Students share fan theories on the future of the “Star Wars” franchise

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When considering the most successful film franchises of all time, “Harry Potter” or the Marvel Cinematic Universe may come to mind. Recently, after years of hiatus, “Star Wars” came back onto the fantasy fan’s radar with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Excitement and anticipation for the newest installment flooded the nation, leaving fans to ask the question: what comes next?

Two films later, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” was released in November of 2017, sending films like “Father Figures” out of the top box office for its opening weekend–not unusual for a “Star Wars” franchise film historically. Since the film’s release, outlets like Variety and Newsweek have reported fan theories from devoted fans of the franchise from all over the nation, giving “Star Wars”-loving individuals the spotlight as they hypothesize where they believe the next film will take the main characters. In the past week, Boise State students were asked to give The Arbiter their best fan theories regarding what comes after “The Last Jedi,” as well as existing conspiracies within the currently released films.

Senior media production major Jake Haley says, “Honestly, the first time I saw the new film I was very underwhelmed. I loved it because it was ‘Star Wars,’ but it didn’t blow me away upon first viewing like ‘The Force Awakens’ did. I honestly believe every big plot point is either a misdirection or setup for the next film. For example, I do not think (Supreme Leader) Snoke is dead. I think that he’s still alive and we haven’t really seen him yet. If he can slam Hux on the floor from across the galaxy, why wouldn’t he see his death coming? I think his body was just a projection.”

While that theory is detailed, it isn’t the last to be heard from this “Star Wars” fan. In fact, the death of Supreme Leader Snoke isn’t the only hot topic surrounding the last film, according to Haley. It seems that “The Last Jedi” has more to offer than just controversial deaths throughout.

“I also keep going back and forth between whether Rey’s parents are actually junkers or not. When I watched it again, I realized that a big theme and a big takeaway from this movie is that the Force does not just belong to the Jedi and that just because you’re a Skywalker doesn’t mean you’re inherently powerful. Rey can be a nobody and still be powerful. I’m so excited to see what the next episode has in store,” Haley said.

Haley isn’t the only one who feels strongly about the next “Star Wars” episode. Freshman media arts major Ryan Eckart believes there’s more to the story than this episode–he’s looking past “The Last Jedi” to evaluate what’s on the horizon for the future.

“I believe Luke will be a Force ghost in Episode IX. Before Carrie Fisher’s death, Episode IX was supposed to be about her. Since VII was about Han, VIII was about Luke, IX (has to be) about Leia,” Eckart said.

Although “The Last Jedi” may not have entirely been the episode that moviegoers were expecting, it definitely gave viewers some plot points to think about. With new storylines on the forefront of students’ minds, the final film is anticipated to be just what fans are looking for.

“I feel as though the last two movies have really been exploring something that has been touched on a lot in the old Republic, non-canon era, in which the Force is much more than just dark versus light, and that the Jedi and the Sith are arbitrary to its existence,” said freshman linguistics major Ben Geffon. “I think with Rey and Kylo at the helm of the story and both of them largely unsure of where they stand commitment-wise, there is a lot of room to explore the gray areas of the Force more as we move into the final film.”

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