The first plot point of Star Wars: Episode VIII has bizarrely been confirmed: At some point in the movie, characters will both cheer in approval and hiss in disapproval of … something. Could this crowd be worked up about Kylo Ren’s murder of Han Solo?
As reported by Austin 360, in Austin, Texas on December 11, during the Draft House Theater’s movie marathon — “The Butt-Numb-a-Thon” — Rian Johnson showed up and encouraged crowds to both cheer and also hiss. The director recorded these cheers and hisses on his phone and then said, “Next year you’ll all be in a Star Wars movie.” Confirmed by multiple attendees on Twitter, including organizer Harry Knowles, it looks like Johnson will be using these crowd noises in the next big Star Wars installment.
From the pod race spectators in Episode I, to the Geonosians watching the monster arena in Episode II, to celebratory Ewoks in Episode VI, the Star Wars films are full of mobs of people getting worked up about stuff, fittingly mirroring the fans themselves. So, it’s appropriately meta that fans will now voice such a crowd in the next film. But what kind of crowd will this be in Episode 8? If people are both cheering and hissing, then there is one wild shot-in-the-dark speculation: Maybe this new crowd will be populated by people witnessing a public trial of Kylo Ren. Maybe they’re cheering because he’s been sentenced to death, and hissing because, you know, it’s normal to boo and hiss a war criminal.
This is just one writer’s guess, but a big trial scene of Kylo Ren would be super dramatic, and unlike anything a Star Wars film has done before. Anakin claimed he wanted Palpatine to “stand trial” for his crimes in Revenge of the Sith, but obviously that never happened. Now, if General Leia’s Resistance, along with what’s left of the Republic want to seem legitimate, a public trial of Kylo Ren might make sense.
But, assuming there is a trial of Kylo Ren, and it’s the good guys who are prosecuting him, how did this happen? Capturing Kylo Ren seems pretty hard. Which invites a different speculation: What if Episode VIII finds Kylo Ren surrendering.
Star Wars: Episode VIII — complete with people cheering and hissing — will hit theaters next year on December 15, 2017.