I remember where I was and what I was doing on October 30, 2012.
I was about 8 months into a new job, working in a tiny office with about a dozen other people. There wasn’t even enough room for cubicles, so we were literally working from folding tables – not much privacy to be had. But that didn’t stop me from saying out loud, “Holy crap! Disney just bought Star Wars! Episode 7 is coming!”
Trust me, I know how this sounds, but it’s quite true: in some ways, I remember this as vividly as I remember my wedding or the birth of my child.
At that time, it had been seven years since Revenge of the Sith hit theaters, and there wasn’t much hope that Star Wars would return to theaters in that manner any time soon, if ever. All of a sudden, though, we were launched on a brand new journey; promised something brand new to be excited for.
The seven years since then has been filled with ups and downs. You can’t argue that, even if you can argue what qualifies as an “up” and what qualifies as a “down.” But in a lot of ways, that journey we started on in 2012 is coming to a close next month.
We’re coming up on the end of what we started both in 2012 and even in 1977. Our new trilogy of movies is done, and the Skywalker story will be told. The finality of that is starting to sink in for me. I have grown up with tales of Luke and company, and that era of storytelling is almost over. I won’t lie, it stirs up emotions when I think about it that way.
I grew up the son of a preacher, which means I attended more weddings and funerals than I care to count. And talking about this brings to mind one main point that I heard about in every one of those funerals I attended: this isn’t just about mourning the end of something, it’s about celebrating what has come before, and being hopeful about what lies ahead.
Because, yes, this is the end of something pretty big. We should remember that, and we should celebrate all those stories we grew up with along the way: about that kid on Tattoine that fell in love and lost his way and about that other kid that brought him back. Those stories will never really be gone. They will always be told, and now is the perfect time to reflect on them.
But with endings come new beginnings.
This isn’t the end of Star Wars, as we’ve very clearly seen with the launch of Disney+. We’re really only getting started in the grand scheme of things. It’s the end of one part of Star Wars, a large part of Star Wars, but it’s the beginning of things to come.
I don’t know where The Rise of Skywalker will leave things. I don’t know what new ideas, concepts, or story leads will be introduced. Maybe there won’t be any. But regardless of what happens in that movie, we have so many new and exciting things to look forward to.
We’ve been talking about a Star Wars television series since the time of the prequel trilogy. We’ve finally gotten that, and we’re going to be getting more of it. I, for one, am very excited to see some longer form visual storytelling in the Star Wars Universe.
In a few years, we’ll be talking about Star Wars on the big screen again, telling some new story that we don’t know about yet. I know there’s been setbacks in that arena, but something is still on its way. I know we’ll all be excited to talk about it when it does come around.
I haven’t even mentioned books and comics and video games yet, but those are always some of my favorite places to learn new things about Star Wars. And I’ll let you in on a little secret. This is where the Skywalker story doesn’t have to end. There are still stories to be told to fill in a couple decades between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. Luke still has some adventures to share, and there is still a doomed Jedi temple to build.
So yes. We’re at the end of one part of our journey. Now is a great time to reflect on where we’ve been, what we’ve seen along the way, what we enjoyed, what we didn’t. But it’s also a great time to think about what lies ahead.
It’s a big galaxy. There are still so many stories left to tell.