The still Unnamed Star Wars Episode IX is set to hit theaters in December, and many fans are apprehensive at best about the next installment of our beloved franchise. I have never seen so many Star Wars fans lose hope in the franchise. Even after being force-fed Jar Jar Binks in Phantom Menace, fans were still excited for new movies. All that changed with The Last Jedi. Rian Johnson seemed to revel in destroying the franchise. Right after The Last Jedi, I considered bailing on Star Wars, but I think there are reasons I should be excited about Episode XI and maybe you should be too.
First off Disney has seen the backlash from Last Jedi. Solo A Star Wars Story was the first to feel the fans’ anger. The movie had a very disappointing box office. Fans who saw it enjoyed it. However, many fans were still reeling from the gut punch that The Last Jedi delivered and skipped the movie completely. Until Solo, the studio thought that fans would always watch Star Wars. The wake-up call that many fans were angry enough to skip a movie may have instilled the studio with fear, and a desire to return to the principles that made the original movies successful.
Another reason to be excited is the return of J.J. Abrams. Not everyone was thrilled with The Force Awakens, but few fans left the theater reexamining their Star Wars fandom. (A claim that The Last Jedi can’t make.) Rumors have circulated that Abrams was not happy with Johnson’s take on Rey’s parents, or Luke Skywalker. If they can fix these story arcs, and give fans a payoff for both characters, they may undo any permanent damage to the franchise that Last Jedi had tried to cause.
Finally, Star Wars is all about hope, if you don’t believe me go and watch Rogue One again, they say hope 500 times. The first Star Wars had so much going against it. It was filmed on a shoestring budget and should have been a forgotten sci-fi film. It surprised the world though. Everyone reading this article already loves Star Wars. All we want is to see the fun and exciting tales. If a storyteller can give fans a Star Wars story in a galaxy far far away filled with action, excitement and fun, we would be thrilled. There is always a reason to hope for that.
Will Episode 9 give fans the payoff to an epic 42 years in the making? Who knows, but history tells us some fans will be disappointed. Hopefully, most fans will get a story that is good enough to bring a smile to our faces. If the Force is with us, Lucas Films has learned from their mistakes and we will get the best movie since Empire… well, a fan can dream, right? Why are you still hopeful for Star Wars Episode 9? Let us know in the comments below.