Warning: SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Last Jedi are ahead!
While Star Wars: The Last Jedi is about letting the past die, Rian Johnson actually used a lot of inspiration from the franchise's venerated past to inform his film. Whatever your thoughts on where he took the franchise, it is clear that the writer/director is a fan and true student of Star Wars, and now we have more proof of that. In one of The Last Jedi's more emotional scenes, Rose saves Finn from a suicide mission and talks about how victory will come from saving what we love versus fighting what we hate. Well, it turns out that sentiment may have actually been inspired by the words of The Empire Strikes Back director Irvin Kershner. You can see the evidence, below.
The text that IGN reporter Scott Collura is citing on his Twitter page is from the 1980 book Once Upon A Galaxy: The Making of the Empire Strikes Back by Alan Arno. In it, Arno interviewed Irvin Kershner, whose sentiments about the difference between the Rebels and the Empire certainly seem similar to those spoken by Rose in The Last Jedi. This is a good catch by Scott Collura, but it has to just be coincidence, right? A case of parallel thinking? After all, this wasn't in Empire itself, but in a book from decades ago featuring an interview with Kershner. Well, take a look at Rian Johnson's response.
While Rian Johnson doesn't outright confirm that he was inspired by Kershner's words and incorporated them into the film, it does seem quite possible. Rian Johnson says the book was given to him while in production, so even though the script was already done, it would have been no great difficulty to incorporate this dialogue, especially if the Crait scenes weren't filmed yet. If this book about The Empire Strikes Back really did inspire Rian Johnson, it is easy to see why. Kershner's sentiment is poignant and really speaks to what separates good from evil in these stories; not just the actions characters take, but the emotions that drive them. It would also be a nice way to pay homage to the man who directed what many still consider to be the best Star Wars film.
The isn't the first time that Rian Johnson has shown how deep down the Star Wars rabbit hole he has traveled. He previously spoke about how one line of Han Solo dialogue in A New Hope inspired Admiral Holdo's kamikaze jump to hyperspace and how he even looked to the prequels and Anakin Skywalker to inform the story of Ben Solo. Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be released on Blu-ray March 27, at which point I'm sure we'll be scouring through the film, bonus features and deleted scenes for more interesting connections like this one. For all the latest in honoring your past but not being beholden to it, stay tuned to CinemaBlend.