After a Saga ends...now what?
Updated: Nov 14, 2019
The Saga of a Lifetime comes to an end…what does it mean?
On the 20th of December, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker enters theaters across the globe and with it, the end of a generation of memories for a community all eager to see the cinematic event of a lifetime. For some, their journey began in 1977. Others started their own journey with the release of The Phantom Menace in 1999 and the rest became an ever evolving love affair including fan festivals and entire YouTube followings dedicated to understanding the great universe that is Star Wars, one that can now be celebrated on the hosting site that this article can be found on. But that existential viewpoint can be discussed another time. Now, the question that looms when the much anticipated movie arrives is a simple one: Now what?
For fans everywhere, myself including, the excitement about the next chapter of Star Wars can be just as consuming. In 2014, the Star Wars Expanded Universe was split. Future material that would become known as “canon” and include the current and future films as well as television shows. The part known as “Legends” would include novels, comic books and graphic novel materials and other printed material would live on in a separate alternate mythos. It is within the Legends material that lies a popular opinion on where future projects could give new stories. From the Old Republic to the wars between the Sith and Jedi Orders of eons past, the Legends storyline is wealthy with potential ideas. Darth Bane and his infamous “Rule of Two” where the Order would have one Sith Lord and one apprentice, is one in particular that resonates with the community. Whether it be one of these or any number of other, lesser known storylines the material is rich with ideas.
If Lucasfilm and Disney want to move past the Legends stories and delve into something completely new, they have already shown the drive to do so. When they first released The Phantom Menace and the television show Star Wars Clone Wars (2003), it was the first steps to many to move onward in film on the lore that was already made in the original films. Creating a starting point in the Prequel movies to the Sequel Trilogy beginning with The Force Awakens, the waters that both the creators and fans alike were entering has been riddled with questions and mystery as to how it all can tie into one final chapter of the Skywalker family. This has led to if Rey is a Skywalker descendant or Kylo will live up to his family’s legacy built on the decisions of Anakin Skywalker (aka Darth Vader).
Once those questions are answered then comes what we had touched on previously, what comes next? So far, there has been additions to the current universe through Disney’s new streaming service Disney+, arriving in November. These include The Mandalorian, set to arrive November 12th directed by Jon Favreau and Taika Waititi as well as season seven of the wildly popular Star Wars The Clone Wars, coming in 2020. Each of these take place between films so the mystery as to what happens after Episode IX remains anticipated. People on the project and close to it say that the film will wrap up the entire saga with every question answered. News broke earlier this year about Game of Thrones television adaptation creators David Beinoff and D.B. Weiss were linked to be behind a new set of Star Wars movies beginning in 2022.
Fans from reaches of the community were interested and some were excited about the possibility of the large scale potential of the new films with directors that have a flair for the dramatic. It was a decisive split, with fans of Game Of Thrones highly critical of how the quality of the last seasons of the book adapted show had diminished from prior ones. Yet the links were smashed when earlier this week to past weekend, the duo was said to be not engaged to do such movies and instead move on with their previously announced multi-million contract with streaming service Netflix, as per many sources including Entertainment Weekly (ew.com). Their new contract would time constrain them on working on a large impact franchise such as Star Wars. With the news, parts of the fan community were relieved that the duo were no longer connected, but that also leaves a theatrical void after Episode IX.
In September, Kevin Feige, the chief of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was said to be in development of a new movie, as well as current director Rian Johnson on a new trilogy of his own. So while there may be no current announced projects, there certainly is hope that once the Skywalker Saga comes to an end, there will be a new set of memories to be made.
If a canon story line is the choice, then the new movies will pick up on something entirely new and unheard of. There could be spots of hints and nods to past generations of Star Wars, but new material would offer this generation of fans a unique style to love, or hate, depending on the final products. Once this story ends, they can move back in time to create a new history based from “canon”, or they can see what new adventure arises after Episode IX. It is here that creators have the most free-range, not having a common lore or set-in-stone idea that could receive negative feedback for not paying proper homage to such ideas.
In my personal opinion, regardless of what direction this fantastic universe goes, I will be watching close at hand, writing away, being as excited as the next person to see where it all goes once the end credits roll for The Rise of Skywalker.
Above and beyond my friends, above and beyond.