Star Wars: The Force Awakens couldn't have been a bigger success at the box office, impressing both critics and fans. But even though it revitalized the franchise, a lot of viewers noticed the parallels to A New Hope; it almost seemed like a soft reboot of the original film.
That's why fans are worried that December's The Last Jedi will be a remake of the second original film, The Empire Strikes Back. However, writer and director Rian Johnson is putting our minds at ease.
Director Rian Johnson Says 'The Last Jedi' Will Feel 'Unique'
The training montages, a battle on an icy planet, two side characters traveling to a luxurious location to meet up with a mischievous character ... it definitely seems like Lucasfilm is borrowing many plot points from The Empire Strikes Back (widely considered the best Star Wars movie). However, when Entertainment Weekly brought this up for its huge cover story, Johnson claimed that these parallels were unintentional:
“I just tried to kind of ignore that aspect of it and have the story take the shape that it needed to. But look, Rey is off in a remote location with a Jedi master, and the Resistance is in a tough spot, and we’re intercutting those stories. By its very nature, there are some structural parallels. But these are new characters, they’re dealing with new things, and that ultimately is what defines the movie. So I think that’s going to be unique.”
Johnson's defense is that The Last Jedi is focusing on new characters going through new arcs, which apparently makes the film different enough. But is this really true? Should we be worried about the amount of recycling that may be going on here?
Probably not. And here
A decade after the prequel trilogy ended, Star Wars fans were still incredibly disappointed a what George Lucas brought to the table (even though they're not as bad as you remember). Because of that, Disney and Lucasfilm had one shot to bring Star Wars back to its glory — #TheForceAwakens absolutely needed to be a hit. So what did they do? They played it safe.
Lucasfilm brought back many of the original cast members, referenced and borrowed many plot points from the original trilogy, and brought back John Williams to compose the score. In the end, The Force Awakens was a huge success and sat well with most Star Wars fans; even if it felt overfamiliar, at least it felt like Star Wars.
If Lucasfilm had taken a huge risk with the first new sequel — by coming up with something unlike what we were used to — it would have risked alienating the entire fanbase. J.J. Abrams needed to get the masses back onboard. Then and only then could the franchise move forward with bold new ideas. For example, Lucasfilm took a bigger risk with Rogue One.
'The Last Jedi' Needs To Move Out Of The Original Trilogy's Shadow
George Lucas was an innovator and changed the way movies were made. The original trilogy didn't follow a template or a formula; it was a truly unique vision and took the concept of imagination to the next level. So, it would be a damn shame if The Last Jedi begins recycling plot points from The Empire Strikes Back, as stunning as it is.
We shouldn't panic though. In fact, there have already been many reveals and hints that should make us very excited for the film. Everything that the movie is doing with Luke Skywalker seems like a brand new direction. While the Luke training Rey aspect of the film may be similar to Yoda's training Luke in The Empire Strikes Back, it seems that the iconic character will be totally different from the young man he used to be.
Luke now believes "it's time for the Jedi to end," which really hints at Luke becoming a Gray Jedi, which is something that the movies haven't touched upon before. Also, Luke inspecting the ancient Jedi temple could also be a great way to tie in some really intriguing concepts.
Even if The Last Jedi does have some "structural parallels" to The Empire Strikes Back, they can actually be great if used in the right way. The most important thing to the Star Wars fan community is that we get some new elements thrown into the mix as well.
What do you think The Last Jedi will introduce to Star Wars lore? Debate below!
(Source: Entertainment Weekly)