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Daisy Ridley’s Rey and Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren are front and center, alongside co-stars Mark Hamill, John Boyega and the late Carrie Fisher, in the new trailer for ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi.’
Lucasfilm

Let’s get to the answer every Star Wars fan is dying to know: Porgs are indeed adorable and there are just enough of them in The Last Jedi.

Oh, wait, you were more interested in the parentage of Daisy Ridley’s heroine Rey, what Mark Hamill’s Jedi master Luke Skywalker has been doing on an island for years, and why Adam Driver’s menacing Kylo Ren is constantly miffed? The eighth and latest chapter in the long-running space opera dives into those mysteries from The Force Awakens, too.

In fact, The Last Jedi (***½ out of four; rated PG-13; in theaters Thursday night) tries to do a little too much in its overlong 2½ hours, yet writer/director Rian Johnson still turns in a stellar entry that owes much to George Lucas’ original films while finding a signature vibe of its own and unleashing a few welcome twists.

Related: What you need to know about ‘The Last Jedi’ and the franchise’s future

More: A refresher on your ‘Force Awakens’ favorites going into ‘The Last Jedi’

Two different paths are taken for our returning heroes, starting with the Force Awakens fallout for the upstart Resistance: Hotshot pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and his crew blew up the evil First Order’s Starkiller Base but quickly figure out how overmatched they are when the bad guys rebound with a full-scale assault.

It becomes a race for survival from there for a fleet led by General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), and one that gets dicier when they meet up with new leader Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo (Laura Dern), who immediately butts heads with Poe. The First Order’s Supreme Leader Snoke (a CGI baddie played by Andy Serkis) gets into the fray, and former Stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega) and new Resistance mechanic Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran) get their own undercover mission to help foil the enemy’s annihilation plans.

Meanwhile across the universe, Rey finds Luke in self-imposed exile and tries to convince him to come back and help turn the tide against the First Order. Once a farm boy and now…