On one our most recent episodes, I commented to Jason that I was a bit nervous about this upcoming Sequel Trilogy not because I don’t think it will be well done but mainly because of the near perfect ending of Return of the Jedi. At the conclusion of ROTJ, we see Anakin redeemed and peace and justice restored to the galaxy. This is certainly a happy ending!
But to me, to really flesh out this amazing mythological story that is Star Wars, our story needs to go just a little deeper. We need to see what happens when our “happy ending” is challenged by the forces of darkness. Indeed, to really make this an even more powerful and affective myth, it must speak to the full extent of the human experience. We’ve probably all, in some way, experienced that feeling of redemption, of being freed so that we can become who we are truly meant to be. In a simple way of comparison, it would be like when you fall in love. That saving power of love sweeps you off your feet, but once you settle in what’s important is how you and your beloved respond to future troubles that arise.
This is where the importance of our upcoming Sequel Trilogy comes into effect: it’s the story of how the good endures, of how the Light withstands the darkness. What I expect and hope we get in the Sequel Trilogy is a story of how the redeemed Lightside stands up to a new darkness. This is the story of continuing to hold onto the Light when the darkness arises once again.
Here is how I see the three trilogies working together: Our Prequel Trilogy begins during the reign of the Light. All seems well and at peace when this trilogy begins. But then darkness manipulates the Light and causes all that is good to fall. Hatred wins out and the darkness takes control. We are left in need of Love to drive the darkness out and redeem the Light.
The Original Trilogy is a story about a new hope, about those who will conquer the darkness through their Love. So what we see happen is this new hope learn how to embrace the Light and how to then use the Light to defeat the darkness: through Love. So by Love, the darkness is defeated and the Light is redeemed.
Finally, our new Sequel Trilogy begins after yet another long time of the Light’s reign. Peace and justice have been restored after a long period of darkness. But this new Light will be challenged by a new darkness. We will see the Light struggle, we will see it falter and experience suffering and loss; it will bend but it will not break.
So our three part story can come to an even fuller conclusion than what we received at the end of ROTJ. By the end of Episode IX, we will see how the Light had the ability to redeem the darkness and finally to hold on through a new assault from the dark. And to me, this is a perfect ending because what we will see is a story that encompasses the full breadth of the human experience. We will see not only how Love can save, but finally how it holds on and perseveres through any and all of life’s challenges!