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What You Need to Know About STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII

Lucasfilm announced release dates for the first Star Wars spinoff and Star Wars: Episode VIII on Thursday. Here's what you need to know about Star Wars: Episode VIII.

Star Wars is everywhere right now. Toys based on the original six movies are in stores. Star Wars Rebels is uniting Star Wars: The Clone Wars characters like Ahsoka Tano with original characters like Darth Vader. There's a Star Wars spinoff coming out next year.

For some fans, though, the only things that matter are the main Star Wars movies themselves. Star Wars: Episode VIII will continue that tradition in 2017, following Star Wars: The Force Awakens as the next primary episode in the Star Wars saga.

Star Wars: Episode VIII doesn't have a subtitle yet. If Lucasfilm follows the path it took with The Force Awakens, we'll get the movie's official title roughly a year before its release.

What's Star Wars: Episode VIII about?
Ha. Like Lucasfilm is going to tell us that now. Once Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters, we'll at least have a few loose ends to start piecing together the plot of Episode VIII.

There are some well-sourced rumors out there about what might happen during The Force Awakens. Perhaps a certain character from the original trilogy doesn't make it out alive? It's really hard to figure out what Episode VIII will be about before we have Episode VII. Will Lucasfilm take the prequel trilogy path and have a new villain every film of the new trilogy or will we see the triple-bladed lightsaber-wielding Kylo Ren in Star Wars: Episode VIII too?

Who's starring in Star Wars: Episode VIII?
Well, like guessing what this movie will be about, we can't actually figure out the cast of Episode VIII until we get through The Force Awakens.

There was a report in August that Daisy Ridley had signed on for all three sequel trilogy films. Did John Boyega, Adam Driver and Oscar Isaac do the same? What kind of deals did Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher sign?

Who's directing Star Wars: Episode VIII?
Finally, a question we can answer. Lucasfilm confirmed on Thursday that Rian Johnson will not only direct but also write Star Wars: Episode VIII. This news broke in June, but Lucasfilm has been mysteriously silent on the issue since then.

Johnson is a huge hire for Lucasfilm and Star Wars. I actually had Johnson on my list of directors who should guide the new Star Wars movies back when Disney purchased Lucasfilm. Looper is one of the best science-fiction movies of the past decade, and it'll be interesting to see what Johnson does with budget that comes with a Star Wars movie.

The director worked with Joseph Gordon-Levitt on both Looper and Brick — will the actor show up in Episode VIII?

When does Star Wars: Episode VIII hit theaters?
Star Wars: Episode VIII opens on May 26, 2017, exactly 40 years and a day after the original Star Wars was released.
What You Need to Know About STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII Reviewed by Bill Kuchman on 3/12/2015 Rating: 5

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