Benicio Del Toro In Star Wars Episode 8 - Who's Going To Die To Make Room?

He's (potentially) the new villain, but which bad guy is he going to replace?

With the release of a new Star Wars film an annual event for the foreseeable future, there's going to perpetually be a film in each stage of development, meaning casting, shooting leaks and trailers all coming at once. And so with The Force Awakens gearing for release later this year and Rogue One currently shooting, the latest news comes from the third release of Disney's reboot of the franchise, Episode VIII; according to The Wrap, Lucasfilm is circling Benicio Del Toro for the villain role. They've reportedly offered him the part, so expect some form of confirmation in the coming weeks (or for the million of online voices to cry out in terror when he declines). My first thought on this - after how freaking cool it will be to have Benicio Del Toro in a Star Wars movie - is how he's going to fit. The Dark Side is pretty well padded out as it is - you have Adam Driver's Kylo Ren, Andy Serkis' Supreme Leader Snoke, Domhnall Gleeson's General Hux and Gwendoline Christie's Captain Phasma, among others of questionable allegiance - which makes adding someone with such presence as Del Toro difficult. As he's reportedly the main villain (beyond the definite article there's nothing to suggest that in The Wrap's article, but other sites have reported that and it makes sense), then someone's going to have to go to that Star Destroyer in the sky to make room. Now let's not forget Star Wars has a pretty ruthless history when it comes to offing villains. The only baddie to make it out of Star Wars alive was Darth Vader and even fewer survived the events of Return Of The Jedi. George Lucas is still derided for killing the cool-as-hell Darth Maul at the end of The Phantom Menace, but that's really par for the course; expect J.J. Abrams to kill with similar efficiency. But who's gonna make it out alive? I'd wager the safest bet is Ren, the new star villain. After that we get into speculation-cum-spoiler territory - we don't know what Snoke's part in events is (if he's the Emperor-style figure, he's probably safe), while Hux and Phasma are straight-up Imperials, and we know how low a life-expectancy that job has when the Rebels are around. Who dies will, of course, be a clue into who Del Toro's playing (and thus I hope that isn't announced until after The Force Awakens, so the deaths can't be retroactively figured out a la Marvel with their contract deals). And, on that character front, what if he's playing Thrawn? I mean, I know the Grand Admiral's no longer canon and all that, but I'm not saying Disney will adapt Timothy Zahn's solid Heir To The Empire trilogy (the timeline's too fractured for that), rather bring across one of the most enduring Expanded Universe (sorry, Legends) characters into the main continuity. Sounds crazy, but then so did an Episode VIII for the longest time. Which bad guys do you think will die in Star Wars: The Force Awakens? And who do you think Benicio Del Toro is playing in Episode VIII? Share your theories down in the comments.Star Wars: The Force Awakens is out on 18th December, 2015. Star Wars Episode VIII is out on 26th May, 2017.
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Film Editor (2014-2016). Loves The Usual Suspects. Hates Transformers 2. Everything else lies somewhere in the middle. Once met the Chuckle Brothers.