Rian Johnson Says ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ Has Its Title, But He’s Not Telling

Director also says Luke and Rey’s emotional journey will be at the heart of his “Star Wars” story

Those of you hoping to finally refer to the sequel to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” as something other than “Episode VIII” are going to have to wait a little longer.

Director Rian Johnson decided on the title of the next “Star Wars” entry in his very first script draft, but wants to keep it a secret for now, he said in an interview with USA Today.

“I’ll just blurt it out right now!” he joked.

But the director behind “Looper” and the Emmy-winning “Ozymandias” episode of “Breaking Bad” did have some hints to share about the new film.

He said that “Episode VIII” will have a fun tone rather than a dark one. It’s an interesting tonal shift considering that the first “Star Wars” sequel, “The Empire Strikes Back,” was hailed by critics for having a more serious approach than its predecessor.

“I want it to be a blast and to be funny and to be a ride the way ‘The Force Awakens’ and the original ‘Star Wars’ movies were,” he said.

Johnson also shared more about the journey that Rey (Daisy Ridley) will take as she begins her training under Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). He said that Luke will be the “emotional entry point” into the film and that he will explore what empowers the newcomers from “The Force Awakens” and what makes them weak.

“I wanted to know more about each of them, and that doesn’t just mean information or backstory,” Johnson said. “Figure out what’s the most difficult thing each of them could be challenged with now — let’s throw that at them and dig into what really makes them tick by seeing how they handle that.”

The interview was conducted prior to Carrie Fisher’s death on Dec. 27. Fisher will star posthumously in the film as General Leia Organa and had finished all her scenes during principal photography prior to her death.

“Star Wars: Episode VIII” is slated to premiere December 15, 2017.