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Star Wars Episode VIII needs a rewrite… and here’s why

January 19th, 2016 by Matt Gault Comments

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Star Wars: Episode VIII is in a seriously tricky position. Rian Johnson is charged with the task of delivering a film that both maintains the excitement and spectacle of J.J. Abrams’ The Force Awakens and develops the character that he introduced.

In addition, many are expecting Episode VIII to go down the Empire Strikes Back route and darken the tone considerably, making it a character-driven movie that improves on its predecessor on basically every level.

Production on Episode VIII may be delayed slightly however, because a rewrite is needed to iron out a few character-related issues. With the personalities of Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) in need of further exploration, the decision has reportedly been made to alter the script in order to recalibrate focus on their characters, as opposed to introducing several new ones.

A reporter for The Wrap was speaking on the Meet the Movie Press (via Squareeyed) podcast and explained: “I said before there were two young female roles, now I actually heard that the rewrite will make these roles smaller. They want to get to know better the characters they already have. So the new rewrite is shrinking the new roles in order to spend more time with Rey, Poe and so on.”

It sounds like this is a smart move. Rey, Finn and Poe were all warmly embraced by the Star Wars fanbase, so spending more time with their characters makes sense and is certainly more advised than just stuffing the sequel full of new characters. The only notable addition to the original trilogy in Empire was Lando Calrissian and that’s not a bad pattern to follow.

From what we’ve heard about Episode VIII so far, we’re genuinely excited. John Boyega recently revealed that it will be a lot darker and will involve more physically demanding role for himself, while Daisy Ridley said she’d read the script and said it was ‘really good.’ Well, with the new rewrite, it’ll hopefully get even better.

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Matt Gault is a sports writer and film fanatic. He is a fully-qualified journalist and has worked for BBCNI, Sunday Life and has been published on The Guardian's website. He interns at REDNI, sub-editing for the Belfast Telegraph. He studied at Queen's University pretending to like history and literature and then University of Ulster Coleraine, where he slacked off enormously for a year and somehow got away with it. He also enjoys Captain Morgans, The Sopranos, Led Zeppelin and Hunter S. Thompson which makes him a remarkably uninteresting person.