After Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released, a lot of fans complained about how it was too similar to A New Hope. Because of this, many of these same fans are worried that Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be a rehash of The Empire Strikes Back.
If you are looking for similarities between the two you’ll probably find them. During a recent interview with the French website Numerama, director Rian Johnson explained that there will be some similarities, but at the end of the day, he doesn’t think that it is the same. He explains:
“I will be curious, after you’ve seen the movie, if you find that it looks too much like The Empire Strikes Back. I don’t think it does, but I’m sure the audience will have their own opinions when they see it. (laughs)
“For me, my attitude is always, ‘I need to tell the story as honestly as I can.’ I think that it would be a mistake to try to copy The Empire Strikes Back, but that it would be just as much as mistake to make creatives decisions based on saying, ‘We’re going to be nothing like The Empire Strikes Back!’
“These two approaches lead, in my opinion, to two forced versions, which have the same weaknesses. For me, I try just to take a starting point of what I knew about these characters, and say: ‘Where do I want them to go? How did they get there? What are the hard things I’m going to throw at them?’ and as the story developed, I just tried to follow it and it took me in some very unexpected directions.
“Look, we’re starting this movie with our protagonist going off to a desert island to meet a Jedi master, just like Luke and Yoda. And our characters are split up, some are back with the Resistance, some are off, and then you have a kind of training dynamic seemingly set up.
“There are big structural things that are going to be very similar to The Empire Strikes Back. But I don’t think, after watching the movie, many people will have the feeling of a copy of The Empire Strikes Back. I don’t see how they could, but maybe they will. I don’t know, you never know! (laughs)”
I never thought that Johnson would ever think of trying to copy anything from Empire Strikes Back. He’s such a talented filmmaker that always brings an awesome uniqueness his films. He’s not going to stop doing that now! No way. He’s going to bring his unique vision to the story and I believe he’s going to give us something amazing. Something that is going to completely surprise us! I think everything we’ve seen in the trailers has been a complete misdirection. I have a feeling fans are going to be shocked at how this story plays out.
We’ll find out when it’s released in theaters on December 15th!