'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' reviews round-up: Critics say Episode 8 is 'the best movie since "Empire Strikes Back"'

Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been lauded by critics (Disney)
Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been lauded by critics (Disney)

The reviews embargo has finally lifted on Star Wars: The Last Jedi and they are coming in thick and fast. The sequel to The Force Awakens was brought to the big screen by writer-director Rian Johnson, with Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac returning to the continuing space saga along with Star Wars stalwarts Mark Hamill and the late Carrie Fisher.

Initial social media reactions proved favourable to Episode 8 of the Disney franchise as the story of Rey discovering her heritage and powers continued after finding Luke Skywalker on an isolated planet. Meanwhile, the Resistance are facing stiff competition from the First Order in their battle to bring back the Republic and end Supreme Leader Snoke’s totalitarian regime from taking over galaxy.

Here’s what the critics have to say about the latest instalment:

Slash Film: “It’s not just a rollicking and entertaining follow-up to The Force Awakens; The Last Jedi is the best Star Wars film since The Empire Strikes Back, and is awful close to being its equal.”

The Hollywood Reporter: “Loaded with action and satisfying in the ways its loyal audience wants it to be, writer-director Rian Johnson’s plunge into George Lucas’ universe is generally pleasing even as it sometimes strains to find useful and/or interesting things for some of its characters to do. ”

The Daily Telegraph: “It’s not a Star Wars you’re entirely sure Lucas would or could have ever made himself. Rather than playing the hits, as JJ Abrams’s franchise-reviving The Force Awakens did two Christmases ago, it flexes its fingers before riffing over old chord progressions in ways that will leave fans beaming with surprise. ”

Radio Times: “The Last Jedi will incense some but absolutely enthral others, and the end result will be passionate feeling on both sides that’s in stark contrast to the wider but shallower mass appeal of The Force Awakens.”

The Guardian: “The character-driven face-offs are wonderful and the messianic succession crisis about the last Jedi of the title is gripping. But there is a convoluted and slightly unsatisfying parallel plot strand about the Resistance’s strategic military moves as the evil First Order closes in.”

The Verge: “The Last Jedi feels like a deliberate, thought-through corrective. It sums up its theme in its title: it’s trying, as respectfully and carefully as possible, to let go of some of the old traditions, and look for the next steps for a world that’s rapidly expanding, and needs to escape its old, familiar conflicts if it’s going to grow.”

Forbes: “It is a long, sprawling and sometimes messy movie about messy conflicts and moral ambiguity in a time of relative immorality. It doesn’t always work as intended, and there will be plenty of “Hey, wait a minute?!” fodder for the Honest Trailers folks, but it is terrific and intelligent entertainment.”

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is out on December 14th

Social media reactions show love for The Last Jedi
17 Photos from the Star Wars: The Last Jedi premiere
Star Wars: The Last Jedi rating revealed