Rian Johnson took to Twitter on Wednesday not just to confirm that he would be attending the Star Wars Celebration Panel in Orlando in April, but to also upload an image that many people believe debuted Tom Hardy as a stormtrooper.
You can check out the latest image from Star Wars: The Last Jedi‘s production, which also debuted a brand new attire for the stormtrooper, below.
One eagle-eyed Twitter user quickly spotted that the stormtroopers’ outfits had been slightly tweaked. Twitter user @raskuhl decided to quiz Rian Johnson about this possible alteration, and the director confessed that he had changed their attire.
But Adam Hlavac was the first to suggest online that the stormtrooper in the above image actually had a resemblance to Tom Hardy. Adam Hlavac even posted a comparison photo that immediately increased the speculation.
Tom Hardy’s possible appearance as a stormtrooper has been alleged for several months now, with the rumor first emerging back in May, 2016. They were seemingly confirmed by Making Star Wars, who added that Hardy plays a First Order stormtrooper that comes into contact with Finn (John Boyega).
Tom Hardy has even been quizzed about his rumored cameo in Star Wars: The Last Jedi as a stormtrooper. But after being asked about his potential performance in the blockbuster by the Hollywood Reporter, Tom Hardy refused to neither confirm nor deny the allegation, deciding instead to just flirt around it.
“I don’t know if I can even say that. Where did you hear that? Ah, the internet is a glorious web of deceit and misinformation, isn’t it? (Laughs.) It could be, couldn’t it?”
The revelation from Rian Johnson that he will be appearing at the Star Wars Celebration Panel has also led to increased speculation that that’s when the first trailer for The Last Jedi will finally debut. The fact that Rian Johnson will also be joined at the event by Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy only added to these rumors.
Kathleen Kennedy previously admitted, back in December ahead of the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, that the first trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi would only arrive in the spring. Kathleen Kennedy explained that they wanted Rogue One, which was met with superlative reviews and has grossed over $1 billion at the box office, to be given enough room.
Meanwhile, as well as revealing the film’s title, Rian Johnson has been speaking about his work on Star Wars: The Last Jedi, even admitting in a recent interview with Empire Online that he had some problems writing the script for the blockbuster.
“I found myself constantly wanting to push modern idioms into the dialogue, and sometimes that can work, but you have to be very careful. If you go too far you can break that Star Wars spell. The other challenge is the tech talk, which has to be simultaneously complex enough to sound real and conceptually simple enough to follow. The original films were brilliant at that.”
However, Rian Johnson also confessed that there were some pleasant surprises to working on Star Wars: The Last Jedi, confessing that he was shocked at just how intimate the process still was.
“I guess the biggest surprise was the intimacy of the process. It’s huge, sure, and it’s filled with pressures great and small. But at the end of the day, it boils down to the same things as the smaller films we’ve made: telling a story we care about with a camera and some actors. And a Wookiee.”
We’ll finally get to see if we can recognize Tom Hardy through the stormtrooper mask, and if The Last Jedi can match The Force Awakens when it’s released on December 15, 2017.
[Featured Image by Lucasfilm]