Breathe. Just breathe. Star Wars: The Last Jedi has finally hit cinemas, and - thank God - it's really f**king good.
The saga, presumed dead after the prequels, came roaring back to life with 2015's The Force Awakens, and now Rian Johnson has picked up the reigns from J.J. Abrams with the unenviable task of continuing the story. Star Wars turned 40 in 2017, so there isn't just the expectation of it as a major movie, but decades upon decades of fan investment.
Johnson has proved himself a skilled filmmaker, through the likes of Brick, Looper, and his work on Breaking Bad, but this is a major step up. The Force Awakens succeeded in many ways due to its familiar feeling, but that wasn't going to cut it here, and to his credit it's always seemed like Johnson was doing something different.
That poses its own challenge: how to craft a film that's undeniably Star Wars, but making it fresh, while telling a thrilling story with characters both new and old. Here's a spoiler-free (well, unless you want to know absolutely nothing about the film at all)look at how Johnson's effort shaped up, and just how much Episode VIII was worth the wait.
NCTJ-qualified journalist. Most definitely not a racing driver. Drink too much tea; eat too much peanut butter; watch too much TV. Sadly only the latter paying off so far.
A mix of wise-old man in a young man's body with a child-like wonder about him and a great otherworldly sensibility.