Star Wars 8: May the film force be with you!

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Daisy Ridley, who played Rey in The Last Jedi, and Mark Hamill, who returns as Luke Skywalker. Inset, Herald reviewer, Stratford College student Joe Croston

When the clock strikes midnight tonight (Wednesday), the force will awaken — as will followers of the cult that has been Star Wars for the last 40 years, eager to be the first to see the latest instalment. Among them will be Stratford College film studies and media studies student, Joe Croston, aged 18, pictured, who gives us his take on what we might expect from The Last Jedi

A LONG, long time ago, 1977 to be precise, a small little low budget sci-fi film called Star Wars was sweeping across the world.

I don’t know whether George Lucas knew it would still be the big film powerhouse it is today; maybe, who knows?

He’s a mysterious man after all. Mystery is the only explanation for the prequels; anyway the less I say about them the better.

The Last Jedi (12A) is the second instalment of the third Star Wars trilogy, and third film produced since Disney bought the rights to LucasFilm.

As I’m writing this with just a few days until the much-awaited film, a film that has been subject to fan speculation for nearly two years. Fans want to know answers to questions raised in The Force Awakens.

Who are Rey’s parents? Who is Snoke? Where is Jar Jar Binks? Ok, maybe the last one isn’t as sought-after, but I still need to know!

One of the worries of the fans is that The Force Awakens was too similar to A New Hope and therefore this trilogy will stay too close to the original trilogy, by making this film favour the Dark Side, like in Empire, and play it too safe.

However, the director, Rian Johnson, has promised twists and turns throughout, and who are we to doubt the director of successful 2012 Sci-fi hit Looper.

Anyway hopefully all will be answered in what appears to be one of the most hotly-anticipated films of all time.

Look out for Joe’s review in next week’s Herald.

Other Festive Film Picks

IT’S not just The Last Jedi that is worth going to see at the cinema over the Christmas break — if you’re lucky enough to get one, here’s Herald arts’ pick…

The Man Who Invented Christmas (PG) tells the story of a mid-twentysomething Charles Dickens, who having had his idea for a Christmas-themed story rejected by his publishers, decided to use the little money he had left to publish it himself.

This film tells the magical story of how Dickens combined real life inspirations with his vivid imagination to conjure up a timeless tale and unforgettable characters, such as Ebenezer Scrooge, forever changing the Christmas season.

It runs at the Picturehouse and Everyman this week, and at Warwick Arts Centre from 15th to 21st December.

Or you can join an all-star cast of Michelle Pfeiffer, Johnny Depp, Willem Dafoe, Penélope Cruz and Kenneth Branagh on a lavish, luxurious train journey through Europe which turns deadly in Murder On The Orient Express (12A). It opens at Everyman this week with screenings at Warwick Arts Centre on selected days from 22nd December.

Or go and see two real festive classics at the Picturehouse — The Muppets Christmas Carol (U) at the cinema’s Kids Club on Saturday, 23rd December.