Star Wars: Episode VIII Rumor Claims There’s More To Ahch-To Than Meets The Eye

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Rumor has it that come 2017, Star Wars: Episode VIII will pick up directly after The Force Awakens, meaning viewers will be right back on the rocky hills of Ahch-To after the opening crawl – presuming Rian Johnson’s sequel sticks with tradition, of course.

Alas, considering that we’re still awaiting the first official footage from Episode VIII, it’s impossible to gauge how Rey and Luke’s landmark encounter unfolds, but a new report unearthed today by Making Star Wars claims that the two won’t be alone on the isolated planet. Take this one with a pinch of salt for now, but the latest rumor suggests Luke Skywalker has shared his far-flung home with a population of cute – and possibly dangerous – alien creatures. Imagine Ewoks, only with razor-sharp teeth.

Here’s an extract from Making Star Wars:

Rumor has it the creatures have razor sharp teeth and are a mixture of the terrifying and the adorable. They’re sort of like a bird mixed with a Gremlin. Someone once said it was like the Star Wars version of a Furby, but the look and feel is so Star Wars they loved it. Basically combine a puffin, a Furby, and Star Wars it up and you have yourself an idea of what this creature is. They’re tiny–maybe 15 inches tall or so. I was apprehensive when I first heard “Furby,” but no one speaking of the design has anything bad to say about it. In fact, those that have seen the tiny puppets on set are overjoyed by their presence in the film.

For a franchise that often prides itself on its assembly of weird and wonderful alien creatures, news that Episode VIII will toss some new extra-terrestrials into the mix shouldn’t be all that surprising. What’s interesting here is that Making Star Wars goes on to claim that those unnamed critters were actually inspired by the indigenous puffins that populate Skellig Michael, the Irish island on which The Force Awakens finale was filmed.

On the other end of the spectrum, a second report from My Entertainment World has allegedly identified when Episode IX will begin production: April 2017. Directed by Jurassic World‘s Colin Trevorrow, that would mean the episodic sequel would overlap with Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s Han Solo anthology movie, which is expected to lens from February 2017. More on that when we get it.

Star Wars: Episode VIII, meanwhile, is penciled in for December 15, 2017.