The holiday period was a tough one for fans of the Star Wars universe. The enormous success of Rogue One, the first Star Wars spin off story, was tempered by the sudden loss of Carrie Fisher. Both events will have an impact on the future of the Star Wars film, with the loss of Fisher as an actress and a writer sure to be felt across the industry for years to come. Reports came in last week that the Lucasfilm story group were meeting to discuss the future of the series, and today we heard a little more about Star Wars Episode VIII.

Rey Star Wars Episode VIIIWe know that Rian Johnson is picking up the story right after the  cliffhanger of The Force Awakens, a first for the cinematic serial. In an interview with USA Today the director talks about the question that also led J. J. Abrams to the saga – What’s going on with Luke Skywalker? In the interview it is suggested that this is an element at the heart of the film.

“I’m approaching it with a take that I hope feels honest and real and is going to be interesting to folks and make sense.”

He also talks about the state of play regarding one of the new characters in the saga, and there’s a clue in this answer about where Daisy Ridley’s character make end up at the end of Episode VIII.

[Rey’s] expectations in her head about how this is going to go…IT very much feels like what we all go through in adolescence, the dawning of this new chapter of our lives.”

[Family is] a huge part of…Rey’s character, something that was a really powerful part of her setup and something I really wanted to dig into with this.”

It’s one of the most speculated element on the new ‘sequel trilogy’ – who are Rey’s parents, and if Luke is somehow connected to her. Ridley herself has said that Rey’s parentage was already addressed in The Force Awakens however this has not stopped all kinds of rumours bubbling up.

In closing Johnson talked about the tone of the new film, and how it might differ from The Empire Strikes Back – the middle film in the original trilogy.

“I want it to be a blast and to be funny and to be a ride the way The Force Awakens and the original Star Wars movies were.”

And the title? He’s not saying anything, other than the reassuring…

“It was in the very first draft I wrote.”

Elsewhere in the Star Wars universe Donald Glover was interviewed on the red carpet of the Golden Globes, where he won for his TV show Atlanta, and was asked about his casting as a young Lando Calrissian in the forthcoming Han Solo movie.

Donald Glover on the Han Solo Star Wars Film

The man is a huge talent, and while there’s no telling how big a part Glover will have to play in the next Star Wars Story we’re really looking forward to seeing Glover’s take on a classic character next year.

Star Wars Episode VIII opens across the world on December 15th, 2017.