Possible rewrite to fit in Asian character and a focus on the Star Wars main characters.
Rian Johnson must be a busy man right now.
He was brought on board by Lucasfilm well before The Force Awakens hit theaters so he had plenty of time to mold the overall story for Episodes 8 and 9.
However, according to podcast Meet the Movie Press there has been a slight change of plan tells The Wrap’s Jeff Sneider:
Last week we mentioned Bel Powely and Gina Rodriguez. Now I heard Gina didn’t get it. Now I am told Episode VIII has been pushed about a month. Rian Johnson is going to do another rewrite, and I heard an Asian actress got the role Bel and Gina were up for. But I don’t know if the Bel Powely thing will work out.
I said before there were two young female roles, now I actually heard that the rewrite will make these roles smaller. They want to get to know better the main characters they already have. So the new rewrite is shrinking the new roles in order to spend more time with Rey, Poe and so on.
Although just a rumour for now, this news does make sense.
The Force Awakens is unlikely to beat Avatar globally, because it didn’t do so well in Asia where Star Wars is less known. But will adding an Asian character help the cause?
Secondly, fans are expecting more of the Star Wars main characters introduced in The Force Awakens and especially so Luke Skywalker who made a very brief appearance.
So a rewrite of the script is to focus on the main characters and less on the new characters, who if popular can always be fleshed out later in Episode IX.
This is good new for fans that Disney is not rushing into Episode 8 and is carefully considering the response to Episode 7.