Audiences of all ages loved Star Wars: The Force Awakens when it came out last December, so much so that the as-yet-untitled Star Wars: Episode VIII can’t come soon enough! While the release date of the next film in the galactic saga is currently set to be December 2017 (sorry...), the good news is that filming has officially wrapped! Actor Mark Hamill, also known as Luke Skywalker, recently confirmed on Twitter that production on Episode VIII has finished, nearly two weeks ahead of schedule. Here’s hoping this means that the release date will get pushed forward! But until then, we've uncovered some juicy tidbits about Episode VIII to satisfy your Star Wars cravings. Find out what we know about the new film so far...
1. Old characters are back
Some of our favourite Star Wars characters are back for more action in the next instalment, including Rey (played by Daisy Ridley), Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), Finn (John Boyega), Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).
2. But there are exciting new characters too
Newcomers to the galaxy include amazing actors Benicio Del Toro and Laura Dern - but are they playing good guys or bad guys? Stay tuned!
3. There will be darkness
If dealing with THAT crushing loss in Star Wars: The Force Awakens wasn’t dark enough for you (ahem, no spoilers!), then get ready for more troubling times. In a recent interview with Vogue, actor John Bodega revealed that Episode VIII will be "much darker". Then at Star Wars Celebration Europe, he also divulged that "the characters have been pushed in a new direction in a very, very cool way". What does that mean? We can't wait to find out!
4. And there will be war
During Star Wars Celebration Europe, Episode VIII director Rian Johnson (known for smash hits such as Brick and Looper) revealed which films have inspired him for Episode VIII, namely Twelve O'Clock High, Letter Never Sent, and The Bridge on the River Kwai. What do all these films have in common? They’re critically acclaimed war movies. Get ready for a battle of galactic proportions...
5. Finn will be getting plenty of action
In his Vogue interview, John Boyega also divulged that Finn will have lots of action sequences in the upcoming film. "My part in the next film will be much more physical so I might be in the gym a bit more," he said. Well, if Finn is planning on being in the middle of the action, we’re willing to bet that Rey will be right there alongside him! At least we hope so - those two are going to get together, right?
6. Episode VIII will pick up right where we left off
At the Star Wars Celebration in London, director Rian Johnson confirmed that Episode VIII will pick up directly after The Force Awakens. "That final scene in VII, I want to see what happens next," he said. So do we!
We don’t know about you, but we can’t WAIT for Star Wars: Episode VIII to hit a screen near us next year. In the meantime, you can watch the Star Wars: Episode VIII trailer here, or satisfy all your Star Wars cravings by making Jedi Master Yoda's Rootleaf Stew and Jabba the Hummus. Don't forget to head to Asda for Star Wars toys, books and games.