Star Wars: Rose's 'The Last Jedi' Line Has Direct Connection to 'The Empire Strikes Back'

With The Last Jedi being the second chapter of a new trilogy of Star Wars films and The Force Awakens mirroring the feel of A New Hope, many audiences expected the latest film to mirror the tone of The Empire Strikes Back. The two films may have had some narrative similarities, while one fan posted a quote from Empire director Irvin Kershner that was recreated in The Last Jedi almost exactly.

the last jedi empire strikes back irvin kershner

The director's quote reads, "That's the difference between the Rebels and the Empire. It's possible to fight because you love, not just because you hate."

In The Last Jedi, Rose tells Finn, "We're going to win this war not by fighting what we hate, but saving what we love."

The quote from Kershner comes from the book Once Upon a Galaxy: The Making of The Empire Strikes Back. While Johnson didn't directly confirm he used the book as a source of inspiration while writing the script, he did share, "A friend gave me that book when we were in production, it’s amaaaaazing."

The script would have been completed before production began, so it's unclear if Johnson potentially read a similar quote from Kershner outside of this book or possibly used the book as a reference before officially owning it, with the similarities between the phrases being hard to deny.

Regardless of the inspiration, the effectiveness of the scene in The Last Jedi confirms the thoughtful insight provided by both Johnson and Kershner into their films.

Last Jedi might not have offered audiences the same morose tone of Empire, yet Johnson did admit to narrative influences.

"The Force Awakens was the first chapter in our trilogy, Empire Strikes Back was the second chapter," Johnson noted to the Bullseye with Jesse Thorn podcast. "We're the second chapter in this trilogy. And if you look at where Empire Strikes Back took that very simple hero vs. bad guys dynamic, and I guess this is kind of easy to lose the shock of this over the years, the 'I am your father' moment has become so ubiquitous and ingrained in culture. If you really think about, in the context of everything you just described about that first Star Wars movie, what that does is suddenly it takes...Luke has just been able to project his shadow, and us as the audience by extension, project his shadow onto this literally faceless bad guy that's the personification of evil, so it's black and white, good and bad. Awesome."

He added, "Empire Strikes Back hit 'I am your father,' all of that. Suddenly, the waters get muddy. Suddenly, that is completely subverted. And the bad guy you thought you could just kill is actually a part of you. now have to start thinking in terms of a much more complicated arc of redemption. And his reaction to that, that's one of my favorite moments in all the movies, is Mark's [Hamill] performance when he screams that 'No!' in reaction to that. That's what I felt like we had to do in this one."

The Last Jedi lands on Digital HD on March 13th and on Blu-ray March 27th.


Do you think the connection to the Empire director's quote was intentional or coincidental? Let us know in the comments below!

[H/T Twitter, ScottCollura]