Lucasfilm confirms Star Wars: Episode IX will be the final movie installment of the Skywalker Saga. Since George Lucas created the series over 40 years ago, the central figures have been the Skywalkers. There was Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and his sister Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) at the center of the original trilogy, as was their father Darth Vader. The prequels then dived deeper into Anakin Skywalker and his upbringing. Under Disney, Star Wars 7 & 8 have put Skywalker relative Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) in a lead role, while also continuing to use Luke and Leia.
Even though the franchise lead is now Rey (Daisy Ridley), who is not related to anyone as far as we know, the full nine movie arc has been titled the 'Skywalker Saga.' This term has been at the heart of plenty of Rey theories because if Disney wants the Skywalker name to live on, there's only a few ways to go about it. However, based on the latest intel, it does look like the story of the Skywalkers is coming to a close.
Lucasfilm issued a press release today announcing the full cast and production details for Star Wars: Episode IX. Included in this announcement though, is a clear indication on the future. They reference the ninth film as "the final installment of the Skywalker saga."
Star Wars 9 being the end of the Skywalker Saga could be interpreted in a few ways. For starters, it means that everything that's been happening in the last eight films will be wrapped up, which lines up with Abrams describing his desire to tie all three trilogies together. It could also mean that Episode IX will be the last time we see and Skywalkers on the screen. Luke and Anakin are now force ghosts and the film is likely only bringing Leia back in a limited capacity. Kylo is the final offspring of this bloodline, so barring a redemptive end to his story, there's no clear path to more Skywalker stories anyway.
While some may not like the idea of moving past the Skywalkers, doing so will finally open up the Star Wars universe to explore new ground. That's exactly what Rian Johnson plans to do with his new trilogy, which centers around new characters, planets, etc. Benioff and Weiss' series is also looking to expand the galaxy. Moving away from the Skywalkers could be done through stories in different points in the timeline, but also just by not having them around anymore. The Skywalker name may have been at the heart of the franchise so far, but leaving it behind can open up the door to endless possibilities that can let Star Wars continue forever.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019