close menu

THE LAST JEDI is Remarkably Similar to THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

Editor’s note: The following post and video contain massive spoilers for The Last Jedi, so read at your own peril.

If you thought The Last Jedi was “too different” from the original Star Wars trilogy, then think again. While the common online criticism of The Last Jedi leading us too far afield from the Star Wars stories we know and love may be true from a certain point of view, it’s also factually inaccurate. The Star Wars prequel trilogy was made to rhyme with events and echo themes of the original trilogy, and now that Disney’s sequel trilogy is two films deep, we can see that it honors the legacy of the original films the same way that the prequels did. (And all without the aid of a certain bumbling Gungan senator.)

The similarities between The Last Jedi and The Empire Strikes Back are myriad. While the two films are separated by the span of nearly 40 years, the imagery and plot devices employed by both are too numerous to discount as mere coincidence. Allow us to explain:

via Giphy

via Giphy

In both The Last Jedi and The Empire Strikes Back, we follow our heroes on a single ship, on the run through space from the Empire/First Order’s most powerful capital ships.

via Giphy

via Giphy

Meanwhile, Luke and Rey are off on remote planets, learning the ways of the Force from Jedi Masters who are pretty cagey about taking on new pupils at first.

via Giphy

via Giphy

Both Luke and Rey are beckoned by the dark side to seek out shadowy caverns, only to be horrified by what they find therein.

via Giphy

via Giphy

After brief periods of training, they both leave to rejoin the larger fight after experiencing Force-induced visions.

via Giphy

via Giphy

Our subplots take us to faraway, exotic locales—Cloud City on Bespin and the casinos of Canto Bight—full of smooth-talking shysters—Lando Calrissian and the Master Codebreaker (and even D.J. to a certain extent)—where our heroes only manage to escape because their droids save their butts.

via Giphy

via Giphy

Luke and Rey confront Darth Vader and Kylo Ren, respectively. We even get a callback to Return of the Jedi in the turbolift to Snoke’s throne room when Rey implores Kylo Ren to turn back to the light, just as Luke did to his father decades earlier.

via Giphy

via Giphy

Then there’s the big lightsaber fight. After all is said and done, Darth Vader and Kylo Ren offer Luke and Rey the chance to rule the galaxy by their sides. They also reveal huge secrets about both characters’ parentage.

via Giphy

via Giphy

While Rey doesn’t get dismembered, both scenes pretty much end up the same way as both Luke and Rey refuse to join and rule the galaxy. By the end of the film, our heroes are batter, changed, and barely holding on, but they’re ready to keep fighting and hopeful for the future.

via Giphy

via Giphy

Are the plot points exactly the same?

via Giphy

Of course they aren’t. The Last Jedi gives us fresh twists and turns, sending the franchise heading off in an entirely new direction, but the same Midi-chlorians that make up Star Wars‘ DNA are still present in The Last Jedi.

via Giphy

But what do you think? Does The Last Jedi mirror the events of The Empire Strikes Back and the original trilogy, or is this just an elaborate coincidence? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Additional reporting and editing by Jesse B. Gill.

Dan Casey is the senior editor of Nerdist and the author of books about Star Wars and the Avengers. Follow him on Twitter (@DanCasey).

 

Google App Matches Selfies with Museum Portraits

Google App Matches Selfies with Museum Portraits

article
The World's Smallest Cat is Impossibly Adorable

The World's Smallest Cat is Impossibly Adorable

article
Why Grand Admiral Thrawn is the Jon Snow of STAR WARS

Why Grand Admiral Thrawn is the Jon Snow of STAR WARS

video