2019 opened with the continuation of Star Wars Resistance’s first season. The season moved closer to crossing over with the sequel trilogy as it went on, culminating with the destruction of the Hosnian system at the hand of Starkiller Base.
As the Colossus darted into destinations unknown, the second season of the series received a full trailer in August, which announced it would be the last. The second and final season began in October, which continued to be very very good, thank you very much.
In a bumper year for the new canon of novels, eight new titles dotted themselves into the existing timeline. Queen’s Shadow by E.K. Johnston kicked off the year, telling a tale of Padme Amidala and her handmaidens shortly after The Phantom Menace.
Sticking with The Phantom Menace, a prequel to the prequel, Master and Apprentice by Claudia Gray, released in April. The title detailed the strained early relationship between Obi-Wan Kenobi by Qui-Gon Jinn, and put a fresh perspective on the heroes of the sagas first episode.
The first of a new trilogy of books by Alexander Freed, titled Alphabet Squadron, set up a new band of fighter pilots tasked with hunting down Imperial survivors post-Endor. In the wake of this new trilogy beginning, Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy ended with Thrawn: Treason. The title pitted the titular protagonist in a battle between his people and his superiors, leading up to where Thrawn ended up in Rebels.
Two titles released in conjunction with the opening of Galaxy’s Edge. A Crash of Fate by Zoradia Córdova gave us a feel for the world we could one day explore, while Galaxy’s Edge: Black Spire by Delilah S. Dawson was more of an introduction to Vi Moradi; a Resistance member who would be prevalent in the Disney Park. Both titles helped flesh out the history and culture of Batuu, while also, in Black Spires case, serving as a continuation of the new Trilogy.
The Journey to The Rise of Skywalker consisted of two main novels. Force Collector by Kevin Shinick set itself just prior to the events of The Force Awakens, and recapped major moments from the Skywalker Saga so far through the eyes of the force sensitive Karr Nuq Sin. Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse was something of a crossover event in itself, tying together threads set up within the films, comics, and even the story of Battlefront II, to really set the scene before Episode IX. The title focused mainly on Poe Dameron and Leia Organa as they came to terms with rebuilding the Resistance.
In a first for the new canon, Cavan Scott put together an audio drama titled Dooku: Jedi Lost. The play told us of Dooku’s descent into the dark side, through the eyes of Asajj Ventress. It was an interesting change of pace for the series, and those who wished to read the tale as opposed to just listen to it were able to, as the script was published and released on October.
Star Wars Celebration returned in April, with Celebration Chicago taking place between April 11-15. The expo revealed the first trailer for, and official title revealing of, The Rise of Skywalker, as well as a panel dedicated solely to the upcoming Disney+ series; The Mandalorian.
A new trailer for the final season of The Clone Wars was released, Jedi: Fallen Order received a full unveiling, Rebels was truly remembered, and The Phantom Menace received a celebration 20 years after its release. Finally, on its final day, the location of the 2020 edition of Celebration was revealed, heading back to Anaheim.
May saw Galaxy’s Edge open its gates in Disneyland, and August saw them open in Disney World. For the first time ever, the galaxy far far away was actually explorable. Built as the Black Spire Outpost, on the planet of Batuu, Galaxy’s Edge strived to provide an immersive theme park experience like never before. Attendees could build their own lightsaber and their own droid, sample delicacies from across the galaxy, and even fly the Millennium Falcon under the employ of pirate lord Hondo Ohnaka.
Later in the year, on into 2020 for Disneyland, Rise of the Resistance would open, adding a second attraction to the park.
E3 is a huge time of year for the video game industry, and the event treated us to our first look at the gameplay of Jedi: Fallen Order, and the announcement of Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, which would feature entirely new levels spanning Episodes I-IX, to be released in 2020.
Jedi: Fallen Order released in November, to very positive reviews from fans and critics alike.
Following the journey of Cal Kestis, an exiled former Jedi Padawan, as he searched to rebuild the Jedi Order, the “metroidvania” style gameplay proved highly popular with gamers. In stark contrast to the initial reaction to Battlefront II, Jedi: Fallen Order, initial release bugs aside, seemed to be very well received. The vast levels of customization (including being able to piece together your own lightsaber), the focused story, and the single player only aspects of the title are all things that aren’t commonplace in big budget video games, and yet they came together here. Respawn, you did it. Please let them do it again?
In another first for the franchise, the first life action series debuted on Disney+. The Mandalorian, created by Jon Favreau, focused on, well, The Mandalorian; a bounty hunter trying to rebuild the ways of Mandalore. After taking a job many have failed at, he meets “The Child”, who is now known across the globe as Baby Yoda.
The series explores parts of the galaxy never seen before, others that have been seen many a time, all while leaving us wanting more Baby Yoda. Seriously, we got a lot of Baby Yoda over these 8 episodes, and I can’t think of a single episode that couldn’t have been improved with more. Season 2 is set to come in 2020, so fingers crossed for more Baby Yoda.
2019 came to a close with the final chapter in a story spanning over 40 years. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opened December 20th worldwide to fairly mixed critical reviews, however that didn’t stop the film from being one of the most successful of the year. The film grossed over $1 billion, which is no small feat. The film managed to feature elements from the previous eight films in the saga, while attempting to stand on its own. While it didn’t do a great deal for myself, many others truly loved the end of the series. Ultimately, it closed out the decade the way it should be closed out; by giving us all something to talk about
How did Star Wars in the 2010s treat you? What are you looking forward to/hoping for from the 2020s? Let us know in the comments!