The title for Star Wars: Episode VIII has been confirmed as The Last Jedi.
Disney announced the name of the next installment in the sci-fi series – originally created by George Lucas and Lucasfilm – on Monday revealing the movie is “the next chapter in the Skywalker saga”.
The statement read: “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: STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI. THE LAST JEDI is written and directed by Rian Johnson and produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman and executive produced by J.J. Abrams, Jason McGatlin, and Tom Karnowski. (sic)”
Disney also confirmed the worldwide release date for the film will be December 15, 2017.
The reference to the “Skywalker saga” sent fans into a frenzy on social media with many speculating that Rey (Daisy Ridley) will be revealed to be Jedi Master Luke Skywalker’s daughter following on from the end of The Force Awakens when the mysterious scavenger character tracks down Mark Hamill’s alter ego who has been in hiding.
Director Johnson previously admitted that Star Wars: Episode VIII would focus on Rey learning and beginning to understand her connection to The Force.
He explained: “Part of what’s she’s dealing with is the realization that she has this power and this gift. She’s taking her first step to coming to terms with this thing inside her that she never knew was there and is just starting to reveal its potential. I don’t want to skip ahead two years. I want to see the very next moment of what happens.”
The returning cast includes John Boyega (Finn), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata), Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma), Dohmnall Gleeson (General Hux), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Andy Serkis (Snoke) and the late Carrie Fisher as General Leia.
While Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern and Kelly Marie Tran are all newcomers to the franchise.