“If you had a time machine, where would you go?”
One of the most frequent answers was: “1977, in any movie theater, at the first screening of “Star Wars””.
The second one was: “In 1980, still movie theatre, to see the reaction of the audience to the famous words: Luke, I am your father“.
Forty years later, living with the same adrenaline for the release of a brand new episode of the most incredible Saga of the sci-fi universe and it’s like we hopped on that time machine.
We’re talking about a cinema full of people, people belonging to the big family created by George Lucas, everyone sporting proudly his own Lightsaber and themed-clothes, waiting to be thrown back in that Galaxy far, far away. This is the thrill of a lifetime!
In 1999 Lucas himself had brought back his own world in theatres with a prequel trilogy about the evolution of Anakin Skywalker, from Chosen One to most powerful Sith of all time, known then by the name of Darth Vader.
With this trilogy fans split up, mostly because of the differences with the original movies, the higher number of explaining scenes and some borderline-fail characters, but there is no doubt that the three prequels are an important part of the Star Wars universe, with all the epicness and bright ideas that only Lucas can have.
Barely out of the fanwar due to the Prequels, in 2012 LucasFilm was sold to Disney, announcing the release of three more episodes and the same number of Spin-offs.
One needs to understand that Star Wars fans are very similar to the Mandalorians: a lot of clans constantly at war, fiercely defending the pride of their own faction. Each new movie thus is met with suspicion and creates always new cracks in the clans.
This happened also in 2015, with Episode VII, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, directed by J. J. Abrams (Lost, Star Trek, Super 8).
Settled 30 years after “The Return of the Jedi”, this episode marked the return on the big screen of the old heroes and starships that made History, giving us a huge cargo of nostalgia and feels.
Past the “Oww” point, though, critics are never far behind, with the eternal cry of: “IT’S THE REMAKE OF “A NEW HOPE”!”.
But we can’t take any side here (only a Sith deals in absolutes): there are indeed a lot of obvious references to the Episode IV, but the atmosphere and several quotes make the whole movie in line with the other six.
Two years later, Rian Johnson, who will create a new trilogy after Episode IX, sits on the director’s chair and the world can’t wait to hear Luke Skywalker‘s first words after 30 years.
We saw the movie at the premiere in Milan and, as it happened for the whole fandom, we’re torn between who loved it and who wrinkled his nose a bit.
But who are, and have been, the protagonists of this eighth episode, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”? Where did we leave them, and where they will be found? (Spoiler free!)
His reputation precedes him: son of Anakin Skywalker, he brought hope in the Galaxy by destroying the first Death Star and, with a helping hand for his father (the only one left), defeating The Emperor Palpatine.
After “The Return of the Jedi” he started a new training school for Jedi, following the guidelines specified by Yoda, but abandoned it out of guilt after his nephew, Ben Solo, turned to the Dark Side.
Since then, he lived as a hermit on a remote island as long as Rey found him at the end of “The Force Awakens”. It’s here that we’ll find him again and this is where an important part of the movie will happen: with an old warrior and a good old Jedi.
She’s Luke Skywalker’s sister, princess of the explosive Alderaan, general of the Rebel Alliance, lover of Han Solo and example for women around the world since 1977.
We’ll find her heartbroken after her own son killed the love of her life, but always ready for the fight.
Unfortunately, this will be the last time we could see Leia, because of the untimely death of talented actress Carrie Fisher.
The film has been, in fact, dedicated to her: “To Our Princess…“
Born Ben Solo, son of Leia Organa and Han Solo, trained to the ways of the Force by his uncle Luke Skywalker. He was turned to the Dark Side presumably because of Snoke, who nominated him Master of the Knights of Ren.
Critics like him, everyone hates him. We love him, though.
This new chapter he’ll never cease to surprise us, while his bond with Rey will be explored further.
The new heroine, strong with the Force.
Her mysterious origins drive fans crazy, and in two years they have pumped out hundreds of theories.
She will have to carry on the Jedi’s knowledge and she will surely be a model of feminine power and freedom for the generations to come.
She has little weight on her shoulders…and maybe this burden will get even harder to carry. Will we discover something more about her past? Well, let’s say maybe. In a certain way. Perhaps.
Raised to be the FN-2187 Stormtrooper, Finn finds out his destiny by coincidence and runs away from the First Order, meeting Rey and the Rebellion.
He’s the first one in the new trilogy to fight with a Jedi lightsaber. He won’t lose his intrepid spirit even in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, where his actions will inspire many people to be more like him.
In the last chapter we saw him as a funny, merry-go-lucky guy, but in this one things might change…
SUPREME LEADER SNOKE
He’s the big villain of this Trilogy and the First Order’s Supreme Leader, the military organization arisen from the ashes of the Galactic Empire.
Little is known about him: he is the new Master of Kylo Ren and is played masterly by Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings, Planet of the Apes, King Kong).
Some people hope that he ultimately reveals himself as an ancient Sith Lord, possibly Darth Plagueis (did you ever hear of the tragedy of Darth Plagueis The Wise?). This would reconnect with the prequel trilogy and create an even stronger common thread in the whole saga.
Of one thing we may rest assured: his destiny will be clearer after Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
VICE ADMIRAL AMILYN HOLDO
It was widely known that Laura Dern and her pink-purple hair were going to be in this new chapter. What we didn’t know, though, was much about her character. Office with the resistance, her role will be also crucial.
One thing you shall know: be prepared for everything, from everyone. Even from the background characters.
He is the undisputed protagonist of all the saga and beyond. His music made stronger and more charming the Star Wars Universe, with motifs and music that play in the back of anyone’s mind, immediately recognizable and powerful even without pictures.
The five-time Academy Award winner wrote the music for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” even before the editing by Rian Johnson.
Indeed, the director wanted to cut the movie directly on Williams’ creations, to follow the rhythm of the Master and to take full advantage of the power of his pieces.
And May be The Force Be With You!
Credits Images: Vanity Fair and Disney.