About two weeks ago, a video announcement for “Star Wars Episode VIII” was uploaded on Star Wars’ official YouTube channel that showed Daisy Ridley’s Rey offering an old and sad-looking Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) his original lightsaber on the sacred island of Skellig Michael in Ireland. There were no indications as to the placement of the scene in Episode VIII. Now, Ridley has confirmed that the scene was indeed the opening shot of “Star Wars Episode VIII.”
Speaking to MTV News, Ridley confirmed that they had gone back to Skellig Michael to shoot the opening scene for Rian Johnson’s “Star Wars Episode VIII.” “Me and Mark [Hamill] have been rehearsing a lot, and it’s really amazing. When we went back to Skellig to do the opening of VIII, it was so crazy doing the same scene with a different crew of people. He’s amazing to rehearse with, and I’m very excited to be doing the rest of the stuff,” Ridley said.
This has put to rest doubts of some as to whether the scene showed in the video announcement was just a behind-the-scenes shot of the last scene of J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Slashfilm notes that Lucasfilm Creative Executive Pablo Hidalgo had cleared these doubts by pointing to the director behind the camera in the video announcement. Responding to Twitter user Steele Wars Podcast, Hidalgo said “@SteeleWars I’d say the presence of a certain director [Rian Johnson] on it should make it clear enough.”
Daisy Ridley also hinted at Luke’s importance in the story for Episode VIII. “It’s such a good story. Seriously. Luke is so cool in this one. Really,” she said.
It seems very clear that Luke will be of central importance to the plot of Episode VIII. After all, he has been missing from action for so many years, hiding in some obscure Jedi temple while his sister, General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), continued to fight the First Order’s evil. It is also known that Luke had trained a younger Ben Solo (Adam Driver), who betrayed him and instead pledged allegiance to the dark side to Snoke (Andy Serkis) as Kylo Ren. Kylo Ren, as we all know, committed the unforgivable act of murdering his father, Han Solo (Harrison Ford), and isn’t part of the cast announced for Episode VIII.
Earlier photos from Dubrovnik, Croatia leaked, showing sets being prepared for “Star Wars Episode VIII.” Interestingly, J.J. Abrams also revealed that future Star Wars movies will very likely have gay characters in them.