‘Star Wars Episode VIII’ Secrets Revealed by Director Rian Johnson

Rian Johnson shared a few Star Wars Episode VIII secrets with attendees of the Future Filmmakers panel at Star Wars Celebration 2016, shedding some light on the upcoming sequel.

Though the panel was very light on spoilers, Johnson did confirm that Episode VIII will pick up right where The Force Awakens left off, making it the shortest narrative time span between two films in the series’ history. We imagine Johnson will have some trouble coming up with some lines for its opening crawl, then.

Johnson also said that while The Force Awakens was an “incredible explosion of adventure,” Episode VIII will “zoom in” on the new trilogy’s characters, with a greater focus being placed upon fleshing out the stories of Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron & co. Finn actor John Boyega then made a surprise appearance, with him explaining how Johnson is creating “an indie movie in a franchise,” words which will likely terrify the same bunch of Star Wars fans who are already hand-wringing over Rogue One‘s deviations from the franchise’s established formula.

Speaking of Rogue One, it was also revealed that the spin-off’s director Gareth Edwards will make a cameo appearance in Episode VIII, with the following photo of him on set being shown during the panel:

Star-Wars-Episode-VIII-Gareth-Edwards

Johnson also showed a photo of part of the Episode VIII set with a green screen background, which he was quick to defend, saying: “The amount of sets we’ve built on this movie has been absolutely outrageous.” 

Episode VIII still doesn’t have an official title, with Johnson saying that more details regarding the film will be revealed at Star Wars Celebration 2017 in Orlando.

You can check out more of our Star Wars Celebration 2016 coverage right here.