Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker [AKA Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker] (2019, dir. JJ Abrams)

Forces align for a last battle between the resistance fighters and the Empire to prevent a Palpatine victory. Patchy finale to the nine-film arc which, despite stirring stuff, plus effective comic moments and detail, fails to convince in its lack of climactic story and its course-correction rewriting of the previous movie. A shame, as the new crew have earned some affection.

Rogue One [AKA Rogue One: A Star Wars Story] (2016, dir. Gareth Edwards)

A small group of rebels try to steal the plans to the Death Star. Superior side mission from the Star Wars universe, answering a small plot question from the 1977 movie. By no means essential, but nevertheless rousing space opera fun, and lovingly designed.

Want another view? Here’s Xussia’s tuppenceworth.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017, dir. Luc Besson)

Two elite agents work to uncover a dark secret at the heart of a gigantic space station. Clunkily-scripted and unevenly-acted but undeniably spectacular and well-designed SF fantasy; a $200m auteur piece, for good or ill, and all the better for its distinctiveness.

Another view? Here’s Lemonsquirtle’s thoughts.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi [AKA Episode VIII: The Last Jedi] (2017, dir. Rian Johnson)

The last remnants of the rebellion flee the First Order. Superior eighth instalment of the space opera, daring to ring a few changes on the template re-established by its predecessors while bringing new characters further to the fore.

Other opinions? Here’s Lemonsquirtle’s, and here’s Xussia’s.

 

Prometheus (2012, dir. Ridley Scott)

Archaeologists lead a space mission to the creators of life on Earth. Good-looking and packed with great images, this Alien prequel is nevertheless hugely flawed, not least with an abundance of intelligent beings doing really dumb things.