Official reviews have landed for Star Wars: The Last Jedi - and they're out of this world.

The film, which hits theatres here tomorrow, has been praised as "an explosive thrill-ride of epic proportions" and has garnered many five-star reviews.

It has an 85 per cent approval rating on Metacritic, and a whopping 93 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

But it's what the critics are saying that will really impress fans heading along to the eighth saga in the third trilogy of the franchise.


One even says it's better than The Empire Strikes Back, the 1980s film many fans consider the peak of Star Wars.

Here's a selection of reviews:
"Under the fastidious guidance of writer-director Johnson, The Force Awakens turns the commercial restrictions of this behemoth into a Trojan horse for rapid-fire filmmaking trickery and narrative finesse. The result is the most satisfying entry in this bumpy franchise since The Empire Strikes Back in 1980."
-Eric Kohn, Indiwire

"Easily its most exciting iteration in decades — 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."
-Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times
"Like many before it, The Last Jedi has already been hailed as the best Star Wars movie since The Empire Strikes Back, and while that's true, it's too faint a compliment. It's a film of genuine beauty, one where you come away as eager to talk about the set design and the choreography as you do the fate of the galaxy or what might happen next."
-Sam Adams, Slate
"Everything a fan could want from a Star Wars film and then some."
-Matt Zoller Seitz,

"The Last Jedi blasts the rule book to pieces, sending the Skywalker saga in unexpected directions. Not all its risks pay off, but its biggest wins outdo anything in the previous film. For fans, there are many, many moments that will leave you cheering or weeping, possibly both at once."
-Olly Richards, NME

"The Last Jedi gives you an explosive sugar rush of spectacle. It's a film that buzzes with belief in itself and its own mythic universe – a euphoric certainty that I think no other movie franchise has."

-Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

"Star Wars: The Last Jedi unspools like a one-movie binge watch, a lively if overlong and busily plotted second chapter to the latest Star Wars trilogy that advances the story and deepens its characters with a combination of irreverent humor and worshipful love for the original text."

-Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

"Last Jedi is often a painful, mournful film about loss: as the bleak story unfolds, the characters lose allies and friends and family, agency and options, treasured illusions and ideals. They lose significant objects tied to their identities."

-Tasha Robinson, The Verge

"If The Force Awakens raised a lot of questions, The Last Jedi tackles them head-on, delivering answers that will shock and awe in equal measure. Fun, funny but with emotional heft, this is a mouth-watering set-up for Episode IX and a fitting tribute to Carrie Fisher."

-Ian Freer, Empire

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

hits New Zealand theatres tomorrow.