I think TFA and TLJ handle the similarities very different. TFA does it because they had to play it safe. So many people complained that the PT “wasn’t Star Wars” so they made sure to make the movie as much like the OT as possible. It makes sense, and given the response, I think Disney learned they don’t have to play it so safe in the future.
But by that point, the ST was pretty much already on track with an evil Imperial remnant, which somehow managed to build a weapon stronger than the Death Star. So they can’t be “grungy” anymore. RJ instead opted for a great theme - the importance of failure - which builds upon the very concept. TLJ seems well aware we’ve done this all before. It is the main reason Luke has given up. While I have issues with the story, I think TLJ has a spectacular theme and uses it’s similarities with the OT to great effect.