Director JJ Abrams is keeping Star Wars: Episode IX’s story shrouded in secrecy, but it’s already clear that the upcoming movie will share many similarities with its counterpart in the Original Trilogy: Return of the Jedi. Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi were criticized by fans for being too similar to their predecessors. Moreover, The Force Awakens was branded as a mere remake of A New Hope, due to the fact that it featured the death of a mentor figure, a canyon-based X-wing run, and a planet-sized super weapon. However, this is not a new phenomenon. Rather, it is one that George Lucas perpetuated when he oversaw the series. In a behind-the-scenes featurette for the Prequel trilogy, Lucas famously declared that, “It’s like poetry, sort of. They rhyme.”
This explains why many traits reoccur across the saga. For example, the loss of Anakin and Luke Skywalker’s right hands during their second films (Attack of the Clones and The Empire Strikes Back respectively) serves to underscore their familial ties, and how human mistakes are repeated throughout history.
The Last Jedi’s decisive, deconstructive take on the series has opened plenty of opportunities for JJ Abrams to explore, but that hasn’t stopped him and fellow writer Chris Terrio from mining Star Wars’ illustrious past. Here are all the parallels we've noticed so far between the final chapter of the original trilogy, and the final chapter of Disney's trilogy.
- This Page: The Resistance On The Run and the Forest Planet
- Page 2: A Desert World and a New Lightsaber
- Page 3: Super Weapons and a Fallen Mentor
- Page 4: Kylo Ren's Redemption and the End of the Skywalker Saga
The Resistance Will Be On The Run Once Again
Over the course of Star Wars’ most popular instalment, The Empire Strikes Back, the titular antagonists scattered our heroes by routing their hideout on Hoth and capturing Han Solo. Luke Skywalker was also dealt a hefty blow when Darth Vader made that devastating declaration during their confrontation on Cloud City. As such, the first act of Return of the Jedi heavily focused upon the Rebellion as they regrouped.
From the ending of The Last Jedi, we can surmise that Episode IX will find our new band of heroes at a similar disadvantage. After all, the Resistance suffered heavy casualties over the course of The Last Jedi. They were so few in number that all of their forces could fit aboard the Millennium Falcon. Certainly, in light of several set photos, it seems that Finn and Poe Dameron's troops are stretched pretty thin.
Admiral Holdo’s manoeuvre may have deprived the First Order of their reinforcements (and a fair few Star Destroyers). Yet in spite of this – and Kylo Ren’s humiliation at the hands of Luke Skywalker – it’s widely assumed that at the beginning of Episode IX, the First Order will be in a position of power, much like the Empire was some thirty years prior.
Episode IX Will Feature A Forest Planet Just Like Endor
Return of the Jedi saw Han, Luke and Leia fighting the Empire on the foliage-filled moon of Endor. If recent set photos are to be believed, Rey, Poe, Finn and Rose will be tackling the First Order in a similar setting in Episode IX.
Filming for the last instalment of the Sequel Trilogy has taken place in Black Park in the UK, which closely resembles the kind of dense jungle that the Rebels went through to storm the Imperial shield generator. Some reports claim that the Millennium Falcon has been glimpsed there.
Of course, it’s too early to say what this location will double as in the vast Star Wars galaxy. The chances are that it’s a new planet entirely, yet such greenery could also hint at a visit to Naboo, or perhaps Takodana, the home of Maz Katana. It may even suggest that the saga is not done with the original forest moon just yet. If so, it’s doubtful that the Ewoks will rear their heads. There’s surely no room for even more cute critters in the sequel trilogy, especially when the Porgs are sure to be found still nesting in the Falcon’s numerous smuggling compartments. But Endor is not the only planet from the Original Trilogy that might make an appearance in Episode IX.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019