2015's record-breaking blockbuster Star Wars: The Force Awakens introduced fans to a new trio of heroes in this galaxy far, far away, the Force-sensitive Rey (Daisy Ridley), the former Stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega) and the pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac). Fans will get to explore these characters a whole lot more in the upcoming sequel Star Wars: Episode VIII. But fans will also get to know these characters in a much different way. Director Rian Johnson explained in a new interview that he plans on exploring these characters in a much deeper way.
USA Today caught up with Rian Johnson, who is still deep in the post-production process after shooting wrapped on the sequel back in July. After joking that he'd tell the publication "anything you want to know," the filmmaker did say that this sequel will explore these characters through more than just simple backstory, revealing more secrets about their inner workings and their true nature as characters. Johnson shares this.
"I wanted to know more about each of them, and that doesn't just mean information or backstory. Figure out what's the most difficult thing each of them could be challenged with now, let's throw that at them and dig into what really makes them tick by seeing how they handle that."
Disney and LucasFilm have yet to reveal any sort of official plot details at this time, but there have been no shortage of rumors, one of which will have quite the impact on fans, if it's actually true. A Reddit user claims that the story will echo Empire Strikes Back in a few different ways, particularly with Rey reportedly starting her Jedi training with Luke Skywalker. Much like Luke in Empire, Rey abandons her training upon learning that Finn and Poe were captured by Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) as part of a trap to lure Rey out of hiding. The big bombshell from that report, though, was that Rey is actually the reincarnation of Luke's own father, Annakin Skywalker. While those plot rumors were not confirmed by Rian Johnson, he did add that he wants this story to be as funny as the originals.
"The creative work has felt like play. It's felt resonant and meaningful because it meant so much to me as a kid. I want it to be a blast and to be funny and to be a ride the way The Force Awakens and the original Star Wars movies were."
This interview comes just a day after the director spoke in another interview about why he wanted to set Star Wars: Episode VIII directly after Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with the director adding that he wants to see Rey coming to the realization that she has this power that she never knew existed before. There have been reports that the first trailer for Star Wars 8 will arrive at some point in the spring of 2018, but an exact date has yet to be confirmed. There has been speculation that the footage will debut during the Super Bowl, while others believe it may be attached to prints of Disney's Beauty and the Beast.