LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Movie studio Disney on Monday revealed that the next “Star Wars” movie will be called “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” setting off rampant speculation from fans about what the title implied for the plot.
The movie, the second of the sequels set 30 years after the original movie trilogy, will follow the adventures of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher). It had previously been known only as “Episode VIII.”
“We have the greatest fans in this or any other galaxy. In appreciation of the fans, we wanted them to be the first to know the title of the next chapter in the Skywalker saga: ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’,” movie studio Disney said in a statement.
Rian Johnson is directing the movie, which will be released Dec. 15.
Fisher shot all of her scenes for the movie before her sudden death in December of a heart attack, Disney said at the time of her passing.
Disney has not released plot details for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” but Johnson has said it will immediately follow the events of 2015 release “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” in which Skywalker was revealed to be the last remaining Jedi and had gone into hiding.
“Force Awakens” ended with scavenger Rey (Daisy Ridley) discovering her hidden powers, finding Skywalker and ready to start her Jedi training.
Theories about the plot made the #TheLastJedi hashtag the top trending item on Twitter on Monday, with some 152,000 tweets in just one hour. Disney has yet to release any trailers.
Fans noted that Jedi - those belonging to the force for good - can be singular or plural in the “Star Wars” universe.
“If it’s called #TheLastJedi, my honest and bold prediction is that Luke Skywalker has to die,” said Twitter user Nikolas Oliverio.
“hold up if rey is the last jedi... what happens to luke.. OR if luke is the last jedi... what happens to rey...” asked a bewildered fan, Ana with 1 n, on Twitter.
The cast for the movie will also include “Force Awakens” members John Boyega, Adam Driver and Lupita Nyong’o.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” became the third-highest grossing movie of all time, taking some $2 billion at the global box office, after its release in December 2015.
The standalone movie “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” released in December 2016, has made $1 billion at the worldwide box office.
Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Nick Zieminski