Unless you've been marooned on a rocky island somewhere, you'll know the excitement over Star Wars: The Force Awakens was hotter that Tatooine at double-sun midday. But now that we've experienced Rey and Finn's first adventure – and have so many, many questions that need answering - we are left with only one thing to do...
... wait for The Last Jedi.
There's still months to wait before answers might be forthcoming. So in the meantime, here is everything we know about the sequel everyone is calling 'The Force Aw8ens'. Ok, just us.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer
The full trailer for The Last Jedi arrived with a proper look at Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis), some more of Rey's (Daisy Ridley) training, grumpy Luke Skywalker and ended with an ominous scene between Rey and Kylo Ren.
Seemingly dismissed by Luke, Rey looks to have come to Kylo Ren to complete her tutelage in the ways of the Force. (Or has she...)
We also got an excellent new poster to go with the new trailer.
It's only our second proper look at the new movie, following the first teaser dropping at Star Wars Celebration in April.
It gave us our first look at Rey's Jedi training and her using the Force, a glimpse of Finn's recovery and a whole lot of darkness as a Resistance base finds itself under attack – with Poe in danger – and Luke Skywalker not being all that helpful.
"I only know one truth. It's time for the Jedi to end," he warns as the trailer ends. Uh oh.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi behind the scenes footage
Disney's D23Expo celebration in July featured a panel presentation and a meaty behind the scenes look at the movie, in which Daisy Ridley assures us that this movie is going to be 'unexpected'.
In the video we get a proper look at some super cute looking new creatures, some cool action, Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro's characters as well as more of Luke and Leia.
Check it out below, but we warn you, when you hear Carrie Fisher talk about how the movie is 'about family' you may get something in your eye...
Here's our breakdown of the secrets we learned from the footage, include a couple of major rumours that it confirms.
And as we near the release day, we've been given another look behind the scenes.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi title
After much speculation and completely wrong rumours, Episode 8's title was finally revealed as Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
What does this mean?! Is it referring to Luke – who was thought to be the last before Rey came along? Or is Rey to be the last?
Director Rian Johnson took to Twitter to clarify (a bit) what the title means.
It means the final Jedi. Happy birthday!- Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) March 6, 2017
It turns out that the phrase 'the last Jedi' previously appeared in The Force Awakens's opening crawl. Just don't ask Daisy Ridley what it means, because she isn't telling anyone – not even Dame Judi Dench.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi release date
The Force Awakens was actually pushed back from an originally-planned May 2015 release date, and similarly, The Last Jedi switched from the original May 26, 2017 release date (the day after Star Wars' 40th anniversary) to December.
Thursday, December 14, to be more precise, the UK release date have slipped forward a day to put it ahead of the US's December 15 debut.
Filming began in February 2016, ending in July after months of various on-set shots and fan theories involving strange trees (we kid you not). So much that we've started calling it 'Star Wars: Weird Trees Rising'.
The movie is forecast to have the second-biggest opening weekend ever – coming second only to The Force Awakens.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi cast
At the Force Awakens premiere, Kennedy said that all the cast in attendance would be returning – which means Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Anthony Daniels and Lupita Nyong'o will be back.
Mark Hamill will finally get to do something as old man Luke Skywalker other than stand around looking serious. There are lots of rumours as to what he will do (as well as his relationship to Rey) – including an exciting theory that he will have enough power in the Force that he can crash a First Order Star Destroyer.
And the late and already sorely missed Carrie Fisher will be back as General Leia. The movie had completed filming before her death on December 27, 2016, and Boyega promises that her send-off will be "amazing".
The bad guys will be lining up for Episode 8, too – we'll see Adam Driver's Kylo Ren, Andy Serkis's Supreme Leader Snoke, Domhnall Gleeson's General Armitage Hux and Gwendoline Christie's Captain Phasma in the next instalment of the saga.
Fisher's daughter Billie Lourd is also coming back as Lieutenant Connix (aka that Resistance member who stood around not doing anything) with what has been promised to be a greatly increased role.
As Harrison Ford was also in attendance at that premiere, it lends credence to new theories that, as Kylo Ren continues to be torn between loyalties to the dark side and his family, Han Solo will feature again – albeit in flashback. But that's purely speculation so far.
Benicio del Toro will also be joining the cast as a "shady character of unclear allegiances" that was nicknamed 'DJ' on set. "You'll see – there's a reason why we call him DJ," director Rian Johnson told Vanity Fair.
Those initials apparently stand for 'Don't Join' – presumably referring to refusal to commit to any side of the conflict.
The latest TV spot gave us our first proper look at DJ in action.
Jurassic Park's Laura Dern has signed up too, as the Resistance's Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, sporting an awesome purple look that's more Hunger Games than Star Wars.
Newcomer Kelly Marie Tran is on board as Rose Tico, a Resistance
fighter maintenance crew member (no, really). Humble origins notwithstanding, she will apparently have a lead role in the movie, and has been called 'the opposite of Dern's character' – which makes us wonder whether that is meant purely in terms of her looks or a hint that Holdo's loyalties might not be reliable.
(Tran also spent four months living in London without any of her friends or family knowing where she was. THAT'S commitment.)
There have also been some unsubstantiated rumours that Hayden Christensen will return as Anakin Skywalker, fulfilling the long-held wishes of no-one, ever. We're sorry to say that Billy Dee Williams's Lando Calrissian – a character people would actually like to see again – will not appear.
You can probably bet on more surprise cameos. Tom Hardy has unconvincingly downplayed a rumour that he is showing up. And could these familiar chaps have a part to play? Pop royalty is confirmed to be on board in the form of Take That's Gary Barlow.
Johnson gave his actors a chance to pitch and discuss their own ideas about their characters for the film, although there's no information about how much he actually adopted.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi director
At the helm, JJ Abrams will be stepping down as director to make way for Rian Johnson of Looper and Brick fame. Johnson also directed three episodes of Breaking Bad, bagging himself a Directors Guild of America Award for his work on season five's 'Fifty-One'.
"He created new rules for the Star Wars universe and balanced the familiar and unfamiliar very adeptly while respecting that his audience can handle ambiguity," Adam Driver said of his director.
"Which you can see in his previous films. Characters and story are his priority."
Abrams himself will be sticking around as executive producer, but it seems that he is already regretting stepping down as director.
His friend and Force Awakens actor Greg Grunberg (you will probably know him best as psychic copper Matt Parkman in Heroes) said that Abrams thought that Rian Johnson's script is "so good" that he's sorry not to be directing it.
Star Wars veteran and The Force Awakens co-write Lawrence Kasdan – who isn't working on Episode 8 – has said that the film is going to be "some weird thing", though it seems he meant it in a good way.
And, as with every other Star Wars film, at least parts will be filmed here in Blighty. At the opening of the new Industrial Light & Magic facility in London, ILM President Lynwen Brennan confirmed that The Last Jedi would be filmed in London.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi plot
It will come as no surprise that Disney is maintaining its policy of absolute secrecy re: Episode 8's story. Adam Driver has compared the shift from The Force Awakens to the difference between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back – although he was forced (no pun intended) to clarify that he wasn't saying that the film would necessarily match the darker tone of Episode 5.
Filming resumed on the Irish island of Skellig Michael, where the closing scene of The Force Awakens was shot – defying a Star Wars tradition by having one film lead directly into the next.
Rey will begin her training with Luke on the remote planet Ahch-To, possibly even in the art of double-lightsaber fighting. Hopefully it will go better than his own training on Dagobah, although Ridley warned at Star Wars Celebration that "it's difficult to meet your heroes as they might not be what you expect". It sounds like she'll be missing Han terribly.
Boyega has said that the new film will be "much darker", and more physically demanding for him, so he'll no doubt be out of his medical coma and back in action in short order. No mention so far of his ongoing fairytale romance with Poe Dameron, alas.
Finn is a "big deal" now – and although he is having second thoughts about the whole Resistance thing he's heading off with Rose on "a mission behind enemy lines". There they will encounter del Toro's DJ, who seems to be some sort of war profiteer playing both sides of the conflict.
Poe and Leia spend a lot of time together, and whatever mischief he's up to apparently elicits a slap from her. We wouldn't worry too much about them though, as Poe as been described as Leia's "surrogate son". Seeing as the real one turned out to be so crummy.
On the other hand new images placing him and Laura Dern's character together has prompted a bit of speculation that he could be a bit on the morally ambiguous side, after Dern herself implied Admiral Holdo might be not entirely on the side of the heroes.
Vice Admiral Holdo sounds like she might have the potential for some serious troublemaking, with the Resistance in some serious trouble. And Maz Kanata is rumoured to be on the move after the destruction of her home.
Beyond that, we're somewhat in the dark, but we'll be ready for Kylo Ren to "complete his training" with Snoke as promised. And it looks like he might be leading the Knights of Ren against Rey and Luke, too. Disney has teased the "mysterious" and "strange connection" between Rey and Ren on StarWars.com. We'll meet Snoke in the flesh, snazzy golden robe and all.
As for the mysterious Knights of Ren, their origin may have already been revealed.
The film will see the First Order stepping into the chaos caused by their attack on the Republic. Their leader, Snoke, is rumoured for an act one showdown with Leia.
"Starkiller Base, big loss, but they did manage to take out the seat of the Republic and that's thrown the galaxy into chaos," Johnson said at Star Wars Celebration.
"The First Order are jumping on that at the beginning of our movie, very aggressively, not sitting on their hands, they're making some big moves at the start of our film. So things are going to get dire."
BB-8 is back – and he has an evil new rival, BB-9E.
We'll finally see Phasma "in action" in the movie, and she'll be joined by a new kind of Stormtrooper is rumoured called the Executioner, who wields some kind of spinning, bladed weapon of agonising torture and death. Jolly.
As for the obligatory opening crawl, spoiler alert! It contains the word 'decimated'.
Episode 9 director Colin Trevorrow asked Johnson to add "one extra thing" to the film, although it's anyone's guess right now what that might have been.
It was also reported that, to get the cast in the mood for film, Johnson screened classic films for the cast and crew - such as 1949 US war film Twelve O'Clock High and 1959 Russian drama Letter Never Sent. Make of that what you will.
And if you're really feeling starved for Star Wars knowledge, a Reddit user has posted what they claim to be spoilers from the Episode 8 script, though we'd recommend you take them with a pinch of Kesselian spice.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi rumours and theories
The biggest questions we're hoping answers for are the true identities of Rey and Snoke. Who are Rey's family and why did they leave her on Jakku? And what will their identities reveal about her strong connection to the Force? And did Hamill accidentally let the truth slip or was he just trolling us?
Either way, it looks like the film will answer our question.
As for Snoke, where did the ancient master of the Dark Side come from and how did he rise to power? There's a theory that he was first mentioned in George Lucas's prequel trilogy, is Darth Vader himself, or maybe Vader's secret father. Rian Johnson wasn't impressed with our guesses – but Mark Hamill seems to like the idea that Snoke isn't the main villain at all.
Could Snoke in fact be overthrown by Kylo Ren? This The Last Jedi card game sorta, kinda maybe implies that could be where he's going.
Another tree-related theory (seriously) hints that Rey's vision of the Knights of Ren could have some connection to Luke's Jedi Temple hiding place. And as for Luke and Rey – why did the music at the end of the Force Awakens seem to reference Darth Vader himself?
To be honest, there are a lot of fan theories and rumours, from the almost-entirely-believably to the completely nuts.
Other holes in our knowledge that we expect (or at least hope) to have filled are what happened between Ren and Luke that sent the Jedi master into hiding? Is Finn a Jedi too? And why was Captain Phasma so lame despite being such a big part of the pre-release hype? And why does it take so damn long to film these things? Roll on 2017 and the answers to our questions.
Luke Skywalker won't die... probably
Mark Hamill had to hastily put out some fires after a throwaway comment he made at a Big Issue event was taken as him accidentally revealing that Luke would die in the movie.
"I finish Episode 8, and then I'm out of work," he said, kicking off wild speculation that he meant it would be his last film.
Of course, Hamill has been doing this since 1977 and is FAR too canny to give away such a big plot point by accident.
Not that any of this means that Luke definitely won't die in the film, of course...
We might get Star Wars' first LGBT character
After the shooting at Orlando nightclub Pulse in June 2016, a man whose best friend was killed has launched a petition asking for Kathleen Kennedy, Bob Iger and the other Lucasfilm heads to include an LGBT character in the next episode to memorialise those who died in the attack.
"While Star Wars is a sci-fi fantasy world with bizarre aliens and hulking monsters, it still features characters just like us," wrote Joshua Yehl. "After A New Hope, steps were taken to expand and diversify the cast, giving us the smooth-talking Lando Calrissian and Rebel pilots played by people of colour.
"The tradition of making Star Wars more inclusive continued with the casting of Daisy Ridley as Rey and John Boyega as Finn, the main protagonists of The Force Awakens. It's my hope that Star Wars will take another step forward by introducing their first-ever LGBT character in a movie."
And rumour has it that Laura Dern's Vice Admiral Holdo could be the first LGBT character to appear in a Star Wars film – although we're not sure how likely her sexuality is to be addressed in the movie.
You Might Also Like