The last Star Wars episode ended just when things got good. The Force Awakens concluded with Rey confronting Luke Skywalker on the secluded island on the ocean planet Ahch-To, and just as she returned his lightsaber to its rightful owner, the credits rolled. What gives? There were so many unanswered questions like was Luke expecting visitors? Was Ahch-to where the Jedi order began? And How did Luke get to that island in the first place? According to writer/director Rian Johnson, we’ll find out a few of those answers in Episode VIII.
Johnson told USA Today that the next episode of the Star Wars saga picks up exactly where The Force Awakens left off, confirming similar statements he said at last year’s Star Wars Celebration. “I don’t want to skip ahead two years,” he told USA Today, confirming a first for the series. “I want to see the very next moment of what happens.”
But it also seems like Johnson wants to know why those things happen too, telling them a large part of the movie will focus on why Luke went into hiding on the island only to be brought back into the fold once again.
Presumably, this will be about how Luke tried to grow the Jedi order after the Empire was seemingly destroyed at the end of Return of the Jedi. But, alas, just like Anakin, the Dark Side took over an impressionable young Padawan — this time in the form of Han and Leia’s son, Ben — and forced him to the Dark Side.
But just how that exile factors into him seeking out a lost Jedi temple will be the perfect plotting open for interpretation in Johnson’s film. In a kind of backwards way, it might all have something to do with Rey.
“Part of what’s she’s dealing with is the realization that she has this power and this gift,” he 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.”
So maybe Luke didn’t want any more Jedi, and Rey doesn’t want to become one. We’ll have to wait and see whether the meeting at the end of The Force Awakens turns out to be a contentious one when Episode VIII hits theaters on December 15, 2017.