‘Star Wars: Episode 8’ Rumor: Sequel Not An ‘Empire Strikes Back’ Rehash, But There’s A Catch

Luke Skywalker in 'Star Wars: Episode 7'

Early reactions to Star Wars: Episode 8 – The Last Jedi suggest that the highly-anticipated sequel will be a departure from what fans are used to in the long-running space opera franchise.

For months now, the cast and production team have been hyping up the movie as very different. Peter Sciretta of Slashfilm revealed in a recent podcast that this is also the overwhelming comment from the people who got to watch Star Wars: Episode 8 already in early screenings.

“It’s going to probably not sit well with some Star Wars fans. It’s going to be divisive.”

Sciretta went on to reveal that one person who already saw the film that he got to talk to said that the return of J.J. Abrams at the helm for Star Wars: Episode 9 is a good thing since he personally did not like some of the choices made by director Rian Johnson in the sequel.

Of course, at the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference, but if there is one thing that was made certain, it is that Johnson did indeed take the franchise to uncharted territories with The Last Jedi.

Fans who are still waiting for Star Wars: Episode 8 to hit the theaters this December are taking “the film is different” reviews as a good sign since it means it will be original at the very least.

'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' director J.J. Abrams at XQ Super School Live

Many were afraid that it would be a rehash of Empire Strikes Back since The Force Awakens was deemed by many as a bit too similar to A New Hope–which makes up much of the criticism the movie receivedbut it turns out The Last Jedi will be far from it.

The teaser trailer for the Star Wars: Episode 8 has already hinted that big changes are coming with Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) wanting to end the Jedi for good. Many believe that one of Johnson’s storytelling decisions will put the order, who were always viewed as the good guys, in a completely different light.

Overall, Disney and Lucasfilm are reportedly “over the moon” about Star Wars: Episode 8 – The Last Jedi as it still earned positive reviews from those lucky enough to have seen it already despite the game-changing turn of events. Ultimately, it will leave fans to wonder where the franchise goes from there.

It was also speculated during the podcast that the fact that Abrams agreed to come back, which also meant taking on the immense pressure of bringing the current saga to a close, means that he is confident of what was accomplished in Star Wars: Episode 8. Otherwise, they do not imagine him taking the job not only as director but also as writer for the next and final film of the trilogy.

What the critics of The Force Awakens are afraid of now is that Abrams might do it again and make Star Wars: Episode 9 too similar to Return of the Jedi.

However, the folks at Slashfilm would like to believe it won’t be since the director, after the Star Wars: Episode 7 gig, has been vocal about taking big risks and making iconic films that are amazing and original enough to be rebooted years down the road.

Star Wars: Episode 8 – The Last Jedi hits the theaters December 15.

[Featured Image by Disney and Lucasfilm]