Is ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ The End For Luke Skywalker?

Star Wars: Episode VIII has wrapped production, as director Rian Johnson revealed earlier, but fans still have a long wait before the film hits theaters. A year away, much speculation will undoubtedly flourish on the internet with fans trying to flesh out the plot for the new Star Wars film, but at least one part of that story has been revealed, or so Star Wars fans have come to believe. A picture shared by Johnson has been the source of untold gossip concerning one Star Wars: Episode VIII character in particular, with many surmising that, much like Tiny Tim’s crutch in Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, an unworn Jedi uniform indicates that a beloved favorite is no more.

What Is Star Wars: Episode VIII Director Rian Johnson Trying To Imply?

While filming has wrapped on Star Wars: Episode VIII, there’s still almost 18 months before it actually arrives in theaters. In the meantime, Star Wars fans will have plenty in the way of teasers and interviews to keep them interested in the film. One of those teasers, a set photo shared by Star Wars: Episode VIII director Rian Johnson, has spurred a firestorm of chatter throughout the online community, reports Digital Trends. The image, a simple picture of a Jedi Knight cloak, has given rise to theories that this may be the last time fans can hope to see Luke Skywalker on the big screen.

Star Wars: Episode VIII, Luke Skywalker
A 'Star Wars: Episode VIII' set photo. Image via Rian Johnson/Twitter.

Almost as soon as the picture of the cloak was shared, Star Wars fans began assuming the item belonged to Luke Skywalker, because of the striking resemblance it bears to the cloak worn by Mark Hamill’s character in the closing scenes of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The fact that the item of clothing is shown without its owner also suggested to Star Wars fans that it means Luke must have fallen prey to certain doom in Episode VIII.

“RIP Luke,” wrote user Dave Donovan in response to the Star Wars image.

“Very mixed feelings about this. If you kill off Luke, I will never speak to you again! #DontBeLikeJJ,” tweeted user Jenny Wilson, referring to the killing off of Harrison Ford’s character in Episode VII – The Force Awakens.

Rian Johnson On Creating Something New With Star Wars: Episode VIII

From the very beginning, Star Wars sequels have picked up with the story after a considerable time jump, but Fortune reveals that Johnson is deviating from that practice with his Star Wars sequel. Instead of jumping into the events a year or so later, Star Wars: Episode VIII will pick up right where Star Wars: The Force Awakens left off.

“I didn’t want to skip ahead. That last moment of (Episode) VII, I want to see what happens next,” Johnson says.

The Episode VIII director also revealed that the new Star Wars installment will give greater focus on the characters, and by placing them in challenging situations, the characters will reveal what motivates them and give greater insight to viewers.

“The first film was this incredible explosion of adventure and excitement that sets up these characters and then just out of necessity it’s very natural that in the second film that we start zooming in on the characters,” Johnson said.

There has also been rumors surrounding the seemingly strained relationship between Star Wars siblings Luke Skywalker and Princess-turned-General Leia, following the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. At the recent Star Wars Celebration in London, Mark Hamill addressed the topic, revealing that it has been a very common question from Star Wars fans from all over the world.

“Yeah, we fight all the time and we’re not speaking to each other for years at a time.”

Star Wars: Episode VIII is scheduled to hit theaters on December 15, 2017.

[Image via Lucasfilm]