George Lucas famously said that Star Wars’ prequels were like poetry, and that they should rhyme. And videos have shown how his prequel films were very closely modeled on the similar story beats and sequences from the original trilogy. That same mentality seems to have infiltrated J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens as well. Taken by some as a critique and others as a positive, many people pointed out the similarities between The Force Awakens and A New Hope. Now, in a new video, scenes from the two films are laid side by side and viewers can see how many of those same shots and beats resemble each other.
Zachary Antell has assembled this comparison, titled “‘A New Awakening’ - Star Wars Episode IV and VII Shot Comparison,” to show the various ways that Abrams’ film echoes the 1977 original. A lot of the shots mirror each other, and come around the same point in the films. It’s most likely this was done on purpose by Abrams, to subtly remind audiences of their first experience with Star Wars and to rekindle that sense of awe and adventure.
It’s an interesting exercise and is presented without comment—those that feel that Abrams aped too close to the originals will feel vindicated that he did seem to follow along with similar plotting and shot list as his predecessor; those that feel it was a return to form for the franchise will see a filmmaker honoring what has gone before him and preserving the Star Wars feel by adhering so close to what Lucas did. What’s the right answer? That seems like something for the fans to argue about, at least until Episode VIII premieres.