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With Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker coming towards the end of the year, the future of Star Wars is largely a mystery. The saga will continue, Disney is making sure of that, but where exactly can we expect things to head in the near future?
If I'm placing bets, I'm thinking Star Wars is jumping into the future sooner than later. There are some moves being made that may support that opinion, and some chatter from those with some say in the franchise's future to support this idea. Here's some things to consider, and why we all may soon visit a galaxy far, far away not all that long ago.
Disney Is Wrapping Up The Sequel Trilogy
As we all know by now, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will mark the conclusion to the Skywalker saga. That presumably means that, after Episode IX, this franchise is going to move past the events that directly deal with the Skywalker family and onto something else. That family has had quite the legacy, and one would think the only way to escape it would be to go somewhere on the "galaxy's edge" or deep into the past (such as for a Knights of the Old Republic story) or future.
So how far of a time jump are we talking here? Well, far enough that Star Wars: Resistance is going to end its run right up to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, although an animated series ending isn't explicit evidence the franchise is prepping for a time jump. With that said, the fact that key actors in the sequel trilogy have gone on the record and said they don't think they'll be returning to the series has to mean something.
Either things are taking a jump to a completely different part of the galaxy (which is possible) or this franchise is taking a big jump forwards or backwards. To be honest, it could be doing all that, which is great considering we're set to be getting more Star Wars content than we've had in past few decades in the near future. With that said, the future jump seems like the most obvious play, and one that the franchise is building towards elsewhere.
The Establishing Of The Outer Reaches Of The Galaxy
While a majority of Star Wars fans have been keeping an eye on the films and theories based on what's seen there, the franchise has been slowly, but surely setting up stories along the edges of the Star Wars galaxy. It's where The Mandalorian will take place, a setting that frequently keeps popping up in the new Thrawn novels by Timothy Zahn, and let's not forget Disney Land's latest attraction is galled "Galaxy's Edge."
To say this sudden spark of interest in a region that presumably had little to no role in the Skywalker saga all the sudden is interesting. Where were all these civilizations during the wars? What has been going on since then? Why are we just now hearing about them? It's a question that, in a universe where light speed travel is possible, poses the question of just how far removed are these civilizations from the events of the core story.
If these factions were incredibly far away, then it would make sense it could take some time for them to successfully reach and impact the story of Star Wars. Or there are plans that have been secretly in development in these far reaches of space for decades, and whoever or whatever is planning on making a move is simply waiting for this First Order and Resistance conflict to play out so it can swoop in and clean up whatever side comes out on top there.
An arrival of an outside force wouldn't be something that dominates a film that's supposed to wrap up every movie that has come before, but it could make for a phenomenal scene just before the end credits. It would be different than how trilogies have concluded in Star Wars' past, but this is a new era. I'm not saying it's a good or bad thing, but are we really going to believe Disney is going to wrap Episode IX with absolutely zero tease of where the franchise is headed in the future?
Rian Johnson Talking About His Star Wars Trilogy
Love it or hate it, Star Wars fans, Lucasfilm has Rian Johnson overseeing a future trilogy in the franchise's universe. Now, because most Star Wars secrets are kept under lock and key, we know next to nothing about what his trilogy will entail, but recent comments the director was allowed to make were very telling.
To start, Johnson revealed that his trilogy will move past the legacy characters. At a minimum, that seems to mean Luke, Leia, Chewbacca, and others that have been around since the original trilogy, and to an extreme this could mean even the folks we only just met in the sequel trilogy. Going back to the bit where the current generation of Star Wars lead actors don't seem so sure they'll be reprising their roles. it seems like they may be out of this new chapter as well.
So how does one set itself apart from events and characters that have dominated the better part of a century? Well, going to the farthest reaches of the galaxy is an option, but telling a story completely unrelated to the Skywalker Saga in entirely unfamiliar territory would be a shock to audiences, especially those who were already shocked (and outraged) by some of the themes Johnson introduced in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
The better solution would seemingly be to jump beyond these characters into a future that's been impacted by these individuals. After all, we've all been impacted by the actions of our forefathers, and we live our lives without making mention of it on a daily basis. Yet the evidence is still around us, and it would still be to a Star Wars audience even if characters aren't sitting in a classroom and learning of R2-D2's journey to Luke.
Do we know Star Wars is for sure headed into the future? We don't, although as shown above, there is reason to suspect a major leap forward would solve some problems the franchise will face as it tries to distance itself from the Skywalker saga. We'll, of course, have a better idea as we get closer to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, or maybe even sooner than that as D23 is right around the corner. Stick with CinemaBlend in the meantime for updates on both.