December 18, 2019

Zimbabwe gets Star Wars front-row seat

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Kudzai Sadomba


The ninth and final instalment of what is now termed the “Skywalker Saga” will start showing in cinemas from December 20th in the United States of America, but Zimbabweans will get to see it just a day earlier.

Many fans of the Star Wars series of movies have been waiting with bated breaths for the third film in the sequel trilogy of Star Wars, following the very divisive Star Wars Episode VIII – The Last Jedi. However, let us take a brief look at what has happened to the film franchise thus far in the past eight or so years.

In 2012, Disney acquired Lucasfilm, the company that had the rights to the entire franchise. The company, nicknamed “The House of Mouse”, then announced plans for the release of a new trilogy of the films, along with tie-in films, connected to the existing six and the first of which was released in 2015, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens.

Directed by JJ Abrams, The Force Awakens was a success, receiving multiple award nominations and acclaimed success and made over US$2 billion at the box office. As for the eighth episode of the Skywalker Saga, this one was written and directed by Rian Johnson. Titled Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi and released in 2017 (40 years since the release of the first Star Wars movie), was still a success commercially and also received multiple award nominations but fans and critics alike were divided over the film.

Speaking as a fan (and without giving anything away), I was one of those people who was not that impressed with the film as there were many questions and issues raised in The Force Awakens which Rian Johnson either ignored or made irrelevant through the plot and story (and surprisingly would agree with me on this one). The Last Jedi has made just over US$1.3 billion at the box office.

The reaction of fans to the eighth film did cause some issues at The House of Mouse as it appears that Colin Trevorrow was expected to direct the film, but early September 2017, Lucasfilm announced that he had stepped down (apparently over creative differences between him and Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy). A week later, Lucasfilm announced that JJ Abrams would return to direct The Rise of Skywalker and co-write it with Chris Terrio.

Now, after almost two years of speculation of what will happen in Star Wars Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker, fans of the franchise seem to be more excited about the upcoming film. The film had its world premiere on December 16, 2019 in Los Angeles, and it seems those who attended really enjoyed it.

On Thursday night, some Zimbabweans will be among the first to watch the new Star Wars film. It is yet to be seen whether fans disappointed by the last instalment will come to watch or stay on the side-lines as the spoilers fill up the internet.

Will you watch Star Wars Episode 9?

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