“The Force Awakens”
What will happen when “Star Wars: Episode VIII” revisits Rey (Daisy Ridley), BB8 and Finn’s (John Boyega) stories after “The Force Awakens”? Here’s everything we know so far. Lucasfilm

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” hits theaters on Thursday, which has fans of the “Star Wars” franchise focused on what’s next. In 2015, it was announced that at least two more films — “Episode VIII” and “Episode IX” — are being made, with the former hitting theaters in 2017.

As is always the case with Lucasfilm projects, plot details and information about “Star Wars: Episode VIII” have been heavily guarded. That hasn’t stopped theories and speculation from circulating online, however, as fans try to imagine who and what the eighth installment in the “Star Wars” franchise may focus on.

It is widely believed that the film will pick up where “The Force Awakens” left off — with a still moment between Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). Some believe she’ll begin training to become a Jedi, while others are more concerned with finding out who her parents are than which side she’ll take up fighting for.

Here is everything we know so far about “Star Wars: Episode VIII”:

Release Date

Although it was previously reported that “Star Wars: Episode VIII” was slated to hit theaters on May 27, 2017 — just two days after the 40th anniversary of “Star Wars: Episode IV” — it appears that is not the case. Instead, viewers should expect to travel back into a galaxy far, far away in December 2017. The release date change appears to be related to filming delays.


J.J. Abrams will not be helming “Star Wars: Episode VIII.” Instead, Rian Johnson will be seated in the director’s chair. While this is his first go around with the “Star Wars” franchise, his name should sound familiar to fans of shows like “Breaking Bad.” He has also worked with Abrams in the past, gaining much praise. In an interview with /Film, Abrams called Johnson “a spectacular writer and director,” adding that the script he wrote up for the film is “AMAZING.”

“When Rian, who I admire enormously and adore, came on board, we met and talked with him about all the things we were working on and playing with,” Abrams said. “And he as a spectacular writer and director has taken those things and has written an AMAZING script that I think will be an incredible next chapter, some of which incorporating things we were thinking of and other things are things we could have never dreamed of.”

Characters Returning To The Franchise

In December 2015, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy announced that all the key players in “The Force Awakens” would be returning for “Episode VIII.” This means fans should expect to see Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), Rey, Po (Oscar Isaac), Finn (John Boyega), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Luke Skywalker, BB8, R2D2 and more.

“There will be a handful of new cast members in ‘Episode VIII’ but also all the cast members you see here tonight will be in it as well,” Kennedy said in an interview with BANG Showbiz (via Daily Mail).

New Stars

Naturally, “Star Wars: Episode VIII” will introduce new characters — some friends, some foes. In July 2015, Benicio Del Toro told Entertainment Tonight he was appearing in the film, but wasn’t sure whether his character was on the light or dark side.


At present, no trailer for “Star Wars: Episode VIII” has been released and it seems some of the cast members would like to keep it that way. Driver, who joined the “Star Wars” universe in “The Force Awakens,” told CinemaBlend he wouldn’t mind if Disney never released a single trailer for the upcoming film. He told the publication he liked the idea of people going into seeing the movie with no idea what to expect, adding that it made the experience “more exciting.”

“I think that’d be bold I’d love it, yeah!” he told CinemaBlend. “Then no one would know anything. The less people know, I feel like, the more exciting...the more of an event it is.”