'Star Wars': A refresher on your 'Force Awakens' favorites going into 'The Last Jedi'
Star Wars: The Force Awakens brought the franchise back into pop culture in the most humongous way possible. But that was two years ago. A lot has happened since then — including a whole other prequel, Rogue One.
More:What you need to know about 'The Last Jedi' and the franchise's future
Here’s a refresher on the returning Force favorites in Star Wars: The Last Jedi (in theaters Thursday night):
Rey (Daisy Ridley)
The young scavenger from Jakku went on an epic adventure and eventually realized — to even her surprise — that she is very strong in the Force. General Leia Organa sent Rey on a mission to locate her brother Luke Skywalker, and she finds him on top of a remote island. “She’s thinking, ‘Hopefully this is the guy who can come back and help fix everything,’ ” Ridley says. “I don’t think it’s until later when he isn’t so willing (to return) that she starts to wonder what she wants as opposed to trying to do something that has been asked of her.”
Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill)
The fresh-faced hero of the Rebel Alliance is now a wizened hermit when Rey finds him. Teaching Han Solo and Leia’s young son Ben the ways of the Force was a disaster, and now Luke insists, “It’s time for the Jedi to end.” So, not as fresh-faced anymore. “His friends are suffering and dying trying to fight off this big new evil in the galaxy, and he’s taken himself out of the fight,” says director Rian Johnson. But “like we all know with real people in the real world, you’re a different person 30 years on than you were, but you aren’t, really.”
General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher)
The leader of the Resistance has led a huge victory over the First Order, yet she’s also dealing with the death of her love Han. Leia has a history of needing to move on from tragedy quickly, Johnson says. “In (the original Star Wars), when she’s on the base getting ready for the final attack, the commander says to her, basically, ‘Sorry your planet (Alderaan) got blown up,’ and she says, ‘We have no time for our sorrows.’ ”
Kylo Ren (Adam Driver)
The former Ben Solo killed his father but was left scarred after a brutal lightsaber battle with Rey. The First Order warrior has been ordered to complete his training with Supreme Leader Snoke, but Driver points to Kylo’s line in a Last Jedi trailer that’s important for his journey: “Let the past die. Kill it if you have to. That’s the only way to become what you’re meant to be.” Adds Driver: “It’s ambiguous whether that’s something he totally believes or he’s convincing himself.”
Finn (John Boyega)
The former Stormtrooper escaped from the First Order, went on a grand adventure with Rey, but was wounded by Kylo Ren. When he wakes up from his coma in The Last Jedi, there’s a new approach to war and battle for Finn, Boyega says. "He’s choosing and deciding which side he belongs on. He’s called ‘the big deal’ in the Resistance and he likes the sound of that — I don’t think he genuinely believes that. But he’s going to prove himself to be one in this movie, for sure.”
Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac)
The best pilot in the Resistance was an integral part of taking down the First Order’s Starkiller Base, yet Poe and his colleagues can’t rest after one win. “They’ve hit their target but that didn’t wipe away the whole army. Now they’ve exposed their base, they’ve exposed themselves, and all the tension is ratcheted up,” Isaac says. “Poe’s journey in this film is, how does one become more than just a soldier? How does one become a leader?”
General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson)
Starkiller Base just went kablooey, and while Hux evacuated his battle-station baby before becoming cosmic toast, that doesn’t mean he’s not feeling the heat within the First Order power structure. “Hux is under tremendous pressure at the start of this in a way that he’s never been before,” Gleeson says. “And that just makes him more desperate.”
Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie)
The First Order’s top female Stormtrooper got thrown into a trash compactor by Finn and Han Solo during the Resistance’s siege on Starkiller Base. Not only did she survive the explosion, but she’s not pleased in the slightest, Christie says. “That humiliation has given rise to a lust for revenge in the way that dark narcissistic personalities often feel a need to stamp out those things they feel have overpowered them.”
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