Excitement for Star Wars: The Last Jedi is higher among fans than ever. This has been fueled by a tantalizing and mysterious first trailer as well as some intriguing behind-the-scenes footage. Of course, Disney has been doing their best to stoke this excitement by ensuring that fans don't have answers to their biggest questions.
We still don't know what connection Rey has to other characters (if any), we still don't know what Snoke's deal is.. .and, if we're being honest, we still don't know how Kylo Ren keeps his hair looking that good underneath the helmet.
Considering all of this, it's easy for fans to throw their hands in the air in frustration and assume we have to wait until the movie's premiere in December in order to uncover some of its secrets. However, this isn't entirely true: even a media juggernaut like Disney can slip up, and by piecing together various interviews, leaked photos, and even video game DLC, we can piece together quite a few secrets about the new movie.
Fortunately, you don't need to wander the galaxy and searching lost Jedi temples for this info... just check out our guide to 15 Things You've Already Missed About The Last Jedi!
15 There will be a casino planet
One of the aspects of Star Wars movies that fans have enjoyed joking about for decades is the tendency for entire planets to only have one defining feature. This goes back to the original trilogy, which introduced us to such “sand planet,” “ice planet,” “forest planet,” and so on. The prequels tried to shake things up a little bit, but we still got things such as “water planet” and “lava planet.” When it comes to The Last Jedi, one thing we know is that it will feature a casino planet!
At first blush, such a planet (named Canto Bight) may be difficult to imagine; what separates this from, say, the “city planet” archetype we have already seen with Coruscant? However, director Rian Johnson has noted that the planet is important for showcasing how the ultra-wealthy of a galaxy far, far away have managed to keep themselves safe from the galactic civil war that pops up every two or three decades.
If nothing else, the planet may give Rey a chance to buy some new fuzzy dice for the falcon— the original ones are pretty old by now!
14 It's about family
After the dust had settled and the prequel trilogy was over, it seemed like every fan in the galaxy wanted to chip in about what went wrong. Many people highlighted the bizarre plot that juxtaposed snooze-inducing political scenes with high-octane battles. Others felt the problem was the reliance on CGI instead of practical effects.
Above it all the problem was that the main characters never felt like a family. Obi-wan was reduced to “cranky mentor,” whereas Anakin had zero chemistry with Padme or anyone else: he seemed more passionate describing his hatred of sand than his love for his wife.
The Last Jedi creative team took note of this, and this movie is going to work on continuing to build the relationships established in Force Awakens.
In an interview before she passed away, Carrie Fisher emphasized that the movie is “about family... and that's what's so powerful about it.” While some fans took that as a winking nod to Rey's possible relation to Luke Skywalker, it seems likelier the movie will be focusing on the “found family” aspect of the Resistance, showcasing how these strangers have been bonded in blood.
13 Rey is a better fighter
One of the most crowd-pleasing elements of The Force Awakens was seeing Rey channel her inner Jedi and successfully defeat Kylo Ren in single combat. However, the moment did not sit completely right with some fans: despite the fact that he was literally bleeding out, some fans felt that the untrained Rey should not have been able to triumph over Kylo Ren, who had been trained by both Luke and Snoke.
One thing that is abundantly clear about Rey in The Last Jedi is that she's a better fighter than ever. Part of this is due to Luke's training: the trailers show that he has begun to train Rey, and some behind-the-scenes footage of the movie showed Rey fighting against multiple opponents.
While it's not clear who they are (possibly the Knights of Ren glimpsed only in flashback in the previous movie?), it seems clear that Rey will now be able to take on multiple foes at once. Combined with her cool new Jedi outfit, we can see that Rey is back and badder than ever.
12 Luke lives with birds
Our first glimpse of Luke Skywalker at the end of The Force Awakens made it look like he was all alone on that planet that we now know is named Ahch-To (bless you!). The first teasers for The Last Jedi seemed to reinforce that idea, with the disenchanted Luke coming across as a man who deliberately abandoned the Jedi life and his friends in the Resistance. However, we now know that Luke has some unexpected friends on this planet: birds!
Specifically, the planet is inhabited by Porgs. These are big-eyed bird creatures that seem harmless enough, but may have hidden depth. They may have something to do with Luke's research into the Force, or they may help mask some scarier creatures on the planet.
If nothing else, they seem to be the cutest creatures in the movie (if we're not allowed to count Oscar Isaac). The movie's December release date means that these things are likely to be flying off of toy store shelves when Christmas rolls around.
11 Phasma will have a bigger role
One of the more annoying parts of The Force Awakens was how tiny Captain Phasma's role was. She had previously been very hyped up and was considered significant for being the first onscreen female Stormtrooper. And, of course, she is played by Gwendoline Christie, who kicks a ton of butt each year on Game of Thrones as Brienne of Tarth. Going into the movie, fans expected to see great things from this character.
Instead, we get only a handful of scenes: Phasma intimidating Finn, chatting up Kylo Ren, and getting completely punked by Han Solo. In fact, the end of that movie doesn't even make it clear if Phasma survived, as the last we see of her, Solo is planning to throw her in a trash compactor, and the planetary superweapon is destroyed soon after.
However, Christie has confirmed that Phasma will return, and judging from interviews and photos in Vanity Fair, she'll be taking off her mask and getting a cool new weapon. All of this adds up to the character having a much bigger role than before - though it would be hard to have a smaller one!
10 Kylo Ren has a new spaceship
While the characters of Star Wars have always been the beating heart of these films, fans have always loved to geek out over the iconic vehicles. The X-Wings, Y-Wings, and TIE Fighters are design classics, and it's no surprise that those designs were re-used (with slight modifications) for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. As cool as it was to see these old ships again, fans were curious when we were going to get some iconic new starfighters.
This is where Kylo Ren comes in. Having been defeated by Rey and the Resistance, he needs a sleek new ship with which to hunt everyone down. What he is getting is a cool new starfighter that has been nicknamed the “Tie Silencer.”
It looks like the love child of Imperial design and smuggler aesthetics, which befits a character torn between the Light Side and the Dark Side. While details of the new ship are very hush-hush, chances are that it will be featured in some cool new space fight scenes!
9 The title refers to multiple Jedi
Most of the titles of Star Wars movies are very on the nose. It's not hard to guess what The Empire Strikes Back is going to be about, nor is there any secret meaning behind a title like Return of the Jedi. Every now and then, though, there is a title that is very intriguing and promotes instant gossip. The Phantom Menace is a good example of this, and some fans are still referring to who or what the “phantom menace” is nearly two decades after that movie premiered.
As soon as the title for The Last Jedi was revealed, fans were similarly confused. Who is the last Jedi? Does it refer to Luke— if he even still considers himself a Jedi? Does it refer to Rey— and does that mean no possible redemption for Kylo Ren?
However, this mystery was solved in the weirdest of ways: when the movie title was translated to multiple languages, every single one of them verified that the “Jedi” in the title is meant to be plural. Now fans get a new kind of excitement, going from wondering who the last of the Jedi is to wondering just how many new Jedi we might discover!
8 Carrie Fisher's death did not change her role
While Star Wars has had its fair share of sad moments onscreen, the saddest moment occurred offscreen, when Carrie Fisher passed away. She was a film icon in every way, serving as a symbol for feminist strength and an awesome, take-charge role model in a genre that typically prefers its damsels in distress. Her death took a toll on her legions of fans, and many of them wondered how this would affect her role in The Last Jedi.
The short answer is that her death will not affect the movie at all. Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed that her performance for the film will remain the way it is, and no plot elements will be added to address or allude to her passing. He also confirmed that they will not be using CGI to recreate the character as they did for Rogue One. Thus, The Last Jedi will remain an unchanged tribute to Carrie Fisher and serve as a kind of memorial for fans still in mourning.
7 Luke doesn't recognize Rey
There was ultimately no bigger mystery at the heart of The Force Awakens than how Rey is connected to other Star Wars characters. In her weird, lightsaber-induced Force Vision, we hear the digitally-edited voice of the older Obi-Wan Kenobi calling out her name.
This caused some fans to speculate that she might be a granddaughter of the Jedi master. Others thought she may be a daughter or former student of Luke's: she saw vivid visions of his former pupils being murdered by The Knights of Ren, and if she had previous Jedi training that had been wiped from her mind, it would explain how she is able to draw on The Force when dueling Kylo Ren.
However, Disney may have already quashed those fan rumors. At a meeting for shareholders, Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed Luke's first words to Rey, and those words are “Who are you?” These three words actually send many fan theories into a tailspin, as Luke should recognize (visually or through the Force) someone with a profound connection to himself or his old master.
The fact that Luke seemingly has no idea who she is means that fans may have to focus elsewhere to solve this mystery.
6 The story focuses on testing the new heroes
One persistent criticism of The Force Awakens was that it was a soft reboot of the first Star Wars movie rather than a sequel. Our main characters fit strongly into the archetypes established by Luke, Han, and Leia: Finn was the callow youth setting off on a journey, Poe is the cocky hotshot, and Rey is the take-charge leader. And, of course, they are fighting a man in an iron mask and must defeat a giant superweapon designed to destroy planets.
For better or for worse, it looks like The Last Jedi is going to follow up by emulating Empire Strikes Back. In that movie, the Empire hit back hard and all of our heroes met with trials, which ranged from Luke being tested during his Jedi studies to Han being tested by torture.
For The Last Jedi, Poe Dameron himself, Oscar Isaac, confirmed that the three heroes “get tested immensely,” and even his favorite droid, BB-8, will be facing his own tests and trials. He demurred a bit by saying “it's the dark second chapter, but not really dark,” but it sounds like things may get bleak for all of our heroes before they get better.
5 There will be a new Stormtrooper
One of the unexpectedly cool moments of these new Star Wars movies is getting to see the sleek redesigns of and modifications of the classic Stormtrooper armor. Rogue One gave us the instantly frightening Death Troopers, and the First Order gave us new helmet designs and a cool melee Stormtrooper who can go toe-to-toe with Jedi using a special staff that can withstand lightsaber blows.
It looks like The Last Jedi is going to continue this recent tradition by giving us another special Stormtrooper. The Making Star Wars site reported (and leaked photos seemed to confirm) that we will be getting a Stormtrooper that is referred to as The Executioner. Exact details on the character and his role seem pretty light, but he has another cool melee weapon and the even money is that he will end up fighting Finn.
Regardless of how big or small this guy's role is, prepare to see him on toy store shelves and cosplay photoshoots before the opening crawl of the movie is over!
4 Kylo Ren wears Vader's cape
One of the strangest elements of The Force Awakens was the great reverence that Kylo Ren has for Darth Vader. He keeps the Sith Lord's burnt helmet in his quarters, and in an especially creepy scene, he seems to talk to it and ask for guidance. In addition to being weird to see at all, this scene is bizarre because it seems like Kylo Ren is unaware of Vader's last-minute redemption (or possibly just in denial).
Whatever his motivations, it looks like Kylo Ren's Vader fetish will continue in the movie via a new cape. Rumors have been swirling for months that Kylo Ren would be sporting Darth Vader's old cape in The Last Jedi as he hunts down our heroes.
Now, photos of some downloadable content for the upcoming Star Wars: Battlefront II seem to confirm that Kylo Ren is going to be rocking his grandfather's wardrobe. Whether there any scenes of Kylo Ren trying to convince the soldiers around him that vintage is cool remains unknown.
3 Finn fully recovers (quickly)
One of the lingering questions that fans had after The Force Awakens is just how injured Finn is. He survives some lightsaber blows (which is pretty damn rare), but he looks in rough shape at the end of the movie, which is why Rey is flying off without him on her quest. The first trailer for Last Jedi featured Finn still in recovery, leading some fans to speculate just how long he will be out of the action in this new movie.
Fortunately, it looks like Finn will be recovering quite quickly. Some of Disney's behind-the-scenes footage confirmed that we will see Finn visiting plenty of exotic new locations in the film. Some of those will be adventures with new friends (more on that in a minute), and some will be with Rey, as set photos and even Lego set leaks have confirmed he and Rey will team up against the First Order on a planet called Crait.
So rest easy, fans of Finn... Mr. Big Deal is bigger than ever!
2 New Resistance Members
One of the coolest things about Star Wars is getting to meet new characters. When it came to the original trilogy, it would have been acceptable enough if the sequels only focused on fleshing out the characters we already know. However, they went on to introduce cool new good guys like Lando Calrissian and Admiral Ackbard as well as frightening new villains like Boba Fett. Fortunately, it looks like The Last Jedi will continue this tradition by introducing us to some new Resistance members with major roles to play.
The main new character is named Rose Tico, and it looks like she is going to be Finn's plus-one on some of his intergalactic missions, including a dangerous adventure involving sneaking onto a First Order ship. Rose also has a sister, Paige Tico, who serves as a gunner for the Resistance and who shares at least one scene with Poe Dameron. Between the two of them, the Star Wars galaxy is getting bigger with two extra doses of girl power.
1 Luke discovered secrets within the Jedi Temple
Exactly what Luke has been doing for all of these years was left as a deliberate mystery in The Force Awakens. We know he founded a Jedi Academy that trained Kylo Ren, and we know that Kylo and the Knights of Ren returned to kill all of Luke's pupils. After that, he went on a quest to find the first Jedi Temple, and that is all we know about him right up to the point that Rey first meets him.
Because of how little Luke was in The Force Awakens, it was not immediately clear whether or not he had found any of the secrets that he was seeking from the first Jedi temple. However, a synopsis of the movie released by Disney explicitly mentions “age-old mysteries of The Force and shocking revelations of the past.” Combined with the canonical novel Bloodlines establishing that Luke is seeking Jedi lore, it seems that the temple provides him with the info he needs. And this info is almost certainly tied to his surprising statement that "the Jedi must end.”
Know of any Star Wars: The Last Jedi secrets that we missed? Be sure to let us know in the comments!