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With just days to go before Rogue One: A Star Wars Story finally comes to a galaxy near you, now seems about the right time to fill you in on what lies in store for Episode VIII. At the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens we finally got a glimpse of Luke Skywalker in all his bearded, Oliver Reed-esque glory.

Rey meets Luke Skywalker (HD)

Star Wars – The Force Awakens.

Many questions still remain unanswered though. Here’s everything you need to know so far.

What is the release date for Episode VIII?

An official date of December 15, 2017 has been confirmed meaning, we only have to wait just over a year before Skywalker and Rey start kicking the First Order across the other side of the galaxy. In the meantime, you can sit back and get ready for Darth Vader’s return in Rogue One.

Does it have a title yet?

Not as such but there are plenty of rumours out there. Two sources have suggested different titles for Episode VIII, the first surfaced from Reddit, pitching Star Wars: Tale Of The Jedi Temple as the next film’s title. But it also suggested that the title would be confirmed on May 4 earlier this year, which never happened. Odds on this being the official title appear pretty wide of the mark anyway – because it sounds pretty dull.

The other title came from a Croatian Star Wars fan site. It claims the new film will be called Star Wars: The Order Of The Dark Side, which sounds a bit more like it but again is unlikely to be the official title. George Lucas kept his Star Wars titles pretty close to his chest when he was filming the original films and the prequels. Even Ewan McGregor had no idea Episode II was called Attack Of The Clones and was left bemused when a reporter informed him months before its release.

Ewan McGregor learns the title of Star Wars Ep II

And he thinks it’s pretty awful

So the chances are, we won’t know the title until the powers that be deem us worthy of it at some point in 2017.

What Episode VIII trailers are available?

None so far but a few photos have been released by director Rian Johnson along with a very short behind the scenes video of Luke with Rey on the remote island that we saw at the end of The Force Awakens.

Star Wars: Episode VIII Production Announcement

Cameras roll for the next chapter of the Star Wars saga, written and directed by Rian Johnson.

NME

NME

A photo posted by Rian Johnson (@riancjohnson) on

Other than that, a few photos have been posted online allegedly from the set but whether they’re genuine remains to be seen.

Who is in Episode VIII?

The usual suspects Luke, Rey, Leia, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2 etc, plus returning characters Snoke (Andy Serkis), Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie), Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong’o), Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and Finn (John Boyega). And more excitingly there is an actual Usual Suspect in this film in the form of Benicio Del Toro, who is set to play a new badass villain. If he’s anything like the The Collector he portrays in Guardians Of The Galaxy we’re in for a treat of the first order.

Guardians of the Galaxy: The Collector scene

Enjoy.. ALL RIGHTS ARE OWNED BY MARVEL

If reports are to be believed Obi-Wan Kenobi is likely to return too. Other than that Jurassic Park star Laura Dern is set to make an appearance, while Tom Hardy is tipped to make a cameo as a stormtrooper and Rogue One director Gareth Edwards will also get in on the act.

obiwankenobi

Will it be like The Empire Strikes Back?

Initially Adam Driver said it had a tone “similar” to Episode V which fans took as gospel. But he quickly backtracked to clarify his comments, stating: “What I said was the tone of it was different, I didn’t say that it was gonna be in the vein of [it]— I was using it as an example, so poor example.”

Fear not though, if director Rian Johnson’s track record is anything to go by, it’s gonna be pretty damn dark. For those that have seen his sci-fi epic Looper, expect plenty of scary villains, foreboding and maybe even a bit of time travel. John Boyega also promised more darkness adding: “Rian Johnson is great. It’s a different take, darker, bigger. Someone will say: ‘How do you get bigger than Force Awakens? But it’s crazy.” Original Star Wars screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan gave the biggest hint yet that there will be a serious change of direction when he said: “These movies will all be so different. Johnson is a friend of mine — he’s going to make some weird thing”.

LOOPER – Official Trailer – In Theaters 9/28

Release Date: 28 September 2012 (United States) In the futuristic action thriller Looper, time travel will be invented – but it will be illegal and only available on the black market. When the mob wants to get rid of someone, they will send their target 30 years into the past where a “looper” – a hired gun, like Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) – is waiting to mop up.

What else do we know about the plot?

Absolutely nothing official so far other than it will pick up directly from where The Force Awakens ended and there will be a new planet. But one rumoured leaked scene reveals that Rey and Luke get deep into Jedi training.

Star Wars Youtuber Mike Zeroh claims he was sent an email from a source who previously passed on accurate details about The Force Awakens. The email details a scene where Luke is training Rey on the importance of lightsabers. Luke pulls Rey’s lightsaber from her hands using the force, floats his own lightsaber and dismantles both before her very eyes. A battle between Luke, Rey and Kylo’s Knights of Ren has also been rumoured. As for our own predictions, we can surely expect Ren to become a lot meaner after his slaying of Han Solo, we are likely to learn more about Rey’s origins too – is she Ren’s twin sister? Luke’s kid? – and we’re likely to find out more about why Luke fled the Jedi Academy.

Star Wars Episode 8 Plot Leak! Luke Skywalker Dismantles Two Lightsabers (SPOILERS)

Recently I got hold of some star Wars Episode 8 (Star Wars Episode VIII) material from a personal contact of mine who has delivered information for Star Wars The Force Awakens months before it ever had a title reveal and a teaser trailer and he was correct about everything.

 

Where will it be filmed?

Skellig Michael and Pinewood Studios has already been confirmed but if leaked fan photos are to be believed, also Dubrovnik in Croatia (as seen in many a Game Of Thrones scene) and Mexico.