical, so I might be in the gym a bit more.
How much more physical than Finn's role in The Force Awakens can you actually get? Unless, of course, there's a bout of Jedi training on the horizon... I'm not sold, but it's certainly not outside the realms of possibility.
2. A Meaner Captain Phasma
A female villain has been a long time coming in the Star Wars movies, which is why it was ever so slightly disappointing that Captain Phasma really didn't get to do much in The Force Awakens.
This is Gwendoline Christie! The Game of Thrones actress is certified badass. Will Phasma be willing to continue working with Kylo Ren, or is he viewed as a liability to the First Order's cause? Whoever she sides with in Episode 8, Phasma needs to be used in a way that justifies the awesome backstory behind her armor.
3. A Pre-Crawl Sequence?
Pre-crawl, as in a sequence before the iconic title crawl, not "prequel". A prequel sequence would be a disastrous idea, and as we all know, the P word is taboo among Star Wars fandom.
Sure, it would be a break with a 7 movie-strong tradition, but cutting to the crawl from the conclusion to Rey's meeting with Luke on that giant rock could work. A cold open between the reclusive Jedi and the girl who may or may not be his daughter would be heart-stopping. A time jump would feel like a cheat - we need to know what happened in the immediate aftermath. I'm down for this.
4. Is Benicio del Toro playing Ezra Bridger?
Reddit user Pistol Pete touted this theory recently. The idea that Benicio del Toro's character might be an already-popular character from Star Wars canon is interesting, if a little fanciful - but it would be fantastic promo for Rebels.
In reality, del Toro's character is a complete mystery. It could be anyone, but given that we already have our heroes, a villain seems more likely. For variety's sake, he probably shouldn't be a Sith or a character aligned with the Dark Side of the Force - I'd rather he belonged to a lesser-explored species or came from a far corner of the Galaxy. Which brings me to...
5. Expansion into dark corners of the Galaxy
It's a big Galaxy, and there are a lot of society, alien species and different belief systems ripe for exploration. Rian Johnson could take the safe option, sticking to Jakku, Coruscant and Takodana, but there's so much out there that could bring a bit of color to Episode 8.
6. Did the secret of Rey's parentage die with Han?
At Maz Kanata's castle, the ancient pirate asks Han "Who's the girl?" - and immediately Abrams cuts to a shot of Rey talking with Finn, meaning we don't see Han's response. Assuming he knows who she is, did Han impart that information to Maz Kanata, or did the secret die with him?
You'd be crazy to bet against Maz having that knowledge, particularly as she specifically told Rey: "They're never coming back."
7. "I see your eyes, I know your eyes"...
Maz Kanata really is the wise old creature this franchise needs. Call her Yoda-lite. Diet Yoda. Whatever works. Anyway, remember what Yo-Kanata says to Finn at her castle? "I have lived long enough to see the same eyes in different people. I see your eyes, I know your eyes!"
Could just be that she likes talking cryptically, as all wise people in fiction do, but it could also be a reference to some hidden ability in Finn, something he himself isn't yet aware of - like the Jedi training he'll undergo in Episode 8? Everything comes full circle.