Rian Johnson Shuts Down Claims Of Star Wars: The Last Jedi Copying Empire Strikes Back


Star Wars: The Force Awakens was a great film. No one can deny that. It introduced a whole new generation to that galaxy far, far away and also relaunched the franchise on the big screen in a wholly satisfying manner. However, longtime fans will have no doubt noticed the many similarities between the J.J. Abrams-directed flick and A New Hope, especially when it came to the general plot beats and themes running throughout the movie.

Now, with Star Wars: The Last Jedi looming on the horizon, people are starting to wonder if Rian Johnson will follow a similar path and draw heavily from The Empire Strikes Back. After all, it’d be tempting to do so, given that film’s status as one of the greatest sequels ever made. And with the teaser trailer for the upcoming Star Wars movie depicting something a lot darker and more somber than The Force Awakens, it’s easy to see why some fans are calling it out for not bringing with it enough new ideas.

While we do admit that, on the surface, there are some similarities between the two, it’d be foolish make judgements like this just yet. We’ve still seen so little of the film and until we at least get a proper trailer, we’ll remain optimistic and believe what Daisy Ridley said during Celebration, which is that The Last Jedi will be very different from previous entries in the franchise. In fact, that’s something which Johnson echoed this week via social media – albeit in a more sarcastic way.

Responding to someone on Twitter who accused him of copying Empire, the director said the following:

For obvious reasons, The Last Jedi was never going to be able to escape the comparisons to Empire Strikes Back, but we’re fine with giving Johnson and his team the benefit of the doubt here. You’ve gotta believe that he was aware of the issues people had with The Force Awakens and wouldn’t be foolish enough to make those same mistakes. While there might be a few similarities between his film and the iconic 1980 sequel, we still expect it to stand very much apart from previous Star Wars movies. Not least because Johnson is a visionary director who’s going to put his own special and unique stamp on things.

Time will ultimately tell how close the next chapter of the saga hews to The Empire Strikes Back, but at the moment, we’re feeling pretty confident in what Disney’s put together and have no doubt that Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be another thrilling, emotional and magical journey to that galaxy far, far away.