Rian Johnson Promises 'The Last Jedi' Isn't an "Homage" to Other Star Wars Films

When George Lucas returned to the galaxy of Star Wars to create his prequel trilogy, many fans' complaints stemmed from how different these new films felt from the original trilogy, despite recognizing many familiar elements. On the other end of the spectrum, J.J. Abrams' The Force Awakens caught flack for, at times, feeling too familiar to the original trilogy, an issue The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson promises he will avoid with the new film.

“It’s very interesting, the idea of the inescapable draw of nostalgia, because it’s there and it’s impossible to deny the emotional reaction that I have walking onto the interior of the Falcon,” Johnson told SciFiNow Magazine. “I guess I’d be hesitant to use the word ‘homage’ because that makes it sound like it’s just kind of turning the crank and replaying an old tune because we all like it. But telling a story that brings new things and pushes everything forward in an interesting way, that is in this world that we all recognise, there’s something very powerful about that.”

Given the reception of the prequel films, it's easy to see why elements of The Force Awakens felt like they mirrored the original Star Wars, not only because of how well-crafted that film was but also because the 2015 film was meant to kick off a new trilogy of adventures.

With The Last Jedi being the second installment in a new trilogy, many fans theorized it would be similar in tone to The Empire Strikes Back, especially considering the trailers we've seen for the film hinting at dark themes and shocking revelations. Earlier this year, however, Johnson refuted that notion and teased his film is more similar to a different installment in the trilogy.

“The automatic temptation is to say, 'Well it’s a middle chapter, so it’s got kind of that Empire thing,’" the director revealed to Fandango's Erik Davis. "But at the same time, I really wanted to maintain the same sense of fun that J.J. [Abrams] had in The Force Awakens, that to some extent in Return Of The Jedi, which I was like 10 years old, that was prime for me when that came out, and the sense of playfulness, I think."

We'll see how The Last Jedi compares to the original trilogy when it lands in theaters on December 15.

[H/T Tumblr]