The Last Dragon: What the end of Game of Thrones tells us about the future of Star Wars


David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have spent almost a decade making Game of Thrones. The show, never a stranger to controversy, has become more divisive the closer it gets to a finale. Benioff and Weiss’s next project is Star Wars; how might the chronicles of Westeros influence a galaxy far, far away?

(Note: Given that Game of Thrones has not yet concluded as of this writing, and not all readers will be caught up with the latest episodes, this article will remain spoiler-free for GoT. Elements of Star Wars will be discussed)

After Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi came out in 2017, social media regarding Star Wars became, shall we say, somewhat controversial.

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The film seemed to polarize its viewers into two camps despite being a huge box office and U.S. home video success. Online, things were heated across various social media outlets with some rather ugly comments driving some stars away from fan interaction. Star Wars fans may have nothing on fans of the HBO show Game of Thrones.

The fantasy show is in its eighth and final season, and reaction to the direction the show is taking as it approaches its end has its own share of heated responses. From comments about “character assassination” to fans being just disappointed in what happened, each episode of this final season seems to have engendered stronger responses from people who think the showrunners, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss either don’t understand the source material, have paced the story oddly, or are making characters meant to be heroes act in decidedly unheroic ways.

Sounds a bit familiar if anyone kept up with the reactions to The Last Jedi. It becomes more relevant considering that Benioff and Weiss are working on a new series of Star Wars films.

The similarities in complaints seem to center around one particular truth: Some fans did not get what they wanted. Many TLJ complaints centered around Luke Skywalker not playing a more traditional fantasy hero role in the film, as there was an expectation that he would “walk out with a laser sword and face down the whole first order.” When Snoke is presented as the “big bad” and instead proves to be just the catalyst for the rise of Kylo Ren as the villain, some audience members felt it was a bait and switch.

Photo Credit: [Star Wars: The Last Jedi] Lucasfilm(Please keep in mind, there is nothing wrong with having those opinions about the film; attacking artists, actors, and fellow fans personally about these things is where fandom gets toxic.)

Very similar complaints are all along social media right now as characters expected to be heroes are proving to be less than that, and characters who were on redemptive arcs are instead choosing to revert to their old ways. Whether one likes this direction, it is something that defies the expectations the audience has come to have from formula and narrative rules and tropes. Both The Last Jedi and Game of Thrones have done that; broken from expectation and norm to tell their stories while not necessarily giving members of the audience what they wanted.

With the upcoming slate of Disney–and therefore Star Wars–films announced and knowing Benioff and Weiss are on deck to create new material, there is bound to be apprehension regarding what they will do given the controversy surrounding the end of Game of Thrones.

The audience should expect however that whatever they get will probably have a lot in common with The Last Jedi in its defiance of expectation. Depending on your opinion of The Last Jedi or of Game of Thrones that could be very good news, or very bad.

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The first untitled Star Wars film that could be Benioff and Weiss’ project will debut in December of 2022. The final episode of Game of Thrones airs May 19th, 2019. Comment below to discuss your take on what Benioff and Weiss might bring from Westeros into the wider Galaxy!