So Star Wars: The Last Jedi took us on an extraordinarily entertaining thrill ride, yet also left us with some serious, humdinging questions. We imagine you feel the same so we've used the Force (well, sort of) and come up with the essential puzzles we want answered.
WARNING: MAJOR LAST JEDI SPOILERS AHEAD
1. Who are Rey's parents?
The Force Awakens gave us the briefest of flashbacks to the moment where young Rey (Daisy Ridley) was abandoned on the desert planet of Jakku. We were expecting The Last Jedi to offer up some revelations in this area but instead, after brutally dispatching Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis), the power-hungry Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) taunts the fledgling Jedi that her parents were simply unremarkable. They were a pair of junk traders who "sold her for drinking money". Story over.
It's an effective way of puncturing the near-hysterical array of fan theories, grounding our central character in something much more relatable and less fantastical. But is Ren telling the truth? We can't help but feel Episode IX has more to answer in this area. For one thing, we'd love to see her parents actually turn up, especially given that Rey's background and her Force abilities are pivotal to the continued development of this new trilogy.
2. How are the Force abilities defined?
This is possibly The Last Jedi's most contentious area. Director Rian Johnson has been explicit in saying that he wanted to tinker with both the wider Star Wars mythology and Luke Skywalker's (Mark Hamill) backstory – indeed, Hamill initially disagreed with many of the story's more shocking revelations, particularly when we find out Ren's betrayal was prompted by Luke's inner fears.
But there are wider implications relating to the depiction of the Force itself. How did Leia (Carrie Fisher in her final screen appearance) get blasted into space, freeze, and float her way back to the resistance ship? How did the Force ghost of Yoda (Frank Oz) cause lightning to strike Ahch-To's sacred Jedi tree and texts, in the process allowing Luke to leave the past behind? And how is Luke able to Force project himself onto the planet of Crait, manifesting not only to Leia but also Kylo Ren, fooling him in the process?
We're curious to see how Johnson's reframing of our perception of the Force has a bearing on Episode IX.
3. How will Episode 9 deal with Carrie Fisher's death?
Many of us were expecting Leia to meet her fate in The Last Jedi, so imagine our surprise when she makes it to the end of the movie relatively unscathed. Not even Han Solo (Harrison Ford) or Luke Skywalker have managed it this far, the latter passing into the Force after providing the much-needed resistance 'spark' during the climactic battle on Crait.
Even so, this presents unforeseen problems. Given we assumed Leia would die in this movie, how are they going to render her in Episode IX? Lucasfilm have already confirmed they won't CGI the actress (a controversial move in last year's Rogue One) and Mark Hamill has said that Fisher will play a significant role in the movie.
Rian Johnson has said himself that no changes were made to The Last Jedi's final edit following Fisher's death, so we can only speculate. Maybe she'll appear as a hologram during her moment of passing, thus getting around the contentious CGI issue?
4. Who was Supreme Leader Snoke?
In one of the film's biggest shocks, the evil character we assumed to be taking up Emperor Palpatine's mantle was killed by his own apprentice, Kylo Ren. It's a nice inversion of the original trilogy, in which Palpatine first appeared in film number two, The Empire Strikes Back, before growing to full power (only to eventually be killed by Darth Vader), in film three, Return of the Jedi.
Once again it's a nice way of steering around the internet hype and speculation, which was abuzz that the likes of Project Resurrection would play a part. In the end, it seems Snoke's character was mainly used to heighten the evil of Kylo Ren, who eventually tires of his master's taunting and decides to seize power himself, becoming the new Supreme Leader in the process.
Even so, we'd love for Snoke to appear in flashback in Episode IX – after all, where he come from in the first place? It seems a shame for such a compelling, malevolent character to be denied his background story.
5. Is a new generation of Jedi about to take over?
The hugely dramatic finale saw Kylo facing off against what he thought was his old nemesis, Luke Skywalker. But it turns out Luke is instead Force-projecting from Ahch-To, allowing the few remaining resistance fighters to escape through the mines of Crait. At the same time Luke is keen to remind his murderous former student that he is not in fact the last Jedi of the title, but has instead passed on his mantle – and a sense of hope – to Rey.
After Luke's death we see Rey reunite with Leia and the surviving rebels. But what are the implications of Luke's words, and the film's ending? Will she become the person to take over the Skywalker mantle, training a new band of heroes in the process? On that note...
6. What's with the kid at the end?
The last shot of the movie returns to one of the child slaves in sleazy casino city Canto Bight. Prior to him looking up into the sky, awestruck by the distant glimpse of the Millennium Falcon zooming into hyperspace, we see him casually grabbing a broom – by means of the Force.
Who is this kid? Will he potentially become one of Rey's pupils in Episode IX? Or does his future lie further in the stars, in Rian Johnson's hotly anticipated new trilogy?
7. How did Kylo Ren rise to power?
In The Force Awakens Rey experienced a terrifying vision when picking up Luke's lightsaber (more on which, momentarily). In the vision Kylo Ren's chilling rise was hinted at, namely his role within the Knights of Ren, a group of dark side users under the authority of Snoke.
We kind of expected The Last Jedi to go more into this but instead (in an intriguing and compelling move), his backstory was left at the door in favour of the character's anguished inner conflict. Can we expect to see more in Episode IX?
8. How did Maz Kanata get Luke's lightsaber?
It was one of the great unanswered questions of The Force Awakens and with Lupita Nyong'o's character reduced to a brief hologram appearance in The Last Jedi, it remains unresolved.
9. How will Ren further consolidate his grip on the galaxy?
As mentioned the pupil exceeds the master upon the death of Supreme Leader Snoke. We already get a glimpse of how raving mad Ren is when he leads a group of AT-M6 Walkers to fire upon both the resistance fighters and Luke during the climactic Crait battle. He even violently pushes new subordinate General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) into the wall at one point – a sure sign of the new power dynamic in play.
Even so, with Ren now acting as the galaxy's new Supreme Leader, does this mean any and all goodness within him is lost forever? In the wake of the revelation surrounding the Luke/Ren betrayal, Rey ventured from Ahch-To to Snoke's ship to appeal to Ren's inner conflict, aware that there was still some good in him. However it remains to be seen whether he's now lost to the dark side forever.