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What to Expect in ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’

SPOILER ALERT: This article contains spoilers for ‘The Force Awakens’ AND speculation about what might happen in ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII.’

The events of The Force Awakens are still fresh in the minds of fans everywhere, but that’s not stopping us from looking ahead to Star Wars: Episode VIII. That film, written and directed by Rian Johnson, won’t hit theaters until December 2017, but it’s never too early to speculate about what might happen, right? After all, TFA set the stage for the sequel trilogy with plenty of questions that we hope will be answered over the course of the next two installments. Take a look at a few of our guesses about what might happen next

Rey’s (and Luke’s) Next Steps

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“These are your first steps.” We hear Obi-Wan Kenobi speak these words to Rey during her vision in The Force Awakens. At the end of the film, she ascends the steps of the first Jedi temple, and offers Luke Skywalker his father’s weapon just as Obi-Wan once did. Episode VIII will show us her next steps. Expect Luke to take on Rey as his apprentice, but not without hesitation — a conflict that should give us deeper insight into his exile. She’ll begin to learn more about her emerging Force abilities in Episode VIII. And maybe she’ll even construct her own lightsaber — a double-bladed or pike-style weapon akin to her quarterstaff? But will the real mystery surrounding Rey be solved? Whether Rey is a Skywalker or not (FWIW, we’re leaning towards not), expect Episode VIII to deal with Rey’s desertion on Jakku in a way that satisfactorily puts the issue to rest before shifting focus to the final conflict of Episode IX.

Kylo Ren Levels Up

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Having absorbed a massive blast from Chewbacca’s bowcaster and suffered a significant face-slicing courtesy of Rey, Kylo Ren isn’t in great shape when we leave him at the end of TFA. General Hux is certain to act on Snoke’s orders and bring Kylo to the Supreme Leader for completion of his training. But what exactly will that entail? Don’t expect to see Kylo running around doing somersaults while carrying Snoke piggyback — the Dark Side does things differently. In fact, it’s possible that we won’t see Kylo receive instruction from Snoke at all, preserving that character’s ultimate reveal for Episode IX. So, who will train Kylo? We wonder if this is where rumored Episode VIII cast member Benicio Del Toro comes in. Regardless, expect to see a leveled-up Kylo Ren, tempted by the Light, but ultimately drawn further to the Dark Side by his dedication to the savage legacy of Darth Vader.

The Further Adventures of Finn and Poe

Finn‘s gonna wake up. But what then? Sure, he’ll see Rey again, just as she predicted. But don’t expect him to join her as a Jedi-in-training — we’re not convinced he’s destined to be a Force user. Now that he’s got something to fight for, Finn will be in the Resistance alongside his best buddy Poe Dameron. It’s a safe bet that what’s left of the First Order will be on Finn’s tail, and we’ve already been told to expect Captain Phasma‘s return — she’s sure to be out for revenge.

It’s going to be up to Poe, General Organa‘s most daring pilot, to continue to be a complete badass (OBVIOUSLY) and carry out her orders as she protects Luke while coping with the aftermath of Han’s death at the hand of their son.

Random Questions We Want Answered

  • Who are the Knights of Ren? We want to see Kylo and his villainous crew in action.
  • What’s up with Snoke? We don’t expect a full payoff until Episode IX, but we need to know more about his motivation and connection to the Dark Side in Episode VIII.
  • Is Chewie OK? We hope Chewbacca will have something important to do in the next installment. If he can’t get a medal, can he at least get a hug? It would be nice to see Chewie, maybe in a shared moment with Leia, dealing with the death of his lifelong friend. NO I’M NOT CRYING… THERE’S SOMETHING IN MY EYE!

 

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