I know a number of fans did not enjoy the sequel trilogy and they are entitled to their opinions. However, I wish to express my own opinion regarding the sequel trilogy. The haters and critics can say what they will of the sequel trilogy, but I thoroughly enjoyed them. They may have had their respective flaws and plot holes, but every Star Wars movie has those in one form or another. Fortunately, these plot holes paved the way for more stories to be told that would fill in the blanks that were left in the movies, which further increased my sense of fandom and devotion to the franchise. I enjoyed the chemistry of the characters, the action of the battle sequences, and the notable references to the Legends Expanded Universe. I liked that they were not one hundred percent CGI and had animatronics in them like the original trilogy. I also enjoyed the concept of passing on a legacy. The First Order were the heirs of the Galactic Empire’s legacy, the Resistance were the heirs of the Rebel Alliance’s legacy, Kylo Ren was the heir to Darth Vader’s legacy, and Rey was the heir to the legacies of both the Jedi and Emperor Palpatine. Also, I like how the trilogy ended because even though the bloodline of Anakin Skywalker was severed, his name and legacy would endure through Rey Skywalker. This left the door wide open for new stories to be told in the future. As I said, some fans are entitled to their opinions about the sequels, but regardless of what we think, these films will be the story that new generations of Star Wars fans will come to accept.
I have revisited something from my childhood: the dinosaur segment of Disney’s Fantasia. This was the first time I was introduced to dinosaurs and I was in awe of the size, power, and majesty of these titans time forgot. When the Tyrannosaurus Rex took down a Stegosaurus, that was the first time I was introduced to the harsh reality of the predator/prey relationship. The extinction scene also broke my heart as I watched these beautiful giants slowly died out from thirst and starvation. As a prehistory buff, I must point out that this segment was completely scientifically inaccurate. It featured dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasts from different time periods all living together, which would have been impossible because many of these creatures would not have met in real life since they were separated by millions of years of evolution. Also, the extinction scene was closer in nature to the Permian Mass Extinction, which predated the dinosaur extinction and was due to extreme climate change and constant drought. It should be noted that the segment was made decades before the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs was discovered. Still, even though the segment was not scientifically accurate, it was enjoyable to watch.
With the introduction of the High Republic Era in the Star Wars universe, we are introduced to a new cast of villains to the franchise: the Nihils! The Nihils are a band of raiders, marauders, pillagers, reavers, and plunderers who came from the outskirts of the known galaxy. The Lucasfilm Story Group refer to them as “space vikings.” I don’t know if they are Force-sensitive or if they are normal criminals, but from what I hear even the Jedi are afraid of the Nihils. The Sith may have been the Jedi’s oldest and most prominent enemy, but the Nihils are clearly the Jedi’s greatest fear. The Jedi are not allowed to feel fear because it can lead to the dark side. So, if the Nihils are able to make the Jedi tremble with fear, then we know that they are a group to be feared. I look forward to when these blood thirsty warriors reveal themselves later this year.
I have big news regarding the future of Star Wars! With the Skywalker Saga completed, we enter another era in the Star Wars timeline known as the High Republic Era. The High Republic Era takes place two centuries before The Phantom Menace. Apparently, this marks an age of peace and prosperity in the galaxy and the Jedi are particularly active. From what I hear, the Jedi in the High Republic Era are not like the Jedi we have seen in the past. They will be a combination between the Knights of the Round Table and cowboys. With this image, I can envision Jedi who have personalities like Han Solo. The main villains in this era are not the Sith, who are currently in hiding and will not reveal themselves until The Phantom Menace. Overall, I am pleased beyond words that we are finally expanding beyond the Skywalker Saga and we will be introduced to a new cast of characters as well as new storylines. The Force is strong with the future!
I was completely giddy when I found out that Galaxy’s Edge had another simulator ride like Star Tours. Unlike Star Tours, you got to control the starship instead of just ride it. This was not just any starship; my godmother and I got to pilot the Millennium Falcon itself! Under normal circumstances, we would have been assigned gunners and engineers. However, due to an unknown factor, my godmother and I had to pilot the Falcon by ourselves. So, we were down four crew members and we had to evade the First Order alone! We managed to get to our destination and aid the Resistance, but we took a lot of damage, which cost us valuable credits. I love my godmother more than life itself, but she is a useless copilot. Still, it was completely fun and nostalgic to be inside and pilot the most legendary smuggling freighter in the galaxy!
As I immersed myself in Galaxy’s Edge, I got to see so many nostalgic sights. Unlike the stormtroopers, I found the droids I was looking for. I saw Wild Space architecture, Jedi runes and statues, and even a flock of nunas being roasted next to a pod racer engine. I’m glad I did not eat the nunas because I didn’t want to get coaxium poisoning. For those of you who don’t know, coaxium is a type of hyperspace fuel that is potent yet unstable. It appeared in the Han Solo movie. I also found some die hard fans who spoke both Mandoa and Huttese like me and we had a conversation in both languages. I actually felt like I was in a settlement in the Star Wars universe.
I got to see Galaxy’s Edge for the first time. Fortunately, I didn’t need to make a reservation. I just walked right in! The moment I walked through this threshold, I cast aside my normal persona and adopted my Star Wars persona. In this place, Grady P. Brown no longer existed. After spending my entire life watching and reading the Star Wars universe, I got to live it in Galaxy’s Edge. The Force was strong with me like never before! Thanks to Disney, it will be an experience I will get to live over and over again until I am dead. I found my personal Westworld!