Two movies in and Disney's reboot of Star Wars has proven to be a massive success; The Force Awakens was a triumphant return that showed the franchise was in the right hands and Rogue One opened new avenues for the future. Unsurprisingly then, in a year full of exciting movies, no upcoming 2017 release has got quite the hype levels of the next film set in a galaxy far, far away, Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
We're yet to get even as much as a trailer for Rian Johnson's entry in the series, although that's hardly surprising given that Episode VIII isn't going to hit cinemas for over ten months; the simple fact there's an eighth film in the main Skywalker Saga is enough to get most excited. But while general audiences will have to wait until December 15th to finally hear Luke Skywalker speak, some have already viewed the film.
As reported by various sources, at a Disney earnings call CEO Bob Iger has confirmed he's already seen The Last Jedi, describing it as "a great next chapter in the iconic Skywalker family saga."
Perk of being @WaltDisneyCo CEO: seeing The Last Jedi early. Bob Iger calls it "a great next chapter in the iconic Skywalker family saga."— Hannah Sampson (@hannahbsampson) February 7, 2017
Iger has been Disney CEO since 2005, during which time he's overseen the company's acquisition of Pixar, The Jim Henson Company and Marvel, as well as Lucasfilm. He was instrumental in bringing Star Wars over to Disney, so naturally has a lot invested in the series; when he finally steps down, it's going to be his enduring legacy. The cut of the movie he'll have seen will have undoubtedly been well unfinished, but it gives an idea of where in the post-production Episode VIII is. We already knew that the crawl is sorted, with the announcement of The Last Jedi name finally allowing Johnson to add the title, but the edit is clearly in the fine tuning stage.
Studio higher-ups seeing a movie months ahead of its arrival in theaters is hardly uncommon - Batman v Superman reportedly had a similar executive screening in August 2015, seven months before its March 2016 release - but it does show that things are running rather well over at Lucasfilm; quite often big changes are being added to major tentpoles all the way up to release. In fact, this time last year, Rogue One was still four months away from starting its notorious, finale-altering reshoots.
Iger's positive comments are good news for the many fans anticipating Star Wars 8. Obviously the head of the company behind the film is unlikely to ever offer anything other than unrestrained positivity, but that Iger's been so open about it so far from release suggests he feels Disney's got a winner here.
Source: Hannah Sampson
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019