Episode 8 Bits: A New Rumor About Rey's Past, The Future Of Luke Skywalker, And The End Of Filming

In this edition of Episode 8 Bits:

  • The latest wacky rumor about Rey's family.
  • Director Rian Johnson hits social media as filming on Star Wars: Episode 8 begins to wind down.
  • Rian Johnson, Chris Miller, and Phil Lord will share the stage at Star Wars Celebration.
  • And more!

Before you read any further, run to your kitchen and search your spice rack (or equivalent storage area) for some salt. Because this new Star Wars: Episode 8 rumor demands it.

Comic Book Movie has shared some potential spoilers from a secret source and it could all be complete and total B.S. or it could be completely true or it could be something in-between. I'm not prepared to call this fake yet, but I'm also not prepared to fully embrace it. Certain aspects of this align with things we have already seen from the film's set, but that simply means this could all be reverse engineered from what we already know. This is why we're sticking this in Star Wars Bits – this is a place to discuss this kind of minutiae. Don't treat this as gospel.

Anyway, the report deals with Rey's heritage and it could be considered a huge spoiler, so keep on scrolling if you want to know as little as possible. For everyone else:

In the scene Luke tells Rey that the Jedi Council became "arrogant" and that they were hiding a "secret," which led to their demise. The old Jedi master takes Rey's hand and shows her a glimpse into the past. They see two children playing near a tree on an alien planet. The boy noticed that he had greater strength and intuition when he was closer to this tree. The girl noticed that the tree also made her brother increasingly angry. One day an argument breaks out between the children, and the boy kills the girl. The boy touches the tree and is "transformed,". He kills his parents and leaves the planet. Meanwhile the girl is revealed to be alive, transformed by the tree as well, using her power to start the first Jedi Order.

The girl explains how The Force can be used for both good and evil. She tells her followers that one day she would return as either a boy or a girl, and that they should train this child. Luke tells Rey that the Jedi Order had been searching for The One (reincarnation of the original founder of the Jedi) for a millennia. When they found Anakin Skywalker and thought that he would bring balance to The Force, the Jedi were "deceived" and the Clone Wars were the result. The scene also shows Rey's parents, and Luke is not the father. Luke tells her how she was identified as strong with The Force, and how she was supposed to begin her training, but never reached her destination for an unknown reason. In the scene Luke gives Rey a choice, and she has till sunset to make it.

The tree is the key element here, especially since the Star Wars: Shattered Empire comic book miniseries featured Luke stealing a tree that once grew at the Jedi temple from an Imperial installation and a large, mystical-looking tree was seen on the Episode 8 sets in Ireland...where Daisy Ridley and Mark Hamill have done the bulk of their filming. There have also been various fan theories floating around for ages that Rey was some kind of incarnation, which would allow everyone to effectively dodge the whole "parent" angle altogether.

However, another "chosen one" storyline sounds like a slog unless its handled with utmost care. Sure, Star Wars began its existence by embracing Joseph Campbell archetypes, but the past forty years of Hollywood blockbusters have wrung that angle dry. At this point, Star Wars is powerful enough to shatter new ground and do whatever the heck it wants. If there is truth to this story (and I'm just spitballing for the sake of fun until we know for sure!), I hope this is a decision that was reached organically by Rian Johnson and the Lucasfilm creatives, not some kind of obligation to the tropes of the genre.

episode 8 bits

Mark Hamill may have had less than a minute of screen time in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but if there was any doubt that he was a major, major character in Star Wars: Episode 8, feel free to drop it now. After all, we've seen all of those set photos of him and Daisy Ridley galavanting around beautiful Irish locales and now we have this quote from a larger interview where he discusses his very long shooting days:

It's been 6 a.m. calls every morning, and I have another one tomorrow. I'm taking to showering the night before, so I just roll out of bed 15 minutes before, and then go straight to the studio.

The rest of the interview, which is mostly focused on his new Pop Culture Quest project, can be read at the link above.

While we're on the subject of people who tend to have really great senses of humor about being involved in this whole Star Wars thing, Rian Johnson shared a picture of what certainly looks like a close-up Star Wars: Episode 8 crew jacket, complete with a yellow Roman numeral eight in that iconic font. After all, you're not an actual motion picture that will be released into theaters into there is stuff with your title on it.

A photo posted by Rian Johnson (@riancjohnson) on Jun 24, 2016 at 3:32pm PDT

Johnson has actually been fairly active on social media over the past few weeks, sharing obscure images from the set of the film. For example, there's this black and white photo of a soundstage interior that he posted to Instagram. Feel free to zoom in that guy's dangling feet to search for clues. I don't have the energy.

A photo posted by Rian Johnson (@riancjohnson) on Jun 25, 2016 at 10:18am PDT

He also shared a close-up of his hat, which depicts a panda bear wearing a space helmet. This technically has nothing to do with anything, but it's a cheeky nod to Episode 8's production codename, "Space Bear." But now I won't be fully satisfied unless the final film actually features a panda wearing a spacesuit.

Which brings us to this Tweet, which certainly implies that production on Episode 8 is coming to a close very soon. Johnson doesn't say which actors have wrapped, but if you follow that link, you will get an appropriate and amusing gif from Apocalypse Now, because he is nothing if not a consummate movie buff.

episode 8 set photos

Here's the big question: will Rian Johnson wrap filming on Episode 8 before Star Wars Celebration kicks off on July 15? After all, he's scheduled to attend the convention and will actually take the main stage on Sunday, July 17 for the "Future Filmmaker Discussion" panel. You may remember that this panel kinda-sorta happened last year, with Rogue One director Gareth Edwards taking the stage solo after Josh Trank didn't show up (he had quietly left his spin-off film). This year's panel sounds like a must-see, with the very smart and very funny Johnson being joined by the very smart and very funny duo of Chris Miller and Phil Lord, who are set to direct the Han Solo spin-off movie. If you're going to be attending Celebration, this sounds like it could be the panel to check out.

And finally, we'll close this one out with this tweet from Collider's Steven Weintraub, who says that Episode 8 footage was screened at License Expo. Will this be the same footage that undoubtedly screens at Star Wars Celebration?