Star Wars fans have been shocked by Disney’s announcement that Star Wars episode IX will be directed by Ken Loach, who plans to pivot the sci-fi franchise towards gritty social realism based in a Northern English town.

The movie, which was provisionally titled “Star Wars Episode IX – The Last Whippet” will be set in a Yorkshire former mining town which has been badly hit by years of Tory austerity.

Rey, having failed in her bid to train as a Jedi, is struggling to make ends meet whilst working in a local supermarket on a zero hour contract. She forms an unlikely friendship with Chewbacca, a former heroin addict who chairs the local branch of Momentum. Together they take on the First Order Corporation, a development company led by local Conservative businessman Kylo Ren, whose plans threaten a local food bank.

In a statement Ken Loach said he was “utterly thrilled” to be directing the next Star Wars film, and vowed to create “a sequel that fans will be proud of”.

He added that he was looking forward to “exploring new themes via the Star Wars universe” with a particular focus on “the cultural and economic consequences of the 1984-5 miners’ strike”.

A spokesperson for Walt Disney Studios noted that the company is “delighted” with the appointment, adding “Kes meets The Empire Strikes Back meets I, Daniel Blake.”

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