The last day of this year’s Star Wars Celebration closed out on Sunday afternoon in London with the much-anticipated Future Filmmakers panel, centered (appropriately enough) on the future of the “Star Wars” franchise as guided by Lucasfilm leaders Kathleen Kennedy and Kiri Hart alongside special guests Rian Johnson (director of the franchise’s still-untitled “Episode VIII”) and Han Solo standalone helmers Phil Lord and Chris Miller.
Although the panel largely avoided spoilers, it did feature a handful of surprise appearances from beloved stars, including Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and John Boyega.
“I was just in the area, guys,” Boyega joked to the crowd as the “Force Awakens” hit the stage to chat just a bit about what we can next expect from the Stormtrooper better known as Finn.
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When asked about Johnson’s directing on the next film in the newest trilogy, Boyega told the crowd: “He’s doing an indie movie within a studio franchise. And we’re having fun.”
While hard and fast information about “Episode VIII” was in short supply, the team made it clear that Boyega is still a big part of the next film in the franchise, even though we last left him in a coma at the end of “The Force Awakens.”
“The story is very, very interesting to keep it kind of like secret,” Boyega said. The tight-lipped nature of “Star Wars” is strong with this one.
Sitting next to the newly announced young Han Solo, Alden Ehrenreich, Boyega was asked to provide a little advice to the newest member of the “Star Wars” crew. He came up just a little short.
“You’ve got the charm stuff down, man,” Boyega laughed. “He’s got that smile like Han!”
“Star Wars: Episode VIII” will open on December 15, 2017.