With the long-awaited Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens about to debut in cinemas, we’ve gotten a chance to see the finished film – and it’s pretty great.
Full of exciting action set pieces, callbacks to the original movies and a dazzling cast, it’s a triumphant return to the world we all fell in love with, and well worth forking out the money to see.
But while you’re waiting for tickets, we thought we’d give you a sneak (non-spoilery) preview of what you’ve got to look forward to seeing in that galaxy far, far away.
To begin with…
1. Lots of homages
The creeping hull of a star destroyer, a lightsaber in the snow, a sunrise on a distant desert planet and a little droid with an important message – yep, if you’re a fan of the original Star Wars you’ll recognise a lot of shots in The Force Awakens.
2. All-new force powers
Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren does things with the force this time around that we’ve NEVER seen before, and they’re pretty awesome. Force choke, schmorce choke.
3. Huge revelations
No, we’re not going to say what they are, but they’re coming. Proper “I am your father”-level stuff.
4. Great new characters
John Boyega absolutely kills it as stormtrooper-turned hero Finn, Oscar Isaac is a great devil-may-care hero and every little girl (and boy) out there will want to be Daisy Ridley’s Rey once they see The Force Awakens. Expect great things from these actors.
5. Triumphant returns
You’ll cheer when Han Solo and Chewie step back aboard the Falcon, or when C-3PO wobbles onto the screen. And wait until you find out what Luke’s been up to since Return of the Jedi…
6. More women than the galaxy has ever seen
Even leaving out central hero Rey and Carrie Fisher’s returning Princess Leia, it’s great to see that there are a lot more women in this film than Star Wars has seen before. Gwendoline Christie does a lot with her limited screentime as the chilly Captain Phasma while Lupita Nyong’o plays a decent bargain-bin Yoda, and if you look and listen carefully you’ll spot many female officers and stormtroopers among the First Order. Gone are the days when Leia was the only woman in the universe.
7. The toy all children will want
We’re just gonna say it – BB-8 is ADORABLE and one of the best things about the new movie. All the people who have bought toy versions of him already will be feeling pretty smug very soon.
8. A BRUTAL lightsaber fight
Forget the twirling choreography of the prequels; the lightsaber dueling in The Force Awakens is messy, savage and with a genuine sense of danger. People get really hurt, with the evil-looking crossguard on Adam Driver’s weapon causing a lot of damage and the overall effect more like a Game of Thrones brawl. It’s fantastic.
9. And finally – SO. MANY. QUESTIONS.
What’s going to happen next? What is Supreme Leader Snoke’s plan? Why did Luke do what he did? And what happened to Kylo Ren all those years ago?
Episode VIII can’t come round soon enough…
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens will be released on 17th December