Last year at the Star Wars Celebration, Episode VIII director Rian Johnson confirmed that the movie will open immediately after the dramatic conclusion to The Force Awakens, according to ScreenCrush. Now, he’s spoken a little more about that decision and shared some further insight into the story for Episode VIII.
Spoilers for The Force Awakens and more follow below.
Regarding the opening to Episode VIII, Johnson told USA Today, “I don’t want to skip ahead two years. I want to see the very next moment of what happens.”
This is a reference to the meeting of Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Luke (Mark Hamill) at the end of The Force Awakens. A “large part” of Episode VIII will focus on Luke and what he’s up to.
It’ll be a big movie for Rey as well, apparently. “Part of what she’s dealing with is the realization that she has this power and this gift,” Johnson said. “She’s taking her first step to coming to terms with this thing inside her that she never knew was there and is just starting to reveal its potential.”
Following a delay, Episode VIII arrives in theaters on December 15, 2017. It also stars Adam Driver, Laura Dern, Domhnall Gleeson, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, and Andy Serkis.
The newest Star Wars film, December’ Rogue One, was finally bested at the US box office after a multi-week run as the No. 1 movie.