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Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (3D)


Stars: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Andy Serkis, Laura Dern, Kelly Marie Tran, Benicio Del Toro, Domhnall Gleeson, Lupita Nyongo'o

Director: Rian Johnson

It's war again in that galaxy far, far away, and the First Order has the much-diminished rebel forces, still led by Leia (Fisher), staring down the barrel of a very big gun.

The bad guys are led by the enthroned and wizened Snoke (another of Serkis' amazing motion capture performances) and Han Solo's son Kylo Ren (Driver), long since gone over to the Dark Side in spite of the best efforts of Luke Skywalker (a haggard-looking Hamill), now ensconced on an island at the far edges of the galaxy, with only an amusing collection of alien animals for company (and food).

In to bat for the good guys, and doubtless wishing the Force was with them, are Rey (Ridley), whom Luke agrees to train after an intervention by Yoda (Frank Oz), Finn (Boyega), hotshot pilot Poe (Isaac) and new character Rose (a good Tran).

Hedging his bets is stammering, crafty master hacker DJ (Del Toro), who'll sell his services to the highest bidder.

The first half of the film has rather too much moody meditating, but the last hour or more is crammed with galactic action, and packed full of cliffhangers.

Ridley and Boyega are OK but no more, leaving Hamill and Dern (as the vice-admiral who takes the helm when Leia is wounded) to make the most of the chances to show their acting chops. A reunion scene between Hamill and Fisher, where he notes she has changed her hair, is particularly touching.

All in all, it's a skilfully made addition to the series that just lacks the wow factor.

David Quinlan

USA 2017. UK Distributor: Walt Disney. Technicolor.
152 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 12 Dec 2017