After two long years, the second instalment of the latest Star Wars trilogy is finally upon us. Today, Star Wars: The Last Jedi releases in cinemas. Many of you will be desperately trying to avoid online spoilers until you've seen it. Others will be actively hunting down and devouring every plot point. This article is for the latter group. (Spoiler Warning. Obviously.)
Firstly, here are the main plot beats. (We've kept this bit spoiler-lite for people who just want a summary of the story. But we're still gonna spoil stuff, so proceed with caution!)
Star Wars: The Last Jedi kicks off with a First Order attack on a Resistance base. We are treated to a spectacular space battle that would traditionally end one of these movies. It's great!
Despite bringing down an entire dreadnought ship, Poe Dameron (the dreamy pilot guy from the first film) proves he's a little too hot-headed and impulsive to be an effective leader. After joining up with the escaping fleet, General Leia gives him a dressing down and demotes him.
Across the galaxy, Rey is attempting to convince Luke Skywalker to join the fight, but he ain't having a bar of it. After a bunch of cajoling, he agrees to train her in the ways of the Force but begins to have second thoughts after realising she's attuned to the Dark Side.
Meanwhile, the Resistance is having an extremely rough time due to the First Order working out how to track their escape fleet through hyperspace. Finn and BB-8 embark on a covert mission to defuse the First Order's tracking system.
Along for the ride are series' newcomers Rose Tico (a Resistance maintenance worker who harbours feelings for Finn) and DJ (a dubious hacker they recruit along the way.) Unfortunately, things don't go according to plan and they all get captured. With the mission foiled, the Resistance fleet starts to get picked off, ship by ship.
Over in The First Order, Kylo Ren is still struggling to live up to the legacy of his teen idol, Darth Vader. He also establishes a telepathic link with Rey on Luke's island which neither of them fully understand.
Via flashback, it is revaled that Luke briefly contemplated killing Kylo due to the evil he sensed - but he could not bring himself to commit the deed. In some neat Rashomon style storytelling, we see the scene from both Luke's and Kylo's points of view. This misunderstanding is what caused the rift between teacher and pupil that helped tear apart the whole galaxy.
Despite Kylo's unforgivable sins, Rey is desperate to bring him back to the Light Side. Against Luke's wishes, she travels alone to confront him and Supreme Leader Snoke - just like Luke in The Return Of The Jedi. A big battle ensues and Rey escapes. Despite all the inner conflict, Kylo finally commits to the dark side.
The movie ends with a final showdown on an uncharted planet filled with red salt (where some of the more visually arresting images from the trailers come from). All hope seems lost... until Luke appears out of nowhere to save the day. The surviving resistance fighters make their escape with the knowledge that their struggle against the First Order will ignite a wildfire of resistance across the galaxy. End credits.
Want to know more? Here are the big, no-holds-barred spoilers!
Following the untimely death of actress Carrie Fisher (and a none-too subtle hint in the trailer), many believed general Leia Organa would be killed by her evil progeny Kylo Ren, just like Han Solo.
Instead, Kylo deliberately spares her life. Nevertheless, her ship gets blown up by a pair of Kylo's underlings, causing her to be sucked out into the vacuum of space. HOWEVER - she survives the cataclysmic event (presumably because she is Force sensitive) and lives to fight another day. This means the filmmakers now need to explain her absence in the third film. Awks.
Luke dies! (Sort of)
In the final showdown with Kylo Ren, it is revealed that Luke isn't actually there. At least, not physically. He was simply projecting an image of himself from his island using the Force. It was all a ploy to buy the Resistance time to make their escape.
Despite this, after the battle, Luke looks off into the heavens and slowly disappears into the ether. Presumably, projecting a hologram across the galaxy expended too much Force. Another OT hero bites the dust.
Supreme Leader Snoke dies
We did not see this one coming. Supreme Leader Snoke is this trilogy's answer to Emperor Palpatine, so we were fully expecting him to stick around until the final act. Instead, he gets chopped in half by his protege Kylo Ren. We can't say we're sad to see him go - Snoke was one of the weakest aspects of The Force Awakens.
This does cause a bit of a villain vacuum though; neither Kylo Ren or High Commander Hux are particularly formidable. Maybe the Knights Of Ren (former Jedi pupils turned to the Dark Side by Kylo) will supply the threat that Part IX sorely needs.
Chewbacca eats a Porg!
In one of the funniest moments of the film, Chewie sits down for a nice meal of roasted Porg, only to be guilt-tripped by the onlooking survivors. Remember that whole "who would eat a Porg" thing that trended on Twitter? I'm now convinced that Disney's shady organic marketers orchestrated the whole debate. TRUST NO ONE! (Wait, wrong franchise.)
Rey's parents are nobodies!
The mystery surrounding Rey's parentage is finally uncovered. It's not Luke, or Han or anybody else from the Star Wars mythos. Turns out they were alcoholic junk traders who sold her as a kid for booze. Remember - anyone can be strong with the Force, even nobodies.
Granted, this information comes via arch villain Kylo Ren and could therefore be suspect - but it is heavily implied that Rey has always known this fact and just wanted to believe otherwise. Plus, we can't see what purpose revealing her parentage in Part IX would serve. She knows who she is and any self-doubt has already been erased.
Phasma dies (again)
Gwendoline Christie's Phasma is pretty much wasted in this movie - just like she was in The Force Awakens. We do get to see approximately nine percent of her face before she kicks the bucket though.
Admiral Akbar dies
The "It's A Trap!" guy gets blown up off-screen in a First Order attack. Bummer.
Yoda gets a cameo!
Everyone's favourite intergalactic Muppet has a tête-à-tête with Luke about setting dusty Jedi tomes aside and joining the fight. The pen might be mightier than the sword, but a lightsaber trumps them both.
Finn gets a kiss!
The aforementioned Rose plants one on Finn after rescuing his life. It's not clear yet whether her feelings are reciprocated.
Laura Dern is a badass
Not a spoiler, just a fact.