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Star Wars Episode VIII FAQ

What’s it called?
“The Last Jedi.”

Who’s responsible?
Rian Johnson (“Brick,” “Looper”) writes and directs.

Is it any good?
Oh yes.

Is it better than the 1999-2005 prequel trilogy?

Is it better than “Rogue One”?

Is it better than J.J.Abrams’ 2015 “The Force Awakens”?
I’m saying yes.

Is it better than “The Empire Strikes Back”?
It is not.

Is it better than “Looper”?
I'm not certain!  I say this: “Last Jedi” will not diminish Rian Johnson’s reputation as one of our most accomplished filmmakers.

Is it as funny as Johnson’s other movies?
Yes. “The Last Jedi” is not a comedy, but it has better jokes than all but a handful of movie comedies I’ve seen this year.

How does it start?
STAR WARS. EPISODE VIII. THE LAST JEDI. The First Order Reigns. Having decimated the peaceful Republic … (omitted) … THE BRAVE HEROES MOUNT A DESPERATE ESCAPE.

How much time has elapsed since the end of “Force Awakens”?
No time. In fact, the first 14 minutes of “The Last Jedi” seem to take place *before* the end of “The Force Awakens.”

Is “The Last Jedi” Luke or Rey or someone else entirely?
You ask the wrong question. The title is derived from a piece of dialogue near movie’s end.

Do we learn who Rey’s parents are?
Snoke implies her dad isn’t Luke Skywalker, but who can trust that guy? By the way, there was a rumor that Rey has a vision of her parents, and her father is wearing a rebel hat; I did not notice such a vision in this movie.

Do the Porgs defeat The First Order with giant logs, or do the Porgs simply blind First Order troops with birdshit?
The adorable Porgs (and they are adorable, sort of a cross between penguins and kittens) are native to Luke’s adopted home, and have no role in fighting The First Order. Porgs can fly, but I noticed no depiction of airborne defecation and Porgs never build anything more deadly than a nest. They do come to infest the Millennium Falcon so thoroughly they might put some in the mind of tribbles.

Do we learn how Luke’s old lightsaber wound up in Maz’ basement?
Maz appears in a single scene via viewscreen, but we get no new info on the weapon’s chain of custody.

What is the first line of dialogue?
I can’t tell you, but it’s spoken by one of Leia’s rebels to another of Leia’s rebels.

Is “The Last Jedi” sad?
Things don’t always go well for the Porgs, and Major characters die in this movie. Major ones.

Is C3PO funny?
Yes, but the screen time allotted C3P0 and R2D2 is not voluminous. BB8 remains star robot.

The commercials make it appear that Snoke, like Emperor Palpatine, knows the ways of The Force. Does he?
Yes. He even sports some of that Palpatine Hand Lightning.

Is Snoke, as rumored, thousands of years old and the first Sith ever?
If he is, those facts are not revealed in this movie. What is revealed is Snoke isn’t much bigger than Rey.

I heard “Last Jedi” starts not with Luke or Rey, but with Poe Dameron in the middle of a space battle. Can you confirm?
I can confirm this. The movie starts with a few lines of dialogue shared by Leia’s fellow rebels, then it spends a few seconds with General Hux, and then it launches into a 13-minute Poe Dameron space adventure. Which stands as superior piece of action filmmaking and one of the movie’s most entertaining sequences.

When do Luke and Rey pop in?
Around minute 14, after a few brief moments with what’s left of Finn.

How long do we have to wait for another of Rey’s Force Visions?
If you’re looking for another fast-moving montage depicting events from past and future, I don’t think there are any this time around. But. We do see The Force do a lot of stuff we’re not used to seeing The Force doing.

How much Carrie Fisher do we get this time?
More (she appears early in the movie communicating with Poe during his first big action sequence), but a mishap keeps Leia out of a big chunk of the movie.

In “Return of the Jedi,” Luke says The Force is strong with his sister Leia. Do we finally see her exhibit any superpowers?

Does this movie confirm that Old Ben and Yoda may have overstated the importance of Jedi training?
Snoke does mock Kylo for losing a lightsaber battle to a girl who never used one before.

Are there flashbacks?
There are multiple flashbacks depicting the secret origin of Kylo Ren.

Do we hear Darth Vader’s theme music at any point?
When his name is mentioned.

Does the ghost of Old Ben turn up?

Do they explain why Yoda and Obi-Wan aren’t ghosting about?

Are there any Jedi ghosts flickering around this time?
That would be telling.

There were rumors about “Last Jedi” exploring the origins of the Jedi and the Sith. Is such exploration undertaken?
Not really. Luke (or at least his island) is in possession of a handful of mega-ancient Jedi books, but rumors that we’d hear about (or see) two siblings who became the first Sith and the first Jedi are false rumors.

Does the movie revisit any of the planets we’ve seen in the prior seven Episodes?
The planets Luke and Leia inhabited during “The Force Awakens” are back. But we don’t return to Tattooine or Jakku or Coruscant or Kamino or Hoth or anything.

Does Finn fall for Captain Phasma when she takes off her helmet?
She doesn’t take off her helmet.

The big news?
Remember those rapid dissolves that linked Luke and Leia near the end of “The Empire Strikes Back”? They’re back and herald an intriguing element new to the Skywalker saga.

What else is Disney not telling us?
Luke Skywalker is almost more Han than Luke this time around, wittier and more badass than he was during any of the prior Star Wars movies. Also, we learn who the other Knights of Ren are. Also also the final act of “The Last Jedi” is tremendous, and for my money much more engaging than the third act of “The Force Awakens.”

What’s great?
The porgs. The vulptices (or crystal foxes), which are nearly as cute as the porgs. Mark Hammill as Luke Skywalker. Kelly Marie Tran makes a big impression as the biggest new character, Rose Tico, a maintenance worker who “works behind pipes all day.” Laura Dern as Amilyn Holdo, the Edward Jellico of Star Wars. Benecio Del Toro as DJ, whose mercenary attitude will inevitably remind more than a few fans of Han Solo and/or Lando Calrissian. BB8. Daisy Ridley. Jon Boyega. Adam Driver. Andy Serkis as Snoke. Domhnall Gleeson as Armitage Hux. The striking visuals. The mirror. Chewbacca’s dinner. Luke and R2 reuniting. Rey’s prediction. The mammoth flux capacitor. The Hoth-y trench warfare. The twin setting suns. “I have an urgent message for him. About his mother.” “Where’s Han?” “I’m from nowhere.” “This is something else.” “You’re not busy.” “And make things float.” “You went straight to the dark.” “Han was Han about it.” “Good guys. Bad guys.” “Such spunk.” “Maybe.” “Rebel. Scum.” “Saving what we love.” “No one’s ever really gone.” “Did you come back to forgive me?” “Blow that piece of junk out of the sky!” And some stuff I can’t really talk about. Yet.

What’s not so great?
Though she certainly has some big moments, it’s a pity Carrie Fisher wasn’t given more to do in this.

How does it end, spoiler boy?
“We have everything we need.” Then? A boy, a broom and a resistance symbol.

Thursday night. Cinemas.

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