Rachel Paige
January 21, 2016 4:46 pm

Yesterday, Disney and Lucasfilm announced they were pushing the release of Star Wars: Episode VIII back seven months. Instead of coming to theaters on May 26th, 2017, the film will now premiere on December 15th, 2017. While it’s a huge bummer we’re going to have to wait even LONGER to check back in with the new Star Wars crew, the film might have been pushed back for the best reason.

And that reason? To include more Rey, because it’s a fact: everybody loves Rey.

Word from the the Resistance is that while the script for the movie is done (written by new Star Wars director, Rian Johnson) it’s currently going through tweaks and rewrites. This is totally common and normal for movies, both big and small. It’s also totally common for a character’s role to greatly expand after positive feedback from the audience, like what’s happened over the past month with Rey.

Originally, Star Wars director J.J. Abrams stated Force Awakens would have its “own self-contained beginning, middle, and end,” kinda hinting that while it was setting up a new story, many story elements and characters might not carry over to the other films. During promotion for Force Awakens, it was hinted that John Boyega’s Finn would return, and that Gwendoline Christie’s Captain Phasma would play a greater role in Episode VIII. And Leia was 1,000,000% returning, because, duh.

As for everyone else? It was never explicitly stated Daisy Ridley’s Rey would be back for more adventures, let alone be in the movie at all. Now reports are suggesting that this delay is FOR Rey, because we need more of her. Disney and Lucasfilm noticed that audiences — of men, women, children, droids, wookiees, etc. —  fell in love with her kickass spirit, and decided to rework the script to include MORE REY, ALL THE TIME.

And — uh, spoilers I guess but seriously the movie has made so much money, everyone has seen it now, right? — maybe originally Rey was supposed to be MIA for Episode VIII, because she’s off becoming a Jedi with Luke, finally returning back for Episode IX. Maybe. Whatever was supposed to happen to her — and also Finn and Oscar Isaac’s Poe (who, FYI, was supposed to die in Force Awakens) is being reworked so this new trio stays front and center for the next installment. Not just on the toy shelves, but in the movies, too.

Only 694 days to go before Episode VIII lands in theaters! Start getting pumped!

(Image via Lucasfilm)

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