Details surrounding The Last Jedi, the Star Wars franchise’s upcoming Episode VIII, are still few and far between. But the cast, along with Disney and Lucasfilm, have dropped a few clues for fans to chew on until the film hits theaters Dec. 15—or at least until the first trailer is released.
Here’s everything we know so far about the Rian Johnson-directed installment in the so-called “Skywalker saga.”
The Last Jedi will reportedly pick up right where The Force Awakens left off, with Rey (Daisy Ridley) offering Luke (Mark Hamill) his old lightsaber after finding him living in self-imposed exile at the site of the first Jedi temple on the planet of Ahch-To.
This correlates with what Johnson has said about the film, as he recently told USA Today that “What’s going on with Luke Skywalker?” is the question at the heart of the story and that Luke is the movie’s “emotional entry point.”
Hamill added his own thoughts on how his character will come into play, noting that the titular phrase, “the last Jedi,” appears to directly refer to Luke in the opening crawl of Episode VII. “When you read The Force Awakens script, the very first words are, ‘Luke Skywalker has vanished,’” he told Uproxx. “But down later in the crawl, and I can’t quote it exactly, I saw on Twitter this morning, ‘until Skywalker, the last Jedi, is destroyed,’…And I was wondering why they would use that phrase if it was used that way, because it specifies me. And I think it’s very ambiguous. Is the last Jedi Leia? Is it me?”
Hamill also hinted that the title could even be referring to Rey, who many suspect Luke will end up training in the ways of the Force.
The story as a whole will be darker, according to several involved, with a tone similar to that of The Empire Strikes Back.
Along with Rey and Luke, several other familiar faces from both The Force Awakens and previous Star Wars movies will return in The Last Jedi, including Finn (John Boyega), Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie), Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) and Princess-Now-General Leia (Carrie Fisher), whose scenes were filmed before Fisher passed away in December.
However, the film will delve deeper than Force Awakens into exactly what makes these characters who they are. “I wanted to know more about each of them, and that doesn’t just mean information or backstory,” Johnson told USA Today. “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.”
Benicio Del Toro and Laura Dern are also joining the cast, along with newcomer Kelly Marie Tran. It’s even rumored that Tom Hardy will have a cameo as a First Order Stormtrooper.
The movie’s script was written by Johnson—who began working on it while J.J. Abrams was still completing The Force Awakens—and has been described as “next level” and “clear” by Driver. John Williams is returning for the eighth time in the series to compose the score.
The majority of filming took place in Ireland, Croatia and England’s Pinewood Studios.