For the first time ever, a Star Wars movie is going to begin right where the previous film ended. We kind of already knew this back in February, but this weekend’s big Star Wars event in London made it official.
This is a major break from tradition. Typically, Star Wars movies offer a big crawl of text followed by a pan to some awesome spaceship stuff that leads to an opening scene set months if not years ahead of the last film. Star Wars: Episode VIII may very well contain that space pan after its text crawl, but it’s not making the time jump.
It kind of has to be this way, given The Force Awakens’ ending. It’s all well and good to close things down on Rey trying to hand Luke Skywalker his old lightsaber, but it would be weird and dissatisfying to miss out on their first conversation together. Luke has a lot of catching up to do, after all.
I’m glad they’re just going with it, rather than stubbornly sticking to Star Wars convention just for its own sake. It shows a willingness to do what needs to be done to ensure the best story gets told. Given that The Force Awakens literally ends on a cliffhanger, it would be a disservice to miss out on its immediate resolution.