The untold truth of Star Wars: The Last Jedi

With Star Wars: The Last Jedi fast approaching, anticipation has built to a fever pitch in regards to both the movie and the mountains of speculation surrounding it. So many mysteries and secrets are actively keeping Star Wars fans in the dark that it might seem impossible to glean any new info about the movie ahead of its December release—unless you're on Looper, that is. We've managed to assemble a list of the rarest untold truths about The Last Jedi, ranging from Easter egg reveals to production conflicts as well as even one or two plot-related scoops. One thing's for certain: you'll leave here knowing more about Star Wars Episode 8 than you knew coming in.

It'll be Carrie Fisher's last Star Wars appearance

Due to the unexpected death of Carrie Fisher, Princess Leia's role was thrust into jeopardy. Would they CGI her into Episode 9 like they did for Rogue One? Would they abandon Leia entirely and not explain further? Kathleen Kennedy, the current head of Lucasfilm, sat down for an interview with ABC News to dispel all the rumors. During the interview she stated that, regardless of what direction they go in Episode 9, The Last Jedi will be Princess Leia's last physical appearance in the Star Wars universe. That means no to CGI shenanigans or unused footage of Fisher being carried over into Episode 9.

Carrie Fisher contributed to the script

During 2017's annual Star Wars Celebration, a stirring tribute to the late Carrie Fisher was played. Following this, Rian Johnson accidentally cut additional onions and sparked another wave of tears from fans and casual viewers alike when he revealed a touching behind-the-scenes tidbit about Fisher's involvement in the film's development. 

Johnson said that during the writing of Episode 8, he'd go to her house, chill on her bed, and chit-chat with her about the script. This resulted in "a kind of stream of consciousness, jazz poetry sessions," according to Johnson, who went on to say that these little get-togethers usually led to changes in the script, such as in the dialogue. So, in essence, Carrie Fisher had firsthand involvement in the screenplay's developmental process.

Mark Hamill objects to The Last Jedi's Luke Skywalker

Mark Hamill has just not been having a fun time with these recent Star Wars movies. Beyond being flabbergasted by his character's lack of presence in The Force Awakens and echoing sentiments of actual disappointment about the handling of Han's death, Hamill's displeasure has now extended into The Last Jedi

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Hamill told his truth regarding the Episode 8 script, recounting a discussion he had with Rian Johnson about it. "I at one point had to say to Rian, 'I pretty much fundamentally disagree with every choice you've made for this character.'" A pretty strong stance, no? 

Luckily for Johnson, Hamill is a professional and followed up the objection with the reassurance, "Now, having said that, I have gotten it off my chest, and my job now is to take what you've created and do my best to realize your vision." So even though The Last Jedi will feature a Luke Skywalker that Luke Skywalker himself didn't approve of, at least the actor will be giving it his best effort. Maybe his character's direction would've ended up more to his liking if he'd taken some notes from Fisher's playbook and chilled with Johnson for some screenplay-jazz poetry sessions.

The Last Jedi is influenced by Twelve O'Clock High and Three Outlaw Samurai

Rian Johnson is taking an interesting approach for The Last Jedi, incorporating influences into the Star Wars universe that have never, at least publicly, been referenced before. Specifically, he mentions that aerial dogfights and space combat in The Last Jedi will be inspired by Twelve O'Clock High, a 1949 American war drama about the U.S. Air Force's involvement in World War 2. It sounds like we'll be in for some especially gritty starfighter action, then, if Johnson really means what he's said.

He also states that Three Outlaw Samurai has impacted his directing style, meaning that that movie's pulpy plot and hack-'n-slash sword fighting action will have a presence among the cheesy space drama and fancy lightsabers of Star Wars. It looks like Johnson knows to bark up the right tree when it comes to drawing for inspiration.

The 'Jedi' in the title is plural

If you only read the subtitle of Episode 8 in English, you might think there's a mystery brought about by the language's allowance for double-meaning. Who knows if the "jedi" in the title is singular or plural?

As it turns out, apparently almost every other country does. The Spanish, French, and German translations, among others, reveal that The Last Jedi is a plural title. This means multiple jedi are set to be the last of their kind in Episode 8. Which characters could this spell trouble for? Well, since Luke and Rey are both force-wielders with a propensity towards blue lightsabers, conclusions are easy to draw here.

It's set to be the longest film in the franchise

Clocking in at a whopping two and a half hours, Star Wars Episode 8: The Last Jedi is set to be the longest film in the entire franchise, usurping the throne from previous record-holder Revenge of the Sith which ran for two hours twenty minutes. What could possibly justify this length? Well, the film has a lot on its plate. 

On top of forwarding the ever-thickening narratives of lead characters like Luke, Rey, Kylo and Snoke, The Last Jedi also has to reinvent previously established figures like Captain Phasma to be more than just walking plot conveniences. Couple this with the inevitability of new characters being introduced and the daunting task Rian Johnson has been saddled with will almost definitely warrant its two and a half hour runtime.

The movie has a peculiar production name

Some production names have secret, built-in meanings to cue film nerds in on Easter eggs before the movie's even released. Some production names are just goofy nonsense. Space Bear, Episode 8's production name, sure feels like the latter.

But who knows? Maybe we're all missing something here. Space Bear could mean a ton of things. Maybe it's referencing a wampa. They are, in fact, bear-like creatures that occupy a sector of space. For that matter, so are wookiees and ewoks. Could an ewok be the last jedi? Are they the prophesied Space Bear? We'll all find out soon enough.

The Last Jedi will be released 40 years after A New Hope

While this is likely a result of pure coincidence, it's interesting to note that The Last Jedi will be released in the 40th anniversary year of A New Hope, which was first released in 1977. This means 40 years of jedi, sith, lightsabers, and space battles have passed since George Lucas first introduced us to the Star Wars universe. Time flies so fast that you'd think it's trying to clear the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs.

Princes William and Harry will cameo

It's true, all of it. The old rumor about Daniel Craig's secret cameo in The Force Awakens? An insider at Disney claims it's closer to fact than fiction. The tradition continued with The Last Jedi after Princes Harry and William were both seen on-set goofing around, and John Boyega confirmed that Tom Hardy was there as well. Why would he even mention Hardy's involvement if there weren't any press photos of it? Not to mention that Hardy himself said "I don't know if I can even say that" in reference to publicly acknowledging the cameo.

Boyega, less willing to mince words, said "They were there. I'm sick of hiding it. I think it was leaked, anyway. There were images," in direct response to a question about the pair of princes' rumored cameos. He took it a step further in November of 2017, telling The Hollywood Reporter that not only would both princes—in addition to Hardy and singer Gary Barlow—appear as stormtroopers in the film, but they'd all donned the instantly recognizable armor for the same scene. "It's the best of both worlds for me," he told the trade during an actors' roundtable. "It was a great experience."

Rian Johnson moved Kylo Ren's scar

Once in a while a director gets faced with a tough decision, one that leaves them with no choice but to go in and retroactively change a series' established canon in order to tell their story properly. 

This is not one of those cases. When it came to Kylo Ren's nose scar, Rian Johnson admitted that he moved it simply because it didn't look right back in The Force Awakens. Now it resides on Kylo's right cheek, because sometimes a director's just got to do what a director's got to do, which in this case meant making the villain's horrific injury appear a little less silly. But placement of the scar itself isn't the only way Johnson has enhanced its overall cool factor: he's also taken to covering it with some sort of futuristic space metal. What exactly this might be is anyone's guess, but one thing is for certain: it looks bad-ass.