With less than a month to go until the Star Wars: The Last Jedi release date, fans are gearing up for a long-awaited return to the galaxy far, far away.
The Rian Johnson-directed Star Wars Episode VIII is set to hit theaters on Dec. 15 — nearly two years to the day after the debut of its predecessor, The Force Awakens — and will continue the story of Rey’s (Daisy Ridley) journey to find her place in the galaxy with the help of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and maybe even Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).
The meaning behind the film’s title remains up for interpretation. But Hamill has noted that the phrase, “the last Jedi,” appears to directly refer to Luke in the opening crawl of Star Wars: Episode VII.
“When you read The Force Awakens script, the very first words are, ‘Luke Skywalker has vanished,’” Hamill told Uproxx in January. “But down later in the crawl, and I can’t quote it exactly, I saw on Twitter this morning, ‘until Skywalker, the last Jedi, is destroyed,’…And I was wondering why they would use that phrase if it was used that way, because it specifies me. And I think it’s very ambiguous. Is the last Jedi Leia? Is it me?…Is it someone we’ve never met before? Or is it Rey? Because she seems to have the Force as well.”
However, considering Star Wars: The Last Jedi is translated in other languages as plural rather than singular, it seems likely that it’s a reference to multiple people.
Here’s everything you need to know about those last Jedi spoilers and everyone else involved in the Star Wars saga’s next installment.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi Trailer and Poster
The first Star Wars: The Last Jedi teaser debuted at April’s Star Wars Celebration convention in Orlando and gave fans a glimpse at Luke training Rey in the ways of the Force at the site of the first Jedi temple on the planet of Ahch-To. For a more in-depth analysis of the teaser, check out our shot-by-shot breakdown.
A Star Wars: The Last Jedi poster that seemed to hint that Rey may become a Gray Jedi — a Force-user who walks the line between light and dark — was also unveiled at the event. The image shows Rey holding a lightsaber that embodies aspects of both Luke and Kylo Ren’s signature weapons. Its beam splits the poster in half to create a dichotomy of her two potential mentors’ faces.
A full-length Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer showcasing the escalating conflict between the Resistance and the First Order was rolled out during halftime of the Oct. 9 Monday Night Football game. The preview honed in on both Rey and Kylo Ren’s struggle to determine where their allegiances truly lie.
“I need someone…to show me my place in all this,” Rey ominously says as Kylo appears to hold out his hand to her.
A brief TV spot for The Last Jedi debuted during Game 7 of the World Series and gave fans a Star Wars moment more than 30 years in the making: Luke Skywalker boarding the Millennium Falcon for the first time since the original trilogy.
Finally, with the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi fast approaching, an additional three teasers titled “Heroes,” “Tempt” and “Back” dropped near the end of November.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi Cast
The Last Jedi will be chock-full of familiar faces from both the The Force Awakens and previous Star Wars films as Finn (John Boyega), Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie), Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis), General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson), Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong’o), R2-D2 (Jimmy Vee), C-3PO (Anthony Daniels), BB-8 (voiced by both Bill Hader and Ben Schwartz), Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) and General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) are all set to appear in the movie alongside the main trio of Rey, Luke and Kylo Ren.
Fisher’s scenes were all filmed before she passed away in December 2016 after suffering a heart attack. “We had to deal with tragedy at the end of 2016,” said Disney CEO Bob Iger during a March talk at the University of Southern California. “Carrie appears throughout VIII. We are not changing VIII to deal with her passing. Her performance remains as it is in VIII. In Rogue One, we had some digital character. We are not doing that with Carrie.”
As for new additions to the galaxy far, far away ensemble, Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro are joining the cast as Dameron’s new boss, Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, and an “enimagtic” computer hacker known as DJ, respectively, while newcomer Kelly Marie Tran will play a Resistance mechanic named Rose Tico who teams up with Finn.
Fans should also keep an eye out for Tom Hardy, who is rumored to have a cameo as a First Order Stormtrooper similar to that of Daniel Craig in The Force Awakens.
Specifics about each character’s arc are still few and far between. However, Johnson has revealed that the overarching story will focus on fleshing out the identities of the trilogy’s major players. “I wanted to know more about each of them, and that doesn’t just mean information or backstory,” the director told USA Today. “Figure out what’s the most difficult thing each of them could be challenged with now—let’s throw that at them and dig into what really makes them tick by seeing how they handle that.”
This approach to The Last Jedi could result in a game-changing revelation about Snoke, who some Star Wars fans speculate is going to turn out to be Darth Plagueis — the Sith Lord master of Darth Sidious, a.k.a. Emperor Palpatine, who was said to have been killed by his apprentice.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi Spoilers and Plot
Warning: For those who would like to avoid any Star Wars: The Last Jedi spoilers, now is the time to stop reading. But if don’t mind learning a little about the action beforehand, then feel free to carry on. You’ve been warned.
The Last Jedi is set to pick up right where The Force Awakens left off, with Rey offering Luke his old lightsaber after finding him living in self-imposed exile on Ahch-To. According to the Los Angeles Times, the dialogue of the movie will reportedly begin with Luke asking his new protege, “Who are you?”
The script for The Last Jedi was written by Johnson, who told USA Today that “What’s going on with Luke Skywalker?” is the central question the movie seeks to answer. But of course, much of the film is also devoted to both continuing Rey’s journey and exploring her backstory.
“[Familial themes are] a huge part of especially Rey’s character, something that was a really powerful part of her setup and something I really wanted to dig into with this,” Johnson said.
After being literally stabbed in the back during his lightsaber battle with Kylo Ren in Force Awakens, Finn will once again be intent on escaping the madness of the galaxy to live out his life in peace. “It got really real for him,” Boyega told Entertainment Weekly. “And he just wants to get away and not be involved. His intention in the first place was to go to the Outer Rim. He was always brought back [in The Force Awakens,], but this is his chance to get away and perhaps find Rey and go off together. He’s trying to do that at first.”
However, meeting Rose will apparently give him some much needed perspective and the two will set off to the casino city of Canto Bight on the planet Cantonica to complete a mission for the Resistance. “He’s a hero to people like Rose, who fight for the Resistance because their homes have been destroyed by the First Order,” Boyega explained.
Leia’s role in the Star Wars saga will come to an end in The Last Jedi due to Fisher’s passing. But there is much to be resolved in her final outing. While the previews seem to hint that her relationship issues with her son Ben, a.k.a. Kylo Ren, will finally come to a head, there’s also the matter of her long-lost brother.
“Luke longs to have that extended family that he established in the original trilogy, but now he’s at a place in his life and in his history where he’s shunned all of that,” Hamill told EW. “The big question is why didn’t he respond to Leia during [The Force Awakens]. There’s a lot of things you can’t answer until you see this movie.”
The Last Jedi as a whole will be darker, according to several involved, with a tone similar to that of The Empire Strikes Back. However, Johnson has stated that any similarities with Episode V were not intentional.
“I just tried to kind of ignore that aspect of it and have the story take the shape that it needed to,” he told EW. “But look, Rey is off in a remote location with a Jedi master, and the Resistance is in a tough spot, and we’re intercutting those stories. By its very nature, there are some structural parallels. But these are new characters, they’re dealing with new things, and that ultimately is what defines the movie. So I think that’s going to be unique.”
The Last Jedi clocks in at 150 minutes, making it the longest Star Wars film to date.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi Tickets
Star Wars: The Last Jedi tickets are on sale now and can be purchased on ticketing sites such as Fandango, Movietickets.com and Atom Tickets as well as through theater chains such as AMC, Regal and Cinemark.
The Last Jedi doesn’t officially debut until Friday, Dec. 15. However, some theaters will begin showing the movie as early as 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 14. So get your tickets now.
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