Lucasfilm revealed the full title for Star Wars: Episode VIII on Monday, announcing that “the next chapter in the Skywalker saga” directed by Rian Johnson for a Dec. 15 release would be called The Last Jedi.
The wait for VIII begins… pic.twitter.com/2X6AXnz9yx
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) January 23, 2017
The verbiage of the title isn’t entirely new in this trilogy: The opening crawl for Episode VII — The Force Awakens, begins with its use in reference to Luke Skywalker:
Luke Skywalker has vanished. In his absence, the sinister FIRST ORDER has risen from the ashes of the Empire and will not rest until Skywalker, the last Jedi, has been destroyed.
This marks the first time an episodic “Saga” film (or, for that matter, an anthology Star Wars Story spinoff) has re-used a verb or proper noun from another film in one of the trilogies. (In other words, no longer will it be advisable to refer to Episode VI — Return of the Jedi as just “Jedi” in casual conversation….)
Mark Hamill will reprise his role as Luke in Episode VIII after a dialogue-free appearance at the very end of Episode VII. The new film is said to pick up right where The Force Awakens left off — and Hamill will speak this time around.
Carrie Fisher, who passed away late last year, completed work on the movie as General Leia Organa before her death. She was also set to appear in the untitled Episode IX, which has not begun production. Lucasfilm has said they will not use computer graphics to re-create her character the way they did briefly, in a younger form, in last year’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Lucasfilm’s announcement for The Last Jedi:
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.
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI is scheduled for release December 15, 2017.