Written and directed by Rian Johnson
'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' pushes all the right buttons. It is thrilling, philosophical, has great production values and is a ripping yarn. Even better, though you know it is of a classic film franchise and that a certain outcome is more than likely – good over-coming evil in some way, shape or form – there is enough ambiguity in the states-of-mind of the key characters and suitably diverse strands in story-line to deliver plenty of tension and surprise. And of course there are those delightful extra-terrestrial critters; automata and other!
Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia (now General Leia Organa) are still around but have passed on their batons to a generation of young heroes. Rey (Daisy Ridley) is far-and-away our Jedi warrior with the mostest; Poe (Oscar Isaac) is the most clichéd of the group, a handsome and impetuous rebel fighter-pilot; Finn (John Boyega) is our accidental hero who overcomes his fear for love; and Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) is the heart of the resistance fighters, reminding her peers that they are there to save those things they love rather than to kill those things they hate. A moral compass is clearly recalibrated in this eighth episode of the Star Wars universe for another generation.
And the dark side? Adam Driver as Kylo Ren is wonderful as the screwed up young Jedi who is slowly stepping into the Darth Vader mantle…and we all know what a big black cloak that one will be to fill.
Some lovely touches: the most privileged planet in the galaxy is like a five star casino – a luxe playground inhabited by the super-rich manufacturers and dealers of war weaponry and associated collateral; the rebels’ last hiding place is a salt desert where sand turns the colour of blood when disturbed – a perfect location for a heart-stopping showdown; and 'The Last Jedi'' has an abundance of great female roles that will leave a whole new generation of little girls ambitious to take the lead and make the world a better place.
You’ll utterly enjoy this rebel uprising in a galaxy far, far away.