RUMOR ALERT: This article discusses RUMORS about ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ which is due to hit theaters in 2017.  Even if certain things are true now, they could change by the time the film arrives, anything could change.  Take everything with a grain of salt!

Rian Johnson was selected to tackle the next chapter of the third ‘Star Wars’ trilogy last year, while ‘The Force Awakens’ was still being finished up, allowing Johnson to collaborate with J.J. Abrams, the director of ‘Episode VII’ and architect of the new phase of these films.  But now that ‘The Force Awakens’ has hit theaters and audiences have voiced their reactions, it seems that some changes are being made to ‘Episode VIII’.

Reportedly, production was to have begun this month, but has been pushed back to February in order to allow Johnson to rewrite parts of the script.  There was previous talk that the new movie would introduce two major new female characters.  But now comes word that these new parts are being reduced.

Why?  To increase the roles of ‘Force’ newbies Rey, Finn, Poe and Kylo Ren.  Considering that the bulk of ‘Force’ was built around these characters, it seems strange but apparently, they would have had less of a focus in the next installment with new characters coming in and elbowing into the spotlight.  The rumor indicates that the new characters will still be important, but slightly smaller, with Lando Calrissian being sited as a comparison.  Lando only appeared in the last third of ‘Empire’ but played a larger role in ‘Jedi’.

Not much is known about the new female roles, but it seems as if one is more prominent than the other and has already had three names attached to possibly star.  First was Gugu Mbatha-Raw (‘Belle’) and then supposedly it was between Bel Powely (‘Diary of a Teenage Girl’) and Gina Rodriguez (‘Jane The Virgin’).  Now it seems that Johnson and company are actively seeking an Asian actor.  (Mbatha-Raw is half-African/half-Caucasian, Powley is Caucasian and Rodriguez is Latina.)

Initially, it sounds as if they are simply employing colorblind casting, which would be great!  But it may be more calculated than that.  As massive as ‘Force’ has been, it now looks as if it will not best ‘Avatar’ worldwide, as it has very noticeably underperformed in several parts of Asia, specifically China, which is becoming a crucial market for blockbusters these days.  So this could be an attempt to draw more interest in those regions.

As for the rewrites, it only makes sense to make Rey, Finn etc. a greater focus as we still know so little about them.  Remember how big a fuss was made over Captain Phasma before ‘Force’ came out, only for her to not amount to squat in the actual movie?  If anyone needs to give audiences a reason to care about them, its her.

This is all just rumor at this point!  But we will pass along any new details as they emerge.

Are you intrigued at more new characters?  Rey kicks ass!  Now they’re adding even more dynamic women?  (Yes please!) Or do you think they need to develop the characters they just introduced before heaping on even more? Comment below!

Source: Screen Rant