After three years of fanfare, hype and countless rumors, Star Wars: The Force Awakens brought balance to fanboys around the world when it finally hit theaters last weekend. Disney's $4 billion purchase of LucasFilm is already paying off huge dividends, with this sci-fi blockbuster shattering box office records over its first few days of release. Now that fans are savoring this new adventure in a galaxy far, far away, the countdown has already began for Star Wars: Episode VIII, set for release on May 26, 2017.
Before that next sequel adventure arrives, the first spinoff, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, will hit theaters on December 18, 2016, which is set between the events of Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, centering on a mission to steal plans for the first Death Star. It isn't known if this spinoff will offer any connections to this new trilogy, but it will certainly satiate the undying appetite of Star Wars fans across the galaxy. Still, Star Wars: The Force Awakens not only provided the highly-guarded story fans have been waiting decades for, but it also revealed new secrets for fans to ponder as the countdown continues towards Star Wars: Episode VIII. We've decided to break down the 14 biggest secrets that we need revealed in Star Wars: Episode VIII below, so if you haven't seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens yet, be warned, because there will be Star Wars SPOILERS below.
The Force Awakens is already a hit with both fans and the nation's critics alike, with an impressive 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Box office records have fallen by the dozen, with the highest advanced ticket sales in history and the highest Thursday preview gross in history, with $57 million. These figures lead to Star Wars: The Force Awakens scoring a jaw-dropping $238 million over its three-day opening weekend, shattering the record set this summer by Jurassic World ($208.8 million). It also became the first movie to make more than $100 million on its opening day ($120.5 million).
A new generation of Star Wars heroes were introduced in Star Wars: The Force Awakens with John Boyega's Finn, Daisy Ridley's Rey and Oscar Isaac's Poe Dameron, along with Adam Driver's villainous Kylo Ren. Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Harrison Ford (Han Solo) and Carrie Fisher (Leia Organa) are also reprising their iconic roles from the original trilogy. The Star Wars: The Force Awakens supporting cast includes Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux, Lupita Nyong'o as Maz Kanata, Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma, Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke and Max von Sydow as Lor San Tekka.
Much to the delight of many fans, Star Wars: The Force Awakens also marks the first Star Wars movie that George Lucas is not involved in. The franchise creator was expected to serve as some sort of consultant on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and the sequels that will follow, but he revealed in several interviews that Disney wasn't interested in his ideas, although he said earlier this month that he "really liked" the movie. Still, even without George Lucas at the helm, the franchise is in very good hands, with producer Kathleen Kennedy and Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams, who will serve as producer on the several follow-ups coming in the next few years.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be followed by the first spinoff, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, arriving on December 16, 2016. Star Wars: Episode VIII is slated for release on May 26, 2017, with Star Wars Anthology: Han Solo Movie arriving on May 25, 2018 and Star Wars: Episode IX premiering sometime in 2019. Lucasfilm is also developing a Third Star Wars Spin-Off Movie, which is presumably set to arrive in 2020. Josh Trank was initially set to direct, before he left the project earlier this year, and LucasFilm hasn't announced his replacement yet.
Star Wars: Episode VIII director Rian Johnson has already shot some scenes for this sequel at Skellig Michael Island in Ireland, a key location in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but principal photography won't begin in earnest until this spring. While there is very little we know about that new adventure, we do know that there is a lot left to be revealed about the new characters in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, whether it be their family heritage, or where the villains may have escaped to. Star Wars: Episode VIII is shaping up to be even more of an epic adventure than its predecessor, but, for now, all we can do is speculate about the secrets that will be revealed, and how they may shake the foundation of Star Wars fandom to its core. And perhaps some of the things Star Wars 7 got wrong can be righted.
So, with all of that being said, we present the 14 biggest secrets teased in Star Wars: The Force Awakens that we absolutely need to be revealed and/or resolved in Star Wars: Episode VIII. This is your absolute last and final warning. If you haven't seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens yet, ENORMOUS SPOILERS will be revealed below. If you're still with us, we begin where Star Wars: The Force Awakens ends.
1 Where is Luke's island of exile and why did he choose it?
Technically, we know part of the answer to this already...In a manner of speaking. The final scene of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was shot at Skellig Michael Island in Ireland, which early rumors had pegged as some sort of Jedi temple. That rumor was among the few that was actually true, since Han Solo reveals in Star Wars: The Force Awakens that the last he heard, Luke had set off on a journey to find the very first Jedi temple, and he was never heard from again. What's ironic is, while a good portion of Star Wars: The Force Awakens centers around finding the map to Luke Skywalker, when it's finally put together, we don't actually know WHERE in the galaxy this sanctuary is. Since the First Order obviously had no clue where Skywalker was located, Luke chose his isle of exile wisely, but we still don't know why he retreated there. Rumors have surfaced that this Jedi temple houses a great power, which Luke may or may not be guarding. One can only hope that Star Wars: Episode VIII picks up RIGHT where Star Wars: The Force Awakens left off, and, if anything else, we'll finally get to hear Luke Skywalker speak for the first time in over 30 years.