Shortly after the battle of Starkiller Base,[a] General Leia Organa is leading the Resistance forces in evacuating their base when the First Order fleet arrives. Against Leia's orders, Poe Dameron leads a costly counterattack that destroys a First Order dreadnought. The remaining Resistance escapes into hyperspace, but the First Order uses a device to track them, and attacks again. Kylo Ren hesitates to fire on the lead Resistance ship after sensing his mother Leia's presence on board, but his wingmen destroy the bridge, killing most of the Resistance's leaders. Leia is dragged into space but survives by using the Force. While Leia recovers, Vice-Admiral Holdo assumes command of the Resistance. Running low on fuel, the remaining fleet is pursued by the First Order.
On Ahch-To, Rey attempts to recruit Luke Skywalker to the Resistance. Under self-imposed exile, Luke refuses to help and says that the Jedi should end. After encouragement from R2-D2, he agrees to give Rey three lessons in the ways of the Force. Rey and Kylo begin communicating through the Force, which puzzles them both. Kylo tells Rey that Luke feared his power. Luke confesses that he momentarily contemplated killing Kylo upon sensing that Snoke was corrupting him, which prompted Kylo to destroy Luke's new Jedi Order. Convinced that Kylo can be redeemed, Rey leaves Ahch-To. Luke prepares to burn the Jedi library but hesitates. The spirit of Luke's master Yoda appears and destroys the library by summoning a bolt of lightning. He encourages Luke to learn from his failure.
Meanwhile, Poe entrusts Finn, mechanic Rose, and BB-8 with a secret mission to disable the First Order's tracking device. Maz Kanata directs them to the casino town of Canto Bight, where they meet the hacker DJ. Pursued by the local security, they escape Canto Bight with the help of stablehand children and racing animals they set free. Finn, Rose, and DJ infiltrate Snoke's flagship but are captured by Captain Phasma. Rey also infiltrates the flagship and is captured by Kylo, who brings her before Snoke. Snoke reveals that he connected their minds to discover Luke's whereabouts.
Holdo plans to evacuate the remaining members of the Resistance using small transport vessels. Believing her plan cowardly and futile, Poe leads a mutiny. A recovered Leia stuns Poe with a blaster and proceeds with the evacuation. Holdo remains aboard the ship as a decoy to mislead Snoke's fleet as the others flee to an abandoned base on Crait. DJ buys his freedom by revealing the Resistance's plan to General Hux, and the First Order fleet begins firing on the evacuation transports, destroying many.
Ordered to kill Rey, Kylo instead kills Snoke and defeats his Praetorian Guard with her help. Rey hopes that Kylo has abandoned the dark side, but he instead asks her to rule the galaxy with him. Refusing, she battles him for control of Luke's lightsaber, bisecting the weapon. Holdo sacrifices herself by slicing through Snoke's flagship at lightspeed, crippling the First Order fleet. Rey escapes the destruction while Kylo declares himself Supreme Leader. BB-8 frees Finn and Rose; they defeat Phasma and join the survivors on Crait. When the First Order arrives, Poe, Finn, and Rose attack with obsolete speeders. Rey and Chewbacca draw TIE fighters away in the Millennium Falcon, while Rose stops Finn from sacrificing himself. The First Order penetrates the Resistance fortress using a siege cannon.
Luke appears and confronts the First Order, allowing the surviving Resistance to escape. Kylo orders the First Order's forces to fire on Luke, but they fail to harm him. He then engages Luke in a lightsaber duel; upon striking Luke, Kylo realizes that Luke is not physically present, but projecting his image through the Force. Rey helps the remaining Resistance escape on the Falcon. Exhausted, Luke dies peacefully on Ahch-To, becoming one with the Force. Rey and Leia sense his death, and Leia tells Rey that the Resistance can rise again.
At Canto Bight, the stablehands recount the story of Luke Skywalker; afterward, one of them moves a broom with the Force and gazes into space.
In January 2015, Disney CEO Bob Iger stated that Episode VIII would be released in 2017. In December, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said that the film had not been mapped out and that Abrams was collaborating with Johnson, who would in turn work with (then) Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow to ensure a smooth transition. Additionally, Abrams served as an executive producer along with Tom Karnowski and Jason McGatlin. In January 2017, Lucasfilm announced the title for Episode VIII as Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Johnson wrote the scene with the mirrored versions of Rey to symbolise her search for identity; when she asks for a vision of her parents, she sees only herself. Rey learns that her parents were "nobodies" as it would be "the hardest thing" she and the audience could hear; Johnson likened the scene to Luke Skywalker learning that Darth Vader is his father in The Empire Strikes Back (1980). During production, Hamill expressed disagreement with the direction of his character, Luke, feeling his character's disillusioned state was at odds with his character. Hamill later said he regretted making his initial misgivings public and compared his disagreements to his clashes with George Lucas during the filming of Return of the Jedi (1983).
In September 2015, Disney shortlisted the female cast members to Gina Rodriguez, Tatiana Maslany, and Olivia Cooke. That same month, Benicio del Toro confirmed his involvement in the film, but denied that he was playing a villain, and Mark Hamill was also confirmed.Joaquin Phoenix was also courted to portray the role of DJ, but would end up passing on the offer. In October 2015, Gugu Mbatha-Raw was rumored to have been cast in the film. In November, Kennedy announced at the London premiere of The Force Awakens that the entire cast would return for Episode VIII, along with "a handful" of new cast members. In February 2016, at the start of filming, it was confirmed that Laura Dern and Kelly Marie Tran had been cast in undisclosed roles. In April 2017, at the Star Wars Celebration Orlando, Lucasfilm announced that Tran would play Resistance maintenance worker Rose Tico, which Johnson described as the film's largest new role. To keep Frank Oz's return as Yoda a secret, producers excluded Oz's name in the billing for the film's pre-release marketing and ensured that Oz stayed on set during filming.
Second unit photography began during pre-production at Skellig Michael in Ireland on September 14, 2015, due to the difficulties of filming at that location during other seasons. It would have lasted five days, but filming was canceled for the first day due to poor weather and rough conditions. In September 2015, del Toro revealed that principal photography would begin in March 2016. The production began work on the 007 Stage at Pinewood Studios on November 15, 2015.Rick Heinrichs served as production designer.
Principal photography wrapped on July 22, 2016, though as of early September, Nyong'o had not filmed her scenes. In February 2017, it was announced that sequences from the film were shot in IMAX. Production designer Rick Heinrichs said the original script called for 160 sets, double what might be expected, but that Johnson did some "trimming and cutting". Ultimately, 125 sets were created on 14 sound stages at Pinewood Studios.
In July 2013, Kennedy confirmed at the Star Wars Celebration Europe that John Williams would return to score the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Williams confirmed his assignment for The Last Jedi at a Tanglewood concert in August 2016, stating he would begin recording the score "off and on" in December 2016 until March or April 2017. On February 21, 2017, it was confirmed that recording was underway, with both Williams and William Ross conducting the sessions. In lieu of a traditional spotting session with Johnson, Williams was provided a temp track of music from his previous film scores as a reference for scoring The Last Jedi. The official soundtrack album was released by Walt Disney Records on December 15, 2017.
On September 19, 2017, Australia Post released a set of stamp packs. On October 12, Royal Mail released a set of eight promotional postage stamps designed by Malcolm Tween. Several tie-in books were released on the same day as the film's release, including The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary, and various children's reading and activity books. Related novelizations included the prequel book Cobalt Squadron, and Canto Bight, a collection of novellas about the Canto Bight Casino. As with The Force Awakens, there is no official tie-in game for The Last Jedi, in favor of integrating content from the film into other Star Wars video games, including Star Wars Battlefront II, which introduced various content from the film, during the game's first "season".
Star Wars: The Last Jedi grossed $620.2million in the United States and Canada, and $712.5million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $1.333billion. It had a worldwide opening of $450.8million, the eighth-biggest of all time, including $40.6million that was attributed to IMAX screenings, the second biggest for IMAX. It was estimated that the film would need to gross $800million worldwide to break even; On December 31, 2017, the film crossed the $1 billion mark, making it the third Star Wars film to do so. Deadline Hollywood calculated the net profit of the film to be $417.5 million, accounting for production budgets, marketing, talent participations, and other costs, with box office grosses, and ancillary revenues from home media, placing it first on their list of 2017's "Most Valuable Blockbusters".
United States and Canada
Pre-sale tickets went on sale in the United States on October 9, 2017, and as with The Force Awakens and Rogue One, ticket service sites such as Fandango had their servers crash due to heavy traffic and demand. In the United States and Canada, industry tracking had The Last Jedi grossing around $200million from 4,232 theaters in its opening weekend. The film made $45million from Thursday night previews, the second-highest amount ever (behind The Force Awakens' $57million). It went on to make $104.8million on its first day (including previews), and $220million over the weekend, both the second-highest amounts of all time. The opening weekend figure included an IMAX opening-weekend of $25million, the biggest IMAX opening of the year, and the second biggest ever behind The Force Awakens.
After dropping by 76% on its second Friday, the worst Friday-to-Friday drop in the series, the film fell by a total of 67% in its second weekend, grossing $71.7million. It was the largest second-weekend drop of the series, although it remained atop the box office. It made $52.4 million in its third weekend, again topping the box office. It also brought its domestic total to $517.1 million, overtaking the Disney film Beauty and the Beast (2017) as the highest of 2017. It grossed $23.6 million and was surpassed the following weekend by Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) (which was in its third week) and Insidious: The Last Key (2018).
In its first two days of release the film made $60.8million from 48 markets. The top countries were the United Kingdom ($10.2million), Germany ($6.1million), France ($6million), Australia ($5.6million), and Brazil ($2.5million). By the end of the weekend, the film made $230million outside the United States and Canada. All-time opening weekend records were set in various countries, including France, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom, and Finland. On its second weekend, it grossed $76.1million outside the United States and Canada and became the fourth-highest-grossing film of the year in Europe. As of January 21, the largest markets outside of the United States and Canada are the United Kingdom ($109.3million), Germany ($79.8million), France ($63.5million), Japan ($60.8million), and Australia ($43.5million).
The film had a $28.7 million opening weekend in China. A week after its debut, China's movie exhibitors dropped the film's showtimes by 90%. The film grossed $910,000 in its third weekend, dropping to ninth place at the Chinese box office, overshadowed by new releases including Bollywood film Secret Superstar (2017), Hollywood films Ferdinand (2017) and Wonder (2017), and Chinese filmA Better Tomorrow 2018.The Last Jedi grossed $42.5million in China.
On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 91% of 486 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 8.1/10. The website's consensus reads, "Star Wars: The Last Jedi honors the saga's rich legacy while adding some surprising twists — and delivering all the emotion-rich action fans could hope for."Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 84 out of 100, based on 56 critics, indicating "universal acclaim". Metacritic analysis found the film was the 25th-most mentioned film on "best of the year" film rankings and the 22nd-most mentioned on "best of the decade" film rankings.
Matt Zoller Seitz of RogerEbert.com gave the film four stars out of four, praising the surprises and risks that it took, writing that "The movie works equally well as an earnest adventure full of passionate heroes and villains and a meditation on sequels and franchise properties", in which the film "includes multiple debates over whether one should replicate or reject the stories and symbols of the past." Writing for Rolling Stone, Peter Travers gave the film three-and-a-half stars out of four, praising Johnson's direction and the cast performances, particularly Hamill's, and concluding that the film "ranks with the very best Star Wars epics (even the pinnacle that is The Empire Strikes Back)".Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three-and-a-half stars out of four, praising the action sequences and humor, and said that the film "doesn't pack quite the same emotional punch [as The Force Awakens] and it lags a bit in the second half, [but] this is still a worthy chapter in the Star Wars franchise", containing a few callbacks of "previous characters and iconic moments."
Will Gompertz, arts editor of BBC News, gave the film four stars out of five, writing "Rian Johnson [...] has not ruined your Christmas with a turkey. His gift to you is a cracker, a blockbuster movie packed with invention, wit, and action galore." The unpredictability of the plot was appreciated by reviewers such as Alex Leadbeater of Screen Rant, who commented specifically that the death of Snoke was "the best movie twist in years". Creator of the franchise George Lucas, who was not involved with the film's production, described The Last Jedi as "beautifully made" shortly after its release. His reaction to Star Wars: The Force Awakens was generally more negative.
Conversely, Richard Brody of The New Yorker wrote that the film "comes off as a work that's ironed out, flattened down, appallingly purified".Kate Taylor of The Globe and Mail gave the film two stars out of four, saying it suffered from too many new additions and adding, "as it seeks to uphold a giant cultural legacy, this unfolding trilogy struggles to maintain a balance that often seems just out of reach."Owen Gleiberman of Variety criticized the film for being too derivative of the past films, noting "it's now repeating things that have already been repeated", becoming "an official monument to nostalgia."
Audience reception measured by scientific polling methods was highly positive. Audiences polled by CinemaScore during the opening weekend gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale, and those at PostTrak gave the film an 89% overall positive score, a 79% "definite recommend", and a rare five-star rating.SurveyMonkey determined that 89% of its polled audience graded the film positively.
User-generated scores at Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic received considerable coverage for being more negative. Audience scores on such sites require only registration and do not ensure that contributing voters have seen the film. Several reviewers speculated that coordinated vote brigading from internet groups and bots contributed to the low scores, including analysis provided by Quartz and Bleeding Cool. After initially rejecting tampering claims, Rotten Tomatoes later said in 2019 that The Last Jedi had been "seriously targeted" by a review-bombing campaign. Scott Mendelson of Forbes labeled the negative reaction "alleged", saying it was based on "easily trolled online user polls", and he criticized Disney for placating the "vocal minority" in its approach to the sequel, Rise of Skywalker.
The Last Jedi was also characterized by reviewers as divisive among audiences. Emily VanDerWerff of Vox found that dissatisfied fans saw the film as too progressive, disliked its humor, plot, or character arcs, or felt betrayed that it ignored fan theories. Other reviewers made similar observations. Particularly divisive was the reveal that Rey's parents are insignificant; many fans had expected her to be Luke's daughter or to share a lineage with another character from the original trilogy. There was also sentiment that Snoke's character was underdeveloped and that Luke's actions contradicted his previous heroic portrayal. Reviewers claimed that fan theories were held so strongly among some viewers that it was difficult for them to accept different stories, but they noted that other viewers appreciated the film's action, tone, and deviation from Star Wars tradition.
After facing sexist and racist abuse on Instagram for her role as Rose Tico, Kelly Marie Tran left social media. The incident highlighted the challenges faced by people of color who are in Star Wars. Tran was the first woman of color to have a lead role in a Star Wars film, and similarly John Boyega faced the same type of abuse when he was cast in The Force Awakens. After leaving social media The Last Jedi's director Rian Johnson and co-stars Mark Hamill and John Boyega defended Tran against the harassment she received.
The Rise of Skywalker, the final installment of the sequel trilogy, was released on December 20, 2019. Colin Trevorrow was expected to direct the film, but on September 5, 2017, Lucasfilm announced that he had stepped down. A week later, Lucasfilm announced that J. J. Abrams would return to direct the film and co-write it with Chris Terrio.
^Wilkinson, Alissa (August 13, 2018). "CinemaScore, Rotten Tomatoes, and movie audience scores, explained". Vox. Archived from the original on February 28, 2019. Retrieved December 7, 2018. But with Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic, and IMDB scores, that's not necessarily the case. None of these sites require users to prove that they've seen the film. All a person has to do is register for an account on the site.