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Star Wars: Episode VIII? Yep, it’ll be here sooner than we think! During December of 2015, the entire planet seemed to be gripped with Star Wars fever. Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens was released halfway through the month, just in time for Christmas audiences to devour every frame. Everyone was talking about the plot, the actors, the characters and the box office takings. One by one, countries across the world reported the film’s success, which was eventually to exceed $2 billion, making this a record-breaking movie.

Disney, the studio behind the film, could hardly have hoped for better. Having bought the rights to the Star Wars franchise from Lucasfilm back in 2012 following an 18-month pursuit of founder George Lucas, this was the studio’s first attempt to begin recouping the $4 billion they paid him for it.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Box Office – Good News! 

For Disney bosses, therefore, Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ stunning box office profits must have come as an excellent piece of news. As market experts like IG know, an individual movie’s success can have a significant impact on studio share price, as well as its long term profits.

Now it’s time to look to the future and the next installment of the Star Wars story. So, what do we already know about this film, which is due to hit theaters in December 2017? There’s been much speculation about whether Episode VIII will fill in the missing details on scavenger Rey’s backstory. Where did she come from? Why is she all alone in the galaxy far, far away? However, it’s also been suggested that our wait for that information may stretch years into the future, and instead, Episode VIII in December 2017 will reveal what happened to Luke Skywalker in the intervening years preceding The Force Awakens.

Given the franchise’s habit of jumping through time, telling its saga in a mixed up manner, it seems likely that the next Star Wars film won’t pick up where things ended in The Force Awakens, but will instead gather the thread of the story at some other point in time.

Who Will Direct Stars Wars: Episode VIII? 

rian johnson, star wars episode VIII
Rian Johnson, director of Star Wars: Episode VIII

One of the few pieces of information we know for absolute sure is who will be directing Episode VIII. That honor goes to Rian Johnson, a man who has serious form when it comes to creating amazing sci-fi films. He both wrote and directed Looper, a sci-fi thriller that played with time-travel as a black market product in a futuristic dystopia.

So, what of the cast lined up to create the next Star Wars installment? We know that newcomers Daisy Ridley (who plays Rey the scavenger) and John Boyega (who plays rebel stormtropper Finn) will both be returning. Classic characters will also be appearing, including Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia and Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker.

However, there will also be some entirely fresh faces joining these veterans. Look for craggy-faced Benicio Del Toro, Hollywood stalwart Laura Dern, and rising star Lupita Nyong’o.

There’s still a long wait ahead for the release of Episode VIII, and for fans, it will likely seem interminable. However, we can be pretty confident that when the big day eventually rolls around, all the months of waiting and wondering will be worth the end result!

Are you looking forward to Star Wars: Episode VIII? Leave thoughts below on what you think will happen in the next installment of the popular franchise. 

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