By Jason John.
Since Disney took over the reins of the Star Wars franchise, they have exceeded expectations. Star Wars: The Force Awakens was a worldwide smash hit last year, and Rogue One, the first standalone Star Wars movie, has grossed nearly $500 million in the United States in its first two weeks since release. With the incredible success of these two films, the anticipation for Star Wars: Episode VIII is already off the charts. Here is a look at the hottest rumors circulating around the next installment in the Star Wars franchise.
A Look at Luke
One of the only disappointing things about The Force Awakens was that Luke Skywalker barely appeared at all in the film. If the rumors that are circulating about his character in Episode VIII are true, fans of Luke will be blown away when they see the new film. Luke was barely a Jedi Knight at the end of the original trilogy, but it appears in the 30 years since that he has become a full-fledged Jedi Master. According to the rumor, Luke’s power has grown to the point where he can blow a stone hut to smithereens using the Force.
Mirroring “The Empire Strikes Back”
One of the things everyone noticed about The Force Awakens was that it closely followed the plot of the first Star Wars movie. It appears that the next installment will follow the same path, taking many elements from the second Star Wars movie The Empire Strikes Back. One of the coolest parts of that film was watching Luke undergo Jedi training with Master Yoda. Apparently, Episode VIII will come full circle, showing Luke training Rey on an isolated planet just as he was one trained by Yoda on Dagobah. When Disney bought Lucasfilm back in 2012 for $4 billion, Disney CEO Robert Iger said that the long term plan was to release a new feature film every two to three years. It is nice to see a familiar storyline, but fans might be more intrigued to experience a whole new storyline, such as Rogue One, rather than a predictable plot. It will be interesting to see how Disney balances nostalgia and innovation in the coming years.
An Epic Fight Scene
Another rumor that is floating around is that there will be a fight scene in Episode VIII between Luke, Rey and Kylo Ren. Seeing Luke at the peak of his powers in a fight with a Jedi of Kylo Ren’s power would be truly epic.
The Last Film for Carrie Fisher
The recent death of Carrie Fisher was a terrible blow for Star Wars fans. She was much too young to die, but at least she will get to shine on-screen one more time in her career-defining role as Leia. It has been announced that Fisher had already finished filming her scenes in Episode VIII before she died. Because of her death, Leia will have to die in the Star Wars universe as well. It remains to be seen whether this death will happen in Episode VIII or IX, but either way that will mean that Han Solo and Princess Leia will both be gone before the franchise finishes. Fans have their fingers crossed that Luke will be able to survive.
It is an exciting time to be a Star Wars fan. With the great job that Disney has done so far with the franchise, hopes are high that Episode VIII will deliver another amazing installment of the biggest movie franchise in Hollywood history. On December 15, 2017, fans will be packing theaters across the country to find out.
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