2015’s comeback movie in the Lucasfilm saga smashed a slew of records, as it introduced moviegoers to a new generation of Star Wars characters – and re-introduced us to some legends.
So what happened? What do you need catching-up on before seeing Episode 8?
Set thirty years after the events of Return Of The Jedi, the movie showed the clash between the sinister First Order and the Resistance – the latter run by General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher).
With Luke Skywalker AWOL, Resistance pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) retrieved part of a map to his location – and gave it to droid BB-8 for safekeeping.
BB-8 then ended up encountering Rey (Daisy Ridley), a scavenger on the planet of Jakku – but when evil Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) tortured Poe for information, he and the First Order learned of the adorable droid’s existence and set off for Jakku to find it – while Poe escaped capture with the help of reluctant stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega).
After Finn and Poe crashed, and Finn presumed Poe to have been killed, the former found Rey and BB-8, and the pair escaped the First Order with BB-8 aboard the Millennium Falcon. Soon, however, they were intercepted by Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), keen to take back control of their old ship.
As we learned that Kylo Ren was the son of Leia and Han, his master Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) made him declare that his parents meant nothing to him, and put pressure on him and General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) to crush the Resistance using the Starkiller Base.
Aboard the Falcon, Han helped Rey and Finn to access the map Poe stored in BB-8, but discovered that that was only part of the bigger picture. When they all travelled to the planet of Takodana to meet Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong’o), who offered her assistance in getting BB-8 back to the Resistance, Rey was drawn to a vault containing a lightsaber that once belonged to Luke and his father Anakin. She had disturbing visions that startled her, but Maz gave her the iconic weapon for safekeeping.
The First Order attacked Takodana in search of BB-8, where Han, Chewbacca and Finn were saved by Resistance fighters – led by Poe, who survived the earlier crash. Rey, however, was captured by Kylo Ren and taken to Starkiller Base, but his torture techniques failed to work on her – and she was able to read his mind, discovering his insecurities. She escaped, using her newfound abilities with the Force, playing a mind trick on a stormtrooper.
The Resistance, led by Leia, formulated a plan to destroy the Starkiller Base; leading Han, Chewbacca and Finn to head off to try and infiltrate it, plant explosives and save Rey. Before they left, Leia made Han promise to bring their son back alive.
Once there, they reunited with Rey – but when Han confronted Kylo and implored him to abandon the Dark Side, the emotional son refused – and killed his own father. This enraged Chewbacca, who shot at Kylo, and set off the explosives – enabling the Resistance to get to work in their attempt to destroy Starkiller Base.
Injured but furious, Kylo Ren scarpered to the surface in pursuit of Finn and Rey. Finn got hold of the lightsaber and tried to fight him, but was left very badly wounded. Rey took control of the lightsaber using the Force and fared much better, but she and Kylo were ultimately separated by a huge fissure in the planet as it began to implode.
Smoke ordered General Hux to evacuate as the Resistance finally ended Starkiller Base, while Rey and Chewbacca escaped with Finn in the Falcon. They reunited with Leia and mourned Han Solo’s death.
The film ended with R2-D2 re-awakening and providing the final missing piece of the map to Luke – which Rey used to track him down on the oceanic planet of Ahch-To.
The famous final shot showed her holding out Luke’s lightsaber to him – and the credits rolled.
Now, Star Wars 8: The Last Jedi will pick up where that left off – and it’s out now.
Published at Thu, 14 Dec 2017 09:04:00 +0000