It’s the End of the Skywalker Saga…Are You Ready?

I have a pretty good feeling about this

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It’s official folks: with the casting announcement for Star Wars: Episode IX, Lucasfilm has officially called the film the final installment of the Skywalker Saga. What began with Anakin and continued with Luke will now end with Rey, Kylo, Finn, and Poe. With anthologies and other trilogies on the horizon, as well as burgeoning animated and literary canons, they don’t need to rely on the concept of the Skywalker family saga any longer.

This is a narrative decision that makes sense. There is a contained narrative surrounding the Skywalkers in the galaxy. While we can have other stories told about other characters, for the Skywalker drama to continue film after film would mean that eventually, we’d grow tired of the same family causing mayhem and then cleaning up their own messes. A coherent end to a story is deeply satisfying, and after nine films, the time has finally come for the Skywalkers to find an ending. Whether it’s a happy ending or a tragic ending remains to be seen.

It’s likely that, with this being the final film of the Skywalker saga, we might get a shot at a cameo from the first Skywalker (well, second if you count his mother). Anakin Skywalker, played by Hayden Christensen, should make a cameo as a Force Ghost to remind us all that this story is in part the story of his fall and redemption. It would be a great way to tie all nine films together and remind us that the prequels are just as important as the originals. Even better would be if it were in a scene with Kylo Ren, to ensure that we see all three generations of Skywalker men interact.

Also give me a scene with Anakin and Rey as well, as she represents the new hope in the galaxy.

The most pressing question then becomes what does this mean for Leia and Kylo, the last two remaining Skywalkers? Previously, I had wrongfully assumed that Leia would not play a part in the film due to an earlier and now incorrect statement from Lucasfilm saying they would not be using any footage to recreate her. Now knowing that she will be in Episode IX, the game has entirely changed because if there’s one person I do want to redeem Kylo Ren, it’s his mother. Not his uncle, not his foil, but General Organa herself.

We could completely change up the entire concept of the Skywalker saga through Leia redeeming her son and saving the galaxy, because that would mean that she would be the one to bring balance to the Force. Leia as the Chosen One. The savior figure that Anakin and then Luke were supposed to be, yet Leia has always occupied by being a strong hero who filled the galaxy with hope.

And what does this mean for her son? I’m still pulling for a lonely exile somewhere in the Outer Rim or Unknown Regions where he can journey on his own to seek spiritual redemption. He doesn’t deserve a Disney happy ending at this point—he’s lost too many chances to go back to the Light for that to happen—but now through his mother, he can find some sort of redemption and go on to seek atonement elsewhere. Given that this is the final chapter of the saga, he no longer needs to procreate to make more babies for future films. Instead, he can have a concrete, somewhat bittersweet ending that matches the journey his character has been on.

And what does this mean for Rey, Finn, and the rest of the new characters? It means that ultimately, the galaxy can find hope elsewhere. The Skywalkers do not always need to be the scales of good and evil. Rey will save the day on her own. The Last Jedi all but told us that the Skywalkers were not the galaxy’s only hope any longer, because Luke rejected that mantle and Kylo rejected it as well. Rey is a new hope. So is Finn. Poe. Rose. These new, unrelated heroes, not born into a great destiny, are the ones that will save us all.

Time will tell how the story truly does end. I could be wrong on all counts, or right on all; most likely I’m wrong on a few and right on a few too. But this is the end of one of the most iconic stories in cinema history, and it’s been a pleasure to go on this journey with the Skywalkers and the myriad of characters who changed their stories for good and for worse. May the Force be with them. Always.

(Image: Vanity Fair)

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Author
Kate Gardner
Kate (they/them) says sorry a lot for someone who is not sorry about the amount of strongly held opinions they have. Raised on a steady diet of The West Wing and classic film, they are now a cosplayer who will fight you over issues of inclusion in media while also writing coffee shop AU fanfic for their favorite rare pairs.