Spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi ahead

Star Wars has always been about cycles – fathers and sons, apprentices and masters, redemption and renewal. When Obi-Wan Kenobi confronts Darth Vader in A New Hope, Vader tells him that “the circle is now complete. When I left you I was but the learner, now I am the master”. With The Empire Strikes Back came the revelation that Vader was really Anakin Skywalker, Luke’s father, leading to Luke’s quest in Return of the Jedi to save the soul of his father. In resisting the temptation of the dark side, the son redeems the sins of the father.

The Force Awakens, too, emphasises the cyclical nature of Star Wars by introducing a new cast in a story that consciously echoes A New Hope: for Jakku, read Tatooine; for Starkiller Base, read the Death Star. Indeed, many criticised J.J. Abrams’ revival for hewing too close to the original formula. The Force Awakens was fun in execution, but conservative in ambition.

For the full article, head over to CineVue.