I’ve seen several 35mm prints projected in the last couple of years Mav, as I live closeby to a cinema that screens them quite regularly. The most recent 35mm print I saw was Thunderdome and it didn’t look grainy at all for the most part (some comp shots did). It is my understanding, and I could be wrong, that most film grain is in the camera negative because it has to be fast-exposure film - i.e. shot at 24fps or faster if you want slow motion. Later generations of film, including prints, used longer exposures and more sensitive dyes with finer grain fidelity.
I am genuinely surprised there is such a difference between Star Wars and Empire