Star Wars Episode VIII
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- - Working title is "Echoes of the Dark Side"
- - It's divided into three equally important plot threads that don't converge until the third act: Rey's, Finn's, and Kylo's.
- - There's not nearly as much action as TFA in the first two acts, but the third act goes full-on crazy.
- - The broad structure isn't as similar to ESB as TFA was to ANH, but the parallels are still present. Rey is training in the ways of the Force with an old Jedi master (Luke) on a wild planet while Finn and Poe are in a beautiful city that has a shady, sinister underpinning. Finn and Poe are betrayed and captured by Kylo Ren who uses them as bait to draw Rey out of hiding so Kylo and Rey can have a duel in an industrial portion of the city.
- - The backstory to Luke and his Jedi being wiped out is that Snoke seduced Kylo and a few of the other students to the dark side and tasked them with killing everyone. Luke and a few others survived, including a young Rey who was subsequently dumped on Jakku by Luke.
- - Rey's mom died in the attack.
- - Rey is pissed at Luke because she guesses that he was her father and is angry at him for abandoning her. Luke turns to her and says "No, you are my father".
- - Yes, really.
- - Rey is the reincarnation of Anakin Skywalker. Luke went to the first Jedi temple to better understand how the process works. He learned that the spirit of the chosen one is reincarnated by the Force every time the universe is thrown out of balance, which apparently happens on a semi-regular basis (Anakin was hardly the first time the chosen one reincarnated). This is why she's so crazy powerful with the Force (remember that Anakin blew up the Trade Federation donut ship by himself when he was like 8 years old).
- - Rey was the product of a virgin birth, but midichlorians aren't mentioned (Luke says "you are a child of the Force").
- - Luke is hesitant to train her because, according to Jedi history, the chosen one always struggles with staying on the light side of the Force because of the chaotic power running through them. He's afraid that she could become Vader 2.0. If he trains her to fight Kylo, and she turns dark, she would do way more damage to the galaxy than Kylo could ever dream of doing.
- - He ultimately trains her anyway and leaves everything up to the Force. He makes this decision in a scene where he confers with the ghosts of Obi-Wan and Yoda (Ewan MacGregor and Frank Oz come back).
- - Rey learns lightsaber skills, Force skills, and has a vision quest thing where she talks with Maz Kanata (unsure if it’s telepathy or just a dream) and Hayden Christenson. The latter tells her that she is him, but different, and there’s a quick scene where we see hundreds of other Force ghosts who are implied to be past chosen ones.
- - Rey feels Finn's distress elsewhere in the galaxy and says she needs to go to him. Luke tells her about the time he felt his friends in distress and Yoda told him to stay and finish his training, and his disobedience led to pain. But then he says he isn't Yoda, and has his own way of doing things, and tags along with her to go help.
- - Finn wakes up on a Resistance cruiser and is told by Poe that they're already en route to the makeshift Republic homeworld in the wake of the capital planet being blown up by Starkiller Base.
- - Leia wants to lobby them to go to war.
- - The Republic is being led by an interim dictator named Lord Vikram (Benicio Del Toro), who was quickly put into power by the few senators still around to maintain order.
- - Starkiller's destruction of the Republic core worlds caused a galactic communications disruption because everything was routed through those worlds, so Vikram is trying to reestablish contact and ensure the Republic doesn't collapse into anarchy.
- - Leia and Vikram butt heads. Vikram agrees that the Republic has to go to war with the First Order, but wants to wait for communications to come back online so they can muster up a sizable force (all they have right now is a single small fleet). Leia disagrees, and wants to take the war to the First Order now while Snoke is still reeling from Starkiller's destruction. She says both sides are in chaos, which makes this an opportune time to strike. Vikram counters by telling her she's letting her personal emotions over Han's death get in the way, and Leia throws it back at him by telling him he was always a little snake of a politician when they would argue back in her senate days, etc, etc, they have old bad blood or whatever.
- - The Republic planet is safe because it's protected by a heavy duty shield that can repel any invasion or bombardment from the First Order.
- - Finn and Poe are tasked by Leia to investigate the city because one of Leia's contacts informed her that the First Order have spies embedded in the Republic. Leia suspects Vikram.
- - Finn quickly becomes enamored by Leia's contact, Chala (Kelly Marie Tran), who tags along with him and Poe through the underbelly of the city to gather information.
- - Finn and Chala have a flirty romance subplot that involves a nighttime adventure through the rustic old city (this is the second entry in the trilogy after all, and poetry demands it).
- - Finn, Poe and Chala all corner the culprit: Vikram's aide, who has evidence of contact between Vikram and the First Order. Leia and some Resistance fighters confront Vikram and throw him in jail for treason. He denies everything, and the rest of the Republic officials are horrified because Leia basically just coup-de-etat'd the fuck out of their leadership. Leia assumes control of the planet's defenses and absentmindedly puts Finn in charge of the shield codes.
- - Finn and Chala have a moment and Finn mentions his confusion about why Vikram didn't just lower the shields for the First Order. They walk into a room and Phasma is standing there and Chala draws a gun on Finn and forcibly takes the codes for disarming the shield from him. She says she planted the evidence, used Finn to get the codes, and basically that she thinks he's a dirty traitor to the First Order. In a moment of pure pottery, Phasma makes Finn lower the shields.
- - The First Order fleet jumps out of hyperspace and invades the planet, quickly capturing Finn, Poe and Leia. Kylo starts to torture Finn using the Force, knowing that it will draw Rey out of hiding and into his trap.
- - Kylo is on the First Order planet with Hux and Snoke, and the rest of the First Order army.
- - His introductory scene is outright killing an unarmed prisoner while Snoke eggs him on (this is his "training").
- - Snoke's plan and backstory are partially revealed, and it's pretty weird so bear with me:
- - Eons ago, an order of Force-sensitive warrior monks defeated these gigantic cosmic abominations that were uber-powerful in the dark side and were wreaking havoc on the galaxy. These warriors used the Force to split the horrors' souls/essences from their bodies. The bodies naturally decayed like anything else, but their souls lived on, exiled beyond the rim of the galaxy. These warrior monks became the first Jedi knights, and their leader was the first chosen one to bring balance to the Force.
- - The ghosts of the space Cthulhus desperately want to return, but they need a physical host to act as a vessel.
- - Snoke is basically just a powerful dark side dick who wants to rule everything. He's trying to turn Kylo into a vessel of pure darkness, so that the evil space demons can possess him. Then the possessed Kylo can be his personal weapon, acting at his beck and call (which surely won't backfire in any way because summoning evil entities more powerful than yourself always works out great for villains who do so, it never fails).
- - Kylo sort of knows this, but doesn't really care because he's just thinking about the power.
- - Snoke tells Kylo that the chosen one is Rey, and that he needs to kill her to complete his training.
- - Kylo goes to the Republic planet with his Knights of Ren in tow for backup and launches an invasion. Phasma's already lowered the shields at this point.
- - He meets a detained Vikram who was put in prison by Leia, and Vikram calmly calls him a dirty dog of the enemy and a patricidal maniac, and that he can't believe someone like Leia - who he dislikes but still respects - could spawn such a horrible person. Kylo decapitates him.
- - Kylo captures Finn and Poe and begins to torture the former; he avoids confronting Leia and leaves that up to Phasma.
- - Rey and Luke hyperspace into the Republic planet's system and the action begins, with the small Republic/Resistance combined fleet engaged in a space battle with the First Order. We get an actual in-space dogfight (unlike in TFA).
- - Luke and Rey (with Chewie in tow) touch down on the Republic planet and kick ass. They free Finn and Poe (Leia is elsewhere), but Kylo and the Knights of Ren show up.
- - Rey takes on Kylo, Luke takes on the Knights.
- - Luke fights all the Knights by himself, without a lightsaber, using hand-to-hand combat, and wins.
- - Finn and Poe (and Chewie) free Leia, and are confronted by Phasma and Chala. Chewie KO's Phasma, and Finn stuns Chala.
- - Rey and Kylo have a crazy duel in a power planet/generator room thing, because there's always one of those hiding around the corner in every upscale Star Wars city. They're evenly matched. In a shocking twist, no arms are lost. Kylo tells Rey to join him, and that together they can overthrow Snoke and take charge of the galaxy, light and dark side-by-side. Rey resists and Force-pushes him back pretty hard.
- - Before Kylo can retaliate, Snoke walks into the room. He apparently tagged along in secret to watch how Kylo would conduct himself. He isn't impressed. He calls Kylo a failure, and uses the Force to throw him around like a rag doll.
- - Rey charges at Snoke with her lightsaber and slashes, and Snoke literally grabs the blade with his bare hands to block it, using the Force to resist any damage. He then physically pushes the blade of energy back into its emitter, and chides Rey for using toys and thinking they're real power.
- - He says she'll make a much better apprentice than Kylo judging by the power he can sense in her. He kidnaps her as Kylo watches, and departs the planet.
- - Luke senses Rey in danger and runs to the generator room, finding Kylo on the floor. Kylo divulges that Snoke took her. Finn and co. show up shortly after him. Leia and Luke meet for the first time in a very long time. Leia and Kylo meet for the first time in a very long time. Luke and Kylo meet for the first time in a very long time. It's awkward and complex for everyone.
- - The First Order fleet suddenly pulls back on Snoke's command. Hux is confused, but Snoke tells him that everything is going better than expected, and that soon Rey will bring the First Order the success Kylo never could.
- - Finn confronts Chala in her cell. She still thinks he's a traitor. He explains his position, and what he saw the First Order do on Jakku, and why he had to leave. He overcame the conditioning, so anyone can, including her. She's still not buying it but the seed is planted for her redemption plot to maybe be in Episode IX.
- - Kylo is critically injured but he'll make it. He’s spiritually broken. Luke tells him in a hushed voice the story of Anakin Skywalker, who became Darth Vader but was ultimately redeemed. Kylo doesn't say anything, but cries while listening.
- - Leia and Luke meet again and discuss things. Leia refuses to go see Kylo, saying she can't. Luke understands. A group of senators interrupts to tell them that they've already voted. Leia is confused and says on what, and they tell her she's been selected to be the interim commander-in-chief of the Republic to replace Vikram, whether she likes it or not. She's flabbergasted, and Luke cracks a sly smile.
- - Finn and Poe have a scene where they're sitting on the bank of a canal in the city where Finn went out on a boat with Chala. They reinforce their bromance, and decide with resolve to go save Rey, regardless of the consequences. Luke steps out from behind a building where he was listening in, interested to finally meet Finn, who Rey left to go help. He tells them that if they're going to save her, he's in, but he'll need an X-Wing.
- - Last sequence of the movie is the Republic fleet starting to reassemble after communications have been restored, lots of different ship designs from all over the galaxy, a quickly thrown together (but sizable) army. Leia is looking out the open docking bay of her capital ship at all of the craft coming in from hyperspace. Luke puts his hand on her shoulder while wearing pilot gear, and then gets in an old-school X-Wing with R2 docked. Poe gets in his X-Wing with BB-8. Finn gets settled in the Falcon with Chewie.
- - Leia and C-3P0 watch all three craft leave the ship and join the greater assembly as the music swells, in a scene echoing the last shot of ESB.
- - Fin.
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