Star Wars 9 is not only the end of Disney’s Sequel Trilogy, but also the Skywalker Saga - but that doesn't mean there can't be a Star Wars 10. J.J. Abrams will bring to a close the story that George Lucas started way back in 1977, leaving a big question mark over the future of the series.
Little is currently known about what lies ahead for Star Wars. Episode IX is the only movie with a release date, and while we are getting new trilogies from Rian Johnson and Game of Thrones creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, it’s unclear when they’ll arrive or what else Lucasfilm have planned. Episode IX is ending the story of the Skywalkers, but does that also mean it’ll be the end of the main episodic series?
Understandably, Lucasfilm haven’t exactly been forthcoming with details, since the immediate focus is on Episode IX, alongside Disney Plus show The Mandalorian. But Kathleen Kennedy has previously suggested that there’ll be future stories to tell with characters like Rey, Finn, and Poe, and we can see that through them Episode X - and perhaps even Episodes XI & XII - could still happen - albeit without the Skywalker family.
- This Page: Star Wars 9 Marks the End of the Skywalker Saga
- Page 2: How the Star Wars Movies Can Continue Without the Skywalkers
What Does "End" Really Mean To Star Wars?
Episode IX is the end of the Skywalker Saga, but, well, we’ve heard that one before. While Lucas made various comments about his plans for other Episodes back in the 70s and 80s, when Return of the Jedi was released in 1983, it was ostensibly the end. Darth Vader was dead, the Empire was defeated, and the story of Luke, Leia, and Han was neatly wrapped up with a happy ending. But from that point, Star Wars would only expand: the unsuccessful TV shows Droids and Ewoks took the franchise to its nadir, but then came the Expanded Universe, and things continued to grow and grow.
Star Wars came back, and then the Prequels arrived. This time, there was an even more definitive story to be told, since it would directly inform the Original Trilogy. Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader, the Empire took control of the galaxy, and Luke and Leia were born. With Revenge of the Sith, it was once again ‘the end’.
Even from that point, though, Star Wars would expand further: The Clone Wars was launched, the EU continued to grow and, eventually, Lucas started planning Episode VII, before selling Lucasfilm to Disney, who’d then launch their own trilogy and establish their own canon. So now Star Wars Episode IX is ‘the end’, but crucially, they’re only framing it as the end of the Skywalker Saga. As with before, the universe will continue to be added too, future stories will be told, and there’ll be more movies. And since they’re so focused on saying it’s ‘only’ the end of the Skywalker Saga, it’s quite likely there’ll be more Episodes too.
There Will Likely Be No Skywalkers Left After Star Wars 9
Heading into Episode IX, and thus the end of the Skywalker Saga, there are only two characters left from that family lineage (and neither actually carry the name). Luke, the last person to use the name Skywalker, died in The Last Jedi. He’ll be back in some form for Episode IX, as a Force Ghost and/or in flashback, but it’s unlikely to be a central part, and it’ll presumably be his final outing.
Left alive, then, are Leia Organa and Ben Solo. Sadly, the passing of Carrie Fisher means that, even if Abrams leaves Leia alive by the end of this movie, the character cannot appear in any future installments. Episode IX is using repurposed footage from VII and VIII, which would mean anything beyond that (set in the present continuity anyway, rather than films placed much earlier in the timeline) would need to use CGI, which seems extremely unlikely to happen.
The only one who could carry the family forward is Ben Solo. The only problem there is he’s now Kylo Ren, the Supreme Leader of the First Order and the major antagonist of the Sequel Trilogy. It’s possible he comes out of this alive but, whether he gets redeemed or not, the odds are he is going to be killed off in Episode IX. And after that, there are no more Skywalkers. It isn’t a sprawling family dynasty. It may have inspired a Saga, but it’s always been centered around just 2-3 of them. If/when Kylo dies, that is the end.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019