Star Wars: The Last Jedi is less than two months away, and while it may seem like we know almost nothing about it, that’s not exactly true. There’s not a ton of official information about the film, but over the past year, between the trailers (including the newest one), set reports, and rumors, io9 has been able to piece together a lot about Episode VIII—and we’ve collected it all here for you.
The Main Characters
Rey’s journey in The Last Jedi begins where The Force Awakens left off, with Luke Skywalker. She trains with him but their relationship isn’t exactly smooth. All the trailers seem to be making a big deal out of how much Force power Rey has, with a definite implication in the last trailer that Supreme Leader Snoke is looking to turn Rey to his side for that reason.
In addition to working with Luke, Rey will ask for assistance from someone else to keep the training going and learn more about her past. Most importantly, we suspect this information may finally end the speculation about who her parents are.
Yes, Luke is finally in this movie. However, this is not the kindly mentor we might have expected. He’s scared of Rey’s massive power because of what he witnessed with Ben Solo. We have also heard persistent rumors of Kylo Ren using a Force artifact to lure Luke out of hiding, as well as a showdown between him and the Knights of Ren. There’s also speculation that a necklace he wears—so far unseen—plays some larger role.
General Leia Organa
The dearly departed Carrie Fisher returns for one final appearance as the leader of the Resistance, now finding itself one of the few remaining bulwarks against the First Order in the wake of the New Republic’s decimation in The Force Awakens.
Much has been said about how The Last Jedi will see her develop a closer mentor relationship with Poe Dameron, and we’re still unsure as to whether or not she’ll reunite with either her brother or her wayward son (reports have said at least one of those reunions was in the cards for movie, and recent rumors have suggested it will be with Kylo). But we do know General Organa will be at the forefront of two major battles in the film: the space skirmish above D’Qar as the Resistance flees their not-so-hidden-anymore base, where she’ll be aboard the bridge of the Resistance Flagship; and the planet Crait, as we’ve seen shots of Leia standing by the closing doors of a former Rebel base—revealed in the Leia, Princess of Alderaan novel as being founded by her father when she was a teenager—in the most recent trailer.
One incredibly early rumor about The Last Jedi said Leia will be badly injured during a First Order attack (perhaps the battle above D’Qar) and will spend a period of the film recovering, leaving the Resistance aimless and on the verge of splitting itself into two factions trying to decide what to do next.
Poe is still fighting with the Resistance and, like we said, has a bigger relationship with Leia in the movie. Both trailers have shown him in the heat of battle with the First Order, both on Resistance ships and outside them. At some point in the film, he upgrades his X-Wing with a big-ass rocket.
Kylo Ren’s role in The Last Jedi is still very mysterious. We know he’s got a cool cover for his scar. He’s still dealing with the repercussions of killing his father. He has a new ship, wants the destroy the past, and leads some soldiers. He’s also probably still mad at Rey and still searching for his uncle. Rumor has it he may unleash the Knights of Ren in this movie, and the latest trailer suggests we may see his original betrayal of Uncle Luke.
Supreme Leader Snoke
After a few years of speculation, The Last Jedi will confirm that Snoke is not an abnormally large hologram. He’s kind of humanish, wears gold robes, has a new, super cool set of guards called the Elite Praetorian Guard aboard a ship called the Supremacy. At some point, he’ll have a run-in with Rey—and he most likely wants her to join him as an ally.
Once Finn heals from his Kylo-inflicted injury, his heroics haven’t gone unnoticed. He’s finally a big deal in the Resistance. However, his newfound fame isn’t necessarily something he’s comfortable with, so he gets thrown back into the mix. His mission (or missions) will involve him and new character Rose dressing up as First Order officers, heading to a casino city named Canto Bight, and eventually having a showdown with his old boss, Captain Phasma. It also seems he’ll be flying one of the ski speeders in the Crait battle.
Marvel’s still-ongoing miniseries about The Force Awakens’ answer to Boba Fett explains how she got out of that trash compactor and off the exploding Starkiller Base (at a frankly comically quickened pace). Now she’s back and ready for action again. This time she’s got a weirdly low-tech spear to prove it, too.
We do know one thing’s for certain, though: Phasma will go toe-to-toe with her former underling Finn at some point in the movie, as we got to see the two duking it out in a burning First Order hangar bay in the most recent trailer. As far as what else is in store for Phasma, we don’t know, but if you want to learn more about her Mad Max-ian origins and how she might one day ditch the First Order altogether, you should check out Delilah S. Dawson’s Phasma novel.
Chewie went with Rey to meet Luke and, while there, made some new friends of his own: the Porgs, at least one of which will leave that planet with him. More on them in a few.
Maz is in the movie but it’s an even smaller role than last time. That’s all we know for sure.
Armitage Hux has yet to crop up in anything we’ve seen from The Last Jedi beyond Vanity Fair’s special cover and as an action figure. We know he’s in it, though, and can assume he’s still got control of the First Order’s military forces after the destruction of Starkiller Base. But otherwise, Hux’s exact role in the film is unknown.
The aforementioned Phasma novel did reveal he has a very close—but weird—relationship with Phasma that might end up being important in the film: He once helped her murder his father, Stormtrooper program leader Brendol Hux, so Phasma could keep her origins and how she came to the First Order a secret.
The New Characters
Rose (played by Kelly Marie Tran) is a low-level Resistance worker who looks up to Finn becomes friends with him. Later, they go off on a mission that will take them to the aforementioned casino city Canto Bight, as well as a First Order ship where they are disguised as First Order officers. The trip to Canto Bight has to do with new character DJ, and we know that part of Rose’s motivation is going to come from her sister, Paige Tico (Veronica Ngo), a gunner with the Resistance.
Benicio del Toro is playing The Last Jedi’s most mysterious new character (probably). He’s a slicer, the Star Wars term for a hacker, and is supposedly the “best in the galaxy.” He’s not an idealist, as he’s explicitly out for his own gain in this war. John Boyega described DJ as having “distinct opinions. The Resistance bombs the First Order one day, the First Order bombs the Resistance on another. It’s an ongoing war that will never end. For him, he’s trying to benefit off of that.” Okay.
Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo
Laura Dern’s wild-haired Resistance Leader is another mysterious character in The Last Jedi, but that mystery might be because she’s also connected to one of the longest-running rumors about the film. Remember we mentioned that General Leia was rumored to be wounded in an attack that would leave the Resistance rudderless?
The same rumor posits that, in the wake of Leia’s injury, Holdo will attempt to assume control of the Resistance, and in doing so become an antagonist to Poe and his faction of the organization (to speculate for a moment, she probably advocates for surrender in the wake of New Republic and Resistance losses). According to that rumor, Poe will ultimately stage a mutiny among the Resistance to oust Holdo, holding her at blasterpoint—which could be why we see him seemingly taking charge during the Crait scenes in the recent trailer.
Beyond that rumor, we don’t know much else about Holdo in The Last Jedi specifically, but thanks to her appearance in the Leia, Princess of Alderaan novel, we do know she’s known Leia since they were children. A native of the planet Gatalenta, Holdo is characterized as a free-spirited, outgoing, and quirky figure compared to Leia in the novel—which also featured a conversation that’s interpreted as hinting that Holdo could also be Star Wars’ first on-screen LGBT character, but that’s yet to be confirmed or denied.
Planets and Wildlife
We did see a bit of Ahch-To at the very end of The Force Awakens, but we now have some new details about it. We know that Rey, Chewie, and Luke aren’t alone on that planet—a bulky, religious order of aliens called the Caretakers also live on Ahch-To. We’ve seen them before in Rogue One on Jedha, notably also the site of important Jedi relics.
Luke ended up at Ahch-To after his search for the first Jedi Temple, and we’ve seen a tree/bookshelf in the first trailer that was lit with a shaft of light. On the cover of one of the books is the symbol of the Jedi Order, and the best guess we have is that we’re looking at a copy of the Journal of the Whills, which is filled with poems about the Force and the Jedi (we saw extracts of it in the Guardians of the Whills book about Baze Malbus and Chirrut Îmwe). The comics also detailed a mission where Shara Bey (Poe’s mom) and Luke tracked down a Force tree, so we could be looking at a similar tree on Ahch-To.
Ahch-To is also home to everyone’s favorite new animal, the porgs. Plenty of small facts have leaked out about the critters (including a possible joke that group of porgs is a “murder,” like a group of crows), but it’s unclear if any of that stuff is actually in the movie or not. God willing they’re only in the movie enough to be cute and won’t be toppling the First Order themselves, Ewok-style. There are rumors, though, that they could have some kind of mental connection to the Force and the Jedi. But that would be really, really weird.
In typical Star Wars fashion, Cantonica is a desert planet. It’s home to Canto Bight, the casino city that has everyone screaming about its potential similarities to Cloud City in Empire Strikes Back. Finn and Rose end up there as part of their mission, which involves asking for the services of the slicer, DJ. It’s supposed to be a city that caters to high rollers and has the diversity of Jabba’s Palace and Maz’s bar.
A planet with red soil covered by salt flats—hence the dramatic effect when ships scrape along its ground—Crait was the home to a Rebel Alliance base early in the days of the fight against the Empire. When the Resistance flees the First Order, they end up taking refuge in the old base on Crait. We’ve seen shots of a huge battle there (along with some gorgeous crystalline foxes running around), so it seems it doesn’t stay secret for too long.
Ships, Tech, and Troops
The First Order
One thing we definitely know about The Last Jedi is there are a ton of new ships and vehicles on both sides. For the bad guys, we know joining the Star Destroyers seen in The Force Awakens are two new capital ships, the Dreadnought and the Supremacy. The Dreadnought, seen above, is a “Mandatory-4 Class Warship” packed with orbital cannons, seen assaulting the Resistance’s former base on D’Qar in the most recent trailer.
Meanwhile, the Supremacy, first revealed as part of the app used to run Sphero’s new RC robot toys during Force Friday II, is a humongous Mega-Class Star Destroyer that acts as both the flagship and HQ of the First Order, as well as home to Supreme Leader Snoke’s throne room, glimpsed multiple times in trailers. Joining those in space alongside the TIE Fighters we got in The Force Awakens is Kylo Ren’s new personal fighter, the TIE Silencer, which we’ve seen attacking Resistance Forces in the most recent trailer.
The Last Jedi will also bulk up the First Order’s ground forces. There’s the gorilla-like AT-M6, an upgrade to the AT-AT that has a humongous cannon strapped to its back that we’ve seen engaging the Resistance on Crait. One vehicle we’ve not seen in any footage so far but could also feature in the movie is the First Order Scout Walker, a spider-y machine that first debuted as part of Lego’s line of Last Jedi sets. Plus, there are two familiar-looking ground vehicles from the Empire’s days: the AT-AT Walker, glimpsed and seemingly mostly unchanged in the latest trailer, and the AT-ST, which as you can see below (on the far right) has been given some armor upgrades.
There’ll be a few new soldiers, too. While the Stormtroopers from The Force Awakens remain unchanged, shots in the last trailer confirmed that the First Order’s Snowtroopers will finally make their cinematic debut after being cut out of the last movie. The Stormtroopers will also be joined by a new “Executioner” trooper, who we briefly saw in the behind-the-scenes reel wielding a rather nasty looking electrified claw-axe weapon. We don’t know how they’ll fit into movie, but Hasbro’s action figure of the character describes the Executioners as the dispensers of “Final Justice” against traitors to the First Order, which is bad news for Finn.
On top of that, there’s also now the Elite Praetorian Guard, who have subtly different armor and unique weapons (so they can sell lots of toys, presumably), and previous rumors have pegged them as having electrified effects around their blades so they can go up against lightsabers.
Rounding out the new tech on the First Order side is something a bit cuter than angry Stormtroopers or mean-looking walkers: BB-9E, our first sinister version of a BB-droid. It’s unknown how much of a role the droid will play in the movie, but BB-9E—known on set as BB-H8—has shown up alongside Captain Phasma in her current comic miniseries set between The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.
What we’ve seen of the Resistance, meanwhile, is much slimmer in comparison to their evil adversaries. In space we’ve got the B/SF-17 heavy bomber, a beefed-up ship seen defending D’Qar in the trailers—and we know that Paige Tico (Veronica Ngo), Rose’s sister, operates a gunnery turrets on one of them. Joining them and the T-70 X-Wings will be another familiar favorite: the A-Wing, making a return after appearing in Return of the Jedi. Unlike the X-Wings, however, it doesn’t seem like there are any especially big changes to the look of the ships in the intervening years between movies. Of course, we’ll also still have the Millennium Falcon, now piloted by Chewbacca, Rey... and maybe a porg?
There’s also the Raddus, the Resistance’s flagship, a Mon Calamari cruiser named after the Mon Calamari Admiral from Rogue One. We know it’ll carry some pivotal characters—most notably General Leia and Poe Dameron, who’ve been seen on its bridge in several shots. The last trailer also implied that the ship might be heavily damaged in a battle against the First Order, necessitating an evacuation of the ship with a fleet of smaller, pod-style vehicles (which is perhaps what this “Resistance Transport Pod” Lego set is based on, as that’s another toy vehicle we’ve yet to see in the movie).
On the ground, the Resistance also has one new vehicle: a Ski Speeder, seen churning up red dust on Crait’s surface, that will go up against the First Order’s walkers. We don’t know much else about them, but pictures have show both Poe and Finn in the skimmers at some point during the movie’s big land battle.
That seems like a lot of information, right? Yeah, it’s a lot of moving pieces. We know we start with Luke, Rey, and Chewie on Ahch-To, with a potential conflict with Kylo and the Knights of Ren on the way. We also know that the Resistance will be confronting the First Order on the planet Crait, so the question is whether they end up on Crait after a battle or if they leave Crait after one. Whichever it is, Rose and Finn will head to Canto Bight looking for help from DJ to get them into a First Order base. What Poe is up to, other than sweet X-Wing fights, is anyone’s guess; same goes for Snoke and Kylo Ren’s latest plans.
But, from the last trailer, a huge turning point in this movie will be when Rey and Snoke confront each other, which is almost certainly going to be near the climax of the movie.
We also definitely know that The Last Jedi opens December 15.