Star Wars News: ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ and Everything After

And now, it’s over. Not the year, not yet—although this is the final Cantina Talk of 2019—but the Skywalker Saga, which ended with last week’s release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, a movie we don’t doubt everyone reading this has seen by now. (We liked it quite a bit, for what little it’s worth.) So what remains in its wake? An entire franchise, of course—and here are just some of the things happening with that franchise over the past couple of weeks. Have a good holiday period, everyone; it’ll be Life Day in our hearts, if nothing else.

The Future of Star Wars Is Unknown, but Not Unknowable

The Source: Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy

Probability of Accuracy: Kennedy is being a little secretive, but let’s assume she has a plan.

The Real Deal: So where does Star Wars go in the wake of The Rise of Skywalker? In the short term, there’s the season finale of The Mandalorian and a second season being written—hopefully with more Baby Yoda—as well as Disney+ series for Rogue One’s Cassian Andor and franchise favorite Obi-Wan Kenobi. But what about on the big screen? Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, is playing her cards close to her chest. “It’s not as though we have nothing to dip into, but all it is, really, are road posts, pointing us in a direction,” she told The New York Times. “You don’t spend a lot of time defining what it is that George [Lucas] intimates in this mythology. You tell stories about people, and you take the mythology and apply it to their conflict.” The next movie is still scheduled for 2022, but nothing else is known about it—not even who’s making it, after David Benioff and D. B. Weiss left the project.

Force Healing Existed Before Last Week

The Source: The Star Wars Expanded Universe

Probability of Accuracy: It’s a matter of (admittedly non-canonical) historical record, so … accurate.

The Real Deal: There’s a shared concept that appears in the latest episode of The Mandalorian and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker yet seems particularly new to both: The idea that Force users can heal other creatures by sharing life force. The idea has shown up before in Star Wars mythology in the no-longer-canon Expanded Universe, and last week IGN took a look at so-called Force Healing to show that it isn’t quite the newly created deus ex machina it might have seemed to be. (We’re very curious if the seventh episode of Mando was released early to prep audiences for Force Healing being a thing, or if it’s just a coincidence.) Read IGN’s history of Force Healing here.

Finally, the Knights of Ren Are Revealed

The Source: Canon comic Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren

Probability of Accuracy: Well, it’s official canon, so…

The Real Deal: Wishing that there was just a little bit more to the Knights of Ren than The Rise of Skywalker had time to deliver? Then Marvel’s Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren comic book series is for you. Telling the story of the transition from Ben Solo to Kylo Ren in far more detail than the movies did, the first issue—released last week—also features an entirely unexpected explanation about what “Ren” is, and why it needs Knights. “The Ren doesn’t stop to worry about what it’s burning or the right or wrong of it, or the goals it might achieve,” says a Knight. “The Ren just is. It lives, and it consumes, and it doesn’t apologize. It is its nature and nothing else. I believe in that principle on a deep, deep level. In fact, I’ve dedicated my life to it.” Got that? There are three more issues to be released, each presumably offering a lot more backstory.

The Galaxy Far, Far Away Is a Disney Kingdom Now

The Source: Mobile game Disney Magic Kingdoms

Probability of Accuracy: Oh, it’s happening.

The Real Deal: If Rise hasn’t dampened your enthusiasm for all things Star Wars, you might want to download the mobile game Disney Magic Kingdoms, which has added Star Wars characters for a limited period. Yes, until mid-January, players will be able to take on the roles of Rey, Finn, or seven other characters as they venture through the Disney-themed game. And for those who didn’t care for what happens in Rise, there’s some good news: “Our Star Wars event doesn’t follow the latest film, it takes from the themes,” says game manager Jennifer Gale. The Star Wars content is available through January 14.

Science Hates Ewoks

The Source: A real-life astrophysicist

Probability of Accuracy: In science terms, very accurate. In movie terms? Not so much.

The Real Deal: Since The Rise of Skywalker takes viewers back to the Endor system and the ruins of the second Death Star, thought it was vitally important to ask a scientist what the odds were that Ewoks would have survived a Death Star falling on the planet. “Although some of the [Death Star II] material would have ended up elsewhere … much of it would have ended up on Endor … More than enough to give those furry cannibalistic [creatures] the comeuppance they deserved,” one scientist is quoted as saying. It’s an interesting thought experiment, but also a pointless one, since anyone who’s seen the movie knows that Ewoks show up at the very end. Look, science is just different in Star Wars, OK?

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