ByFranco Gucci, writer at
I'm an avid movie fan whose favorite movie ever is Back to the Future. I'm the type of person that if I like a TV show, I'll binge watch it
Franco Gucci

The Last Jedi is right around the corner, and fans have been getting increasingly excited to experience the next chapter in the Star Wars universe. Lucasfilm and Disney have been ramping up the marketing machine, and they recently treated us eager viewers with a brand new trailer. While it kept pivotal plot details vague and gave us a good amount of confusion, the footage offered a much better idea of what to expect from the film.

It also left us with a generous amount of details to pick out and speculate over. Eagle-eyed fans have already spotted quite a few Easter Eggs and interesting bits of trivia in the trailer, including a nod to the events of Return of the Jedi. Now, people have pointed out yet another significant reference, one that ties back to .

Did You Spot The Subtle Darth Vader Callback?

The trailer ends in a heart-pumping note as Rey speaks, presumably with , about needing someone to show her her place in the world. Ren appears to stop the constant fighting and extends his hand toward her, supposedly offering to take our young hero under his wing. IGN editor Joshua Yehl felt the shot was a bit similar to a pivotal scene in Empire Strikes Back, in which extends his hand to Luke, trying to seduce him into the dark side after a brutal battle.

To prove his point, Yehl took to Twitter to share the comparison:

Granted, if we wanted to get technical, we could argue that Vader is raising his right hand, while Kylo is raising his left, but aside from that, the reference to the film is quite clear, especially because of how Ren is seemingly trying to turn Rey to his side.

It's incredible to see how and are tying the films through subtle visual and thematic nods like this one, but there's something important to ask:

Is This Reference Yet Another Sign Of 'The Last Jedi' Taking Inspiration From 'The Empire Strikes Back'?

As exciting as the callback was, fans may have mixed feelings about it because of the controversy surrounding and its similarities to A New Hope. The repeated plot points were instantly noticeable (third Death Star with a convenient weakness, anyone?), and despite its good reception, some moviegoers even called the film a remake of ANH.

Because of that, people have been worried about The Last Jedi suffering from the same problem and essentially becoming a new version of The Empire Strikes Back. While there's very little we know about the story, there are already plot similarities to pick out between the two films, such as a hopeful Jedi training with an experienced master in a remote planet, the main group of characters being largely separated throughout the story, and the bad guys playing a more prominent role.

Snoke vs. Rey [Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm]
Snoke vs. Rey [Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm]

Taking that into account, is Kylo's Darth Vader reference another sign of the film sticking close to Empire? It's quite possible, but not necessarily the case. We have to consider that trailers are often designed to trick audiences, and did it a few times with The Force Awakens. So for all we know, Ren could have been extending his hand to a completely different person, and the scene has nothing in common with Darth and Luke's little father-son moment.

Now, there's nothing inherently wrong about including a callback to a previous film, but with so many already out there, hopefully this one (if it is a reference) gets handled with more subtlety.

We'll know more about how The Last Jedi will turn out when the film lands in theaters on December 15, 2018.

What do you think about this apparent callback to The Empire Strikes Back? Are you worried about The Last Jedi feeling like a recreation? Let me know in the comments!


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