Here's Why The Last Jedi And Empire Strikes Back Are Pretty Much The Same Movie
There are plenty of similarities between The Last Jedi and The Empire Strikes Back. Both Star Wars movies continue the stories of heroes struggling to defeat a tyrannical galactic government that rules with an iron fist. In The Last Jedi, it's up to Rey, Finn, Poe, Luke, and Leia to stop Supreme Leader Snoke and the First Order once and for all.
While The Last Jedi left us with plenty of unanswered questions, writer-director Rian Johnson clearly used Episode V as the model for his depiction of the Resistance. In the same way that The Force Awakens emulates A New Hope, at times, The Last Jedi perfectly emulates The Empire Strikes Back.
Below are the best examples proving that. Be warned, though. There are spoilers ahead.
Both Movies Include A Rebel Escape
Although both A New Hope and The Force Awakens end in Rebel victories, their sequels present the Rebel force in dire situations. The Empire and the First Order are both upset that their respective super weapons are shattered by the do-gooders. Accordingly, the bad guys are out for revenge. Both The Empire Strikes Back and The Last Jedi begin with the Rebels escaping from a base as the enemy shows up.
The Teams Are Split Up In The Beginning Only To Be Reunited At The End
The Empire Strikes Back took the characters from A New Hope and split them into smaller groups in order to further explore each hero and flesh out their respective stories. The Last Jedi takes a similar approach, splitting the heroes in three: Rey's on Ahch-To with Luke, Finn goes on an adventure with Rose to Canto Bight, and Poe and Leia are leading what's left of the Resistance. After all of the trials and tribulations, the heroes in both The Empire Strikes Back and The Last Jedi are (mostly) reunited in the final moments of the third act.
Crait Is Basically Hoth
Besides the fact that both planets have white surfaces - Hoth is covered in snow and Crait in salt - two very similar battles take place in each location. The Empire and the First Order both bring massive walkers to take down the Rebel and Resistance bases, and ultimately succeed, although the remaining good guys manage to escape them in order to fight another day.
There Is A Parental Revelation In Both Movies
Viewers didn't know the truth about Luke's father was coming in The Empire Strikes Back, making Darth Vader's revelation one of the most shocking moments in cinema history. In The Last Jedi, Star Wars fans know to expect a big reveal about Rey's parents but it's still shocking to learn the truth about them. In fact, Rey's parental revelation is one of the major plot points in the film. Both Luke and Rey learn the truth about their parents while facing major villains.
Villains Want The Heroes To Join Them
Darth Vader and Kylo Ren have more in common than just a shared bloodline. Both villains are on missions to turn the heroes to their side. Vader tries to convince Luke to join him by revealing that he is the young hero's father. Additionally, Kylo uses his Force bond with Rey as an argument for why they should rule the galaxy together. Fortunately, both Luke and Rey refuse the evil offers.
Luke And Rey Both See Themselves In Visions
The Empire Strikes Back and The Last Jedi feature surreal, hallucinatory moments of overt symbolism. During his training on Dagobah with Yoda, Luke enters a Force cave that shows him certain truths about his father about an hour before Darth Vader confirms as much in Cloud City. Luke duels a vision of Vader in the Force cave and manages to decapitate the villain, revealing that it's Luke's own head inside the helmet. The young Skywalker sees himself in Vader because he is, in fact, the villain's son.
Rey's plunge into a Force cave is slightly more cryptic. When she asks about the identity of her parents, the cave shows the training Jedi her own reflection. It's still not exactly clear why she sees herself but the similarities between both films are apparent.