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By PHILLIP LUTZ, Sports Editor

This film is the eighth installment in the franchise that began in 1977 with Star Wars: A New Hope, or as we call it, Star Wars episode four. The film makes its debut on December 14, 2017. It will be an instant blockbuster in theaters.

The film is directed by Rian Johnson. Johnson is best known for the movie Looper and his years with the television show “Breaking Bad.”  Johnson and Disney also announced recently that beginning in 2020 there will be a new trilogy coming after the conclusion of the current one.

There are many questions that must be answered from The Force Awakens, or episode seven. When episode seven ended we saw Luke Skywalker had been found and Rey is holding out his long lost lightsaber to him on a deserted planet. Where has Skywalker been?

In The Force Awakens there were brief glimpses of Luke Skywalker walking out of ashes of a Jedi academy after failing to train Kylo Ren (Ben Solo). This will be hopefully explained in the upcoming installment The Last Jedi. It may explain why Skywalker has been living as a hermit for so many years.

Kylo Ren will be back in this film and probably even meaner and angrier than before after he killed Han Solo in the previous film. He now will finish his training in the dark side with Supreme Leader Snoke. Who is Snoke? What does he really look like in person? These are huge questions that must be answered.

The Last Jedi will also give the fans the funeral of Han Solo and truly prove he is actually dead. There has been some talk that he lived through the lightsaber strike and the destruction of Starkiller base.  We will not know for sure until the movie actually comes out but with a funeral planned, Han Solo must be actually dead. Solo may be involved in flashbacks but not in new things for the movie.

When The Force Awakens ended, Finn was in stasis and a coma. How he will play into the movie is not known at this time. He is a main person in the Resistance now and is an important character since his defection from the First Order and from being a stormtrooper. Finn may have lingering force awareness but it has not been realized as of yet. Who Finn’s parents were and his home planet are more things that need to be revealed with this trilogy.

During The Force Awakens, Starkiller base destroyed the planets of the senate and the entire ruling body of the galaxy leaving the First Order and the Resistance to fight it out for supremacy. The leader of the Resistance is none other than General (princess) Leia Organa Solo. It is not known how Leia will be used in this movie since actress Carrie Fisher died in December 2016 after completing all shooting for The Last Jedi. How the directors will send her off into the sunset is not known but with the Star Wars franchise they take great care to preserve their people so the fans are happy.

The Last Jedi is rumored to be a lot like The Empire Strikes Back in that it is supposed to be a darker movie. The movie will see great strife for the heroes so in episode 9 they can come back and have a great triumph so the galaxy will be safe from the First Order. Director J.J. Abrams left a lot of the story untold in The Force Awakens and the story is truly known yet for the heroes and villains.

The character that is most unknown is a smaller one named Maz Kanata who is very old and has many secrets. She was introduced in The Force Awakens as the keeper of secrets and the owner of a bar on the planet Takodana. She gave Rey the lightsaber lost by Luke Skywalker when he got his arm cut off in his fight with Darth Vader (his father). How she got it and where she comes from are huge questions still to be answered.

The largest question yet to be answered is the identity of Rey’s parents. Who were they? Why did they abandon her on Jakku? These are major holes that must be filled with this film to set up the final movie in the trilogy.

The Last Jedi will be a film for the ages as long as Johnson held with tradition and made a movie that will tickle the senses and keep you guessing until the very last moment. The audience is encouraged to dress up for the first 24 hours of showing, especially at the Laurel Park Mall Phoenix Theaters in Livonia, where there will be live Storm Troopers and members of the 501st legion in attendance. They will take photos with you so get there early as all showings of The Last Jedi will be sold out early and will have a great turnout.

Get out and see The Last Jedi and afterwards contact the Michigan Journal with your thoughts on the movie. May the Force be with you.