If someone had told me way back when I watched Star Wars for the first time that the final episode would close out the 2010s, I'm not sure I would have believed it. It's been a long road from 1977 when a movie simply entitled Star Wars dropped the audience into the middle of the tale. There was the triumph of Empire Strikes Back, the nadir of Attack of the Clones, the Disney-lead revival that brought both the high of The Last Jedi and the low of Solo. Now, this Star Wars: Always super trailer puts the story together in one long clip.
This clip, created by actor Topher Grace and professional video editor Jeff Yorkes, arrived while the wait for Star Wars Episode IX's title continued. The current rumor is the final episode will be entitled "Balance of the Force," which both has an uplifting quality for the final installment, as well as conforming to the other "third titles" in the previous trilogies with the "Of The" format (Return of the Jedi and Revenge of the Sith).
It also feels right. It's what the story has been leading to, over eight episodes and two standalone films. This video helps make the argument, as it distills down the essence of the overall story into a single five-minute cut.
The clip is brilliant in how it weaves together all 10 films thus far, making footage like the fuzzy cut scene from the original 1977 film seem perfectly natural against the 2017 level effects of The Last Jedi. It also understands exactly how fans feel these movies were, the distilled edit of the Star Wars story everyone knew the trilogies were trying to create, even if (and when) George Lucas failed to make it work on screen. It also digs in and finds how that story was being told in films like Rogue One as well.
Seriously, this clip even made Solo: A Star Wars Story look good, and made the weird western theme work for Han, as well as in the context of the other films. Now that's talent.
It may seem a little weird for a clip like this credited to Topher Grace, who is mainly known as an actor. However, Grace's editing skills have been on display before, including an 85-minute fan edit of the Star Wars prequels, as well a taking The Hobbit trilogy and recutting it into a single two-hour film. Both those edits, like this clip, captured the soul of the film the directors were trying to make while cutting away the excess bloat they didn't need.
The final installment of the original Star Wars story will arrive in theaters this December, closing out over four decades of Lucas' vision. However, the Star Wars stories won't stop there. Lucasfilm has two more trilogies planned for the 2020s, one directed by Ryan Johnson (who helmed The Last Jedi) and the other by Game of Thrones masterminds David Benioff and Dan Weiss.
The still as-yet-untitled Star Wars Episode IX will arrive in theaters on Dec. 20, 2019.