The next installment in the core Star Wars saga, the as-yet-untitled Episode VIII, is nearly two years away from hitting theaters, but rumors surrounding the film’s plot are already beginning to emerge from the same sources which brought the world much of its pre-release knowledge of The Force Awakens.
[Potential Spoilers Follow]
The most recent rumors to emerge from the set of Star Wars: Episode VIII surround General Leia Organa, as well as a new addition to the series, actress Laura Dern. Although it is unclear what the name of Dern’s character will be, the Latino Review has reported that she will be a leader of the Resistance, who apparently outranks Poe Dameron. Earlier this week, pick-up shots were filmed for a scene in which both Dameron and Dern are forced to evacuate a ship post-battle, and the details of that sequence suggest some changes may be coming the the Star Wars universe.
— MovieWeb (@movieweb) March 18, 2016
Following the battle, Dern’s character apparently tells the remaining Rebels that they are the last of the Resistance. She also reveals that General Leia Organa has been gravely wounded during the course of the fight, and is in need of medical attention.
According to iDigitalTimes, Dern’s character takes over leadership of the Resistance after Leia is injured. This doesn’t sit well with Poe Dameron, however, who eventually rallies a mutiny in order to take back command for himself. Nothing is known of Dern’s motivations at this stage, but it seems apparent that one of the major story lines in Star Wars: Episode VIII will be a struggle for control of the Resistance, while meanwhile Rey trains to be a Jedi with Luke Skywalker.
— Infinite Earths (@IEarths) March 17, 2016
Another leak from the Pinewood Studios set of Episode VIII emerged earlier this week, centering on the Jedi master himself. It appears that Luke and Rey won’t spend the entirety of the movie training on the island that featured at the end of The Force Awakens, but will instead venture out into the galaxy. According to a brief report from Making Star Wars, one of the scenes that is currently being filmed for Episode VIII takes place in a casino. This setting has been likened to the cantina scenes that featured in A New Hope and The Force Awakens, but on a grander scale than previously seen in the Star Wars saga.
— SocialUnderground (@SocialUnderGrnd) March 17, 2016
Most intriguingly, Luke Skywalker will apparently be present in the cantina scene, actively searching for someone amid the crowd of aliens. It remains unclear at this time exactly who he is looking for and what his motivation for finding them may be, though it stands to reason that his sister’s plight may have something to do with it (it wouldn’t be the first time, after all, that danger to his friends has drawn Luke out of hiding/Jedi training).
Photos of a landspeeder on the Star Wars: Episode VIII set in Dubrovnik, Croatia pic.twitter.com/x0NZoEIGPI
— Star Wars Direct (@StarWarsDirect) March 14, 2016
While these leaks may be small, they still represent a surprising amount of information for fans to posses so far ahead of the film’s release. By contrast, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is set to be released this December, and fans have yet to see any official footage, as the Inquisitr previously reported.
As with rumors that emerged during the production of The Force Awakens, it remains to be seen just how each of these reports will pan out. If they do turn out to be true, however, it appears that Leia Organa may have just a minor role to play in Star Wars: Episode VIII, even as Luke and Rey embark on their unknown mission.
[Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney]