Star Wars numbers itself among some of the most broken down and analyzed franchises in existence. Ever since it took the world by storm in 1977, it’s entrenched itself as sci-fi/fantasy’s premier saga, spawning sequels, books, TV shows, toys, and every other imaginable product tie-in. This year will even mark its 40-year anniversary, proving that a story can be timeless if it becomes culturally pervasive the way Star Wars has. And the upcoming release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi really has fans excited.
The history of second chapters runs deep for the Star Wars franchise. To this day, The Empire Strikes Back is still regarded as the best film in the series, and even checks in at #12 on IMDB’s top 250 movies of all time. This in turn sets the bar almost impossibly high for Episode VIII. How can any installment in the franchise measure up to the best version of itself? And when that “best version” has held the crown for upwards of three-plus decades, how can you even hope to approach its level?