The next entry in the Star Wars franchise, The Last Jedi, is coming on December 15th, 2017. Here's all the news, trailers, and updates you need to get caught up.
Mar 30, 2018
Because George Lucas modeled the original 1977 Star Wars on classic movie serials like 1936’s Flash Gordon, the films that followed in the series have followed the pattern, and relied on similarly chapter-based quest plots. Big missions, like the attempt to blow up the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi, get broken down into smaller sub-missions, each of which keeps teetering on the brink of failure, necessitating yet another risky scheme. It’s a hooky way to tell a story — one cliffhanger at a time.Read Article >
One of the main narrative threads in Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi follows that same blueprint… at first. Then Johnson throws in a twist, which severely divided fans when the movie first came out in December 2017. When the heroes of the Resistance realize that the First Order has been tracking their fleet, they seek the services of a master codebreaker in the high-end gambling resort of Canto Bight, to disable the beacon. Ex-stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega) and mechanic Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) slip into the city, but quickly get arrested. In jail, they meet a wily thief named DJ (Benicio Del Toro), who helps them escape, then later breaks them into a First Order stronghold. But DJ proves untrustworthy. Though he gets Finn and Rose where they want to go, he also sells them out, revealing the Resistance’s secret plans and getting a lot of people killed. Star Wars missions often go awry, but this one goes disastrously wrong, having pretty much the exact opposite effect of what was intended.
Mar 7, 2018
Spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.Read Article >
One of the biggest complaints about J.J. Abrams’ The Force Awakens was how it hyped up the presence of a chrome-plated stormtrooper, Captain Phasma (played by Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie), whose actual appearance in the film turned out to be underwhelming. Fans hoped for a bit of redemption for the character in December’s The Last Jedi, but she only turned up for a brief appearance and a quick death at the hands of her former soldier, Finn. The latest episode of The Star Wars Show premiered a deleted scene in the run-up to the upcoming home release for the film, one that shows a different ending for the character, which fits far better with the novels and comics that built up Captain Phasma throughout 2017.
Feb 25, 2018
Star Wars: The Last Jedi scored a handful of Academy Award nominations this year, including one for best Visual Effects. As it did last year with Rogue One, Industrial Light and Magic has released a pair of behind-the-scenes clips that showcase how the film’s special effects came together.Read Article >
The first clip shows off the film’s opening space battle, where Resistance starfighters go up against a First Order fleet. Director Rian Johnson used some practical hangar sets and an A-Wing fighter in the scene, around which animators composited their digital magic. They created the larger digital sets and spaceships in the scene, and layered in explosions and debris.
Feb 3, 2018
The latest Star Wars film is getting a comic book adaptation. Rogue One screenwriter Gary Whitta is adapting The Last Jedi for a six-issue miniseries, the first of which will hit stores on May 2nd.Read Article >
Whitta will be joined by artists Michael Walsh and Mike Spicer, while former Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Queseda will produce a variant cover featuring Rey on Jakku. On his Instagram page (via io9) Walsh says that they will be adding new scenes and will tell “others from a new perspective.”
Kylo Ren, murderous new supreme leader of the First Order, may seem like the biggest threat to the galaxy — but he might have nothing on an invasive species. That’s right. What if the real villains of The Last Jedi… are porgs?Read Article >
Species moved outside of their native range, to new places and habitats, are called alien species (even here on Earth!). On occasion, these alien species have the right combination of traits to become invasive, doing damage to the environment, causing problems for humans, or both. Take the Australian cane toad. Farmers brought them to Australia from Hawaii in the 1930s, thinking them an ally in their battle with a beetle that was destroying crops. (Cane toads’ native range is from the southern US to South America.) They chose the wrong ally. The toxic toads didn’t reduce the number of beetles. Instead, they increased in number, and, being a delicious-looking toad, have caused population declines in a number of Australian predators that have been tempted to eat them. Across the globe, there are hundreds of stories like this one: brown tree snakes on Guam, foxes in Australia, and even the adorable hedgehog is a problematic invasive species in New Zealand, where it eats rare bird eggs.
Dec 22, 2017
When J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens hit theaters in 2015, it was no surprise that moviegoers came away with lots of questions. Abrams — known for series like Lost and Alias — is notoriously fond of mystery, which he calls “the catalyst for imagination.” In a 2007 TED Talk, he presented a box he bought as a kid, and still hadn’t opened decades later — because unopened, it represented “infinite possibility.” The Force Awakens suggested a similar infinite possibility, in a universe where 30 years had passed since the death of Darth Vader and the Emperor. The time jump opened up endless opportunities. And though the film returned to the same basic pattern as the first Star Wars, with new versions of the Empire, the Rebellion, and Luke Skywalker, the film still ended with a pile of open-ended mysteries that obsessed fans. Why did Luke Skywalker go into exile? Who were Rey’s parents? Who was Supreme Leader Snoke, and how did he start the First Order?Read Article >
Over the next two years, fan theories filled these gaps. Maybe Snoke was really the Sith Lord Darth Plagueis — or maybe he was Jar Jar Binks, or Mace Windu, or the Emperor reincarnated. Meanwhile, Rey was definitely a long-lost twin sister of Ben Solo. Or was she a daughter of Obi-Wan Kenobi? Fans hoped Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi might resolve these mysteries. And it certainly addressed some of them. But inevitably, the answers about Rey’s parentage didn’t please everyone, and the lack of answers about Snoke didn’t seem to please anyone. Still, Johnson’s approach doesn’t weaken The Last Jedi. It helps it succeed as a film.
Dec 19, 2017
Warning: Spoilers ahead for Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi.Read Article >
There’s a strange scene in The Last Jedi as Rey is following Luke Skywalker around his hermitage on the planet Ahch-To. Luke has apparently gotten into the habit of milking the planet’s local creatures — the remarkably relaxed thala-sirens that spend their time reclining against the rocks. He walks up to one of the creatures and squeezes green milk from its prominent udders. Then he drinks it, soaking his beard with the stuff.
The Last Jedi takes a lot of large steps forward for Star Wars, both for this latest trilogy, and for the franchise as a whole. There are some big changes here — in the characters and the scope of the narrative, especially. Our initial Last Jedi review talks about some of the movie’s broadest themes and ideas without plot spoilers, but this is a spoiler-heavy space, so if you haven’t seen the film yet, this may not be the conversation for you. Let’s talk Last Jedi: the big reveals, the twists, and above all, how it met or didn’t meet our expectations.Read Article >
Thuy: The Last Jedi answers a few of the questions The Force Awakens raised: what does Luke first say to Rey? Who are Rey’s parents? Is Snoke a giant? I’ve watched a lot of theory videos (like how Snoke is really Mace Windu and the infamous Jar Jar Binks is a Sith Lord), but every one of them addressing The Last Jedi was pretty much wrong. So the new film was surprising in many ways. It’s structured differently from past films, despite throwbacks to previous installments. I think Rey and Kylo Ren had the most interesting, dynamic storyline. I liked where the sequel took both characters, especially when we see their Force connection, and get a deeper look into Kylo’s psyche. He has so much depth, and really great character development, especially when compared to Anakin’s character arc in the prequel trilogies. Last Jedi leaves open some questions for the next film, and kept me satisfied, but still wanting more.
Dec 18, 2017
If your first reaction to porgs, the big-eyed animals that recently debuted in The Last Jedi, was that you want to eat their adorable little faces, you’re not alone—and not just because Chewbecca tries to have one for dinner in the new film.Read Article >
Star Wars fans have been talking about cooking and eating these puffin-seal-pug creatures since their appearance in the first trailer for The Last Jedi, and the movie’s release has only heightened this terrible hunger. Even the film’s stars have weighed in on the issue: Laura Dern came out against porg-eating, while Oscar Isaac is vocally in favor. Various websites have pondered not just the ethics of porg consumption, but exactly what a porg would taste like; some have even created menus of “all the delicious, versatile ways you can cook and eat a porg.”
Major spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The non-spoiler review is here.Read Article >
With Star Wars: The Last Jedi, writer-director Rian Johnson made a point of answering questions set up by The Force Awakens, and giving fans some answers they were slavering for. He directly addressed the mystery of Rey’s parentage, instead of stringing it out for another couple years. He explained, in brief, why Kylo Ren rebelled, while leaving plenty of the character’s past open for later reveals. He reunited Luke and Leia for the final touching moment of closure they really needed, considering Carrie Fisher’s death. He even brought Yoda back to lay down some smack on Luke one more time. There’s a whole lot of satisfaction to go around in this movie. But there were a handful of things we didn't get from Last Jedi, from tiny, petty desires set up by the story itself to larger series questions that weren’t addressed this time around. In ascending order of significance, here are a few things we wouldn’t have minded seeing in Last Jedi.
Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi roared to a triumphant box office success in its opening weekend, bringing in more than $220 million in America, and $450 million worldwide. It was the second-biggest opening weekend for a movie in history, following the previous installment in the film franchise The Force Awakens. But with great popularity comes great controversy, and audiences are predictably all over the internet, dissecting what the film does and whether it does it well. A handful of specific points about the movie have become particular focal points. Here’s a roundup of some of the most common and most hotly contested arguments about the new film, and a chance to take sides on all of them in one place. (Note: poll responses are largely drawn from actual fan reactions seen online.)Read Article >
Except for porgs: we’ve already covered our feelings on those critters — and our worst fan theories about them — pretty extensively.
Dec 17, 2017
Porgs. When fans spotted the diminutive creatures of Star Wars: The Last Jedi in the first behind-the-scenes reel, they were immediately divided. Some fell utterly in love with them, creating fan art, buttons, and shirts right off the bat, while others dismissed them as a cheap marketing gimmick for the inevitable batch of toys that would hit stores.Read Article >
The creatures’ next appearance in the film’s second trailer showed off one squawking alongside Chewbacca on the Millennium Falcon, which only further entrenched both sides of the love-them-or-hate-them argument. LucasFilm seems to have realized the marketing potential that the little guys had: they released a bunch of toys for Force Friday II in September, Target raffled off giant plush versions to lucky customers who showed up at the store at midnight, and they appeared in a bunch of other TV spots in the leadup to the film
Dec 12, 2017
When J.J. Abrams and writers Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt rebooted the Star Wars film franchise in 2015 with The Force Awakens — the first in a sequel trilogy, following the original Star Wars trifecta of 1977’s A New Hope, 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back, and 1983’s Return of the Jedi — they found a fairly winning formula that split the difference between respecting fans’ love for the original trilogy, and nudging the franchise into the future. They introduced new characters and centered the story around them, but that story was remarkably close to a retelling of A New Hope, complete with new Empire and Rebellion analogues facing off, a new Death Star to destroy, a new Luke Skywalker equivalent trying to escape a new backwater desert planet, and so forth. At the same time, Abrams and company brought back A New Hope’s original Luke / Leia / Han Solo / Chewbacca quartet, and set them up as beloved legends whom the new characters all but worship. It was a smart approach in terms of giving fans something familiar to embrace while easing them into the series’s inevitable generational shift, but nostalgia has its limits, and it was hard to escape the feeling that The Force Awakens wasn’t a new film, so much as a jaunty modern remix of a familiar one.Read Article >
Given that foundation, Brick and Looper writer-director Rian Johnson had a few obvious options with The Last Jedi: continue the trend and remix The Empire Strikes Back into a 2017 version, or buck the trend, move sharply away from the legacy content, and push the series away from familiar places. Instead, he chose a less-obvious option: he did both. The Last Jedi does feature sequences that directly recall The Empire Strikes Back, though Johnson’s script uses their familiarity to play against expectations and subvert viewers’ nostalgia, instead of paying it off. But he also borrows from Return of the Jedi, compressing the rest of the original trilogy into a single fast-moving, far-reaching story. And he makes some even more radical choices, abruptly shutting down open storylines and wrapping up loose threads. There’s been some fan concern that Last Jedi might mimic Empire Strikes Back too closely, down to the dark tone and open ending. Instead, Johnson’s film feels remarkably close to a coda for the new trilogy, a platform for a radical departure from canon when the untitled sequel arrives in 2019.
Dec 10, 2017
Over the years, British inventor and YouTube vlogger Colin Furze has built a variety of madcap inventions, ranging from a microwave you can play a video game on, a working hoverbike, and a fireworks-proof Iron Man suit. A couple of weeks ago, he unveiled his biggest build yet: a life-sized replica of Kylo Ren’s TIE Silencer from the upcoming Star Wars film The Last Jedi. This week, he unveiled a new video detailing how the project came together, and it’s really impressive.Read Article >
Furze did a similar project last year to tie in with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, building a life-sized AT-ATC Walker in a yard, using only materials that he purchased from eBay. He partnered once again with eBay this year to construct the fighter. At 46 feet long, 23 feet wide, and 14 feet high, this year’s project is massive, and took six weeks to build.
Dec 9, 2017
The Star Wars universe has always been home to scores of fantastic planets, and with The Last Jedi just days from hitting theaters, Lucasfilm has released a new featurette that highlights some of the places that we can expect to see on the big screen next week.Read Article >
Out-of-the-way locations have long been used as set pieces for the numerous universe’s numerous planets, from Tunisia and Abu Dhabi’s deserts to California’s redwood forests to the Hardangerjøkulen Glacier in Finse, Norway. Director Rian Johnson says that when he came onboard the project, “the first conversations you have are always about what makes something feel like Star Wars,” and they travelled around the world and built some incredible sets for the film’s locations.
Dec 7, 2017
Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi is finally opening next week, and there has been heavy fan speculation about everything from the origins of its characters and the fate of Luke Skywalker to the complicated relationship between Rey and Kylo Ren. But at a recent press conference in Los Angeles, the cast of the film was eager to highlight something else: the film’s progressive, modern portrayal of women.Read Article >
The shift was apparent just from the composition of the panel itself. J.J. Abrams’ The Force Awakens garnered attention for introducing Daisy Ridley’s character as a lead, but other than Carrie Fisher as General Leia, the only other woman in a primary role was Lupita Nyong'o, with her motion-capture performance as Maz Kanata. Nearly half of the 10 cast members on the Last Jedi panel were women: returning cast members Ridley and Gwendoline Christie, and franchise newcomers Laura Dern (who plays Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo) and Kelly Marie Tran (Resistance fighter Rose Tico).
Dec 7, 2017
We’re only a week away from the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and it’s becoming clear that in spite of the blockbuster success of The Force Awakens, director Rian Johnson may have an even more difficult task on his hands than J.J. Abrams did in resurrecting the franchise. Because while The Force Awakens was able to rest on its laurels by essentially remixing A New Hope, The Last Jedi has a far more formidable task: it needs to not remake The Empire Strikes Back.Read Article >
That’s no small task. Comparisons between The Last Jedi and Empire have been flying around since credits rolled on The Force Awakens. Star Adam Driver has said that Last Jedi “has a different tone” from the first movie, just like Empire. And Johnson is aware of the problem, commenting to Entertainment Weekly, “I just tried to kind of ignore that aspect of it [the parallels to Empire] and have the story take the shape that it needed to.” But he also acknowledges that “by its very nature, there are some structural parallels.” There’s admittedly some room for concern, at least based on the small snippets of information we know about The Last Jedi. You can draw a line from Rey seeking out Luke for training to Luke seeing out Yoda, or between the Resistance clashing with a bloodied but by no means beaten First Order in the same way that the Empire came back as a resurgent force against the Rebels. And with the mystery of Rey’s unknown parentage, there’s even room for another big third-act “No, I am your father!” reveal. Add it all up with the visually and tonally darker trappings that the trailers have showcased, and there’s plenty of potential for The Empire Strikes Back to strike back yet again.
Nov 9, 2017
Expectations are high for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and it appears Disney and Lucasfilm are happy with the way the film turned out: today, Disney announced that its director, Rian Johnson, will be launching an entirely new trilogy in the Star Wars franchise.Read Article >
Johnson will write and direct the first installment in the new trilogy, with his longtime producer Ram Bergman set to produce the films. While details are scarce, the new trilogy will be separate from the classic Skywalker saga, and instead will focus on “new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored.”
Nov 2, 2017
We’re getting closer and closer to the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and during Game 7 of the World Series Disney and Lucasfilm released yet another quick glimpse at the upcoming film. At this point in the hype cycle, every single new shot can be something to fawn over, and this trailer has a great one: Luke Skywalker stepping back into the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon.Read Article >
The rest of the spot covers some shots we’ve seen before, leaning heavily into some space combat with TIE Fighters and the Falcon. But it’s perhaps the last moment in the trailer that leaves the most chilling impression. “This is not going to go the way you think,” Luke Skywalker says while on the ground, in a shot we’ve seen before — but then the trailer cuts to a grim-faced Rey, raising her lightsaber in what appears to be triumph over the Jedi Master.
Oct 24, 2017
Episode VIII of the Star Wars film series, The Last Jedi, will open in theaters December 15th, but a featurette released today offers fans a look at what’s going on behind the scenes. It’s focused on writer and director Rian Johnson, first as a fan, then as a director. And it features short thoughts from Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill, and the late Carrie Fisher about working with him.Read Article >
“First time shooting with Mark. First time shooting with Daisy. First time shooting a Star Wars movie, and you know, it’s some cool stuff,” Johnson says. Later, he instructs Chewbacca to growl “sad like a dog whimper,” and bounces around the film’s impressive set. The featurette is partially built around a long quote where he explains how the job initially overwhelmed him, until he got “into the nitty-gritty of it all,” and could just focus on the job of making individual scenes work.
Oct 11, 2017
Earlier this year, virtual reality company The Void announced that it was partnering with ILMxLab to create a new VR adventure set in the Star Wars universe. Today, it revealed an early glimpse at what that experience will look like — and tickets are now on sale. In Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, groups of four participants will assume the role of Rebels going undercover to infiltrate an Imperial base and steal critical intelligence. The first location, at Disney Springs in Orlando, Florida, will open on December 16th, while a second location will open in Southern California’s Downtown Disney shopping complex on January 5th, 2018. The 30-minute experience will be priced at $29.95, and tickets for both locations are currently available for purchase on The Void’s website.Read Article >
The Void has become known for what it calls “hyper-reality” experiences. Essentially, the company combines VR headsets with a custom-built maze, haptic feedback, and physical props to give visitors the experience of actually visiting and interacting with an otherwise digital world. The company’s past projects have included The Curse of the Serpent’s Eye, in which visitors get to take part in an Indiana Jones-style adventure, and Ghostbusters: Dimensions, which suits up players as proton-pack-wearing ghost hunters straight out of the movie franchise.
The second trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi is finally here, and it’s a doozy. There are some impressive battles and visuals, but what stands out the most is how this trailer shows off the tension that both Kylo Ren and Rey have with their respective mentors, and it’s clearly terrifying to Luke.Read Article >
Like we did with the first trailer from earlier this year, let’s take a close look and see what we can learn about the next film. Be warned, there’s quite a bit of speculation about what the scenes mean regarding The Last Jedi’s story.
A new trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi has finally arrived. Disney aired the latest look at Rian Johnson’s upcoming film during Monday Night Football’s halftime show. Tickets for the film are now on sale.Read Article >
We got our first (brief) look at the film in April at Star Wars Celebration, along with a behind-the-scenes reel at Disney’s D23 Expo in July, which offered a glimpse into the production of the movie itself. Due to the discipline Disney has been demonstrating when it comes to plot reveals and character secrets, the expectation has been that the new trailer wouldn’t give anything big away; director Rian Johnson recently warned fans on Twitter that the hardest of the hardcore might want to even avoid watching this clip to preserve all of the film’s surprises.
Oct 10, 2017
In case you somehow haven’t heard, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is coming out this December, and now you can buy tickets for the Rian Johnson-directed sequel the 2015’s The Force Awakens.Read Article >
Just like by The Force Awakens, tickets were supposed to go live after the premiere of a new trailer, but it seems that plans have once again changed, with tickets available so far at AMC, Regal Cinemas, Cinemark, and the Alamo Drafthouse, along with general ticketing sites like Fandango, Movietickets.com, and Atom Tickets. That’s in additional to Showcase, which accidentally put tickets live earlier in the afternoon.
Oct 9, 2017
Tickets for Star Wars: The Last Jedi were supposed to go on sale tonight, following the premiere of a new trailer during Monday Night Football, but it seems that Showcase Cinemas is jumping the gun. CNET is reporting that tickets to the anticipated sequel are available now through the theater company’s mobile iOS and Android app.Read Article >
The Verge has confirmed that The Last Jedi tickets are currently available from Showcase, with screenings starting at 7PM on December 14th — a day before the “actual” release date on December 15th. It’s not clear how, or if, Showcase will continue to keep sales open, or even if it will honor the early sales. But if you’re planning on seeing The Last Jedi when it opens on at a Showcase theater, it can’t hurt to buy tickets now.