At the end of Return of the Jedi, Anakin killed the Emperor, bringing balance to the Force and completing the ancient Jedi prophecy. There was peace in the galaxy and Luke and Leia were reunited.

I watched the Star Wars in the mid-2000's (I was born in the late 90's) and before I saw George Lucas' quote:

Star Wars is a saga of Good vs. Evil, divided into nine parts

I thought the saga ended with the Return of the Jedi.

Now after watching The Force Awakens, I wonder: will the Star Wars saga never end? Because no matter how "perfect" or satisfying the end is (in the latest trilogy), 30 or 50 or 100 years later the Dark Side will rise again, and the saga will never actually end?

  • 2
    It's entertainment, and it can end wherever you want it to end. Don't like the prequels or sequels? Just pretend they don't exist. There are lots of movie sequels that are bad, but if you enjoyed the original, just watch that.
    – Ben Miller
    Jan 3, 2016 at 17:40
  • Meta discussion: meta.scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/7852/…
    – Mac Cooper
    Jan 3, 2016 at 18:00

2 Answers 2


Before the Disney canon-cull, there was a series of works in other media (books, comics etc..) that continued the story post Return of the Jedi, but none of that was an Episode, in the way that The Force Awakens is labelled.

Lucas has been varied (to say the least) on what he saw Star Wars as. He said this around the time of the The Clone Wars animated film release (which wasn't an Episode):

The epic itself is basically about one man. You pass through a lot of things, but you never get to look at it. [With ’Clone Wars’], we’re not burdened by the mythological underpinnings. We get to go more places,” Lucas said. “The story about Anakin Skywalker and his fall into the dark side and redemption by his son, that’s finished. It was started when he was 10, it ends when he died. There’s no more story to tell. All that stuff is really not part of what this is.


And in 2008:

Lucas: I've left pretty explicit instructions for there not to be any more features. There will definitely be no Episodes VII - IX. That's because there isn't any story. I mean, I never thought of anything! And now there are novels about the events after Episode IV, which isn't at all what I would have done with it.

The Star Wars story is really the tragedy of Darth Vader. That is the story. Once Vader dies, he doesn't come back to life, The Emperor doesn't get cloned and Luke doesn't get married...


So staying true to his vision, then yes, the Star Wars episodes should have ended with Return of the Jedi.

That said, Lucas did have plans for a seventh film when he sold to Disney, but its unknown what was in the scripts as they were rejected by Disney.

Over the years, Lucas has said many different things about the number of films he planned.

E.g. we were at 12 in Rolling Stone, June 12, 1980:

So, I took the screenplay and divided it into three stories, and rewrote the first one. As I was writing, I came up with some ideas for a film about robots, with no humans in it. When I got to working on the Wookiee, I thought of a film just about Wookiees, nothing else. So, for a time, I had a couple of odd movies with just those characters. Then, I had the other two films, which were essentially split into three parts each, two trilogies. When the smoke cleared, I said, 'This is really great. I'll do another trilogy that takes place after this.' I had three trilogies of nine films, and then another couple of odd films. Essentially, there were twelve films.

I believe your quote came from 1994, before the prequels were fleshed out and he began marketing Star Wars as Anakin's story.

  • And there goes all the enthusiasm for Star Wars' new trilogy...
    – Jarwin
    Jan 3, 2016 at 9:42
  • But what about the Lucas' quote in the question?
    – Jarwin
    Jan 3, 2016 at 9:43
  • @NikolaiDante, as per meta, there is a new question here scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/113342/… that your answer would be suited for.
    – Mac Cooper
    Jan 3, 2016 at 20:11
  • 1
    @mac cooper done. I'll tweeked it somewhat when I'm not on the phone. Thanks. Jan 3, 2016 at 20:18

There is no evidence so far that either Kylo Ren or Supreme Leader Snoke are Sith. The Sith seemed to have a power to unbalance the force as a whole which other dark side users may not have, see this answer, along with this answer which talks about how "bringing balance to the force" apparently did not mean eliminating the dark side in general, only the Sith specifically. So the prophecy about Anakin can still be true, "from a certain point of view", even if evil dark side users continue to arise and cause trouble.

Edited to add: Some have argued that my answer doesn't really address the question, and they may be right depending on how you interpret it, so I just want to clarify. When I read the question, I focused on the fact that Jarwin started out by talking about how "Anakin killed the Emperor, bringing balance to the Force and completing the ancient Jedi prophecy" and then complained that The Force Awakens makes it seem that no victory is permanent since "30 or 50 or 100 years later the Dark Side will rise again". I took this to mean that Jarwin was suggesting that this invalidated the idea that Anakin brought balance to the force in any hugely consequential way, but instead just decided one of an endless series of conflicts between Dark and Light. So, my answer above was making the point that Anakin's victory was indeed hugely consequential, because the Sith seemed to have a unique ability (perhaps gained by millennia of research into the nature of the Dark Side) to fundamentally unbalance the Force itself and weaken the Light Side for Force-users everywhere, and that we have no evidence other Dark Side users like Kylo Ren and Supreme Leader Snoke would have such capabilities even if they totally defeated the New Republic and the Resistance.

However, after a discussion in the comments with TrevorH I see that there's another way to interpret the significance of those lines in Jarwin' question. Jarwin may have just been saying that prior to The Force Awakens, the "Star Wars sage" had a neat unifying concept--it could be summed up as the story of how Anakin finally did fulfill the prophecy and bring balance to the Force by eliminating the Sith, despite becoming one of them. So then the complaint would be that after The Force Awakens the Star Wars saga no longer has this conceptual unity, even if it's still true that Anakin did uniquely fulfill the prophecy and that his destruction of the Sith was far more momentous than other victories in the endless struggle between Light and Dark may turn out to be (since other victories may not have the potential to affect the nature of the Force itself, however important they may be to the history of the Star Wars galaxy). And if we take this interpretation of the question, then my answer above doesn't really address it. Since I think both interpretations are reasonably plausible for the answer as written I'll leave my original answer up, but if Jarwin wants to come back and clarify which (if either) is closer to what was intended, I will delete it if it turns out my original interpretation was completely off-base.

  • 4
    Are you sure this answer addresses the question?
    – Mr Lister
    Jan 3, 2016 at 9:23
  • @Mr Lister - I interpreted the main point of the question to be whether the dark side rising again in Force Awakens invalidated the prophecy that Anakin was the chosen one who would bring balance to the force by destroying the Sith. Did you interpret the question differently?
    – Hypnosifl
    Jan 3, 2016 at 13:45
  • Yes. The question was about out-of-universe things.
    – Mr Lister
    Jan 3, 2016 at 13:49
  • @Mr Lister - It was about the question about whether it was a bad idea to continue the movies for the specific reason that doing so would invalidate Anakin being the chosen one who destroyed the Sith. Such a question obviously has both out-of-universe components ("it was a bad idea to continue the movies") and in-universe components ("invalidate Anakin being the chosen one"), I saw the focus as on the latter. I think you are being too literal if you think that because the title of the question was about ending the movies, that's all it's about--the title is often just a "teaser" for the q.
    – Hypnosifl
    Jan 3, 2016 at 14:56
  • This does not appear to answer the question above, or even be related to it in any way.
    – TylerH
    Jan 4, 2016 at 17:18

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.