Episode 8 Bits: Possible Reshoots, 'The Empire Strikes Back' Comparisons, And Putting Together The Spoiler Puzzle

In this edition of Episode 8 Bits:

  • Does Carrie Fisher's changed schedule indicate reshoots for Star Wars: Episode 8?
  • Adam Driver compliments Rian Johnson and compares Episode 8 to The Empire Strikes Back.
  • Lupita Nyong'o shoots down those Maz Kanata rumors.
  • Rian Johnson once again gets amusing on Twitter.
  • Carrie Fisher explains why Han and Leia broke up.
  • Someone pieces together currently known plot points for some potential spoilers.
  • And more!

We're sorry to announce that due to #StarWars production, Carrie Fisher will only be at #NYCC on Sunday.

A photo posted by New York Comic Con (@newyorkcomiccon) on Sep 15, 2016 at 9:06am PDT

Today in "new that will make you go hmmm," it has been announced that Carrie Fisher has reduced her scheduled appearance at New York Comic-Con in a few weeks, going from attending all four days of the con to just one day. The reason for the change: "Star Wars production." That's an odd thing to say because no Star Wars movies are currently being filmed...that we know of. Does this mean that Episode 8 has quietly begun reshoots? Or at least some minor additional photography? After all, Disney and Lucasfilm had to put out a fire when news of Rogue One reshoots suddenly transformed the production into a disaster in the minds of the internet, so keeping additional filming on the down-low might be a smart decision. Somehow everyone seems to have forgotten that The Force Awakens (like most major movies) also underwent extensive reshoots after filming had wrapped.

But wait! There's more evidence! Stuntwoman Chloe Bruce (who stands in for Daisy Ridley when Rey has to go full badass in her fight scenes) tweeted this seemingly innocent travel itinerary (above). And then a little over a week later (below)...

...she traveled to Croatia. In other words, Bruce visited all three of Episode 8's key filming locations in rapid succession. Coincidence? Maybe. Possibly. But when combined with Carrie Fisher's news? Like I said: news that makes you go hmmm... Thanks to Star Wars News Net for bringing this one to our attention.

Carrie Fisher Force Awakes

While Carrie Fisher will only spend one day at NYCC, everyone attending can probably take comfort in her saying at least one absolutely amazing, IDGAF statement about Star Wars. It's what she does. It's why we love her. Fisher was a guest at the Saskatoon Comic & Entertainment Expo, where she was asked why Han Solo and Leia broke up in the years before The Force Awakens. Her response is just about perfect:

He smuggled way too much. And girls, I know you don't want your husband smuggling, do you? Hanging out with the hairy guy too often. I think there are a lot of problems with that. He wouldn't take me on that hyperspace thing enough... [that's a] euphemism.

Never change, Carrie Fisher. You are a gem of a human.

star wars: the force awakens adam driver as kylo ren

Collider recently sat down with Adam Driver to discuss his work in Jim Jarmusch's Paterson, but the conversation eventually drifted toward Episode 8. Driver had nothing but kind things to say about his new director:

Maybe this is just me thinking of myself, but I'm surprised [because] in their shoes I'd be way more stressed out than [J.J. Abrams and Rian] seem to be. Rian is coming into something that we kind of set up and he just took it to the next level in a really great way. He wrote it, too, and Rian's writing is so clear. I learned a lot of things about my character through his writing. Some things we talked about before and some things we didn't. He was working on [the script] while we were still working on the first one. To understand what J.J. was doing and take ownership from there is kind of a remarkable thing. And he's the most polite, unassuming guy and he was appropriately territorial about some things but would still be the first to admit when something's not working. A lot of times you need to rise to understand what the script is, and perhaps I'm beginning to be unclear, but he's a great person to work with.

And yes, he ended up comparing Episode 8 to The Empire Strikes Back:

It's great. It's similar to how The Empire Strikes Back has a different tone. For that people always go "oooh, it's dark" but I don't know that it necessarily is. It's just different in tone in a way that I think is great and necessary but also very clear. He trusts [that] his audience is ready for nuance and ambiguity. He's not dumbing anything down for someone and that's really fun to play.

As usual, director Rian Johnson continues to bring the goods on Twitter, taking Adam Driver's comments about Episode 8 being similar to The Empire Strikes Back (and fellow filmmaker Edgar Wright's teasing) and spinning it all into a pretty great Dad Joke.

And where there are dumb jokes, Chris Miller, the co-director of the upcoming Han Solo spin-off movie, isn't far behind.

In more serious Twitter news, Johnson offered his endorsement of Fade In as his screenwriting software of choice. That's not a bad thing to advertise: "The program that brought you the next Star Wars movie!"

Star Wars The Force Awakens maz kanata

Recently, a rumor swept the internet claiming that Lupita Nyong'o had not filmed any scenes for Episode 8, which meant that Maz Kanata would not be appearing in the film. However, the Oscar-winning actress says that there is no truth to this, telling Ellen Degeneres:

I don't know where this rumor came from! I have no idea. It hurt my feelings. ... I shot my scenes, it's coming out – you never really know, when you shoot your scenes in a movie, which ones are gonna make it and all that. So, it's always, 'Fingers crossed!' But as far as I know, I'm in it.

Of course, Maz Kanata's role was greatly reduced in The Force Awakens, so who knows what could end up happening here.

We have reached the point with Star Wars: Episode 8 where enough puzzle pieces are lying around in public view that fans are attempting to fit them together, to create a portrait of what may come to pass in the final film. YouTuber Mike Zeroh has taken a look at what we know from the filming in Ireland and has posted a video speculating what he thinks will go down. Of course, this is all spitballing from a fan and should in no way be treated as fact...but go ahead and consider this a spoiler warning, just in case you want to avoid bumping into something that is true by accident.

Still here? Yeah, this is what happens when we get thirsty for Star Wars news. Anyway, the video speculates that Luke is hanging out on the watery planet of Ahch-to because he has discovered some kind Jedi relic/artifact that is important enough to keep him from lending a hand to General Leia and the other members of the Resistance. However, he does agree to train Rey in the ways of the Force...until their island is invaded by the First Order, led by Kylo Ren and the Knights of Ren. What follows is a battle on two fronts, with Luke and Rey battling Kylo Ren and his minions while Chewbacca and R2-D2 pilot the Millennium Falcon to take down a First Order ship. And maaaybe Chewbacca will die. Maybe.

Here's the thing about this theory: it aligns with scenes that we've seen shot in and around several of the film's Irish sets, including a massive action scene on the ground (presumably between Luke and the Knights of Ren) and a crashed First Order ship. Right now, this amounts to a someone cleverly stitching together these disparate images in a way that makes sense, but may not be true. With that out of the way, feel free to obsess and argue about what makes sense and what doesn't.

For the record, all of this also aligns with a report from the frequently reliable Marking Star Warss, who described this scene in great detail back in May. Once again, the spoiler-wary may want to avert their eyes, because this list of beats sounds more plausible than most of the stuff floating around the internet at the moment:

Luke Skywalker and Rey are on Ahch-To just before nightfall as the sun sets in the background and it starts to rain.

Rey's hair is pulled back. She doesn't have the vest from VII on.

Luke and Rey are wearing the costumes we described before.

Kylo Ren and the Knights of Ren turn up along the coast.

Kylo Ren continues advancing towards the heroes with the Knights of Ren.

Kylo does not wear the mask here.

Kylo has the same cross guard saber as he did in VII.

Kylo's costume looked the same as in VII.

Rey and Kylo Ren duel one-on-one and end up fighting along the cliff face overlooking the nighttime water.

Kylo wants his revenge after Rey disgraced him.

The Knights of Ren go for Luke Skywalker while Rey is left for Kylo.

Luke Skywalker engages the Knights on the beach while Kylo attempts to kill Rey.

The first black knight has an axe and moves towards the Luke but is Force pushed away to his death after being thrown through the air.

After Luke dispatches the first Knight he ignites his green lightsaber.

Luke moves through each Knight one-by-one.

Rey and Kylo's battle moves up to the side of a cliff.

Suddenly Rey is nowhere to be seen. She's taken out of the battle; she's either wounded or appears to go over the side of the cliff.

Luke Skywalker casually walks towards Kylo to finish him but Kylo retreats when he sees his crew defeated.

Luke Skywalker is a badass Jedi and he'll destroy your squad.