The good news is, we can stop calling it Star Wars: Episode VIII.
But fans surely will be a bit divided, as they usually are, by the new name of the next Star Wars film that Lucasfilm finally released Monday. And it proves even more that we’re focusing a lot on Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker as Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters in December.
“We have the greatest fans in this or any other galaxy. In appreciation of the fans, we wanted them to be the first to know the title of the next chapter in the Skywalker saga.”
Lucasfilm didn’t share much more than that, but do they even have to? Fans already know more than producer J.J. Abrams would typically want this far out from a release, and the next film was indeed heavily teased in the final scene of 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
This is the second film to have “Jedi” in the title. The last time it happened was in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, as we try to say that without making you roll your eyes on obvious facts. But you never know … there could be someone out there who is just learning about this whole Star Wars thing for the first time.
The latest film was written and directed by Rian Johnson, the director best known for the time-traveling adventure Looper with Bruce Willis and Joseph-Gordon Levitt, as well as a few good episodes of AMC’s Breaking Bad. It’s also the final film for Carrie Fisher, the actress behind Gen. Leia, who died late last year after suffering a cardiac event.
The Last Jedi has to impress with more than its name, however. The Force Awakens, directed by Abrams – who remains an executive producer in the trilogy – already set a high bar, earning $2.06 billion in global box office – $936.7 million in North America alone.
Rogue One, a followup anthology film that sets its story just before 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope, was released last December, and just crossed the $1 billion mark in global receipts. Like The Force Awakens, it also won the domestic box office crown.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi also stars Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac. It hits theaters Dec. 15.
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