Star Wars: Episode 8 Set Leaks Reveal New Aliens, But May Give You 'Episode 2' Nightmares

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The 'Star Wars: Episode 8' release date is Dec. 15, 2017. Lucasfilm

Star Wars: Episode 8 has begun shooting on the Dubrovnik set we’ve all been poring over for the past few weeks, which means new costumes, new aliens and new vehicles. What we’re seeing so far looks very different from the aesthetic of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In fact, it may give you flashbacks to those nightmarish 2 hours and 22 minutes when you were trying to survive Star Wars: Episode 2 Attack of the Clones.

The new leaked set photos from Star Wars: Episode 8 highlight a panoply of new aliens on location in Dubrovnik.

 

It’s a very different look from previous Star Wars movies, especially the speeder, which looks more like a sleek sports car than Luke’s dusty hunk of junk landspeeder.

 

This new speeder is remarkably similar to the speeders we saw at the beginning of Star Wars: Episode 2 Attack of the Clones, as Obi Wan and Anakin chased an assassin through the streets and clubs of Coruscant.

While J.J. Abrams made it clear that the Prequel Trilogy had no place in The Force Awakens, Episode 8 director Rian Johnson been more equivocal, suggesting that he’d consider influences from every Star Wars movie, even the horrible ones. “There was something really beautiful about the prequels,” John said on the Filmspotting podcast.

So is this new landspeeder from the Episode 8 set an indication that we’ll be returning to the dark prequel days of the early 2000s? Probably not. Instead, this should be seen as evidence that Star Wars: Episode 8 will be taking us to radically different portions of the galaxy.

 

Tatooine, Dagobah, Hoth and Endor’s forest moon are all galactic backwaters, far from the core planets. These are places where poor people live. The Empire’s interests in the region typically involve stormtroopers boots stomping vulnerable necks, if they pay any attention at all.

The Star Wars Original Trilogy never really got out of this zone of abject poverty. The sleekest locations we saw were a black market Tibanna gas refinery and the interior of Imperial starships.

On Tatooine the droids are old and busted, the digital binoculars half-static. Luke himself is nothing more than a moisture farmer, so presumably his speeder is an old hunk of junk that went out of style on Coruscant 200 years ago.

Instead it looks like Star Wars: Episode 8 will take us to urban centers and populated regions of the Galaxy, drawing Luke and Rey out of the backwaters and right into the heart of galactic conflict.

As Supreme Leader Snoke says in The Force Awakens, “If Skywalker returns the new Jedi will rise.” If a new Jedi Order is to be assembled and Snoke opposed, it will take more than some empty desert planets to stop him. It may give us nightmares of Episode 2, but for now we’ll just have to trust that Rian Johnson knows what he’s doing.

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