Star Wars: Episode 7 – The Force Awakens was indeed a cliff-hanger. As beloved as the film is, one thing that seemed to disappoint some long time fans was the lack of screen time for original trilogy’s hero Luke Skywalker. Mark Hamill has but a single scene in the movie, appearing at the very end after Rey locates the Jedi Master on a faraway world using the map that drives the narrative from the most recent episode.
However, Director J.J. Abrams’ decision to hold back on Luke turned out to be a smart one. This allowed a healthy mix of nostalgia and the introduction of new and vital characters without the fear of the Skywalker family saturating or dominating the tone of the next trilogy. This offers a lot of leverage as well for Star Wars Episode VIII to build on the role of Luke where it left from Episode VII, fulfilling his role as the hope of eliminating the menace of the Sith: the old veteran Jedi warrior guiding the next generation of young and hopeful Padawans.
Since Hamill didn’t even have a line of dialogue in Episode VII, his return and involvement in Star Wars 8 is very much anticipated. There are lots of questions and gaps that fans are waiting to be answered, especially during the years in the saga’s timeline right after Return of the Jedi. Needless to say, expectations run high on how Luke Skywalker will be represented in Episode 8, and we’re sure that Rian Johnson being at the helm won’t disappoint.
— MTV News (@MTVNews) February 29, 2016
ScreenRant.com noticed that while on the Oscars red carpet yesterday, Daisy Ridley couldn’t help but share her excitement (and some details along the way) about Episode VIII’s production, In an interview with MTV, Ridley raved about great it is working with Hamill and how fantastic Luke is in the film. Of course, there is no major, galactic revelation, but fans are quick to notice the “opening of 8″ portion of her answer. It isn’t official confirmation, but it implies that Star Wars 8 will pick up immediately (or very shortly after) the events of The Force Awakens. This would be groundbreaking in a sense because in the past, there were a number of years that took place between episodes: Empire Strikes Back is set three years after New Hope, while Attack of the Clones happens ten years following the story of The Phantom Menace. This is somehow a confirmation on what is quite obvious on where Episode VII ended, as we say, on a cliff-hanger. It only seems reasonable for the story to progress immediately after that momentous scene.
Many people are eager to know how the conversation between Luke and Rey will progress. What questions does Rey have in her mind? What is the purpose of such awakening in her, and does Luke have something to do with all these things, orchestrating the events in a similar fashion to what Palpatine conspired during the first trilogies? But of course this time, we’ll see Luke fulfilling his role as the New Hope that he is destined to be.
Ridley was all but praises on how Episode 8 Director Rian Johnson has crafted the story’s narrative, saying that “it’s such a good story, seriously.” She also teases that Luke is “so cool” in Episode VIII, barely containing her excitement. We can only hope to interpret her words that Luke will be back on the screen with a very powerful mastery over the Force, showing never before seen abilities. It is somehow reminiscent of the edge-of-the-seat battle between Master Yoda and Count Dooku on the Attack of the Clones. I remember very well how surprised I was seeing Yoda’s surprisingly slick moves.
Whatever the case is, we can surely expect that the next installment of this galactic movie franchise will be as welcomed as the most recent one.