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As we inch closer to the fall season, there is just one film on most peoples minds: Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The highly anticipated sequel will continue the main story of the Star Wars franchise, and will also bring back Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker for his most significant appearance since The Return of the Jedi. The cast has been open about how Johnson's vision and script will likely surprise the fandom, and now he's revealed how the film will compare to both The Force Awakens and installments from the original trilogy. He said:

The automatic temptation is to say, 'Well, it's a middle chapter, so it's got kind of that Empire thing.' But at the same time, I really wanted to maintain the same sense of fun that J.J. 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. So when I say Empire, I guess I don't want to give the impression that it's kind of a dark, gloom, and doom. It was also really important to me that this was a fun adventure. I don't know, it's a mixed bag of a lot of different stuff. And, hopefully, some unique stuff, too.

Rian Johnsons' statement from D23, courtesy of Fandango, seems like a great way to approach such a lofty and high stakes movie. While being influenced by the classic installments, Johnson will ensure that The Last Jedi still feels very current, and coincides with the tone set by J.J. Abrams in The Force Awakens.

It seems like just about every movie sequel compared itself to The Empire Strikes Back. The second ever Star Wars film has been universally acclaimed as the best, with the darker subject matter and ending helping to ground the space opera, while also raising the stakes. And while The Last Jedi will certainly have aspects of this, Johnson is determined that his movie will still have enough comedy and playfulness to keep audiences thoroughly entertained.

Over the past few years, comedy has been established as a must for blockbusters, especially within the superhero genre. The most successful MCU installments are usually chock full of humorous moments, like Guardians of the Galaxy and Spider-Man: Homecoming. Conversely, Zack Snyder's DCEU movies have been criticized for taking themselves a bit too seriously, which results in a pacing problem.

Rian Johnson is also determined to make sure that The Last Jedi offers aspects that are wholly unique to the Star Wars franchise. A common criticism for The Force Awakens was that it too closely resembled A New Hope, so it looks like Johnson is very aware of what the fandom wants.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi will arrive in theaters on December 16th. In the meantime, check out our 2017 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

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