It was 2015 when Lucasfilm and Walt Disney Studios returned Star Wars to cinemas across the world. Released with the subtitle “The Force Awakens”, this film aimed to be the seventh episode in the galactic space opera known as Star Wars. The release of The Force Awakens, Episode VII, seemed to mark the beginning of a new trilogy in the Star Wars franchise, one – which aims to tell a new story. This new trilogy which seems to have begun with Star Wars: The Force Awakens aimed to introduce a new cast of characters as featuring the return of series veterans. Star Wars: The Force Awakens seems to be a direct sequel to the 1983 film, and sixth episode in the franchise, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.
To continue a franchise previously released over 30 years ago, director and producer J. J. Abrams (Lost, Super 8) was selected to lead the project. Star Wars: The Force Awakens featured the return of members from the original cast, including Harrison Ford (Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Fugitive) as Han Solo, Mark Hamill (Corvette Summer, The Big Red One) as Luke Skywalker and Carrie Fisher (When Harry met Sally, The Blues Brothers) as Princess Leia. In addition to featuring members from the original trilogy, The Force Awakens aimed to introduce several new faces to continue the legacy of the franchise. Newcomers Adam Driver (Silence, Patterson) as antagonist Kylo Ren, Daisy Ridley (Scrawl, Lifesaver) as protagonist Rey, John Boyega (Attack the Block, Imperial Dreams) as ex-Stormtrooper Fin and Oscar Isaac (Ex Machina, Inside Llewyn Davis) as the rebel pilot Poe seemed to be selected to be the faces of the modern Star Wars.
The Force Awakens may have introduced new characters to audiences in 2015, however Lucasfilm and Walt Disney Studio aim to continue each of their stories later this year with the release of the next chapter in the series. Episode VIII was revealed to the public under the name “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” which aims to be the second film in the modern Star Wars trilogy. A brief trailer was released which teases The Last Jedi and offers a glimpse into the next Star Wars Episode. The Last Jedi aims to be the eighth Star Wars episode and may continue Rey’s journey which began in The Force Awakens. Writer and Director Rian Johnson (Looper, The Brothers Bloom) was selected for The Last Jedi and audiences may receive answers many of the questions posed in The Force Awakens while this episode may also explore and bring views closer to a conclusion.
In the debut trailer, which is currently trending on YouTube and sitting around 27 million views at the time of writing, audiences may catch a brief look at Rey as she continues her training to become a Jedi. As a new wielder of the enigmatic power known as The Force, the trailer seems to feature Rey mastering this new ability under the tutelage of Jedi Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamil). With its new and veteran cast of characters, The Last Jedi may explore each character further while pushing the narrative forward to produce a fresh adventure for audiences. With The Force Awakens having set box office records in 2015, The Last Jedi may have high expectations to fulfil as the characters of Star Wars prepare for another galactic adventure.
Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi aims to release December 2017.
How might Star Wars: The Last Jedi continue the legacy of the Star Wars franchise?