'Star Wars': A refresher on your 'Force Awakens' favorites going into 'The Last Jedi'
Before you head out to see the new movie, here's a recap of where the saga left off with 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens.'
USA TODAYStar 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 futureHere’s a refresher on the returning Force favorites in Star Wars: The Last Jedi (in theaters Thursday night):Rey (Daisy Ridley) explores her growing powers in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi.' (Photo: Lucasfilm Ltd.)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) is a wiser but more somber version of his old self in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi.' (Photo: Lucasfilm)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) is coping with the loss of Han Solo in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi.' (Photo: Lucasfilm Ltd.)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) in a moment of reflection during 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi.' (Photo: Lucasfilm Ltd.)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) steers a Ski Speeder on Crait. (Photo: Lucasfilm Ltd.)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.