Star Wars fans around the world have been waiting for the release of the highly anticipated eighth installment of the popular franchise, Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which sees the return of Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker as well as Carrie Fisher's final performance as Princess Leia, arrives in theaters on Friday, Dec. 15.
However, movie critics got an early peek at the latest offering from George Lucas' epic space opera franchise at the world premiere last week. If their reviews are any indication, it looks like Star Wars fans will not be disappointed.
The film, which is a follow-up to 2015's The Force Awakens, is one of the year's biggest releases. Early tracking reports estimated a $200 million opening weekend for the upcoming film.
So far, the Rian Johnson-directed film has earned a score of 86 on Metacritic, which is the second highest score for a Star Wars movie after 1977's Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope received a 92 score.
The Last Jedi has also been certified "fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes with a 93 percent rating, making it the highest rated film from the series on the review aggregation website.
Here's what the critics have to say about the film:
New York Times - Manohla Dargis
"Yes, the latest "Star Wars" installment is here, and, lo, it is a satisfying, at times transporting entertainment. Remarkably, it has visual wit and a human touch, no small achievement for a seemingly indestructible machine that revved up 40 years ago and shows no signs of sputtering out (ever)."
Rolling Stone - Peter Travers
"The Last Jedi is simply stupendous, a volcano of creative ideas in full eruption. Writer-director Rian Johnson, known for indies such as Looper and Brick, eases into epic filmmaking like a pro."
"The Star Wars universe is the best toy box a fanboy could ever wish for, and Johnson makes sure that Jedi is bursting at the seams with knockout fun surprises, marvelous adventure and shocking revelations that will leave your head spinning."
The Guardian - Peter Bradshaw
"An old hope. A new realism. An old anxiety. A new feeling that the Force might be used to channel erotic telepathy, and long-distance evil seduction. The excitingly and gigantically proportioned eighth film in the great Star Wars saga offers all of these, as well as colossal confrontations, towering indecisions and teetering temptations, spectacular immolations, huge military engagements, and very small disappointments."
Time - Stephanie Zacharek
"[Rian Johnson's] movie has a sense of humor about itself and a sense of joy, but its emotional generosity, even in the midst of all the extravagant green-screen work, is its best special effect. He's taken Disney's money and given the audience all the things money can't buy: Instead of selling to us, he's speaking to us. You can feel the difference."
Los Angeles Times - Justin Chang
"The first flat-out terrific Star Wars movie since 1980's The Empire Strikes Back. It seizes upon Lucas' original dream of finding a pop vessel for his obsessions--Akira Kurosawa epics, John Ford westerns, science-fiction serials--and fulfills it with a verve and imagination all its own."