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What’s Behind Those Rumored Star Wars: Episode VIII Rewrites?

Ch-ch-ch-changes.

Finn (John Boyega) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Yesterday, Disney announced that Star Wars: Episode VIII‘s opening date has been pushed back from May 26, 2017, to December 15, 2017. In a press release, Disney mentioned that opening the film in December would take advantage of the “popular holiday moviegoing corridor” The Force Awakens had so much success in, but reports also indicate rewrites could be behind the delay.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Borys Kit explained over Twitter yesterday,

Obviously the December date worked out very (very) well for them but I’ve also heard they are rewriting the script, I’ve heard from several sources the rewrites are positive, based on audience reaction to the new characters. People loved them. So strongly. And Lucasfilm was surprised at how well they were received, according to several sources.

Well, that’s certainly interesting! It’s bizarre to me that Lucasfilm wouldn’t expect the new trio to resonate strongly with audiences, but if rewrites mean the Episode VIII team is taking into account all the love for Rey (or, dare I hope, even the interest in a Poe/Finn romance?), then sign me up.

TheNerdyBird.com points out that a recent Popcorn Talk podcast also had some interesting info on what could be behind rewrites:

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.

Obviously I’m always down for more rad Star Wars ladies, but I really don’t mind the thought of a rewrite that focuses on the main trio to the exclusion of some female representation. I trust Kathleen Kennedy. She’s done a stellar job so far of diversifying the Star Wars universe, and I’m pretty confident that if she thinks diminishing the roles of some new characters will better serve the story of our three main heroes, then that’s the way to go.

Newsarama points out that, as it stands now, Episode VIII comes out the same day as Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, and ten days before the Avatar sequel. My condolences to Spielberg and Cameron.

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