Star Wars is back in a major way. Last year's Episode VII: The Force Awakens reignited the world's love affair with the epic space opera. After shattering domestic box office records, the homage-laden film, which kicks off the third Skywalker-oriented trilogy, proved that another generation is ready for the family's continued adventures. Although Rogue One: A Star Wars Story won't directly link to the main storyline, merely marching up to the early moments of Episode IV: A New Hope, it is launching worldwide to stellar early reviews so far.
Rogue One may be a standalone of sorts, but it should whet fans' appetites for further adventures in the galaxy far, far away. In that respect, now is the perfect time to announce a time frame for a sneak peek at Star Wars: Episode VIII.
Recently Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy was interviewed by journalist Lizo Mzmiba (via Comic Book). In the interview, Kennedy discussed when fans might expect to finally see some footage from the long-awated eighth sequel, saying "Pretty soon. We’re giving this [Rogue One] a little breathing room. Probably heading into spring, you’ll start to see things." While many fans had hoped to see at least a clip or two during Rogue One, it seems Lucasfilm is intent upon giving their first Anthology a chance to stand on its own two feet.
— lizo mzimba (@lizo_mzimba) December 15, 2016
However, in Daisy Ridley's recent interview with Empire Online, she did give some exciting early information about director Rian Johnson's progress on the film:
“I went to go see Rian in the edit, and that was very...[makes excited noise] Rian sounds very happy. It's very, very exciting. Rian doesn't love showing stuff. I've seen bits and bobs, but he likes it to be done. So I think probably the first time I see it will be when it's fully done. I don't think anyone will see an early cut outside of the main editing team….”
Unfortunately, Ridley wasn't privy to all the details about when the first trailer would arrive. She did theorize as to when it could, though, saying:
“I could probably ask, but Rogue One is out in like a week, so I guess we'll let that come out, be amazing, let people respond to that first. One step at a time! I know there's Celebration next year. Hopefully something will be shown there? That's speculation, by the way.”
Seeing as next year's Star Wars Celebration kicks off on April 13, Kennedy's comments could easily connect with Ridley's speculation. Disney and Lucasfilm have often chosen the massive fan event to premiere exciting new content from their Star Wars aegis, including premiering episodes of Star Wars: Rebels, debuting new comic books, costumes, novelizations, and, naturally, the ever-popular upcoming-film sizzle reel. Of course, if Kylo Ren actor Adam Driver had his druthers, Episode VIII would arrive unheralded by trailers or teasers in general. Somehow, it seems unlikely that the Mouse House would leave its Force-fanatics hanging for a whole year, though.
Presuming (a reasonable assumption) that Rogue One meets or exceeds expectations, Lucasfilm will likely start the slow build to their as-of-yet untitled sequel early next year, with a teaser or sizzle trailer potentially hitting theaters during one of the spring's tentpoles like Logan. Beauty and the Beast, or Fate of the Furious, if not at Celebration. With crack-shot Star Wars theorists gnashing at the bit to see if and how Episode VIII connects to Rogue One, any footage that drops is guaranteed to undergo extremely heavy scrutiny.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Star Wars: Rogue One / Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) release date: Dec 16, 2016