By Travis Martin
Despite Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens not out in theaters yet, rumors have been speculating on which characters would return for the Rian Johnson-directed Episode VIII. Now, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has confirmed that John Boyega (Finn), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma), and Harrison Ford (Han Solo) will be returning for Episode VIII. This was confirmed at a press conference in Los Angeles discussing future plans for the franchise, where Kennedy had this to say:
“We haven’t mapped out every single detail yet, but obviously everybody is talking to one another, working together, and that collaboration is I think is what is going to guarantee that everybody has a say in how we move forward with this. And so far it’s going great. J.J. [Abrams] and Rian [Johnson] already talk at length, because Rian is about to start shooting Episode VIII – these guys (pats John Boyega on the back) are getting ready to head over in January.”
Although clearly patting Boyega confirms his role in Episode VIII, saying that ‘these guys’ would be filming in January confirms that Isaac, Christie, and Ford will also be in the film. Rumors of Boyega’s involvement began when it was rumored that Gugu Mbatha-Raw was cast as a love interest for Boyega’s character. It was also confirmed that Daisy Ridley (Rey) and Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) would also return, with Benicio Del Toro making his Star Wars debut as a possible villain.
Star Wars Episode VIII is set for a release date of May 26, 2017. Meanwhile, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens will also star Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata), Andy Serkis (Supreme Leader Snoke), Max von Sydow (Lor San Tekka), Domhnall Gleeson (General Hux), and Carrie Fisher (Leia Organa), and will release December 18 of this year.