Star Wars Episode 8's Script is Finished, JJ Abrams Confirms

"I need that movie to be really good."

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens isn't quite here yet, but there is already much talk about the next films in the Star Wars series. The first standalone movie, Rogue One, is currently in production, and Star Wars Episode VIII will begin filming next year. Now Force Awakens director JJ Abrams has confirmed that the script for Episode VIII is finished, and provided a few details about its development process.

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Episode 8 is being written and directed by Looper's Rian Johnson. In a lengthy interview with Wired, Abrams said: "The script for VIII is written. I'm sure rewrites are going to be endless, like they always are. But what Larry [Force Awakens co-writer Lawrence Kasdan] and I did was set up certain key relationships, certain key questions, conflicts. And we knew where certain things were going."

"I showed Rian an early cut of the movie, because I knew he was doing his rewrite and prepping. And as executive producer of VIII, I need that movie to be really good. Withholding serves no one and certainly not the fans. So we've been as transparent as possible."

Abrams also spoke about the need to make The Force Awakens work as a standalone movie for new viewers to the Star Wars universe, not just for longtime fans. "We wanted to tell a story that had its own self-contained beginning, middle, and end but at the same time, like A New Hope, implied a history that preceded it and also hinted at a future to follow," he said.

"We've been able to use what came before in a very organic way, because we didn't have to reboot anything. We didn't have to come up with a backstory that would make sense; it's all there. But these new characters, which Force is very much about, find themselves in new situations--so even if you don't know anything about Star Wars, you're right there with them. If you are a fan of Star Wars, what they experience will have added meaning."

The past few days have seen seen two new trailers for the film released, both containing previously unseen footage--a full trailer for Japanese audiences, and a new TV spot.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens on December 18, 2015. The film stars John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Max von Sydow, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher.

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