Earlier this week Lucasfilm announced that principal photography had begun for Episode VIII. Rian (pronounced like “Ryan” and not “Ree-an”) Johnson has taken over directing duties from J.J. Abrams and, according to this production announcement video, is picking up right where Abrams left off.
I’ve watched that video numerous times, more than I probably should have watched a 30-second YouTube video that doesn’t have a puppy in it. However, I absolutely loved The Force Awakens and I can’t wait for Episode VIII. I am fully on board with all of the new characters and I can’t wait to see how their stories unfold.
Along with that awesome video, Lucasfilm also announced those actors who were returning along with some new additions to the cast. Not knowing anything about Episode VIII, other than what was contained in that video and press release, I’ve got some wildly irresponsible speculation.
Benicio Del Toro
Like a lot of his fans, I became a fan of Benicio Del Toro after I saw him in The Usual Suspects. In an ensemble cast filled to the brim with tremendous actors, Del Toro stuck out as the shifty criminal Fred Fenster. I’m excited for Del Toro to enter that galaxy far, far away especially since he’s probably playing Supreme Leader Snoke’s other protégé. The Sith had their rule of two, but they often broke it. I can’t believe that Darth Sidious didn’t start training Count Dooku until Darth Maul died. These Sith always had a couple irons in the fire, pitting each apprentice against the others. I can totally see Del Toro as Snoke’s apprentice, mocking Kylo Ren or attempting to get him to turn against Snoke. Del Toro is an amazing actor and even if he isn’t a servant of the Dark Side, he’ll still bring passion and intensity to his role.
Kelly Marie Tran
The Star Wars movies haven’t had a great track record with diversity. Maybe it’s because they were mostly filmed in England, but the original trilogy featured a lot of white people. The Rebellion was far more diverse than the Empire, but that meant lots of different aliens, not necessarily a lot of different humans. In fact, other than Lando, the only other black person I can remember from the original trilogy was the “She’s gonna blow” guy from Return of the Jedi. Asians have been even less represented because I don’t count Nute Gunray and the other Neimoidians. Kelly Marie Tran is a relative newcomer and joining the cast of Episode VIII. I don’t know whom she’s playing, but if she’s someone’s daughter, then she’s probably Admiral Statura’s daughter. He’s one of the few Asians in The Force Awakens and an admiral’s daughter would have a good chance to get in on the action. Unlike Admiral Ackbar’s daughter who would have a good chance to get in a sushi roll.
I think that Rey is Obi-Wan’s daughter. Obviously she’s most likely Luke’s long lost daughter, perhaps that he didn’t even know about. But I also like the idea that Rey is Obi-Wan’s granddaughter. Perhaps thinking that the Jedi order was dead, Obi-Wan found himself a wife on Tatooine, had a few kids and realized that none of them were Force proficient. Maybe Obi-Wan’s midichlorians skipped a generation and ended up with Rey. I know that there are some potential musical cues that link Rey to Luke, but we also hear Obi-Wan say Rey’s name at the end of her vision on Takodana. Whoever’s daughter she is, I can’t wait to see more of Rey becoming a Jedi.
I don’t think any 30-second video has ever gotten me more excited. Episode VIII doesn’t come out for another 665 days (I’m glad I didn’t write this post yesterday), but I’m already looking forward to it. Star Wars is back, which means I’m back to counting down the days until we return to that galaxy far, far away.
What irresponsible speculation do you have about Episode VIII?