After the runaway success of The Force Awakens, we're all counting down the hundreds of days until [Star Wars: Episode VIII](tag:711868) is released. Script rewrites may have delayed production, but filming has now officially begun on the next installment of the Star Wars saga. Director Rian Johnson announced as much in the agonisingly brief teaser trailer released yesterday...
This is basically just recreating the final scene of Star Wars 7, though it does finally give us a close-up shot of Luke Skywalker, and it actually reveals more about the plot than you would expect. Lucasfilm also released new cast information, and an official plot synopsis which contains vital information about Rey's journey. So let's break it down!
There will be no time jump... at least at first.
There is usually a gap of at least a year in between the last Star Wars film's conclusion, and story starting up again in the next movie. This has lead many people to speculate that there will be a time jump between The Force Awakens and Episode 8, but now it looks like that's not the case.
If Episode 8 is beginning filming this scene, then it's a fair bet to say that the movie will start right from where The Force Awakens left off. Given that Star Wars has never featured a flashback sequence, it's unlikely that this is part of a retrospective scene.
However, it's still possible that there will be a time jump after this point: Episode 8 might begin with this scene, then skip a few months to the middle of Rey's training. Only time will tell on that one, but there is something the synopsis can tell us about the story...
Rey's story is central to the plot of Episode 8
In many ways, Rey is one of The Force Awakens' greatest successes, and her journey to become a hero is our main emotional thread throughout the film.
Although Rey stands out as the main protagonist, she's still part of an ensemble cast, and it was definitely possible for Episode 8 to shine the spotlight on another character. But it seems as though the focus is still very much on Rey in Episode 8...
"Rey took her first steps into a larger world in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and will continue her epic journey with Finn, Poe, and Luke Skywalker in the next chapter of the continuing Star Wars saga, Star Wars: Episode VIII."
The official synopsis frames the plot of the film as driven by Rey's development, so it seems that she'll continue to be the saga's main protagonist. But she won't be alone in her journey!
It's interesting that Finn, Poe Dameron, and Luke Skywalker are all mentioned in the synopsis: this implies that they'll all have leading roles in the plot. This is no surprise for Finn, as his story was one of the driving forces of Star Wars 7.
On the other hand, Poe Dameron didn't feature in much of The Force Awakens, and it looks like his role in the story is about to get a lot bigger. This is definitely a good move on the part of Rian Johnson: Oscar Isaac's dashing and charismatic pilot has been a favourite among fans, and it's going to be great to see his character developed.
And of course it looks like Luke Skywalker will finally become a major player in the plot. This is somewhat unsurprising, as he will hopefully train Rey to hone her Jedi powers. But with any luck we'll see Luke leave his hermit days behind, as he joins the Resistance in the fight against the First Order.
So although we didn't get much information in the production announcement, there's just enough here to get us super excited for Star Wars Episode 8!
...is it 2017 yet?