- "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 sequel to The Last Jedi, Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker, is scheduled for release on December 20, 2019, marking the conclusion of the sequel trilogy.
- "This is not going to go the way you think."
- ―Luke Skywalker
- "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 as First Order starships reach them. General Leia Organa, now widowed by the murder of Han Solo at the hands of their own son Ben, alias Kylo Ren, leads the charge. Together with his BB-series astromech droid, BB-8, Poe Dameron confronts the First Order vessels in his X-wing, taunting General Armitage Hux. The First Order brings in the Dreadnought Fulminatrix to destroy the Resistance base, but not before the last Resistance personnel evacuate. After taking out the Dreadnought's point-defense cannons at close range, Dameron leads a counterattack with a squadron of Resistance bombers to destroy the Dreadnought, disobeying orders from General Organa to retreat, and suffers severe losses, including the entire Cobalt Squadron. The Resistance vessels escape by jumping to hyperspace. Supreme Leader Snoke confronts Hux via hologram transmission for his failure to block the evacuation and the loss of a Dreadnought, but Hux insists the Resistance cannot escape for long.
Aboard the Resistance flagship, the 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. In the ship's command center, Leia angrily reprimands and demotes Poe to Captain for disobeying orders and leading Cobalt Squadron to their deaths. When the fleet drops out of hyperspace, a First Order fleet led by Snoke's personal command ship, the Mega-class Star Destroyer Supremacy, quickly catches up, having found them using a hyperspace tracker. A long pursuit begins, with the Resistance relying on their spaceships' mobility and shields to stay out of effective weapons range while their fuel supplies dwindle.
Aboard the 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. Leia gives Poe permission to counterattack, but Ren flies inside the Raddus's hanger bay to destroy most of the Resistance's fighter complement within, including Poe's X-wing. 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 bridge and killing most of the Resistance's high command, including Admiral Gial Ackbar. Ren then retreats to the Supremacy. Leia survives exposure to space through use of the Force, but is rendered comatose from the ordeal, leaving Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo in command.
Poe gets off to a rough start with Holdo, who reminds Poe of his demotion and dismisses him as a "hot-head" pilot whose recklessness she deems a liability. 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, and before he can explain himself, she stuns him. Finn manages to gain her trust by convincing her that he can help take out the First Order's hyperspace tracker. They contact Maz Kanata, who tells them to seek out the Master Codebreaker on Canto Bight. Disapproving of Holdo's leadership, Poe agrees to cover for Finn, Rose, and BB-8 while they seek out the Master Codebreaker, to the dismay of C-3PO.
Training on Ahch-ToEdit
- "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
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. Luke refuses to initiate her in the ways of the Force because of his past failure when teaching Ren, even after learning of Han's murder. Unbeknownst to Luke, Rey and Ren begin communicating with each other through involuntary shared visions. Prodded by R2-D2, Luke eventually agrees to teach Rey, showing her the ancient texts within the first Jedi Temple and telling her to reject her simplistic view of the Force as cleanly defined between the light and the dark side. He is, however, deeply perturbed by her lack of caution when approaching the dark side.
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.
Continuing his attempt to train her, Luke lectures Rey on the failures of the Jedi Order, and Rey realizes that Luke has shut himself off from the Force.
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. She resolves to abandon her Jedi training and leave Ahch-To. Luke revisits the cliffside 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.
In another shared vision, Ren claims to Rey that Luke grew afraid of Ren's growing power and tried to murder him while he was asleep and defenseless. 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 confesses that he contemplated killing a sleeping Ben Solo upon discovering his corruption by Snoke but instantly relented. 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.
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. Luke attempts to destroy the ancient Jedi texts but is interrupted by the ghost of Yoda. As Luke hesitates at the task, Yoda himself summons a thunderbolt to destroy the library, then tells Luke that the most important lessons that masters can give are their failures.
Finding a CodebreakerEdit
- "It's all a machine, partner. Live free. Don't join."
- ―DJ, to Finn.
Finn, Rose, and BB-8 travel aboard a Resistance transport pod to the city of Canto Bight on the planet Cantonica in the Corporate Sector. Canto Bight is the haunt of wealthy war profiteers who sell weapons to both the First Order and the Resistance. The three Resistance operatives park their transport on a public beach, antagonizing the Abednedo businessman Slowen Lo, who alerts the Canto Bight Police Department. While Finn is mesmerized by the wealth and opulence of Canto Bight, Rose tells him that the city is built on exploitation. While watching a fathier race at the Canto Bight racetrack, the two witness a child racer being beaten by an overseer.
Finn, Rose, and BB-8 then make their way inside the Canto Casino, where they try to make contact with the Master Codebreaker, who is dancing with "Lovey." However, the three are promptly arrested by Canto Bight police officers for their traffic violation. 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. 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 outskirts of the city, where they are picked up by DJ and BB-8, who have stolen the luxury yacht Libertine. While traveling through hyperspace, the three discuss their plan to infiltrate the Supremacy and disable the hyperspace tracker. 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."
Proceeding with their plan, Finn, Rose, DJ, and BB-8 infiltrate the massive Supremacy. 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. Inside the hyperspace tracker chamber, Finn, Rose, and DJ are apprehended by First Order stormtroopers led by Captain Phasma, who gloatingly welcomes Finn home. BB-8, still disguised, is able to evade capture.
Escape and death of the Supreme LeaderEdit
- "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
Vice Admiral Holdo reveals her plan to discreetly evacuate the remaining Resistance members using a fleet of U-55 orbital loadlifters. Believing her actions to be cowardly and risky, Poe instigates a mutiny, apprehending Holdo and her command staff. Poe seals himself in the ship's command bridge and tries to restart the Raddus. However, Holdo snatches a blaster and frees herself. Meanwhile, having recovered, Leia breaches the command bridge and stuns Poe, ending his mutiny and allowing the evacuation to begin. Leia later tells Poe that she approved of Holdo's evacuation plan, which is to retreat to an old Rebel Alliance base on nearby Crait.
Meanwhile, Rey delivers herself to the Supremacy in order to meet Ren, but she is immediately placed in binder cuffs, and he takes her to Snoke. In Snoke's throne room, Rey tries to turn Ren to the side of the Resistance. Snoke reveals that he was responsible for the mental connection between her and Ren as part of a plan to find and destroy Luke. Snoke commands Ren to execute Rey, but Ren instead kills Snoke with Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber. Rey and Ren cooperate to win a furious melee against Snoke's guards.
In the aftermath, Ren compels Rey to admit what she has known all along: that her parents were insignificant junkers who sold her as a child for drinking money, and that they are dead and buried in the wastes of Jakku. Ren invites Rey to rule the galaxy with him, but Rey refuses and asks him to join the Resistance. Using the Force, they struggle for possession of Anakin's lightsaber until it breaks into two pieces, causing a large explosion. Rey later regains consciousness off-screen and escapes on Snoke's escape craft.
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. Finn and Rose learn that DJ has sold them out for his own freedom. DJ also reveals the Resistance's evacuation plan to the First Order. Finn remonstrates with DJ, but the criminal is indifferent to their struggle. Believing Finn and Rose to be a waste of blaster bolts, Phasma orders First Order stormtrooper executioners to behead them with laser axes.
Acting on DJ's information, the Supremacy bombards the Resistance's U-55 orbital loadlifters, destroying several ships and inflicting heavy losses on the Resistance. However, 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 chaos, Finn and Rose are cornered by Phasma and several stormtroopers, but BB-8 commandeers a docked AT-ST walker and intervenes. Finn duels Phasma and bests her, after which she falls into a fiery chasm when the floor beneath her gives way. Finn, Rose, and BB-8 then flee the Supremacy.
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 of Rey's escape, 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
- "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
On Crait, the surviving Resistance fighters regroup at the abandoned rebel base, which was once a mine. Pursued by TIE fighters, Finn, Rose, and BB-8 crash-land their stolen shuttle inside the base. A brief reunion ensues with Poe hugging BB-8. Rose leads the search for weapons and finds several old ski speeders.
When the First Order landing forces arrive, Poe, Finn, and Rose lead a charge with old ski speeders to destroy the First Order assault force's massive superlaser siege cannon, but take concentrated fire from the First Order's AT-M6 and AT-AT walkers and TIE fighters, suffering heavy losses. Rey and Chewbacca arrive in the Falcon and draw the TIE fighters away, while Rose prevents Finn from sacrificing himself to destroy the battering ram cannon, which then blasts a hole in the fortress and leaves Rose injured and unconscious. The Resistance broadcasts a distress signal to their allies in the Outer Rim, but receives no response, and Leia laments that the galaxy has lost hope.
However, Luke suddenly arrives to comfort Leia and 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, but Luke emerges from the blast crater completely unscathed. He mocks the First Order's firepower with a brush of his shoulder. Ren confronts his uncle personally in a lightsaber duel on the salt plain outside the base, but Luke 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, 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 the overseer 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 he 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, and also shot a brief bit of content for Episode IX. 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 currently holds a 91% Fresh rating on the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, with 337/357 Fresh reviews and average rating of 8.1/10. 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." 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 47% and 4.6/10, 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 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. 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, and that the website has responded by adding 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 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 releasesEdit
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Notes and referencesEdit
- Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi on Wikipedia