Rian Johnson Says Star Wars 8 Isn't A Repeat of Empire Strikes Back

Writer and director Rian Johnson promises that Star Wars: The Last Jedi won't end up being a copy of Empire Strikes Back.

Star Wars The Last Jedi and Empire Similarities

It became clear, from the moment that Lucasfilm announced that there would be three different directors at the helm of each of their upcoming main Star Wars saga films, that the studio was going to be following a fairly similar formula as the original trilogy. Indeed, the similarities between A New Hope and Force Awakens proved to be too evident for some fans, with some calling for Disney and Lucasfilm to be more experimental with these new sets of saga films than they think they're going to be as a result.

To their credit too, the early discussions surrounding writer and director Rian Johnson's Star Wars: Episode VII - The Last Jedi had pegged it as being similar very to Empire Strikes Back, as the darkest and most spiritual film of its respective trilogy. The first teaser trailer for The Last Jedi didn't waste much time proving those theories to be correct either, with the noticeably darker and more somber tone permeating throughout it, than the fun, rejuvenating feeling that Force Awakens had.

But just because The Last Jedi is going to be a much darker and more internal film than its predecessor, doesn't mean fans should expect or accuse it of being a complete repeat of Empire Strikes Back. In fact, while responding to a fan's critical tweet through his personal Twitter account, Johnson himself more or less sarcastically confirmed otherwise:

@GregBurke85 @Collider @Donimals_ @KristianHarloff Greg is right actually, I've spent the last three years just copying Empire.

— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) April 21, 2017

Now, it's generally become impossible for any second film in a trilogy to avoid the Empire Strikes Back comparisons; since that 1980 film basically set the gold standard for many fans and filmmakers when it comes to the general outline and structure of a modern day film trilogy. So if most non-Star Wars films aren't spared of such a lofty comparison, then there was no way The Last Jedi was going to be, and it appeared as though Johnson was aware of that from the very beginning.

Even during his appearance at Star Wars Celebration Orlando last week, Johnson went out of his way to assure fans that while, yes, The Last Jedi will be a darker film than The Force Awakens, it's also going to be much more humorous than some fans might think. So Johnson's response here just proves once again how adept he appears to be at responding to these kinds of constricting comparisons or accusations, and only further elevates his status as a fan-favorite in the Star Wars community, following his surprise line visit at Celebration last week.

Source: Rian Johnson

Key Release Dates
  • Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
  • Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
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