Star Wars: The Last Jedi may be the eigth film in the main Skywalker Saga, but it's going to mark a lot of Star Wars firsts. Episode VIII is set to the be the first film in the series to pick up exactly where the last one left off, showing what happens in the fateful first meeting between Rey and Luke Skywalker after the credits of The Force Awakens rolled. It's also the first movie in Disney's new wave of Star Wars to be made after the immensely successful release of Episode VII - it began principal photography in February 2016 - so the weight of expectation will be only amplified.
Additionally, it's the first time a Star Wars film has been written solely by the director who wasn't creator George Lucas; Lucas wrote the screenplays for all four of the films he directed (the 1977 original and the prequels) and co-wrote Return of the Jedi. Unlike The Force Awakens, which saw J.J. Abrams working with Empire and Jedi scribe Lawrence Kasdan (and, for a period, Michael Arndt), director Rian Johnson is taking on scripting duties all by himself, giving him unprecedented creative input. We've not heard a single word from the screenplay yet, although if one star is to be believed, he's nailed one key part of Star Wars dialogue.
John Boyega, who plays Finn, has shared an Instagram post of a gift to him from Johnson. The print shows Finn grasping his head in agony with the word "Bio-hexacrypt" in big Star Wars font. Boyega comments that it's a joke about his "frustration with the most complex Star Wars lingo." Check it out below.
Johnson is a life-long Star Wars fan and it appears like he's gone all in on creating some weird new concepts for the galaxy far, far away. Mark Hamill previously stated that the film's dialogue will “make you forget all about ‘May the Force be with you’" and this would show the writer-director has captured the other, more technical side of Star Wars dialogue; a famous story from the original set is that Harrison Ford was struggling with his lines and exasperatedly said to Lucas "you can write this sh*t, but you can't say it", and Boyega and Johnson's extended personal joke looks to be a new generational version of that.
Of course, as well as hinting at behind-the-scenes matters, the image also points towards the content of The Last Jedi. Bio-hexacrypt is a new word in the Star Wars galaxy, so naturally speculation is rife over what it means and how it could pertain to Episode VIII's wider plot. A popular theory is that it relates to DNA in some form, possibly related to computer encryption, or perhaps it could be linked to how Finn is healed from his injuries following his duel with Kylo Ren. Although, given that Boyega has casually revealed it, odds are it's more of a throwaway reference.
Much of the speculation for Star Wars 8 has focused on the Force side of the equation, looking at Luke, Rey and Kylo, and conversely little is really known about where Finn and the Resistance are heading (although rumors point towards an undercover mission for the former Stormtrooper). We'll no doubt get a better idea when a trailer finally arrives, most likely at Star Wars Celebration in April.
Source: John Boyega
- 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