Last week brought the final trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the final chapter in the Skywalker Saga, and it’s brought about a new hope for this Star Wars fan.
I’ve been trying to find the right way to word this since the trailer dropped last Monday, but the final trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has instilled in me a sense of hope I haven’t felt in a long time. The Star Wars franchise has been difficult in recent years because the fandom has become so divisive. If you don’t agree with the majority you’re an idiot. If you think Rey and Finn and Rose are heroes, you’re an idiot. The fact that the hero of this story could be anyone other than another white Skywalker is ridiculous. These are not the types of ideas that I loved about Star Wars. This is the opposite of what the franchise is about.
The Star Wars films were always about the little guy, the underprivileged ones that have been cast out and are fighting for the good of everyone. Han Solo was awesome because he was an outlaw that decided to do what was right. Luke was cool because he became more than just a whiney farmer kid. Lando was awesome because he played both sides but knew where to stand when it meant something. Leia was just always a badass. This was never about powerful white dudes; it was about everyone else.
But the white dudes have ruined it. They’ve said that this franchise is for them and everyone else can fuck off. But they’re wrong. They’ve done some damage and have hurt people, but they don’t deserve to win. This franchise means so much to so many people. It means so much to women, to people of color, and to millions of people who aren’t privileged white dudes; just because they think they’re the only ones who deserve to enjoy this doesn’t mean they’re right.
Seeing Rey, Finn, and Rose in this trailer brings me hope. Seeing these heroes taking down the Empire/First Order once and for all fills me with joy. But at the same time, the trailer reminds me that this is truly the end. From C3PO’s words to the way in which the battle is presented, this is an all out final battle to the end, and that’s something that feels odd for this franchise.
Star Wars will likely continue on for decades, just as it has since it all started. There will continue to be novels, video games, TV series, and other films. Yet seeing this story end is something I don’t think I ever expected. It was always said that Lucas had plans for three trilogies, spanning nine films. 16 years after Return of the Jedi was released, we finally saw the prequel trilogy. Then ten years after Revenge of the Sith, we were given the beginning of the final trilogy with The Force Awakens. Even with knowing that the end was coming, it never truly felt real. But now it does. Now it truly feels like we’re done with these characters, and I don’t know if that’s something I’m ready for. But I’m ready for this final ride.
There have been a lot of endings the past few years. With Endgame, Game of Thrones, Dark Phoenix, we’re at a time when these well loved franchises are writing their final chapters, but it feels odd to add Star Wars to the list because it’s always been there. For 42 years, the Skywalker Saga has been there. It’s been a story that still felt alive thanks to new films and an end nowhere in sight. But now, that end is here, and there’s no turning back.
Hopefully this final ride can be something that is as enjoyable as the original films, something that we can all love for generations that can help us get past the stupid prejudices of the toxic side of the fandom and remind us what this story is truly about. I hope this film is as good as this trailer makes it out to be. I hope that all fans of this franchise can enjoy this final chapter of the Skywalker Saga. And I hope that maybe we can learn to be better to each other moving forward. Because we all deserve to enjoy this, no matter where we come from or what we look like.
You can check out the trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker below and be sure to keep following Poor Man’s Spoiler for all our Star Wars coverage leading up to the release of the film on December 20th.