Home Entertainment Montclair State University Students Search for ‘a New Hope’ in the Future of ‘Star Wars’

Montclair State University Students Search for ‘a New Hope’ in the Future of ‘Star Wars’

by Sharif Hasan

After 43 years and nine films, the Skywalker Saga is finally coming to an end. At this year’s Star Wars Celebration, the annual convention dedicated to “Star Wars” fans, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and director, writer and executive producer J.J. Abrams presented the first trailer for “Star Wars: Episode IX.”

The final film of the Skywalker Saga is entitled “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” and is the direct sequel to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” The movie will complete the trilogy led by heroes Rey, Finn and Poe and the villainous and conflicted Kylo Ren. The epic conclusion is scheduled to release in theaters on Dec. 20.


From left to right: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac enjoying themselves at the 2019 Star Wars Celebration in Chicago.
Photo courtesy of Daniel Boczarski via Getty Images

Along with news of the final Skywalker chapter, Star Wars Celebration unveiled footage from the highly anticipated live-action Disney plus series, “The Mandalorian.” Trailers were shown for the final season of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and the new EA video game “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.” Information and photos were revealed from the Disney theme parks’ Galaxy’s Edge.

Fans all over the world are overwhelmed with excitement as they are forced to wait for the upcoming installments to the “Star Wars” franchise. Students at Montclair State University are a part of this group of enthusiastic fans.


From left to right: Showrunner Jon Favreau, writer Dave Filoni and actors Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano and Carl Weathers speak during a panel for “The Mandalorian.”
Photo courtesy of Daniel Boczarski via Getty Images

Kyle Apodaca, a sophomore majoring in television and digital media, is looking forward to “Episode IX.”

“I honestly love the title of the final movie. At the end of the day, ‘Star Wars’ is mostly focused on the Skywalkers,” Apodaca said. “Now we can return to that feeling from the originals and prequels. Maybe Rey is [the] child of a Skywalker, after all.”

Like many fans, Apodaca was surprised to hear the sinister laugh of the Emperor at the end of the trailer. He is curious to see how Abrams will incorporate the Emperor, who was thought to be dead and whether he will be a force ghost or a vision in the mind of Rey or Kylo Ren.

Apodaca is also anticipating the return of the animated series “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” which hasn’t had a new episode since 2014.

“I feel really excited for this because I’m a fan of the ‘Clone Wars’ series,” Apodaca said. “We can finally see how the show really ends and how it transitions to ‘Episode III.’”


Guests can fly the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy on Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run in Disney’s Galaxy’s Edge.
Photo courtesy of Disney Parks

Senior Jake Cottrell, a theater arts major, enjoyed the trailer for “The Rise of Skywalker.” Cottrell even acknowledged the split in the “Star Wars” fandom after the release of “The Last Jedi,” a film that was divisive among fans and critics.

“I thought [the trailer] was really well put together,” Cottrell said. “It looks like J.J. [Abrams] is trying to bring the divided ‘Star Wars’ fans back together.”

Angela Celeste, a junior majoring in television and digital media, was one fan who disliked Rian Johnson’s “The Last Jedi.”

“Rian Johnson’s attempt at ‘subverting tropes’ and ‘breaking the mold’ was sloppy and misguided,” Celeste said. “‘Star Wars’ isn’t great because it’s thought-provoking, it’s great because it’s fun and a cultural icon.”


“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” is the epic conclusion to the Star Wars Skywalker Saga.
Photo courtesy of Disney/Lucasfilm

Celeste went on to express how “Star Wars” is not supposed to be considered art, rather entertainment for fans to enjoy. She also described her excitement for the next film and her trust in Abrams.

“I do have hopes for ‘Episode IX,’ though,” Celeste said. “Abrams has shown that he knows what ‘Star Wars’ fans are looking for.”

Although the Skywalker Saga is ending, the new additions described in the Star Wars Celebration pave the way for a promising future for the beloved series. Fans have the opportunity to witness the expansion of the franchise, which includes straying away from traditional episodic films and utilizing Disney plus, video games and Disney theme parks.


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