After what feels like an eternal wait, The Last Jedi, Disney’s follow-up (story-wise) to The Force Awakens – J.J. Abrams’ brilliant reboot of a space saga long thought over – is very nearly here. But, with all the pressure to deliver, will it actually be any good?
The signs were already looking strong but last month came the clearest one of them all: Disney signing up this movie’s director, Rian Johnson, to next deliver three brand-new Star Wars movies for them. And you don’t give someone the keys to a whole new trilogy unless you are very happy with what they’ve just shown you.
Before Johnson starts on his new trilogy, though, we are about to see his entry in the classic series started by George Lucas all the way back in 1977. Episode VIII: The Last Jedi picks up immediately from where The Force Awakens ended, Han Solo dead and new hero Rey (Daisy Ridley) having tracked down a self-exiled Luke Skywalker to enlist him to save the galaxy from Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and his evil crew. Where Episode VII did a perfect job of introducing a whole new generation to the saga, this time around Johnson promises us that, like the series’ previous highpoint, 1981’s The Empire Strikes Back, the story will be darker, deeper and packed with some monumental twists. Has Luke really turned to the dark side? Will we find out who Rey’s parents are? And how on Earth is poor Chewie going to cope without his old pal, Han?
More important even than its standing as the most essential family movie of the year is, of course, the fact that it is Carrie Fisher’s last Star Wars ever, her having sadly passed away with her scenes complete. Word is that this is the perfect tribute to her beloved Princess Leia and a movie that will delight kids and adults alike. Just. Can’t. Wait.
The Last Jedi is in cinemas from December 15.