“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” opening this week, will continue the story of Rey, a young woman trying to find her place in the galaxy. Directed by Rian Johnson, the film is a follow-up to the 2015 hit, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” and a sequel to the original Star Wars films that debuted 40 years ago.
In the new film, Rey learns about the Force and what it means to be a Jedi from Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill).
Meanwhile, fellow heroes Finn and Poe Dameron will work to help the Resistance, led by General Leia Organa (the late Carrie Fisher) and attempt to take down the First Order, led by Supreme Leader Snoke, General Hux and Kylo Ren.
“The Last Jedi” hits theaters on Thursday night with multiple showings ahead of the Dec. 15 release date.
To prepare you for this important occasion, we’ve collected all the information we could find about what to expect from the new film. We worked to remain as spoiler-free as possible — and let's be honest, we don't know that much — but if you’re trying to avoid all spoilers, you may want stay clear of this article.
So far, “Last Jedi” has received mostly positive reviews, earning a 94 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Most reviews have celebrated the film. Mashable even ranked “Last Jedi” within the top three films in the saga.
The Deseret News said the film is fun and full of action, but isn’t one of the best films in the series by any means. Surprises and action scenes will keep fans excited.
About the director
This is the first time "The Last Jedi" director Johnson has ventured into the Star Wars universe. His previous credits are three episodes of “Breaking Bad," the 2012 sci-fi hit “Looper” and a handful of lesser-known films.
The next generation of Star Wars heroes
• English actress Daisy Ridley, 25, will return as Rey, the scavenger from Jakku who played an important role in "The Force Awakens." Ridley recently appeared in Kenneth Branagh's “Murder on the Orient Express” as Miss Mary Debenham. Before being cast in "The Force Awakens," Ridley put in her time in British TV shows like "Mrs. Selfridge" and "Toast of London."
• English actor John Boyega, 25, will return as Finn, the former stormtrooper with a conscience. Boyega starred in this past year’s hit film “Detroit” and has also booked a role for the upcoming action film “Pacific Rim Uprising.
• California native Adam Driver, 34, returns as Kylo Ren, the son of Han Solo and Leia Organa. Driver saw his career lift off after appearing on the HBO show “Girls,” where he played the character Adam Sackler. He played Samuel Beckwith in Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” and more recently appeared in “The Meyerowitz Stories” and “Logan Lucky.”
• Golden Globe nominee Oscar Isaac, 38, will reprise his "The Force Awakens" role as the daring Poe Dameron. Isaac bounced around several films before “The Force Awakens,” including “Drive,” “Robin Hood” and the Coen brothers' “Inside Llewyn Davis.” He also appeared briefly in “The Bourne Legacy.”
• Irish actor Domhnall Gleeson, 34, will be back in "The Force Awakens" as General Hux. Son of Irish actor Brendan Gleeson, Domhnall Gleeson appeared in “The Revenant” in 2015 and showed up in “Mother!” earlier this year. Star Wars fans may know him best as Bill Weasley from the Harry Potter films.
• English actor Andy Serkis, 53, makes his first in-the-flesh appearance as Supreme Leader Snoke in "The Last Jedi." Serkis has appeared in multiple performance-capture roles — which is later digitized — as Caesar in a few of the Planet of the Apes films, Gollum in the Lord of the Rings films and Baloo in the live-action “Jungle Book.”’
Who’s new to the film?
• Oscar nominee Laura Dern, 50, will play Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, a leader in the Resistance. Many will recognize Dern as Ellie from the original 1993 “Jurassic Park” and more recently as Diane Evans in the rebooted Showtime series "Twin Peaks."
• Multiple award-winning Puerto Rican actor Benicio Del Toro also makes his Star Wars debut in "The Last Jedi" as a character named “DJ” — which is about all we know about the character at this point. Del Toro has a best supporting actor Oscar from his role in the 2000 film "Traffic" and may be best known to Star Wars fans as The Collector in 2014's “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
Who’s still here?
Star Wars luminaries Hamill, Fisher and Peter Mayhew will all return in "The Last Jedi." Hamill will again play Luke Skywalker and Mayhew will don the Chewbacca suit for yet another film. Fisher, who passed away late last year, returns as General Leia Organa.
What does ‘The Last Jedi’ mean?
Lucasfilm released the film’s title on Jan. 23 of this year. Questions immediately arose after people noticed the title was sitting in the middle of a red Star Wars logo.
And of course, it didn't take social media long to start speculating on the title of "Episode IX," film’s future sequel.
The big question for "The Last Jedi," though, is who that last Jedi is. Foreign translations of the title showed it to be plural and not singular, leaving many to wonder if the title referenced two Jedi.
Director Johnson later confirmed that Skywalker was the last Jedi, according to the Deseret News.
"As to whether Luke is the 'last Jedi,' they say in 'The Force Awakens' he's going to find the last Jedi temple and Luke is the last Jedi," Johnson told ABC News.
What does the poster look like?
Lucasfilm released the first poster of the film on Jan. 23, showing the film’s title with a red Star Wars logo.
In October, a second poster dropped, one that showed the characters in the familiar Star Wars setup.
One major theory was born from the poster’s debut. Social media users pointed out that Luke Skywalker looms in the background of the poster, as have other villains in the series.
Hamill himself poked fun at the theory on Twitter.
What’s the story about?
We don’t know a lot about “The Last Jedi's” plot, other than that it follows the events of “The Force Awakens.” At the end of that film, heroine Rey finally met with Luke Skywalker after spending the entire movie searching for him. She handed the legendary Jedi his old lightsaber and — cut to black.
As previously stated, we know that many of the main characters will be back. And from the trailers, it appears that Rey will seek help learning the ways of the force from Skywalker, who had previously committed himself to ending the Jedi after years of seeing Jedi betray the force.
Meanwhile, villainous Kylo Ren will return, presumably to receive training from Supreme Leader Snoke, which was hinted at in “The Force Awakens.”
Finn and Poe will return to help the Resistance. We know from the trailers that Finn will eventually confront Captain Phasma, who was previously his leader for the First Order.
The plot hasn’t made itself clear. The trailers hint at both Rey and Kylo training, Finn and Poe battling in starships, and … that’s about it.
Plenty of theories exist about this new film. Here are some highlights:
• Theorists believe that Kylo Ren is actually a good guy. The theory suggests that Ren turned the dark side so that he could help save the light side.
• Who is Rey’s father? The question inspired a number of theories, including that Obi-Wan Kenobi, Palpatine or even Snoke are her father.
Read more at the Deseret News.
The Megaplex Theatres told the Deseret News that they are experiencing record ticket sales for "The Last Jedi" and have added more shows to accommodate the number of people who want to see the film.
These "The Last Jedi" characters just got sorted into Hogwarts houses.
See how "The Last Jedi" honors Carrie Fisher.
Read these legendary Star Wars books before you see "The Last Jedi."
A new "The Last Jedi" international trailer reveals new locations and creatures that we've never seen before.
"The Last Jedi" will officially be longest in the Star Wars series. Here's its run-time.
That's all you need to know. See you after the movie.
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