Film Preview: Star Wars: Episode VIII-The Last Jedi

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Starring Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Gwendoline Christie, and Domnhall Gleeson with Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew and Anthony Daniels

Written and Directed by Rian Johnson (Based on characters created by George Lucas)

Release date: December 15, 2017

There will be many anticipated films over the course of the coming year, including the next installment in the “Star Wars” saga. On the official YouTube channel for the series, the title of the new film has been revealed as “Star Wars: Episode VIII-The Last Jedi.”

The film will see much of the cast of the previous installment, “Star Wars: Episode VII-The Force Awakens” reprise their roles, and the film will be written and directed by Rian Johnson. In addition to the film “Looper,” Johnson has written and directed many episodes of the TV series “Breaking Bad,” including the highly-acclaimed episode “Ozymandias” from the final season of the series. JJ Abrams, who directed and co-wrote “Episode VII” alongside Michael Ardnt (“Little Miss Sunshine,” “Toy Story 3”) and Lawrence Kasdan (co-writer of “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi”) will serve as co-producer of the film alongside Ram Bergman and Kathleen Kennedy.

While not much is known about the story, least of all who “The Last Jedi” in the title is, anticipation for the film is high given the massive critical and commercial success of “The Force Awakens.” As the film’s writer and director, Johnson  has the potential to bring a new perspective to the saga as well as advance the story further. While Mark Hamill didn’t have any lines when he reprised his role as Luke Skywalker, his presence in itself has created large amounts of anticipation for “Episode VIII.” Among other influences, cast members such as John Boyega and Adam Driver have confirmed the script will be channeling the dark tone of “The Empire Strikes Back;” considered by many to be the best film of the original trilogy.

Additionally, the film will be the final appearance of Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa. Disney confirmed that Fisher completed her work on the film when news broke of her death in late 2016. Lucasfilm has also begun talks of having 2019’s “Episode IX” rewritten as a result, presumably to retire Leia’s character in the process. The company briefly considered having a CGI recreation of the character in a similar vein to her appearance in the spinoff film “Rogue One” before ultimately deciding against it.

While other information on “The Last Jedi” is scarce at this point in time, people will definitely be turning out for the film when it opens on Dec. 15. Disney will be actively marketing the film in many ways, including the planned sequel to the 2015 version of the “Star Wars Battlefront” video game planned to have special content to tie into it. Above all, be sure to keep an eye on “Star Wars: Episode VIII-The Last Jedi” in Christmas 2017.

Preview by Steven Pryor