BB-8 In 'Episode VIII' Will Cement His Status As Star Wars Fans’ Favorite Droid

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens featured a lot of breakout characters that have instantly become franchise favorites and are sure to return in Episode VIII . Rey is great new protagonist that will continue to grow throughout the series. Finn provided comic relief while also having a hero's journey of his own. Poe Dameron easily stepped into Han Solo's shoes as the coolest guy in the galaxy. And Kylo Ren introduced a powerful new villain who is unlike any fans had seen before. But without a doubt, the movie's biggest star was the adorable droid BB-8. But what role will BB-8 have in Episode VIII ?

In The Force Awakens , BB-8 plays an important role because he contains a piece of the map to Luke Skywalker's whereabouts. In fact, he's the entire reason the First Order goes after Finn and Rey in the first place (he is the droid they're looking for, if you will). Also, despite his hanging out with the two characters I just mentioned for most of the film, he actually belongs to Dameron, and their reunion toward the end of the film is one of the movie's most tender moments. But now that BB-8 has given over the key plot device he had in his possession, and now that he has reunited with his owner, what's left for the little guy to do in the next Star Wars movie?

Given their chemistry, I would be very surprised if BB-8 didn't once again go on an adventure with Rey — with or without Dameron. I know that the fighter pilot is the droid's rightful owner, but the two were barely together in the first film. Rey and BB-8, meanwhile, built up a great repertoire, and I don't see Episode VIII doing away with the already classic relationship they've forged.

Although I fully expect BB-8 to re-team with Rey, and probably Finn, in the next film, I don't think he'll be given the same level of importance. The information he carried in The Force Awakens made BB-8 the main focus of the film in a way, and I think it will be too much of a retread if he's given the same role in Episode VIII. So what could he be doing instead? For the answer to that question, fans should look toward BB-8's closest relative in the Star Wars universe: R2-D2.

The Force Awakens very closely mirrors the first Star Wars film, A New Hope. If you remember in that film, R2-D2 fits the part of the droid with important information that everyone wants to get their hands on, but in the sequel he has a very different role to play. In The Empire Strikes Back, Artoo accompanies Luke Skywalker to Dagobah, where the young Jedi trains with Yoda. Episode VIII will likely follow a similar arc as Rey begins her own training with Luke, and it seems likely that BB-8 will show up at some point to keep her company. Maybe the Resistance sends Dameron and the droid out to check on her? Or maybe Finn decides he needs to see her himself, and takes BB-8 along with him as a buffer? Whatever the reason, I'd be shocked if BB-8 isn't filling Artoo's role of offering support during the hero's Jedi training.

So to recap, BB-8 will likely be reunited with Rey and be her tether to the other main characters while she trains with Luke. Or maybe Luke sends her away and she trains with a Yoda-like creature in a swamp and BB-8 meets up with her there. The point is, wherever Rey's training takes place, you can bet BB-8 will be there, rolling around and giving thumbs up all the while.

Images: Disney/Lucasfilm; giphy.com