The Force Awakens was a runaway success – you know it, I know it, and after collecting upwards of $2.01 billion worldwide, Disney knows it, too.
As the first mainline Star Wars movie in almost a decade, J.J. Abrams’ reboot shouldered the burden of pumping fresh blood into a franchise that had arguably fallen by the wayside prior to Disney’s historic acquisition of Lucasfilm. All in all, the end result was a slam dunk, but many still hold The Force Awakens to ransom for borrowing a handful of key story elements from A New Hope – the planet killer, the trench run…you name it. Will Star Wars: The Last Jedi adopt a similar strategy and mimic Empire Strikes Back?
That’s simply not the case, as Rian Johnson has gone on record multiple times in the past to shut down claims that his forthcoming sequel would release as a carbon copy of Irvin Kershner’s landmark achievement. With that said, and as Johnson admitted to EW as part of the outlet’s ongoing coverage, there are “parallels” between The Last Jedi and Empire insofar as the former follows Rey in her journey to a remote location (Luke to Dagobah) while the Resistance struggles to fend off the First Order.
And though there may be some connective tissue between one Star Wars film and the next, Rian Johnson was quick to stress that in no way does Empire define The Last Jedi.
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.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be with us on December 15th. Beyond that, the Powers That Be have also lined up a Han Solo anthology movie and the as-yet-untitled Episode IX, which is to be directed by Colin Trevorrow. And after that? Who knows, but there have been rumblings that the Mouse House has plans for new Star Wars movies all the way up until 2022.
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