- Star Wars: The Last Jedi release date: December 15, 2017
- Director: Rian Johnson
- Cast: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Gwendoline Christie, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Benicio Del Toro, Andy Serkis, Kelly Marie Tran
- Writers: Rian Johnson
Update: February 22, 2017
It's all been going on the world of Star Wars recently. From rumours that Benicio Del Toro is playing a certain bounty hunter’s son, to confirmation that Jedi in the Star Wars 8 name The Last Jedi IS plural, there's so much Star Wars news that I can't keep it in one update. So instead, I've just rewrote our entire feature. Read on for everything you need to know about Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
***Original article continues below***
Star Wars 8 movie continues the saga
Things are quietly starting to come together for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. We’re starting to see new images, story hints, and descriptions of that elusive trailer. That’s why we’ve gathered all the latest Star Wars 8 news in one place, so you can read through our none-more complete compendium of everything you need to know, and gorge yourself on information like a Sarlacc hype monster. Honestly, it’s a thing. Check Wookiepedia.
Star Wars 8 director is indie sensation Rian Johnson
Rian Johnson is writing and directing. Don’t know who he is? He wrote and directed the excellent and utterly unique Brick in 2005, a brilliant, hard-bitten film noir pastiche set in a high school. He also did brutal time-travel fable Looper in 2012, so between the two he couldn’t be a better fit for what’s inevitably going to be the darker middle section of the trilogy. Also, his first short film was called Evil Demon Golf Ball From Hell!!!, which sounds like nothing if not an exasperated casual slur for a Death Star. He’s even directed three episodes of Breaking Bad.
This is a hell of a creative director with a brilliant instinct for the horrible, and by his own admission, the first stories he ever created were told through his Star Wars action figures as a kid. That’s the great thing about the sequel trilogy. We’re finally getting Star Wars made by the generation that grew up on it.
He’s generally been quite tight lipped about it all, but he did reveal that Luke Skywalker is at the heart of the Star Wars 8 story. Speaking to USA Today, Johnson explained that, “what’s going on with Luke Skywalker?” is the central question surrounding the upcoming movie. He also said that he wanted Star Wars 8 to be, “a blast and to be funny and to be a ride the way The Force Awakens and the original Star Wars movies were.” Less like a bleak reflection of Empire Strikes Back than many were expecting, then, but still exciting.
Star Wars 8 release date is December 15, 2017
At the moment we’ve got a release date for the UK and US of December 15, 2017, although bizarrely, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Russia can apparently catch it a day earlier on December 14. Everybody else will have to wait another agonising day. Premieres for The Force Awakens happened four days before the US cinematic release, so you should be on full spoiler alert for Episode 8 from December 11 onwards. Seriously, turn the internet off.
It’s a shame they May 26, 2017 release date - there’s an extra seven-month wait and it means we’re missing out on the ‘May the Force’ jokes - but the prospect of another Star Wars Christmas makes up for it. Let’s hope we head to Hoth for all the festive feels.
Star Wars 8 trailer will debut at Star Wars Celebration (probably)
We’ve previously speculated when the Star Wars 8 trailer would land through a mix of maths, speculation, and (probably) The Force. The Star Wars 8 release date is almost in line with The Force Awakens, and the first teaser for The Force Awakens arrived on November 28, 2014. Given that logic, we should already have seen something by now.
Lucasfllm President Kathleen Kennedy recently said we might see a Star Wars 8 trailer “soon” - possibly around Spring 2017 - once Rogue One is completely out of the way. The first full trailer for Force Awakens was shown at the annual Star Wars Celebration on April 16, 2015. The 2017 event takes place in Orlando, on April 13-16, so expect to see something on the first day.
What will be in the Star Wars 8 trailer?
This one is a bit more speculative, with potential spoilers, so look away if you want to watch it yourself. YouTuber Mike Zeroh has picked apart the Star Wars 8: The Last Jedi teaser trailer rumoured to be shown at the Star Wars Celebration in April. All the details are at the link above, but if you’re in a hurry, here’s what you can expect: Captain Phasma fighting a Jedi; Leia sensing Luke’s return; a host of new characters; the full reveal of Snoke; and an oblique reference to Kylo Ren’s family. There’s loads to speculate about - assuming, of course, that any it is true - but it’s thematically similar to other leaks we’ve seen.
Star Wars 8 cast has a few surprise names
Everyone who isn’t dead is coming back, and yes, that does include Gwendoline Christie’s Captain Phasma, who allegedly features in the teaser trailer. Let’s break down all the new characters:
Benicio Del Toro has been confirmed officially, and he let slip that he’ll be playing a villain - exactly the kind of loose-lipped interview tomfoolery you can get away with when you’re as cool as Benicio Del Toro. More excitingly, the latest rumours suggest he’s playing the son of a certain Mandalorian bounty hunter. According to Mike Zeroh, Wikiwand’s page for Benicio Del Toro listed his role in The Last Jedi as ‘Sir Vicrum Fett’. It’s since been changed to ‘TBC’. The trailer breakdown above has Del Toro firing on a crowd at a funeral - probably Han Solo’s - which makes sense given the history between Han and Vicrum’s probably-father, Boba.
Kellie Marie Tran’s character will apparently be “tangled up with Finn,” perhaps as part of an espionage side-story. She’s one of the characters described in the description of the teaser trailer.
The positively regal Laura Dern is apparently playing someone “very aristocratic”. And, as anyone who’s seen any Star Wars films knows, this is code for ‘hair that looks like an exotic pastry’. Except that in Laura Dern’s case, her hair is pink. It sounds like a smart nod to the brighter, more exotic prequel trilogy, but let’s hope the similarities start and end with Laura Dern’s rosy bouffant.
Warwick Davis is back, because it wouldn't be Star Wars without him.
Also appearing in unconfirmed roles are the astonishingly wonderful Gugu Mbatha-Raw; and, most bizarrely of all, eccentric British comedy legend Ade Edmonson appears in a super-secret role.
Star Wars 8 - Han Solo to return?
Harrison Ford has never been officially confirmed as being in the cast, but his name did briefly appear on a casting call document for the film, before swiftly disappearing after the entire internet shouted “Look! Harrison Ford’s name on an Episode 8 casting call document!”. The late Carrie Fisher let it slip during the Star Wars Celebration that there may be a funeral scene for Han, and multiple sources are reporting that an attempt will be made on Leia’s life during the funeral. This fits together with the description of the teaser trailer detailed above, but take it with a Hutt-sized pinch of salt - they could have just read the same rumours as us.
Star Wars 8 plot will continue where the last film ended
For the first time, a Star Wars sequel is going to continue right from the end of the previous film. Feels odd to consider this has never happened before, but there’s always been a gap of months or years between episodes. Not this time. We know that Daisy Ridley has been back to shoot a continuation of her climactic meeting with Luke Skywalker, and we also know that said scene will start off Luke’s full-scale return to the story. Hamill said recently that Luke will be far chattier this time - he didn’t have a single line in The Force Awakens - and the stuff he says will be worth listening to. “Rian Johnson is amazing. His dialogue will make you forget ‘May the Force be with you’.” That’s a bold claim.
We also know that Finn’s feeling better in Star Wars 8, thanks to a prolonged spell in a bacta tank, but there are internet rumours about him being paralysed. Truthfully, he’s probably not. Apparently, Finn heads off with Poe Dameron and Kelly Marie Tran’s informant character to track down the assailants who attacked Leia at Han’s funeral. It bears many similarities to a script that leaked earlier this year, which hinted at a possible traitor inside the Resistance. If handled correctly, this could be a great foil to the mystical stuff happening with Rey and Luke, as well as a smart way to broaden the scope and introduce new characters. More importantly: who doesn’t want to see Poe, Finn, and Kelly Marie Tran carrying out some cheerful intergalactic espionage? Nobody writing this feature.
As for the other matter, word is that the enigmatic Knights of Ren are going to make a far more explicit appearance this time around, engaging in open battle in an apparently ‘massive’ set-piece. We’ll get no more specific than that here, but full details can be found via this link right here, should you have no respect for the power of surprise. Expect more Snoke, too - recent rumours suggest he’ll be in the teaser trailer, and - get this - there might even be a massive, intricate puppet of him. It’s a thrill for anyone who enjoyed the chunky practical effects of original films and JJ Abrams's The Force Awakens.
Star Wars 8 name is Star Wars: The Last Jedi - but what does it mean?
We know that the next movie in the Star Wars series will be Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but the bigger question is ‘what does that mean?’ The fact that Luke is ‘the last Jedi’ is explicitly referenced in the opening crawl of The Force Awakens, but international translations of the Star Wars 8 name suggest this may no longer be the case. Hit the link for a very logical breakdown, including all the relevant tweets, but the short version is that the official Spanish, French, and Italian Star Wars accounts all agree that The Last Jedi is plural. That doesn’t necessarily mean that Rey is the only other Jedi, though; the leaked trailer breakdown suggests that Captain Phasma fights another Jedi - we just don’t know who.
Star Wars 8 poster is almost a year away
The poster for The Force Awakens appeared on October 18, 2015 - just two months before the theatrical release. That means we’ll probably have to wait until October 2017 before we see official artwork to go with the film. And while it’s not a poster, this official image for upcoming Star Wars 8 toys is quite revealing. It shows Rey with a functional new haircut - which reminds me slightly of Bastila Shan from Knights of the Old Republic - but more tellingly, she’s wielding Luke’s lightsaber. Remember that Luke and Rey only have one lightsaber between them, so you’re legitimately allowed to hold out hope for her making her own (hopefully double ended) weapon.
Star Wars 8 soundtrack will be brilliant, because John Williams
John Williams didn’t score Rogue One, but we do know he’s started recording the Star Wars: The Last Jedi score. Why was he so keen to do it? “I didn't want anybody else writing music for Daisy Ridley,” says Williams. It’s a huge relief. John Williams is Star Wars. You can almost hear everything you need to know about Rey in the theme Williams wrote for her.
Star Wars 8 theories range from brilliant to bonkers
We’ve got loads of Star Wars: The Last Jedi theories, and Disney’s site isn’t helping. The Star Wars site make explicit references to a “mysterious connection” and a “strange connection” on both Kylo Ren’s and Rey’s profile pages. What could it mean? We’ve listed the theories below, but hit the link for a more detailed breakdown.
A Bustle theory suggests Han Solo is Kylo Ren AND Rey's father. They think Han had an affair with another woman and, 9 months later, Rey was born. The problem? Han isn’t Force sensitive. Maybe Han has a thing for secret Force users? I’m unconvinced.
PopSugar suggest that Rey is a Palpatine, and that Rey and Kylo Ren will continue the theme of Palpatine/Skywalker master and apprentice.
The Radio Times reported about a theory that Luke had a child with an as-yet-unnamed woman and, fearing the repercussions of a Jedi child, gave little Ben to Han and Leia. It explains why he’s called Ben - Leia knew him as Obi-wan, and Han didn’t know him well at all - and has a nice symmetry with the end of Revenge of the Sith.
My favourite theory suggests that she’s not the daughter of Luke, but the granddaughter of bearded Jedi hobo Obi-Wan Kenobi. Obi-Wan has a 30-year blank spot in his history, which is easily enough time to find his bae in the parched sands of Tatooine. We also hear Obi-Wan’s voice in Rey's flashback - both Ewan McGregor and Alec Guinness - and there’s a wonderful symmetry to Rey handing back Luke’s lightsaber, echoing the events of A New Hope.
Another, more insidious origin story suggests Rey is descended from Snoke, rather than a Jedi. It depends entirely on Snoke’s identity - and specifically, his reveal as Darth Plagueis, a Force user capable of creating new life - but it’s a cool idea. Snoke failed to create an uber-Sith in Anakin Skywalker, so he’s having a second bite of the dark side cherry with Rey.
My other favourite theory is that Kylo Ren is actually a good guy, playing the long game with the ultimate goal of defeating Snoke. Watch that scene with Han Solo again, and imagine that the only way Han can help his wayward son is by sacrificing himself. A smart, highly-unlikely twist, but a fascinating one nonetheless.
Star Wars 8 set photos? We've got literally every single one
What's that? You'd like to see every single Star Wars 8 set photo on the internet? Oh, go on then. After the jump you can find over 50 snapshots from every sneaky fan, royal visit, and friendly, over-sharing director - some spectacular, some tame, some barely recognisable.
Star Wars 8 opening crawl has already been revealed
A photo posted by @riancjohnson on Jan 24, 2017 at 10:06am PST
There’s was never really any doubt about this one, but it’s nice to know it definitely exists. Star Wars: The Last Jedi definitely has an opening crawl, because we’ve seen it. Well, a tiny bit of it, anyway. The next time we see it for real will be when we’re sat in the cinema on December 15 and OH GOD SOMEBODY HOLD ME.
Star Wars 8 spoilers CAN be avoided
Even though it’s all a bit speculative at the moment, there’s loads to talk about. We’ve had glimpses of aliens and costumes, and we also know where it’s being shot. There are also the inevitable Freudian slips, which give us tantalising glimpses of what it all might mean. If you’re really determined to spoil something, some of the script may have leaked, and you can read Luke’s dialogue here, along with some speculation about what it might all mean.
In the meantime, if you want to go years without any Star Wars talk at all, consider Star Wars blocker - a handy app that scorches any reference to upcoming films, like the Death Star destroying Alderaan. Listen carefully and you’ll feel a great disturbance in the internet; as if millions of Star Wars spoilers cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced. It might also be worth muting Mark Hamill, if you can bring yourself to do something so disrespectful to a living legend: he hinted in a tweet that he’ll be back for Episode 9, but you never can tell with Hamill. He’s an enigma in Jedi pyjamas.