The eighth episode of Star Wars is upon us. In December of 2017, we’ll get to watch The Last Jedi and unfold all of the film’s mysteries. Has Luke turned evil? What is Leia’s fate? Is Kylo Ren redeeming himself? Who are Rey’s parents?
The Last Jedi is, like Empire Strikes Back and Attack of the Clones, the second installment in a particular Star Wars trilogy. The film is meant to set up the franchise for a great finale in Episode IX, while addressing certain pressing matters brought up by The Force Awakens. While it is quite certain that episodes X through XII will indeed happen at some point in the near future, the Star Wars saga is known for containing its plotlines within three episodes / movies, so the eighth installment of the franchise carries considerable weight.
Before watching Episode VIII, all we have are the behind-the-scenes images that The Last Jedi’s cast and crew have shared online. We can search for hints and clues in every picture, spotting little details and deciphering if a particular shot features more than meets the eye.
Though Disney and Lucasfilm are famously secretive, fans are eager to engage in debates that analyze all Star Wars images from every possible angle.
This is Last Jedi: 15 Behind The Scenes Pictures Every Star Wars Fan NEEDS To See
15 LUKE IS THE NEW YODA?
In a picture that looks a lot like Luke Skywalker training with Yoda in Dagobah during the events of Empire Strikes Back, Daisy Ridley (who plays Rey) appears holding Mark Hamill (Luke) on her back, as the actor points to a particular direction.
The shot, of course, is not actually from The Last Jedi, as both Hamill and Ridley are clearly not in costume nor on set. It is, however, seemingly a hint in regards to the relationship of Jedi Master and Jedi Padawan that their character will develop in Episode VIII.
In the picture’s caption, Mark Hamill praised Daisy Ridley for taking the time to visit him, “unlike others who never call, never write, never give piggyback rides.” Though Hamill’s tone is undoubtedly humorous and sarcastic, the actor was probably referring to other fellow Star Wars co-stars who don’t keep in touch with him as often as Ridley.
14 TAKING DIRECTION
This is a great image from the set of The Last Jedi, in which writer and director Rian Johnson is having fun giving direction to actors John Boyega (who plays Finn) and Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron).
The Finn and Poe duo played quite a significant part in The Force Awakens, to the point where fans started to speculate whether there was something romantic to their chemistry. In The Last Jedi, their relationship is expected to develop even more as the Resistance fights back to defeat the First Order in a crucial moment in the history of the Star Wars galaxy.
While Johnson, Boyega, and Isaac are all smiles in this particular image, there is no doubt that The Last Jedi will be a very dark movie.
13 BILLIE LOURD, THE DAUGHTER OF A PRINCESS
Billie Loud, who broke out as an actress with her portrayal of Chanel #3 in the television series Scream Queens, joined the Star Wars franchise as Lieutenant Connix in The Force Awakens. While it was a small role, the actress’ presence was definitely significant since she is the daughter of Carrie Fisher, who has played Princess Leia since A New Hope.
With the passing of Carrie Fisher, Leia’s entire storyline in Episodes VIII and IX had to be adapted, and Billie Lourd’s role in the saga gained even more importance. As a matter of fact, during 2017’s Star Wars Celebration Orlando – which celebrated the franchise’s 40th anniversary –, Lourd was brought on stage to speak about Carrie Fisher.
In this image, Billie Lourd is joined by Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford – Carrie Fisher’s main Star Wars co-stars.
12 JOHN BOYEGA DOESN’T MATCH UP TO GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE
Captain Phasma – Gwendoline Christie’s character in Star Wars – only made a small appearance in The Force Awakens, but it was teased that the Captain of the First Order will have a much bigger importance in The Last Jedi and beyond.
Though we have yet to see Phasma without her helmet in the Star Wars movies, Christie is already a famous figure for her portrayal of Brienne in HBO’s Game of Thrones. In this picture taken on stage during a The Last Jedi panel, we see co-star John Boyega trying to measure up to the famously tall actress, which made Daisy Ridley laugh.
In the most recent The Last Jedi trailer, Captain Phasma is seen battling Finn, who was previously a Stormtrooper under her command.
11 POST-PRODUCTION WRAPPED
In a CGI-heavy film such as The Last Jedi, the post-production process takes up several months, making it one of the hardest parts of concluding a movie.
Unlike The Force Awakens, Rogue One and Solo, who each faced different production problems during their shoots, the making of The Last Jedi seemed like a very smooth ride – with no actors getting injured, no reshoots being required, and no director being replaced.
Rian Johnson worked through the Disney and Lucasfilm machines with basically no friction, but felt compelled to warn fans against watching the film’s trailer, since it evidently contained a bit too much plot.
According to the picture shared by the director himself, the last day of post-production for The Last Jedi was September 21st – well ahead of the film’s December 15th premiere.
10 REMEMBER THE NAME
Speaking of The Last Jedi production: apparently, the team had to be reminded of which project they were working on.
In a picture posted by writer and director Rian Johnson, a whiteboard is seen with the phrase “We’re working on Star Wars: The Last Jedi (in case you forgot)” written with black, blue, and red markers. It is obviously meant to be a sarcastic and humorous reminder, since it is very unlikely that anyone in the movie’s production team ever forgot which project they were working on at the time.
The image, shared by Johnson on April 18th, was captioned with “Back to it!”, which points to the fact that the production of The Last Jedi might’ve taken a brief hiatus during that month due to the director’s surprise visit to Star Wars Celebration Orlando.
9 DAISY RIDLEY IN ACTION
In The Last Jedi, Daisy Ridley’s Rey will remain as the central character and ultimate protagonist of this ongoing third Star Wars trilogy. In this particular picture shared by Rian Johnson, the director is seen on set with Ridley as she bears a lightsaber under what appears to be fake rain.
Behind Ridley and Johnson is a huge screen. Though the image is black-and-white, it is assumed that it is a green screen that will be populated with computer-generated images (CGI) that will serve as the background of this scene in the movie.
Besides Daisy Ridley, no other actor is seen in the picture, so it is anyone’s guess to figure out why Rey was bearing a lightsaber and who she was fighting against.
8 C-3PO EXPOSED
Though Luke, Leia, Han, and Darth Vader are the central characters of the Star Wars franchise, the only two characters to have been featured in every single episode of the saga are the droids R2-D2 and C-3PO.
Though R2-D2 was mostly asleep for the entirety of The Force Awakens, the robot was heavily featured in scenes alongside Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi’s teaser and trailer. C-3PO was seen more frequently in Episode VII, and even had a newly-installed red arm. In Episode VIII, C-3PO is expected to keep assisting the Resistance in its fight against the First Order.
In this image shared by writer and director Rian Johnson, the silhouette of a helmet-less C-3PO is seen. Anthony Daniels, who portrayed the robot in every single Star Wars movie to date, will reprise his role in The Last Jedi.
7 OSCAR ISAAC’S COFFEE BREAK AS POE
There’ll be a lot more piloting in The Last Jedi for the so-called “best pilot in the galaxy,” Poe Dameron, who is portrayed by Oscar Isaac.
According to the actor, Poe will also serve as a “surrogate son” to Leia, who is mourning the loss of her child (Ben/Kylo Ren) to the Dark Side. Another tidbit of information regarding The Last Jedi is that Poe will clash with Admiral Holdo, a political figure in the Resistance that has different values than those of General Leia.
In this candid picture shared on social media, Oscar Isaac is seen in full Poe Dameron costume having a coffee break while still sitting in an X-Wing - with what seems to be BB-8 sitting pretty in the background. In the most recent trailer for The Last Jedi, the character is seen piloting the spaceship during various battles that take place in the sky.
6 THE OPENING CRAWL
There are several different iconic elements in the Star Wars saga, and one of the most distinct is definitely the opening crawl that plays at the start of each of the franchise’s main episodes. In this snapshot shared by Rian Johnson, we had the chance to see a glimpse of the opening crawl for The Last Jedi, which was finalized in January of 2017.
The Star Wars opening crawls have historically served as exposition to the main films of the saga, explaining the events that led up to the point where each of the episodes began. Because The Last Jedi is rumored to take place immediately after The Force Awakens ended, however, it is particularly curious to wonder what exactly the film’s opening crawl will explain, assuming that the events that preceded Episode VIII are very close to what was already seen in Episode VII.
5 THE CLEAN-UP OF A BATTLE SCENE
Movie sets can be left messy after the end of a shoot, and fans got to see part of that mess in this candid image shared by writer and director Rian Johnson in April.
In the picture, one can see debris on fire, fallen Stormtroopers, and a giant green screen in the background. A crewmember is standing by it with what appears to be a mop, ready to clean up the mess and make room for yet another scene to be shot on the set.
Though three Stormtroopers appear in the image, it is assumed that they are mannequins who were left on the floor – not actors in costume lying still along with debris on fire.
Stormtroopers are famously easy to defeat, and will most likely be no match for the Resistance in The Last Jedi.
4 STAR WARS NEWCOMERS
The Last Jedi will usher in three newcomers to the Star Wars saga: Laura Dern, Kelly Marie Tran, and Benicio Del Toro.
Laura Dern, famous for her work in Jurassic Park, Big Little Lies, and Wild, will play Admiral Amilyn Holdo, who will be a political opponent to Leia within the Resistance. Kelly Marie Tran will play Rose Tico, who will seemingly appear alongside Finn for the most part. In the case of Benicio Del Toro, all that has been shared about his character is that he goes by “DJ,” and that he’s the best codebreaker in the galaxy.
In this particular picture shared by Laura Dern, the three actors are seen making an appearance together during Disney’s D23 conference. They look undoubtedly excited to be joining the Star Wars franchise.
3 THE LAST JEDI CAST (AND BOB IGER)
Though it is not a picture featuring the full cast of The Last Jedi, this image shared by Laura Dern on social media shows the vast majority of the actors who will appear in the movie. Most notably, Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver are missing.
Also in the picture is Bob Iger, Disney’s CEO, who has already seen Episode VIII and called it “a great next chapter in the iconic Skywalker family saga.”
Bob Iger has been noticeably hands-on in the making of these new Star Wars movies under the Disney umbrella. When asked to comment about the recent change of directors in Solo, the CEO expressed nothing but positivity and confidence in the project. It was also Iger who personally announced the plans for a Star Wars Land in Disney’s U.S. theme parks.
2 SOUND EDITING
Whether it is the sound of lightsabers and blasters, the noise of spaceships, the peep of robots, or the soundtrack itself, much of the Star Wars experience hangs in the sounds that bring the franchise to life.
In this image shared by Rian Johnson, a massive soundboard is seen. The buttons in the very center of the shot appear to be related to Oscar Isaac’s voice capturing as he portrayed the character of Poe Dameron in The Last Jedi.
Veteran composer John Williams will be responsible for the soundtrack in Episode VIII. A team of at least 19 crew members worked in the sound department of the film along with director Rian Johnson and editor Bob Ducsay. Both Matthew Wood (supervising sound editor) and Stuart Wilson (production sound mixer) worked on other Star Wars projects before spearheading the sound department of The Last Jedi.
1 DAY ONE OF SHOOTING
Nothing like Day One, right?
In this brief video shared by the official Star Wars social media accounts, fans got a glimpse of what was ahead in The Last Jedi. The video featured actors Daisy Ridley and Mark Hamill, as well as writer and director Rian Johnson, who was holding a Millennium Falcon-shaped sign that read “VIII: shoot day 1 of 100.”
Weirdly enough, though Mark Hamill is in full Luke Skywalker costume, Daisy Ridley is not. The setting that surrounds them is clearly the same island where Rey and Luke meet during the end of The Force Awakens.
Ridley, Hamill, and Johnson also briefly improvised an acapella version of the Star Wars theme music, clearly excited to be back on set to shoot the eighth installment of this beloved franchise.
Did you learn anything from these Star Wars: The Last Jedi behind-the-scenes snaps? Share your theories in the comments!