Lost in space - An amateur's guide to understanding Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Daisy Ridley plays Rey in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Photo: Lucasfilm
Daisy Ridley plays Rey in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Photo: Lucasfilm

The new movie is called The Last Jedi. Does this mean it's the last Star Wars movie ever?

No. It's the eighth episode in the overall Star Wars saga, but the second in the sequel trilogy. And that's not counting the films in the Star Wars universe – Rogue One and the upcoming Solo. Confused?

Yes.

OK, it's not the last Star Wars movie – there's one more to come in the sequel trilogy, due to be released in December 2019. Then there are the Star Wars story movies (see above). They are not technically connected to the Star Wars saga, but they do feature characters in the Star Wars saga.

Sigh. So what's The Last Jedi about then?

Well, according to the film's director, Rian Johnson, The Last Jedistarts immediately where The Force Awakens left off, with Rey (Daisy Ridley) tracking down a reclusive Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) on the planet of Ahch-To …

Bless you!

Funny. So, if you believe the trailers for The Last Jedi, it appears Luke guides Rey in the ways of the Force (it's an energy field that connects all things in the galaxy. Very handy for removing an X-Wing Starfighter from a swamp) and they go on some sort of adventure. Meanwhile, the Resistance, led by General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), aka Princess Leia, are preparing to do battle with the First Order.

Right. And who are the First Order?

They're the new-old bad guys.

What?

They're the political faction that rose out the Empire when it fell at the end of the Return of the Jedi. Led by Supreme Commander Snoke (Andy Serkis), they want to retain control of the galaxy by destroying the New Republic and Luke Skywalker. The Knights of Ren, led by Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), are kinda, sorta, their SEAL team.

Isn't Adam Driver the spunky guy from Girls?

Yes! And in The Last Jedi he still has great hair, which somehow doesn't seem to be affected by wearing a helmet all the time. Anyway, back to The Last Jedi, Ren is actually the son of Leia and Han Solo (Harrison Ford), but he was turned to the dark side by Snoke.

Sounds like Ren has serious issues.

You could say that. So serious that he killed his dad in The Force Awakens.

Oh god.

Yep, goodbye Han Solo. But say hello again to Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaacs) and Finn (John Boyega), who, along with Rey, are the Resistance's new hopes.

Hang on, wasn't A New Hope the name of the first film in the Star Wars saga?

Technically, yes, but these guys are new, new hopes, along with Resistance fighter Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran) and Resistance leader Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern). There's also cute little porgs.

Is this going to be a Jar Jar Binks situation all over again?

Hopefully not. The porgs are small, cute seabirds – Ewoks for a new generation – and not a computer animated, long-eared idiot who managed to ruin an already terrible film.

Huh?

He first appeared in The Phantom Menace. Let us never speak of this again.

So where are we up to?

We have Rey and Luke paired up, we have Kylo Ren, having now worked through his daddy issues, going after his mum and the rest of the gang battling the First Order.

That sounds simple enough …

Well, it did all take place in a galaxy, far, far away before everyone had Netflix to distract them.