I have something of a tradition with my online writing where the first “normal” post of the year is dedicated to Star Wars. That tradition continues today as I look forward towards Episode 9, which is due to be released at the end of this year.

Though we are still many months away from it, Star Wars: Episode 9 casts a long shadow over 2019 and I find myself more nervous than excited when I think about the conclusion to the current Star Wars trilogy. This is exclusively due to what happened with Episode 8, a film that alienated a large chunk of the Star Wars fan base. Overall I’m middle of the road when it comes to my opinion on Episode 8—and I’m not interested in diving back into the nasty fight over what’s specifically good and bad about the movie—but there were enough major problems with the film that it soured my outlook a bit on the future of Star Wars. For the first time in a very long time I am not looking forward to the next Star Wars movie with great enthusiasm.

That’s not to say that I don’t have hope. JJ Abrams is back at the helm of Star Wars for Episode 9 and despite the legitimate criticisms of his work with Episode 7 I think it’s clear he has a passion for Star Wars and wants to do the movies right. I’m not sure how he’s going to take what Rian Johnson did with the plot in Episode 8 and bring about a satisfying conclusion to the current trilogy but if anyone is up to the task it is JJ Abrams.

Roughly twelve months from now I’ll be writing about Star Wars again and with any luck I’ll be telling you that my nervousness about Episode 9 was completely misplaced and that it’s a great Star Wars movie. If it’s not a good movie I’ll still be a Star Wars fan, but I’ll likely join the ranks of fans that only have a selective canon.

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