Blog: Endgame vs. Episode IX – Ashley picks a side

The Story Geeks blogger Ashley Pauls responds with an additional perspective to the same topic discussed in this week’s podcast – which movie is going to be bigger and better: “Endgame” or Episode IX. Want to share your own take? Join the conversation in The Story Geeks Facebook group!

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Anyone who knows me well probably isn’t going to be surprised that I’m Team Episode IX on this one. Star Wars is my all-time favorite franchise, and my excitement for Episode IX is probably the most hype I’ve ever felt for an upcoming movie.

Basically, I’m picking Episode IX over “Endgame” because I just really, REALLY love Star Wars. But since merely saying “I love Star Wars” doesn’t add a whole lot to the debate, here are three reasons why I think Episode IX is going to be the biggest and best movie of the year.

1. Episode IX has an even stronger story setup.

I really enjoyed “Infinity War” and I’m also excited for “Endgame.” However, the stakes for Episode IX feel even higher, at least to me.

In “Infinity War,” it was cool to see all our favorite heroes teaming up, and I was shocked that Thanos actually got to snap his fingers and half the universe disappeared. Still, that film ultimately didn’t feel as groundbreaking as “The Last Jedi.”

While I don’t know exactly what the plot of “Endgame” will be, I feel like I can reasonably guess the broader story arc. The characters who got “snapped” are pretty much guaranteed to reappear (there’s no way Disney would kill off big future money-makers like Black Panther, Spider-Man, and Doctor Strange).

By contrast, “The Last Jedi” was completely different from what I expected (in a good way). It fundamentally shifted how I viewed the entire Star Wars franchise, and it challenged familiar characters and took them to unexpected places, pushing them in directions that were surprising but satisfying. The universe will (hopefully!) not simply default back to the status quo, and the characters will have to live with the consequences of their decisions in “The Last Jedi.”

I honestly have no idea how Episode IX will end, and that is incredibly exciting to me.

I’m rooting for Kylo Ren to turn back to the light, but I don’t know if that will actually happen. How will the Resistance beat the First Order? Will there be a great big space battle, or will the opposing sides find some peaceful way to resolve the conflict? Is Rey going to train a new generation of Jedi warriors in the style of the old Jedi Order, or will she find a completely new way of looking at the Force that reaches beyond the conflict of Jedi vs. Sith, light vs. dark? Will balance finally be achieved in that galaxy long ago and far, far away?

There are so many ways the story could go, and I can’t wait to find out what happens.

2. It’s the payoff of 40 years of buildup.

While “Endgame” will be the culmination of 11 years of storytelling in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Episode IX will be the final chapter in a saga that’s been more than 40 years in the making.

The real world has grown and changed a lot in the past four decades, and the Star Wars universe has grown and changed with it. It’s an epic, sweeping tale — the creation of a modern myth in the style of the old Arthurian legends. People have spent 40 years getting to know these characters, first in the original trilogy, then the prequels, and now the sequels. All that will (presumably) come to an end in December.

Episode IX has a greater sense of finality to it than “Endgame” (despite the fact that “Endgame” is called, well, “Endgame”). We’ll see some of the Avengers again on screen for sure, but this could be the last time we see beloved characters like Leia, Rey, and Lando in a Star Wars movie.

Hopefully the ending of the Skywalker saga will be worth the wait!

3. Episode IX has the potential to inspire some fascinating debates and discussions.

An interesting thing I’ve noticed about the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that, for the most part, the films have all been crowd pleasers. I don’t see fans getting angry about the MCU online the same way they do about Star Wars.

This could be because Star Wars has 40 years of nostalgia behind it, while the MCU has been a constant for a shorter period (and no big gaps between films like the Star Wars franchise has had). Fans seem to have a rather visceral reaction to Star Wars, good or bad.

Sometimes this divisiveness is looked on as a negative thing, but it doesn’t have to be. Not everybody has to agree about Star Wars, and it’s more interesting when they don’t.

Some people hated “The Last Jedi.” Some people will probably hate Episode IX. But I hope that the majority of fans will be able to come together and have some really fascinating, thought-provoking discussions about the end of the Skywalker saga.

I know I’m looking forward to seeing this movie, and then digging deeper into it. More than a year later, I still haven’t stopped thinking about “The Last Jedi” and its themes. Maybe everything I hope for will come true, or maybe it won’t. However, it’s definitely going to be fun to discuss.

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