Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakenshas finally been dethroned from its number one spot at the box office, and yet the anticipation could not possibly be higher for the next entry in the (main) Star Wars saga.
While we all look forward to the upcoming secondary film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Episode VIII is obviously a bigger deal. While we all get more and more excited, we decided to delve deeper into why there's not much too worry about with Episode VIII.

New Blood
While there weren't many, the few haters of The Force Awakens were quick to point out that its plot was essentially A New Hope on repeat. Obviously this wasn't some lazily done flaw, it was an intentional move to play it safe in luring in both new and old fans while sneaking in the new characters and arcs.

With the establishment of new characters and a new storyline in place, the field is now wide open to shed repeating storylines and delve into new territory. We’re certain there will be some similarities toEmpire in its tone, but one can only assume that now that they have us hooked in it's time to be different.

On top of this, the overall love for the new characters (sans Phasma) has made it certain that their overall evolution and arcs will be a fascinating thing to see past their origin story.

Luke Returns
The Force Awakens's memorable ending was a promise of things to come. Finn was most likely left in a coma, and (more importantly) Luke Skywalker did appear, clad in all white, with two shots... and no lines.

This makes it certain that Luke being on that island, with no lines, is a promise of something bigger to come in VIII. Will he be VIII's "Empire Rhyme" as a teacher such a Yoda, or will he refuse? Will Rey's lightsaber be green, or blue? Perhaps neither! It's easy to see that Luke finally getting some much deserved screen time is what everyone is talking about more and more in the build up to The Force Awakens's follow up.

Gugu-Mbatha Raw
It's no secret that the hottest story around Hollywood right now is the lack of diversity in films of all facets. Be it blockbuster, art house, or somewhere in between, there is a lack of a non-caucasian, male presence. The team behind Episode VIII and The Force Awakens has already begun to ensure that this isn't the case for the future of Star Wars.

With John Boyega already winning over fans as Finn, Rian Johnson has casted the mostly unknown Gugu Mbatha-Raw to play a new female lead. With the given short list of names for who was up for the role (Tatiana Maslany, Gina Rodriquez, and Olivia Cooke) it is very apparent whatever the role is, it's going to be an important one.

Mbatha-Raw most recently was in the incredibly underrated Beyond the Lightsand art-house darling Belle. Her acclaimed performances in both make it all the more exciting for her debut in the world of Star Wars.

Benecio Deltro As Villain
As talented and eclectic as he is, Benicio del Toro has yet to receive a mainstream iconic role. His pop-up performance inGuardians of the Galaxy, while entertaining, did not bear a ton of weight in the story.

His show-stopping performance in Sicariomostly went unnoticed at awards season this year. With Rian Johnson casting him as the main villain, anticipation could not be higher for del Toro.

The Talent That Is Rian Johnson
Johnson often creates well developed characters with deep emotional losses and flaws as motivation. While he hasn't yet had the opportunity to make a major villain, the stage could not be better set for Episode VIII

Snoke is clearly the new big baddie of the saga — and Kylo, while memorable, is best in small doses. With a new villain needed to step into the spotlight, del Toro is sure to knock it out of the park.

Johnson is currently in the top crop of best young directors out there. His work inLooper, Brick, and Brothers Bloom, as well as with TV series Breaking Bad and Terriers, is nothing short of unique and special.



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