Star Wars: The Last Jedi

2hrs 32mins

Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill |

The second in the so-called Star Wars sequel trilogy, it follows directly on from 2015’s The Force Awakens. Han Solo is dead, killed by his son Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), and the villainous First Order’s ineffably evil, incomparably ugly Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) is determined to finish off the noble Resistance, led by the venerable General Leia Organa (Fisher).
Snoke has the dastardly but comically hapless General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) to do his dirty work for him, as well as the still-conflicted Ren. Driver again makes a fantastic baddie, a worthy successor to Darth Vader, investing his character with proper depth.
In fact, if I had to find a spoonful of negativity to splash on such a cinematic feast, it would be that Daisy Ridley, as the space scavenger Rey, is outclassed in her scenes with Driver and the equally terrific Mark Hamill.
Happily, Hamill gets a gratifying amount of screen time as a disillusioned Luke Skywalker, looking like a lonely old fisherman and living in self-imposed exile on a remote, jagged island, supposedly the most “unfindable place in the galaxy” and in reality just off the coast of County Donegal. But he’s still a Jedi knight and Rey wants him to teach her the secrets of the Force.
Will he be tempted out of retirement? Even without him, the beleaguered Resistance, rapidly running out of both fuel and ideas, can muster some impressive assets, among them the apostate stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega) and his unlikely new sidekick, a doughty janitor called Rose (Kelly Marie Tran).
Maverick pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) is a further thorn in the First Order’s side, though he’s almost as much of a handful for his own side, especially Leia’s second-in-command, Vice-Admiral Amilyn Holdo, played by Laura Dern with a fetching mauve hairdo.
Further enlivening the basic good v bad narrative are some truly spectacular battles, oodles of wit and a glorious episode in a casino that looks like the realisation of a feverish dream surreally fusing James Bond with Dr Dolittle.
The Last Jedi is that very rare thing, a brilliantly crafted, intelligent blockbuster that will deserve every penny of its doubtless immense box-office returns.
Daily Mail