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Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the seventh episode of the Star Wars saga. Production was announced by George Lucas in 2011, years after initially claiming that the story of Star Wars ended with Return of the Jedi. In 2012 Lucas sold Lucasfilm, along with the entire Star Wars franchise, to The Walt Disney Company who then assembled a new team to rework Episode VII to their own design. This marks the start of a new trilogy of Star Wars movies, and effectively reboots the franchise by casting off the old Star Wars Expanded Universe, opening the doors for new stories to take place in various media.
The film was widely anticipated and went on to break several box office records, and is currently the third highest grossing film of all time, behind Avatar and Titanic (unadjusted for inflation, as of February 2016). It won a Bafta for Best Special Visual Effects at the 2016 British Academy Film Awards, and was the American Film Institute's Movie of the Year for 2015.
The Force Awakens is set roughly 30 years after the end of Return of the Jedi and follows new heroes Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron, as they assist the the Resistance in the fight against the evil forces of the First Order, which has risen from the ashes of the defeated Galactic Empire.
An alleged leak from Star Wars Episode VIII has provided new rumored plot details and snippets of action. While these are unconfirmed rumors, please consider them to be spoilers - you have been warned!
Firstly, a leak on Reddit has revealed a potential title for Episode VIII; a video that bears the logo of upcoming Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016 shows the title of Episode VIII to be Star Wars: Fall of the Resistance. Fans are divided on the title which point towards the often-hinted at darker nature of the second film of the sequel trilogy, but sceptics are keen to point out that it all seems a bit fishy and is most likely a fake.
Making Star Wars reports that photos from the Malin Head set in Ireland appear to show several figures dressed in black, with costumes similar to that worn by Kylo Ren. It is claimed that these may be the Knights of Ren, and are hot on the heels of Luke Skywalker now that he has been located at the end of The Force Awakens.
An eye-witness also claims to have seen Luke and Rey on Ahch-To as they are confronted by Kylo and the Knights of Ren. This is a scene which apparently shows how much of a badass Luke has now become as he fights with both the Force and a green-bladed lightsaber which is presumably the same one he used in Return of the Jedi.
Star Wars Episode VIII will be released on 15 December 2017.
This article contains potential spoilers; read on at your own risk!
The Star Wars Episode VIII rumor mill has received further fuel to the fire after an alleged plot line has leaked onto the internet. Sceptics remain unconvinced, but the premise of this leaked plotline does seem to back up previous hints that director Rian Johnson's vision for Episode VIII was going to result in new concepts not seen in Star Wars before.
The big rumor this time concerns the origins of Dasy Ridley's character Rey, whose origins have already been subject to much speculation. The reason given for Rey's mysterious parentage is because she is "a child of the Force", like Anakin Skywalker.
The rumor also states that there would be no mention of midiclorians so there is no need to panic on that front, but Rey may be a reincarnation of the Chosen One. Apparently Luke first travels to the original Jedi Temple where he is found in The Force Awakens to research and better understand the phenomenon, where he communes with Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda.
It is implied that the Chosen One is repeatedly reborn by the Force, and always has the potential to fall to the Dark Side, as happened with Anakin Skywalker. Rey being a child of the Force explains why she already appears to be quite powerful even without any training, just as Anakin was able to win a podrace and down a Trade Federation cruiser in The Phantom Menace, using his instincts.
As always, these rumors have not been confirmed by anybody official, and are unlikely to garner any attention from Disney or Lucasfilm representatives, and should be taken with a pinch of salt.
So a few days ago, ILM released a link to their portfolio of concept art drafted up for The Force Awakens.
It's really quite interesting to see how closely the film actually got to these concepts... and which ones didn't.
Plus, the artwork is just freaking beautiful.