The biggest news out of Star Wars Celebration may have been the release of the hotly anticipated first teaser for Episode VIII, The Last Jedi, but despite the major secrecy surrounding the upcoming film, that wasn’t the only Star Wars revelation to come out of this weekend. Here’s what else we learned:
Fisher’s brother, Todd, said last week that he and his niece Billie Lourd had granted Disney permission to use previously filmed footage of Fisher in Episode IX, in which Leia was supposed to play a significant role. “Both of us were like, ‘Yes, how do you take her out of it?’ ” Fisher said at the time. “And the answer is, you don’t.”
But in an interview with ABC News, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said that Fisher’s brother may have been confused, and that Episode VIII, which wrapped filming before Fisher’s death, will mark the actress’ last appearance as Leia in the franchise. “We were well underway with Episode IX in our thoughts. We had not written the script yet,” at the time of Fisher’s death, she said. “We’ve regrouped. We started over in January, so, sadly, Carrie will not be in nine. We’ll see a lot of her in eight.”
Since the studio had previously dismissed the possibility of reviving Fisher-as-Leia using computer-generated imagery, leaving her out of IX entirely seems like the smartest move. Since it seems unlikely that any leftover footage would be enough to do the actress or the character justice in Episode IX, it would be much more meaningful to write Fisher’s death into the script and let the rebels mourn the character as fans have the actress.
Speaking of contradictions, director Rian Johnson threw a hydrospanner in the works by saying in his own ABC News interview that the title of The Last Jedi refers to a singular Jedi (something that had been up for debate since the word itself can be either singular or plural). “It’s so funny when people started asking that,” he said. “I had never even pondered that question.”
He went on to say, “In my mind, it’s singular. In my mind, it is.” Apparently, the film’s foreign translators aren’t mind readers, since almost all went with a plural interpretation of The Last Jedi when translating the title into their languages, seeming to settle the debate. Now Johnson has reopened that rift.
“As to whether Luke is the ‘last Jedi,’ they say in The Force Awakens he’s going to find the last Jedi temple and Luke is the last Jedi,” he went on to add. What does that mean for Rey, who appears to train under Luke with a lightsaber but who, that interpretation suggests, would then not become a Jedi? It’s possible that the films will usher in a new era of Force users who are neither alighted with the Jedi or Sith—that would certainly explain that tantalizing Luke Skywalker line from the trailer: “It’s time for the Jedi to end.”
Outside of the live-action movie universe, there was another big trailer to come out of Star Wars Celebration: one for the fourth and final season of Star Wars Rebels, the animated series that falls between Revenge of the Sith and Rogue One.
The trailer is narrated by Hera Syndulla (Vanessa Marshall) entirely in the past tense, which doesn’t bode well for most of the show’s other heroes. Rebels is already darker than you might expect given its home on Disney XD, but could the show go full Rogue One for its last season? The preview screening of an episode at Celebration seems to at least confirm that Rebels won’t be precious about killing off characters and delving into pretty grim territory.