- "Darkness rises...and light to meet it."
Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi, marketed as Star Wars: The Last Jedi, is a 2017 film written and directed by Rian Johnson and produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman, along with executive producer J.J. Abrams. It is the second film in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. The film sees the return of Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, and Andy Serkis. New cast members include Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern, and Kelly Marie Tran.
The Last Jedi begins immediately after the events of Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens, set thirty years after the conclusion of the original Star Wars trilogy. It continues the story of Rey and her discovery of the exiled Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, along with the story of the war between General Leia Organa's Resistance and the First Order.
The film was released on December 14, 2017 in the United Kingdom, Mexico, Latin America, and European countries; December 15, 2017 in North America; and January 5, 2018 in China. Some North American theaters offered special limited advance showings on the evening of December 14th rather than the traditional midnight showing. The Last Jedi received positive reviews, and it garnered four nominations at the 90th Academy Awards, including Best Original Score and Best Visual Effects. A sequel, Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker, was released on December 20, 2019.
- "There were heroes on that mission."
"Dead heroes. No leaders."
- ―Poe Dameron and Leia Organa
Following their successful operation to destroy Starkiller Base, Resistance fighters evacuate their main base on the planet D'Qar onto their fleet. Before they can complete their evacuation, First Order starships under General Armitage Hux arrive. Seeking to destroy the Resistance, Hux orders Captain Moden Canady to destroy the Resistance fleet and base with his Mandator IV-class Siege Dreadnought Fulminatrix.
After the Fulminatrix exits hyperspace, one of General Hux's officers reports that a single fighter is flying to confront them. Together with his BB-series astromech droid, BB-8, Poe Dameron confronts the Fulminatrix in his X-wing Black One. General Leia Organa, now widowed by the murder of Han Solo at the hands of their own son Ben, alias Kylo Ren, cautiously approves Poe's reckless plan. Over the intercom, Poe taunts Hux and pretends to ignore his threat to wipe out the Resistance. However, this verbal exchange turns out to be a ruse for Poe to power up his X-wing's cannons for an assault on the dreadnought.
Poe's X-wing quickly takes out the dreadnought's point-defense cannons. When General Hux demands to know why Captain Canady is not shooting down the enemy fighter, Canady replies that the ship is too small and at too close range. He bellows orders to scramble the fighters, realizing that Poe wants to take out his cannons. Despite being attacked by TIE/fo fighters and TIE/sf fighters, Poe calls upon BB-8 to fix the ship's cannons so they can take out the dreadnought's last cannon.
Canady's dreadnought manages to destroy the Resistance base from orbit but not before the last transport led by Lieutenant Kaydel Ko Connix escapes into space. With the evacuation complete, General Organa wants to evacuate the Resistance forces but Poe wants to take out the dreadnought. Disobeying General Organa's orders to disengage, Poe continues with the assault. BB-8 completes the repairs and Poe takes out the last cannon before shooting down the two pursuing TIE fighters.
With the Dreadnought's cannon's knocked out, Resistance bombers advanced on the Fulminatrix. Despite having starfighter escorts led by Blue Leader Tallissan Lintra, several of the slow moving bombers are destroyed by TIE fighters. Captain Canady orders that the dreadnought's auto cannon be recharged so that they can target the Resistance cruisers. Several Resistance bombers are destroyed by a colliding TIE fighter, leaving Paige Tico's Cobalt Hammer as the last remaining bomber.
As the auto cannon recharges, Canady orders his TIE fighters to destroy the last bomber. Poe contacts Paige who heads down to her bomber's bay only to find the bombardier Nix Jerd knocked unconscious. After a colliding TIE fighter kills the pilot Finch Dallow, Paige manually releases the bomb load just as the Dreadnought's auto-cannon finishes recharging. The Fulminatrix and the Cobalt Hammer are destroyed in the ensuing explosions.
Despite the elimination of the dreadnought, General Organa is dismayed by the high casualties including the loss of all of the Resistance's bombers. The Resistance vessels escape by jumping to hyperspace.
Shortly later, Supreme Leader Snoke confronts Hux via hologram transmission for his failure to block the evacuation and the loss of a dreadnought. He publicly humiliates Hux by using the Force to spin him on the floor. Despite Snoke's disappointment, Hux insists the Resistance cannot escape for long because they have them "tied on the end of a string."
Aboard the MC85 Star Cruiser Raddus, Finn, comatose after losing a fight with Ren on Starkiller Base, awakens and immediately starts looking for his friend, Rey. Poe welcomes Finn back upon his return, telling him Rey has already left.
Having arrived on the water world of Ahch-To with the Wookiee Chewbacca and astromech droid R2-D2 aboard the Millennium Falcon, the Force-sensitive Rey meets Jedi Master Luke Skywalker. She hands him Skywalker's lightsaber but he tosses it over his shoulder and walks away. A puzzled Rey follows Luke into his hut in the nearby Jedi village.
Outside his door, Rey tells him that he needs his help. She returns to retrieve Skywalker's lightsaber and spots Skywalker's T-65B X-wing starfighter submerged beneath the sea. Later, Rey has Chewbacca break down Skywalker's door. Skywalker recognizes Chewbacca and Rey tells them that they came on the Falcon. Skywalker asks where is Han Solo.
Kylo Ren exits a turbolift and enter Supreme Leader Snoke's throne room aboard the Mega-class Star Dreadnought Supremacy. Snoke commends Hux for his plan and sends him to the bridge to oversee the pursuit of the Resistance. After Hux leaves, Snoke recalls seeing in Ren the potential to become a new Darth Vader, but now doubts his apprentice's resolve to fully embrace the dark side of the Force.
He orders Ren to remove his helmet, and upon seeing his scarred face—the result of his loss to Rey on Starkiller Base—he states that Ren has too much of Han's heart in him. Ren protests, claiming he embraced the dark side by killing Han, but Snoke furiously retorts that Ren instead psychologically weakened himself in committing the murder, causing him to be defeated by Rey, a junk scavenger who had previously never even wielded a lightsaber.
Ren reacts angrily to the insult, but Snoke repulses him with Force lightning and dismisses him as just "a child in a mask." Enraged, Ren destroys his helmet by violently smashing it to pieces against the walls of an elevator, before setting out in his personal TIE silencer to attack the Resistance fleet.
The elusive teacherEdit
- "I will never train another generation of Jedi. I came to this island to die. It's time for the Jedi...to end."
- ―Luke Skywalker, to Rey
Back on Ahch-To, Rey updates him about the First Order's the invasion of the galaxy. She tells him that they need his help and that they need Luke Skywalker. Skywalker refuses to help because he believes he stands little chance against the First Order and walks away. Rey insists that she is not leaving and follows him through the Temple island.
She finds Skywalker milking a Thala-siren but he avoids her. Skywalker uses a long pole to reach the other side of the cliff and catch a large fish. Rey follows him through the rain back to his quarters, fingering her cloaked binary beacon. While following Skywalker up a mountain in the mist, she senses a voice calling to her from the Tree library. Inside, she finds the Sacred Jedi texts.
Skywalker follows her and explains that the three library was built a thousand generations ago to keep the sacred Jedi texts. Rey says that she saw this place in a dream. When Rey tells Skywalker that the Resistance sent her, he asks about her identity, homeworld, and motivations for coming here. Rey tells him that Resistance needs his help because of the First Order. When Skywalker asks what she is doing here, she tells him that she needs his help to master the Force. Skywalker refuses to teach her, believing that it is time for the Jedi to end. Rey says his sister Leia sent him and that they deserve to know why.
Pursuing the Resistance fleetEdit
While the Raddus travels through hyperspace, General Organa grieves over the loss of Han. After the fleet exits hyperspace, Leia angrily reprimands and demotes Poe to captain for disobeying orders and leading Cobalt Squadron to their deaths. Poe protests but Leia tells him that there are things that he cannot solve by getting into an X-wing and blowing things up. Poe says that the fallen were heroes but Leia responds that they need living fighters and not dead heroes.
When Finn asks General Organa how Rey is going to find them, she shows him her cloaked binary beacon. Leia tells hers subordinates that their priorities now is to find a new Resistance base. They are soon followed by a First Order fleet led by Snoke's personal command ship, the Supremacy, which has somehow tracked them through space. Poe thinks they should do another hyperspace jump but Leia realizes that the First Order has tracked them through lightspeed. Poe gets General Organa's permission to lead a starfighter defense.
Kylo Ren flies his TIE silencer, accompanied by three TIE fighters, which inflict significant damage on the Resistance fleet. Before Poe and BB-8 can board their X-wing, Kylo Ren fires a torpedo into the hangar which destroys several parked fighters and kills several pilots including Lintra. Poe and a damaged BB-8 survive the explosion. Meanwhile, General Organa and Admiral Ackbar order the remaining Resistance ships to move out of range of the First Order Star Destroyers.
Lining up for a bombing run on the Raddus's bridge, Ren hesitates to fire after sensing his mother's presence on board. However, his TIE fighter escorts take the shot, destroying the primary bridge and killing most of the Resistance's high command, including Admiral Ackbar. Ren then retreats to the Supremacy after General Hux warns that the fleet cannot protect him and his escort TIE fighters. A long pursuit begins, with the Resistance relying on their spaceships' mobility and deflector shields to stay out of effective weapons range while their fuel supplies dwindle.
Leia survives exposure to space by using the Force to fly back to the door of the Raddus's bridge. Leia is rescued by her Resistance comrades but is rendered comatose by the ordeal. As she is being transported to the sick bay, the binary beacon falls out of her hand. Finn picks it up.
A change of heartEdit
While Rey sleeps in her heart, Chewbacca roasts a porg over the fire. While settling to his meal, he is confronted by the porg's kin. Chewbacca tries to shoo them away but is struck by the sight of a sad-faced porg.
Meanwhile, Luke Skywalker visits the Falcon where he finds Han Solo's dice, a memento to his fallen friend. Skywalker also has a brief reunion with R2-D2. Skywalker refuses to come back but R2-D2 plays back a hologram message from his sister Leia calling Obi-Wan Kenobi for help. Leia's message causes Luke to reconsider his decision. He visits Rey and agrees to give her three lessons, beginning tomorrow morning. Skywalker promises to teach her the ways of the Jedi.
A new commanderEdit
Back aboard the Raddus, Commander Larma D'Acy informs the assembled Resistance that General Organa is stable but in a coma. She regrets to inform them that Admiral Ackbar and the Resistance High Command perished aboard the bridge of the Raddus. D'Acy tells them that if Leia were here, she would tell them to save their sorrow till after the fight. The chain of command falls to Vice Admiral Holdo of the cruiser Ninka. Holdo gives a brief rousing speech before dismissing them to their posts.
Poe warns Vice-Admiral Holdo that they will eventually run out of fuel. When he asks her what is their plan, Holdo reminds Poe of his demotion and dismisses him as a "hot-head" pilot whose recklessness she deems a liability. Holdo orders him to stick to his post and follow her orders. Holdo's actions grate Poe, who doesn't trust his new commander.
Finn, fearing for Rey's safety if she eventually returns to the fleet, decides to go looking for her and heads for the escape pod bay. There, he finds a young Resistance mechanic, Rose Tico, mourning her older sister Paige, who perished during the bombing run Poe led over D'Qar. Rose mistakes Finn for a deserter. Before he can explain himself, she stuns him.
After awakening on a gurney, Finn tries to tell Rose about his plan to find Rey. Rose thinks that Finn is being selfish. He manages to gain her trust by convincing her that he can help take out the First Order's hyperspace tracker, which he is privy to due to his time with the First Order. The two come up with a plan to infiltrate the First Order flagship and take out the hyperspace tracker.
Finn and Rose share their plan with Poe and C-3PO in Leia's medbay room. Not trusting Vice-Admiral Holdo's leadership, Poe agrees to the plan, believing that it can save the Resistance and Rey. C-3PO says that Holdo will not agree to their plan but Poe is determined to proceed. Since they can't get through the First Order security, they contact Maz Kanata, who is embroiled in a union dispute. While exchanging fire, Maz tells them to seek out the Master Codebreaker in the casino city Canto Bight. Before leaving to seek out the Master Codebreaker, Finn passes Leia's binary beacon to Poe.
Rey's first lessonEdit
Meanwhile on Ahch-To, Rey and Kylo Ren begin communicating with each other through involuntary shared visions. Rey is hostile to Kylo due to their last encounter. Startled by Ren, Rey shoots a hole through the roof of a hut, which annoys the native Lanai caretakers, who have maintained the Jedi structures since they were built.
Later that morning, Luke leads Rey through a cave into the First Jedi Temple. Skywalker quizzes Rey about her knowledge of the Force, telling her that the Force is not simply a power but is the energy that binds all things. For her first lesson, he tells her to close her eyes, breathe and reach out. Luke tickles her with a leaf.
During the lesson, Skywalker tells her to breathe and reach out with her feelings while touching rocks. Through the Force, Rey sees the island, the cycle of life and death, warmth, cold, peace, and violence. When prompted, she tells Luke that she sense the Force inside. Skywalker explains that the Force does not belong to the Jedi, urging her to reject her simplistic view of the Force as cleanly defined between the light and the dark sides of the Force.
Rey senses a place beneath that is strong in the dark side beneath the island. Rey senses it calling out to her as the stones beneath her float. This summons a geyser of water. Rey says that it was trying to show her something Luke is alarmed that Rey showed little inclination to resist the dark side. Not being able to sense Skywalker in the Force, Rey realizes that Skywalker has cut himself off from the Force. Skywalker says he has seen this raw strength before in Ben Solo and that he regrets not taking action back then.
Later, Chewbacca has befriended several porgs, who have made their home aboard the Falcon. Rey asks Chewbacca if they have heard anything from the Resistance to which he replies in Shyriiwook that he hasn't. Rey and Ren continue to experience shared visions, and Rey excoriates him for murdering Han Solo, while Ren mocks her need to find replacement parental figures, first in Han and now Luke. Kylo Ren asks Rey if Skywalker told him what happened at his Jedi Temple.
Misadventures on Canto BightEdit
With the help of Poe, Finn, Rose, and BB-8 slip out of the Resistance fleet in a Resistance transport pod. Poe warns them that their mission is urgent because they only have 18 hours of fuel left. The travel to Canto Bight on the planet Cantonica in the Corporate Sector. The three Resistance operatives park their transport on a public beach, antagonizing the Abednedo businessman Slowen Lo, who alerts the Canto Bight Police Department and tells them that the offworlders went to the Canto Casino.
While Finn is mesmerized by the wealth and opulence of the Canto Bight, Rose tells him that the city is built on exploitation. While watching a fathier race at the Canto Bight racetrack, she explains that she came from a mining system that was exploited by the First Order, who later tested their weapons on them. The two witness a child racer being beaten by the overseer Bargwill Tomder. Finn realizes that Canto Bight is the haunt of wealthy war profiteers who sell weapons to both the First Order and the Resistance.
BB-8 spots the Master Codebreaker dancing with "Lovey" and alerts Finn and Rose. However, they are spotted by Slowen Lo. Finn and Rose are stunned by the Canto Bight police officers, who have them arrested for committing parking violation 27B/6. Lovey notices the commotion but the Master Codebreaker is engrossed with a game of dice. BB-8 is thrown out of the casino by the police.
Rey's second lessonEdit
After parrying with her staff, Rey practices with Skywalker's lightsaber while Luke watches. She uses her lightsaber to cut through a pillar of rock, which smashes a wagon belonging to two Lanai caretakers. Later that evening, Skywalker explains that now that the Jedi are extinct, they are deified and romanticized. He believes that the legacy of the Jedi is failure, arrogance and hubris because they failed to prevent the rise of Darth Sidious and his Galactic Empire.
Skywalker reminds Rey that it was a Jedi Master who was responsible for training Darth Vader. Rey reminds Skywalker about the redemption of his father. However, Luke is still tormented by the guilt of his failure to keep Ben Solo from falling to the dark side, believing that he failed his sister and Han. Luke explains that he he sensed the darkness growing in Ren. When he went to confront him, Skywalker claims that Solo turned on him. When he awoke, Skywalker found his temple in flames and that Ben had taken some of his students and slaughtered the rest. Leia blamed Snoke but Luke blamed himself. Rey reassures Luke that the galaxy made him a legend and that she needs his help to find her place in this.
Escaping Canto BightEdit
- "It's all a machine, partner. Live free. Don't join."
- ―DJ, to Finn.
In space, General Hux orders the destruction of the Resistance medical frigate Anodyne. However, the captain has already evacuated the ship and stays behind as it is engulfed. Vice-Admiral Holdo watches in horror. When Lieutenant Connix reminds her that they only have six hours of fuel left, she orders the emergency bridge crew to remain on their current cause. Poe worries about Finn and Rose's mission and sends a message that they are running on fumes.
At the Canto Bight police headquarters, Finn and Rose encounter the slicer DJ, who offers to help them disable the First Order's hyperspace tracker in return for freedom. With the help of BB-8, the Resistance operatives and DJ escape the police headquarters through the sewers. Pursued by the police, they head to the fathier stables, where Rose convinces the stable children to help them escape, leaving one of them, Temiri Blagg, a Resistance ring.
Temiri releases the fathiers, creating a stampede that allows Finn and Rose to escape through the streets of Canto Bight. Riding on a fathier, the two flee to the beach in an attempt to reach their transport pod. However, it is destroyed by pursuing Canto Bight Mounted Police's speeders. Their fathier carries them up a hill to the outskirts of the city where they narrowly avoid falling off a cliff. Rose frees their fathier. Before the Mounted Police can catch up with them, they are picked up by DJ and BB-8, who have stolen the luxury yacht Libertine.
Back on Ahch-To, Luke revisits the cliff-side outcrop where he first began training Rey and attempts to re-open his connection to the Force, succeeding when he makes mental contact with an unconscious Leia. Meanwhile, Rey continues her conversation with Kylo Ren and demands to know why he hated his father Han. Noticing he is bare-chested, she asks if Kylo has something he can put on. Kylo Ren claims that his father treated him like garbage and that he was taken advantage of by Luke and his parents.
Recounting his version of his falling out with Skywalker. Ren claims to Rey that Luke grew afraid of Ren's growing power and tried to murder him while he was asleep and defenseless. He tells Rey to let the past die and to kill it if she has to, adding that it is the only way to realize her potential. Sensing the call of the dark side, Rey travels to a cavern beneath the island where the dark side is powerful and experiences a vision while touching a reflective rock wall, asking to see her parents but seeing only her own reflection.
Unable to find answers about her origins and family, she resolves to abandon her Jedi training and leave Ahch-To. Rey returns to her hut where she communes with Kylo Ren. Finding a kindred spirit in Ren, she reaches out through the Force connection to hold his hand. They are soon discovered by Luke, by now reconnected to the Force. Luke angrily destroys Rey's hut with the Force and demands that she leave Ahch-To immediately, but Rey attacks him in her rage.
Luke fends off Rey's attacks and disarms her, but submits when she threatens him with his own lightsaber. He confessed that he contemplated killing a sleeping Ben Solo upon discovering his corruption by Snoke but instantly relented when he realized that it was a passing moment. Ben, however, awoke to see Luke standing over him with an ignited lightsaber and immediately counterattacked, destroying Luke's new Jedi Temple and disappearing to become Kylo Ren.
Rey believes that Kylo Ren can still be saved from the dark side. Skywalker warns her that it is not going to end the way that she thinks. Rey is adamant despite Skywalker's warnings. She tries to return his lightsaber to him but he lets her keep it. Rey believes that Kylo Ren is their last hope. Unable to convince Luke to join the Resistance, Rey leaves Ahch-To without him to confront Ren, hoping to turn him to the light side, succeeding where Luke failed.
An unexpected reunionEdit
Following Rey's departure aboard the Falcon, Luke returns to the Tree library with a torch, intending to destroy the ancient Jedi texts. However, he is interrupted by the Force spirit of Yoda. As Luke hesitates at the task, Yoda himself summons a thunderbolt to destroy the library. Skywalker tries to enter the tree but is driven back by the flames.
Yoda remarks that he has missed Skywalker. Seeing the tree burning, Skywalker believes that it is time for the Jedi to end. Yoda counters that it is time to look past "old books." When Skywalker reminds him about the sacred Jedi texts, Yoda responds they were not "page-turners" which contained wisdom but that wisdom already exist. He tells Skywalker not to focus too much on the horizon but to pay attention to his immediate needs.
Skywalker blames himself for the loss of Ben Solo. Skywalker is not confident teaching Rey, but Yoda encourages him to passed on what he has learnt. Yoda counsels Skywalker that failure can be the greatest teacher. As he and Skywalker watch the burning tree, he tells Luke "We are what they grow beyond. That is the burden of all masters."
The hyperspace tracker attemptEdit
While traveling through hyperspace aboard the Libertine, Rose asks DJ if he can disable help them to infiltrate the Supremacy and disable the hyperspace tracker. When DJ asks for a price, Rose and Finn promise that the Resistance can pay him later. DJ agrees to help in return for receiving Rose's gold pendant as upfront payment for his services. Finn, knowing how much the pendant means to her, orders DJ to return it, to which the criminal tells him his philosophy: "don't join." Finn also discovers that DJ and BB-8 stole the yacht from an arms dealer selling weapons to both the First Order and Resistance.
Proceeding with their plan, Finn, Rose, DJ, and BB-8 infiltrate the massive Supremacy. After DJ slices through the First Order's sensor systems, he flies the Libertine inside the massive warship. They steal First Order officer uniforms from an automated launderette and make their way to a hyperspace tracker. BB-8 is hidden under a trash container. However, the intruders are spotted by the First Order astromech droid BB-9E.
While DJ is tinkering with the tracker's systems, Finn tells Poe to be ready to jump into lightspeed at his signal. DJ managed to unlock the inner chamber of the hyperspace tracker. However, Finn and his team are soon apprehended by First Order stormtroopers led by First Order Security Bureau Colonel Ansiv Garmuth and Captain Phasma, who gloatingly welcomes Finn home. BB-8, still disguised, is able to evade capture.
By now, the Resistance fleet is down to the Raddus and General Hux is confident of victory. Aboard the Raddus, Poe angrily confronts Vice-Admiral Holdo for being secretive about her plans. He is anxious that the Resistance is down to one ship and asks what hope they have. Holdo responds that hope is a fleeting faith.
Starring at a computer screen, Poe realizes that Holdo has ordered the refueling of all the Resistance transports. He is outraged that Holdo is abandoning the Raddus and denounces her as both a coward and a traitor. Holdo orders the guards to remove Poe from the bridge. Poe also contacts Finn, who tells him that they managed to find a code-breaker and convinces Poe to buy them more time.
Back on the Raddus, Poe tells Holdo about his unsanctioned plan to send Finn and Rose to disable the First Order's hyperspace tracker. Believing that Poe has placed the Resistance in even more danger, she orders that the transports be prepared for departure.
In response, Poe instigates a mutiny, apprehending Holdo and her command staff. Poe and the mutineers including Lieutenant Connix take over the ship's emergency command bridge and try to restart the Raddus. However, Holdo snatches a blaster and frees herself. C-3PO refuses to take part in the mutiny and heads to the door, which is being disintegrated. When the door collapses, he is startled to encounter a recovered General Organa, who stuns him.
Connix and C-3PO also surrender, ending the mutiny and allowing the evacuation to begin. In the hangar, Leia remarks that Poe is a troublemaker while Holdo remarks that she likes him. Holdo volunteers to stay behind and pilot the cruiser. Leia is unwilling to risk anymore losses but Holdo tells Leia that she taught her how. The two friends part following a handshake.
Later, a dismayed Poe awakes to see the transports evacuating from the Raddus. Commander D'Acy tells Poe that they are evacuating to an old Rebel Alliance base on nearby Crait. Leia tells Poe that she approved of Holdo's evacuation plan, and that Holdo was more concerned with protecting the light than being a hero. Holdo wishes her comrades godspeed on the bridge of the Raddus.
- "“Well done, my good and faithful apprentice. My faith in you is restored.”"
- ―Snoke praised Kylo Ren for capturing Rey
As the Millennium Falcon travels through hyperspace, Rey tells Chewbacca to get to safety as soon as he gets her signal to rendezvous. Rey climbs into her escape pod which is jettisoned out the Falcon after exiting hyperspace. Rey flies the pod into the hangar where she is greeted by Kylo Ren and a pair of stormtroopers, who place her in binder cuffs.
As Kylo Ren takes Rey up the turbolift to Supreme Leader Snoke's throne room, she tells him that she feels the good in him and that she saw his future. She promises to help him. Kylo Ren responds that he foresaw that she will turn to him and claims to know who her parents are. Snoke is pleased with his apprentice for delivering Rey, telling him that his faith is restored.
Snoke bids Rey to come closer, admiring Rey's strength and remarking that lightness has emerged to meet the rising darkness. Snoke says that he warned Kylo Ren that as his powers grew stronger, so would his equal in the light. He then snatches Skywalker's lightsaber from Ren's hand with the Force. Snoke uses the Force to bring Rey closer to him.
Rey warns him that he underestimates Skywalker, Ben Solo, and her; and that it would be downfall. Snoke claims that he was responsible for the mental connection between her and Ren as part of a plan to find and destroy Luke; exploiting their emotions and desires. Snoke demands that Rey reveal Skywalker's location but she remains defiant. Snoke uses the Force to levitate Rey and probes her mind for Skywalker's location.
Having probed Rey's mind and learned Skywalker's location, Snoke releases his Force grip on Rey and mocks Skywalker for his "wisdom." He vows to destroy Skywalker and the Jedi Order. Rey tries to seize Skywalker's lightsaber with the Force but Snoke uses the Force to hurl it at her. He then uses the Force to levitate her and force her to watch the destruction of the Resistance fleet through a viewport. Rey grabs Kylo Ren's lightsaber with the Force but the Elite Praetorian Guards flash their weapons. Rey charges at Snoke but he uses the Force to throw her to the ground. Kylo retrieves his lightsaber.
Resistance in perilEdit
Meanwhile, in the Supremacy's hangar bay, Finn and Rose are brought out for a public execution in the presence of General Hux, Captain Phasma, and many First Order officers, soldiers, and pilots. Hux slaps Finn and thanks Phasma for her services. Finn and Rose learn that DJ has sold them out for his own freedom and financial gain.
Rose calls DJ a "lying snake" and struggles against her captors. DJ replies that they got caught and that the First Order was offering a better deal. DJ also reveals the Resistance's evacuation plan to the First Order, which is confirmed by the departure of 30 transports from the Raddus. General Hux orders the Supremacy to open fire on the Resistance transports, destroying several ships and inflicting heavy losses on the Resistance. Vice-Admiral Holdo orders the transports to continue their journey to Crait.
Finn denounces DJ for his treachery but the criminal is indifferent to their struggle, remarking that "they blow you up today and you blow them up tomorrow." DJ claims that it is just business but Finn disagrees. Believing Finn and Rose to be a waste of blaster bolts, Phasma orders First Order stormtrooper executioners to behead them with laser axes.
- "You think you can turn him? Pathetic child. I cannot be betrayed. I cannot be beaten. I see his mind. I see his every intent. Yes...I see him turning the lightsaber to strike true. And now, foolish child, he ignites it, and kills his true enemy!"
- ―Snoke, to Rey as his final words
Snoke orders Kylo Ren to kill Rey with his lightsaber. Believing he can read Ren's mind, Snoke is jubilant and mocks Rey. However, Kylo Ren uses the Force to activate Skywalker's lightsaber, which impales and cuts Snoke in half, killing the Supreme Leader. Ren uses the Force to pass Skywalker's lightsaber to Rey and the two join forces as the Praetorian guards converge upon them to avenge their fallen master. Kylo kills one with his lightsaber.
Rey manages to kill a Praetorian with her lightsaber but a second Praetorian wraps his Bilari electro-chain whip around her blade. Rey manages to break free by impaling the guard with her blade. A third guard divides his Vibro-arbir blade in half and charges at Rey. Ren is cornered by three guards but he breaks free and impales one, before throwing his body into a generator where he is disintegrated. As the three other guards converge on him, Kylo kills two but is grabbed by one who traps him in a headlock.
Rey is trapped by the other guard but manages to break free by dropping her blade and then slashing him. Rey helps Kylo to kill the last guard by handing him Skywalker's lightsaber, which he uses to impale the guard through the head, killing him. Rey implores Kylo Ren to order the First Order gunners to stop bombarding the Resistance fleet but Ren tells her to let the past die including the Jedi, Sith, Resistance and the First Order. He invites her to rule the galaxy by his side.
When Rey refuses, Kylo compels Rey to admit what she thinks she knew all along: that her parents were insignificant junkers who sold her for drinking money, and that they are dead and buried in the wastes of Jakku. He tells her that she comes from nothing and is nothing but not to him. Ren pleads with Rey to join him by his side.
Seeing the Resistance fleet in peril, Holdo climbs into the helm of the Raddus. Not realizing Holdo's plans, Hux orders the Supremacy to continue firing. Using the Force, Rey and Kylo struggle for possession of Skywalker's lightsaber until it breaks into two, causing a large explosion.
Watching the Raddus powering away, Connix thinks she is running away but Poe disagrees. Holdo sacrifices herself to ram the Raddus into the Supremacy at lightspeed, cleaving it in two and destroying much of its escort fleet instantly. The resulting explosion sets the Supremacy's cargo hold aflame and interrupts Finn and Rose's execution.
Amidst the inferno, Rose helps Finn up and the two search for a shuttle. However, Finn and Rose are cornered by Phasma and several stormtroopers. Before she can eliminate them, BB-8 commandeers a docked First Order AT-ST walker and intervenes, blasting the troopers. Finn and Phasma duel amidst the chaos. Phasma manages to knock Finn to the ground with her staff. Rose and Phasma exchange fire.
With Phasma distracted, Finn knocks her to the ground with his Z6 riot control baton. With her helmet shattered, Phasma denounces him as "scum" but Finn retorts that he is "rebel scum." Phasma falls to her death in a fiery chasm when the floor beneath her gives way. Finn, Rose, and BB-8 then flee the Supremacy, commandeering a Xi-class light shuttle.
In Snoke's chamber, Hux surveys the corpses of Snoke and his guards in disbelief. He sees the unconscious Ren and prepares to shoot him, but is forced to relent when Ren awakes. Learning that Rey has escape on Snoke's escape shuttle, Ren frames her for Snoke's death and orders Hux to prepare for a ground assault on Crait. This causes Hux to explode in fury at his rival's presumptuousness, but Ren angrily Force chokes him into submission, declaring himself the new Supreme Leader.
Battle of CraitEdit
On Crait, the surviving Resistance fighters regroup at the abandoned rebel base, which was once a mine. General Organa orders her forces to shut the shield door. Pursued by TIE fighters, Finn, Rose, and BB-8 crash-land their stolen shuttle inside the base. Following a brief shootout, a brief reunion ensues with Poe hugging BB-8. Rose leads the search for weapons and finds rusted ammunition and several old ski speeders. Poe and Leia also send a distress signal to their allies in the Outer Rim Territories, seeking help.
Shortly later, they sense the earth shaking while the vulptices scurry away. They realize that the First Order army has arrived with a phalanx of AT-AT, AT-M6 walkers and a superlaser siege cannon. C-3PO informs the others that BB-8 has done a schematics of the cave and found that there is only one entrance. Finn encourages the Resistance by reassuring them that allies will come and proposes that they take out the siege cannon.
While Resistance soldiers under General Caluan Ematt man the trenches and laser batteries, Poe, Finn, and Rose lead a charge with 13 old ski speeders to destroy the First Order assault force's massive siege cannon. Realizing that the Resistance is in the mine, Kylo Ren orders his forces to push them and dispatches TIE fighters. The speeders try to break off but several are destroyed by TIE fighters, which also strafe the trenches, killing many Resistance soldiers.
Rose is pursued by three TIE fighters but Rey and Chewbacca arrive in the Falcon, shooting them down. The Falcon also draws the TIE fighters away, shooting down several. Kylo Ren orders the First Order to take that "piece of junk out of the skies." The Falcon leads the pursuing TIE fighters into a canyon. The ship's rear cannon is crushed against the rocks, but several TIE fighters also collide with the rocks. Chewbacca, with a porg watching, fly the Falcon into a canyon that leads to the surface.
Finn and Rose approach the superlaser siege cannon, which begins powering up. Supreme Leader Ren and General Hux order their walkers to concentrate fire on the speeders, destroying several. Poe thinks it is a suicide mission and orders Finn to retreat but Finn is determined to take out the cannon. He accelerates his speeder, ignoring Rose's pleas.
Before Finn can complete his suicide mission, Rose prevents Finn from sacrificing himself to destroy the battering ram cannon, which then blasts a hole in the fortress. Poe and the surviving Abednedo pilot retreat into the trenches with the surviving soldiers. Finn climbs out of his wrecked speeder and rescues an injured Rose. When he asks why she stopped his mission, Rose replies that they survive by "saving what we love."
As the superlaser burns through the gate of the Crait base, Kylo Ren orders his forces to storm the base and show no quarter to the Resistance. Connix informs D'Acy that the Resistance broadcast has reached multiple points but that they have received no response. Leia laments that the galaxy has lost hope.
Light versus darknessEdit
- "The Resistance is dead! The war is over! And when I kill you, I will have killed the last Jedi!"
"Amazing. Every word of what you just said was wrong. The Rebellion is reborn today. The war is just beginning. And I will not be the last Jedi."
- ―Kylo Ren and Luke Skywalker
However, Luke suddenly arrives to comfort Leia. After exchanging pleasantries, Luke apologizes and tells Leia that he has come to confront Ren. Leia thinks her son is gone but Luke reassure her that nobody is gone. After handing Han's lucky dice to Leia, Luke walks out through the gate to confront Ren and the First Order while C-3PO and the rest of the Resistance look on.
Outside, Luke confronts Ren alone outside the breached door, giving the surviving Resistance fighters time to escape. Ren orders the First Order walkers to unleash a massive volley of turbolaser fire on Luke's position. Hux questions the amount of firepower but Luke emerges from the blast crater completely unscathed and mocks the First Order's firepower with a brush of his shoulder. Ren resolves to confront Skywalker despite Hux's objections, whom he shoves against the hull of the Upsilon-class command shuttle's cockpit.
Finn drags a wounded Rose on a makeshift stretcher into the Crait base while Ren lands his shuttle. Watching the battle, Finn wants to help but Poe realizes that Skywalker is buying them time to escape. Poe says that they are the “spark of resistance” that will burn the First Order down. After seeking C-3PO's advice, Poe decides to follow the vulptices, hoping they would lead them to a hole.
Meanwhile, Rey uses the beacon to track down her Resistance comrades' movements. She manages to track them down by following a group of vulptices. Finn and the Resistance encounter a pile of rocks which the vulptices are able to slip through but is too small for them. Outside, Rey discovers the pile of rocks and uses the Force to lift them. As the Resistance fighters stream out, Rey hugs Finn.
Outside, Kylo Ren confronts his uncle personally in a lightsaber duel on the salt plain outside the base, and asks Luke if he has come to forgive him or to save his soul. Luke replies no as the two draw their blades. Kylo charges at Luke but his uncle repeatedly evades Ren's attacks. Luke apologizes to Ren for failing him, but Ren angrily rejects his apology, declaring the Resistance is dead and the war over, and that with Luke's death shall come the ultimate death of the Jedi.
Luke counters by saying that both the Jedi and the Rebellion are born anew in Rey and the Resistance, and invites Ren to strike him down but tells he will always be with him just like Han. Ren tries, but is surprised to see Luke is still standing. He pokes his blade through Luke's torso, and to his horror it passes through him as if he were a ghost, revealing that Luke is physically still on Ahch-To and has been stalling for time via a non-corporeal Force projection of himself. Luke says goodbye to his fallen nephew before his projection fades away, leaving Ren furious.
The Rebellion is rebornEdit
- "How do we build a rebellion from this?"
"We have everything we need."
- ―Rey and Leia Organa
The effort to create the projection was too much for Luke, and he collapses from exhaustion. With the last of his strength, he climbs up to the cliff where he trained Rey and stares out towards Ahch-To's binary sunset, similar to the one he saw on Tatooine thirty-four years earlier, before he became a Jedi. Luke then dies, and his body vanishes as he becomes one with the Force.
On Crait, Leia and Rey sense Luke's death. The First Order storms the base, but are too late to prevent the remaining Resistance fighters from escaping aboard the Falcon, albeit not before Ren shares another force bond moment with Rey, who eventually shuts him out, much to his dismay.
After leaving Crait, Chewbacca hugs Leia. Finn opens a drawer on the Falcon to get a blanket for the gravely injured Rose, revealing briefly to the audience that Rey stole all of the books from the original Jedi library and Yoda did not destroy them after all. After being formally introduced to Poe, Rey laments Luke's death as she looks hopelessly at his broken lightsaber and the group's small numbers. Leia, however, notes that Luke is now at peace and that the Rebellion has all it needs to rise again.
Later, on Canto Bight, the stable children regale themselves with a story about Luke's adventures. They are interrupted by Bargwill Tomder who angrily orders the children to get back to work. Outside, Temiri Blagg, still wearing the Resistance Ring that Rose gave him, summons his broom with the Force and hopefully gazes up to the stars.
- "When Rian who I admire enormously and adore, came on board, we met and talked with him about all the things we were working on and playing with, and he as a spectacular writer and director has taken those things and has written an AMAZING script that I think will be an incredible next chapter, some of which incorporating things we were thinking of and other things are things we could never of dreamed of."
- ―J.J. Abrams
On June 20, 2014, a spokesperson for director Rian Johnson confirmed that he would write and direct Episode VIII. Ram Bergman, Johnson's frequent collaborator, was also brought on to the project as a producer, working alongside Kathleen Kennedy. As Lucasfilm had not developed a story beyond that of The Force Awakens, Johnson was allowed to develop his own story based on access to the script, as well as footage screened for him by The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams. After developing his story, Johnson pitched it to Abrams for approval. Johnson explained: "From the very start, Kathy [Kennedy] at Lucasfilm, but also Bob Iger, Alan Horn, Alan Bergman, the folks at Disney that we dealt with, they not only allowed to make the movie I wanted to make, I was actively encouraged to find what was personal in it and to go after that."
Johnson partially derived his story from one of George Lucas's ideas for Episode VII, in which Luke lives in seclusion in a Jedi temple and reluctantly trains a young girl named Kira. According to Johnson, "I saw it as the job of this middle chapter to challenge all of those characters—let's see what happens if we knock the stool out from under them. [....] I started by writing the names of each of the characters, and thinking, 'What's the hardest thing they could be faced with?'" While writing, Johnson regularly met with the Lucasfilm Story Group and members of the cast to share ideas and drafts of the script; "For me, I outline outline outline, and I notebook notebook notebook, then the last 10 percent of the process is actually typing the script. I plan it all out first. So while I was doing that, I was going in twice a week and sitting down and just vomiting these ideas out and talking them through with Kiri Hart and her whole group." Johnson also screened select classic films such as The Bridge on the River Kwai, Gunga Din, Letter Never Sent, Sahara, Three Outlaw Samurai, To Catch a Thief, and Twelve O'Clock High.
There was some confusion over Abrams' relationship with Johnson's script. Daisy Ridley said that Abrams had written an outline for the film, and that it had been rewritten by Johnson. However, Abrams denied this, saying "We don't write a treatment but there are countless times we came up with something and said 'oh, this would be so great for Episode VIII!' or 'Thats what we could get to in IX!' [...] We also knew that certain things were inevitable in our minds but that didn't mean it would be inevitable for whoever came in next." "Larry Kasdan and I, who wrote the script together, definitely were setting things up and were conscious of the fact... which is a really weird opportunity in features to know that this was going to be the beginning of a three-picture story. So we were working on versions of what we knew we would have done or wanted to do and had meetings with Rian and Ram [Bergman], who is a producer, very early on and went over what we were thinking. But also knew that Rian had his own ideas coming in. He was going to take this thing in the place that he felt right." "So the story he told took what we were doing and went in the direction that he felt was best but that is very much in line with what we were thinking as well." Greg Grunberg also claimed that Abrams was so impressed by the script that he regretted not directing it himself. Abrams later clarified: "I think that my enthusiasm for VIII is enormous. I think [Grunberg] also might have invented a couple of the quotes that he gave, but I am very much excited for and very jealous of anyone, especially Rian, who gets to work so closely with this extraordinary cast and crew."
Preliminary filming took place in September 2015 on Skellig Michael, an island off the coast of mainland Ireland. The island stood in for the planet Ahch-To, which first appeared at the end of The Force Awakens, but is featured prominently in The Last Jedi; production design was inspired by the real-world elements of Skellig Michael. This sequence was filmed with IMAX cameras. Before leaving, the crew donated €10,000 to the ferry service that had transported them to and from the island.
Production officially began in England in February 2016, under the working title of Space Bear. It utilized 14 stages at Pinewood Studios and a total of 125 sets, with many of the crew from Episode VII returning. Several cast members had to undergo extensive physical training prior to shooting. As with the original trilogy, the character of Yoda was an entirely practical effect, with a new puppet created based on original molds for The Empire Strikes Back, and Frank Oz returning to operate and voice the character. From March 9 to 16, production took place in Dubrovnik, Croatia, followed by a return to Ireland for twelve weeks in County Cork. Several members of the production likened the experience of making the film to working on an independent production. Johnson took a lot of the behind-the-scenes photographs himself. He also filmed a brief bit of content for Episode IX; This was requested by Trevorrow, who also asked Johnson to include the shot of Poe and Rey introducing themselves. Carrie Fisher worked with Johnson on some of the dialogue, in sessions that he described as "stream-of-consciousness ad-lib." Per a suggestion from Fisher, several of the film's characters wear jewelry of some type. Hamill was surprised by the changes in his character, and had to formulate a personal backstory for the character so as to play the character effectively. In an interview with Polygon, Hamill described the security measures on set: "You get your pages in the morning, and they take them from you as you walk so they can shred them before it somehow leaks. You have security lines you have to walk through, both to and from set. And, not to mention, you have to wear these big monk hoods to protect your costume from drones." By June 2016, filming was "in the home stretch." Principal photography wrapped on July 22, 2016.
Johnson began editing on August 15, 2016. His first cut ran over three hours, and included full sequences that were cut from the final film. Carrie Fisher passed away on December 27, 2016. Though she had completed filming, she hadn't recorded all of her ADR. This required significant work by the film's sound editors. Relatively few pick-ups were required, mostly dealing with the Canto Bight sequence and refining the Holdo character. John Williams returned to compose the score, which was recorded from December 2016 to June 2017. He utilized a 101-piece orchestra and a 64-voice choir. On September 21, 2017, Johnson revealed that post-production was complete.
Disney chairman Bob Iger originally announced the release date for Episode VIII of May 26, 2017, forty years and one day after the release of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, though the release date was later pushed back to December 15, 2017. Rian Johnson first publicly discussed the film in a panel at Celebration Europe. The film's title, The Last Jedi, was announced on January 23, 2017. The title announcement was accompanied with a release of a logo for the film featuring the Star Wars logo in red rather than its traditional yellow. This color change, previously seen with Return of the Jedi and with "Brothers" and "Revenge," installments of Star Wars: The Clone Wars focused on Darth Maul, led some to speculate that the film's creators may have been hinting at dark events within the film. The title's announcement also launched a frenzy of online speculation in regard to the identity of the "last Jedi," with some noting that the term "Jedi" can be used plurally. (Foreign translations also had the title as plural.) However, Rian Johnson later said that it refers specifically to Luke Skywalker.
Footage of The Last Jedi was shared with Disney shareholders in March 2017, including a look at the beginning of the film, which happens immediately following the ending of The Force Awakens. Disney CEO Bob Iger, having seen the film, referred to it as a "perfect chapter" in the saga, stating, "I can promise you it's worth the wait." On April 11, Hamill and Ridley appeared on Good Morning America to promote the Force for Change charity; one of the three rewards was a trip for two to the premiere of The Last Jedi. Cast and crew featured in a Last Jedi panel at Celebration Orlando. At the end of the panel, Johnson debuted a teaser poster and teaser trailer. The film was featured in the May 2017 issue of Vanity Fair (for which the cast and crew were photographed on-set by Annie Leibovitz) and both the August and December 2017 issues of Entertainment Weekly. Johnson and the cast again appeared at July's D23, during which a behind-the-scenes featurette was released. In the lead-up to release, cast and crew made various media appearances to promote the film, including Ellen, Good Morning America, Live with Kelly and Ryan, The Tonight Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Conan, and The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. Cast members were also spotlighted in contemporary issues of Elle, TIME, Esquire, Rolling Stone and The New York Times, and Johnson and the cast participated in Facebook/Twitter Q&As.
The theatrical trailer and poster debuted on October 9, 2017 during Monday Night Football, after which tickets went on sale. Johnson advised spoiler-wary fans to avoid the trailer. On October 24, USA Today published an exclusive behind-the-scenes video. A TV spot known as "Awake" debuted during the November 1 broadcast of the World Series. Behind-the-scenes content was shown before theatrical screenings of other Disney movies. The official Star Wars Tumblr held a contest in which fan art was showcased at the film's world premiere, which was held on December 9, 2017.
The film's product line debuted on September 1, 2017, known as Force Friday II; Target launched its Force Friday campaign early with a video centered on Rey and female fans. Like with The Force Awakens, the months leading up to the debut of The Last Jedi saw the release of several novels, short stories, comics, reference books, and activity books known collectively as Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The media, written and created by several different authors, cover various topics related to The Last Jedi as well as other aspects of the Star Wars universe. Toy merchandise includes many plush toys based on the porgs introduced in the film, as well as various action figures, including action figures of porgs.
Lucasfilm arranged licensing tie-ins with Ample Hills, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Cargo Cosmetics, Christian Louboutin, Dole, General Mills, Hot Topic, Nissan, Philips, rag & bone, Samsung, Verizon and Vizio. The UK's Royal Mail released a series of The Last Jedi–themed postal stamps. Disney added The Last Jedi–themed content to its Star Tours: The Adventures Continue ride, including the new planet Crait. The video game Star Wars Battlefront II features sequel-trilogy characters as they appear in The Last Jedi. Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes introduced The Last Jedi characters and material. LEGO released an online minigame, "The Last Jedi" 360 Experience. ILMxLAB's Star Wars: Droid Repair Bay is a virtual-reality experience that ties into the film.
The film's soundtrack was released in physical form and digital download on December 15, 2017, the same date as the film's theatrical premiere. Many of the books previously announced on Force Friday were also released on this day; the rest, including the novelization and a number of other adaptations, were released in early 2018.
- Best Buy exclusive (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital; SteelBook packaging)
- Best Buy exclusive (4k/Blu-ray/Digital; SteelBook packaging)
- DVD only
- Multi-screen Edition (Blu-ray/Digital)
- Disney Movie Club–exclusive Multi-screen Edition (includes DVD copy and lithograph)
- Target exclusive (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital; includes "Meet the Porgs" featurette and a 40-page booklet)
- Ultimate Collector's Edition (4K/Blu-ray/Digital)
- Walmart exclusive (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital; interchangeable covers)
Bonus features include:
- The Director and the Jedi – Go deep behind the scenes with writer-director Rian Johnson on an intimate and personal journey through the production of the movie—and experience what it's like to helm a global franchise and cultural phenomenon.
- Balance of the Force – Explore the mythology of the Force and why Rian Johnson chose to interpret its role in such a unique way.
- Scene Breakdowns
- "Lighting the Spark: Creating the Space Battle" – Get a close-up look at the epic space battle, from the sounds that help propel the action, through the practical and visual effects, to the characters who bring it all to life.
- "Snoke and Mirrors" – Motion capture and Star Wars collide as the filmmakers take us through the detailed process of creating the movie's malevolent master villain.
- "Showdown on Crait" – Break down everything that went into creating the stunning world seen in the movie's final confrontation, including the interplay between real-word locations and visual effects, reimagining the walkers, designing the crystal foxes, and much more.
- Andy Serkis Live! (One Night Only) – Writer-director Rian Johnson presents two exclusive sequences from the movie featuring Andy Serkis' riveting, raw on-set performance before his digital makeover into Snoke.
- Deleted Scenes – With an introduction and optional commentary by writer-director Rian Johnson.
- Audio Commentary – View the movie with in-depth feature audio commentary by writer-director Rian Johnson.
Each purchase also grants access to a music-only version of the film.
The film topped polls from both Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes as the most anticipated film of 2017. It generated the highest level of film discussion on social media for late 2017, and analysts expected a $200 million opening. The film holds a 90% Fresh rating on the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, with 425/470 Fresh reviews and average rating of 8.08/10. The site's consensus for the film states that "Star Wars: The Last Jedi honors the saga's rich legacy while adding some surprising twists -- and delivering all the emotion-rich action fans could hope for." At Metacritic, Star Wars: The Last Jedi has a weighted average of 85 out of 100 based on fifty-six critics, indicating "universal acclaim."
Stephen Whitty of the Newark Star-Ledger praised it, saying that "Rian Johnson clearly remembers something that Lucas' most fervent followers sometimes forget: These are movies for the young, or at least the young at heart," while Peter Howell of the Toronto Star praised Johnson's ability to "find the humanity within technology," similar to his well-known film Looper. Star Wars creator George Lucas called the film "beautifully made." Conversely, actor Mark Hamill voiced: "I'm sort of like a musician. I read the music, and I try to play it to the best of my ability. That doesn't necessarily mean I like the tune, but that's not my job."
Audience reception from scientific polling methods was highly positive. Audiences polled at random by CinemaScore gave the film an "A" grade on average, on an "A+" to "F" scale. Additionally, comScore's PostTrak surveys found that 89% of audience members graded the film positively. However, user-generated reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, which lack controlled sampling, contained scores that were far more negative, with ratings of 43% and 4.3/10, respectively. Several reviewers speculated that the low user scores were the result of manipulation, either by coordinated vote brigading from internet groups or from bots. In an initial response to tampering claims, Rotten Tomatoes released a statement that they did not detect any unusual activity aside from a noticeable "uptick in the number of written user reviews" on The Last Jedi. However, in 2019, a spokesperson for Rotten Tomatoes stated that films such as The Last Jedi and Captain Marvel had been "seriously targeted" by review-bombing campaigns. As a direct response, the website added a ticket-verification system for audience reviews.
Regarding more mixed online user scores for the film, Dave Hollis, President of Disney theatrical distribution, commented, "Rian Johnson, the cast, and the Lucasfilm team have delivered an experience that is totally Star Wars yet at the same time fresh, unexpected and new. That makes this a Star Wars film like audiences have never seen – it's got people talking, puzzling over its mysteries, and it's a lot to take in, and we see that as all positive, that should help set the film up for great word-of-mouth and repeat viewing as we enter the lucrative holiday period." When asked about the backlash, Johnson himself commented "Lucas never made a 'Star Wars' movie by sitting down and thinking, 'What do the fans want to see?' And I knew if I wrote wondering what the fans would want, as tempting as that is, it wouldn't work, because people would still be shouting at me, 'Fuck you, you ruined "Star Wars,"' and I would make a bad movie. And ultimately, that's the one thing nobody wants." In an interview conducted by USA Today, actress Daisy Ridley was asked if the backlash against Johnson came as a surprise to her. Ridley responded: "I wasn't surprised, no. It's just a different thing. Everyone's going to have an opinion now anyway on the Internet, but I also think it's fair. If people hold something incredibly dear and think they know how it should be and it's not like that, it's fair for people to think they were done wrong," adding, "It doesn't mean they were."
As projected, the film took a domestic box office in its opening weekend of well over $200 million, a final figure of an estimated $220 million, and an overall global box office of approximately $450 million. It was predicted to break the billion-dollar barrier within days, as fans flocked to the box office for the Christmas holiday weekend. In 2018, the film received four Academy Award nominations (including Original Score, Visual Effects, Sound Editing, and Sound Mixing), and won AARP's "Best Movie for Grownups" Award.
In late 2019, JJ Abrams, director of The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker, told Rolling Stone: "When I read his first draft, it made me laugh, because I saw that was his take and his voice. I got to watch cuts of the movie as he was working on it, as an audience member. And I appreciated the choices he made as a filmmaker that would probably be very different from the choices that I would have made. Just as he would have made different choices if he had made Episode VII." He also told The New York Times: "On the other hand, it's a bit of a meta approach to the story. I don't think that people go to 'Star Wars' to be told, 'This doesn't matter.'" Abrams added that the sequel trilogy was "a story that I think needed a pendulum swing in one direction in order to swing in the other."
In a discussion about Vice Admiral Holdo's tactic used to destroy the Supremacy, Lucasfilm Story Group member Pablo Hidalgo cited a similar maneuver that appeared in an episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and that Holdo's maneuver was under unique circumstances—echoing a 2018 comment made by Johnson to /Film: "The fact that Hux doesn't see it coming means it's probably not a standard military maneuver. I think it was something that Holdo pulled out of her butt in the moment."
North American releases
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Notes and referencesEdit
- Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi on Wikipedia