As the summer months continue on, Star Wars fans should get gradually more excited for the future of the franchise. Because this December will bring Rian Johnson's highly anticipated Star Wars: The Last Jedi, continuing the story of Luke Skywalker and the galaxy far, far away. The generations of Star Wars fans have been eager for information and footage from the film, which is being hidden under lock, key, and lots of NDAs. But some new stills of Episode VIII have just been released, and they include a bunch of exciting character pairings. The first of which is Rey and Luke, training on Ach-To.
How cool is this? Courtesy of Entertainment Weekly's Last Jedi issue, we can see Rey and Luke once again on his hidden planet. It looks like some time has passed since the cliffhanger at the end of The Force Awakens, as they're each rocking some new duds. Luke is in a black outfit, which is in stark juxtaposition to his first appearance in the new trilogy. Rey has also donned a cape, presumably to protect herself from the elements on the sea planet. But that cloak might actually be the one Luke wore in The Force Awakens, which may hint at the mentorship role he'll likely have with the new protagonist.
Speaking of Ach-To, we shouldn't forget that Chewbacca co-piloted the Falcon to the planet. So the Wookie is probably also around when Rey is speaking with Luke. And it looks like he's made some unlikely friends with the adorable new aliens called porgs. Those living merchandise opportunities are who Luke has been spending his time in exile with, although it looks like they'll also be cozying up to Chewie in the Millennium Falcon. Considering Han's death at the hands of his son in The Force Awakens, it should be interesting to see how everyone's favorite Wookie functions in the narrative of The Last Jedi. Will he just assist Rey in her travels, or will his reunion with Luke inspire him to stick around with the Jedi Master? We'll just have to wait and se.
The next image from EW teases another new character dynamic that will show up in The Last Jedi. Finn will reportedly take on a mission of his own when he wakes up, this time alongside Resistance maintenance worker Rose. Finn is reportedly weighing the possibility of abandoning the Resistance, and Rose will likely help him continue the battle against evil. We haven't seen many Star Wars films where a protagonist debates removing himself from the greater conflict, so this should be an interesting aspect of Finn's character development in The Last Jedi. But I'm sure a reunion with Rey would destroy any doubt in his mind... he seems to be infatuated with her (or Poe).
Now let's talk about the villains. One of the constant aspects of discussion regarding J.J. Abrams' The Force Awakens was the mystery of Supreme Leader Snoke. He only appeared in the film as a hologram, and many wondered if he was actually the giant size that he appeared to be. Furthermore, his appearance looked vaguely like Darth Vader's face without his mask in Return of the Jedi, leading to wild fan theories about Vader being Snoke. And it turns out that Snoke is taking a page from the Empire's book, with his own brightly colored bodyguards. But these new guys look far scarier than the Royal Guard, and are packing some wild sword like weapon.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi will arrive in theaters on December 15, 2017. In the meantime, check out our 2017 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.