It’s been a long time coming, but we finally know the title of the next instalment in the Star Wars saga – Episode VIII is officially named The Last Jedi.
— Star Wars (@starwars) January 23, 2017
Announced via Twitter, The Last Jedi follows 2015’s The Force Awakens and will reportedly begin mere seconds after the end of its predecessor, with Daisy Ridley’s Rey returning Luke Skywalker’s Lightsaber to him after discovering the location where he has been living in exile. Details are being kept completely under wraps about the new film, however it’s interesting to note that the Twitter announcement is billing the story as “the next chapter of the Skywalker saga”, a story arc that was notably absent in The Force Awakens, leading many to suspect that Rey will, in fact, be a direct descendant of Luke’s.
Sadly, The Last Jedi will be the final film to star the late Carrie Fisher, who passed away in December 2016. It has been confirmed that the actress will not be digitally recreated via CGI for Episode IX, as was much rumoured in the days following her passing, however she had completed filming on Episode VIII before her death.
Directed by Rhian Johnson, Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be released on December 15th 2017, after being originally scheduled for release this summer. It will be followed by the as-yet-untitled Han Solo film in 2018, starring Alden Ehrenreich in the title role alongside Donald Glover as a young Lando Calrissian and Woody Harrelson as Solo’s mentor, before the current Star Wars trilogy films conclude in 2019 with Colin Trevorrow’s Episode IX.