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The Rise Of Skywalker Ending Will Be Less Controversial Than The Game Of Thrones Finale

2019 is a year of big change when it comes to nerd culture, with three huge pieces of entertainment — Game of Thrones, Marvel's Infinity Saga, and Star Wars' Skywalker Saga — all coming to an end. While the vast majority of people agree that Marvel knocked it out of the park with Avengers: Endgame, now the highest-grossing film of all time, most fans and critics seem to agree that Game of Thrones' final episode, "The Iron Throne," was awful. Star Wars won't finish its story until December when The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters, but when it does, where will the film land on the spectrum of "Endgame-level good" and "Thrones-level bad"? Well, according to at least one person, The Rise of Skywalker's ending will be less controversial than the Game of Thrones finale.

In an interview with MTV News' Josh Horowitz, Daisy Ridley — who portrays protagonist Rey in the Star Wars sequel trilogy — revealed that she's spent the last six weeks binging Game of Thrones. And though she's only on season 4 of the HBO series, Ridley has already had the show's ending spoiled for her. Within this context, Horowitz asked Ridley if the ending of The Rise of Skywalker would be more or less divisive than the ending of Game of Thrones. Ridley replied, without hesitation, "I think this ending will be less controversial." 

Granted, Game of Thrones may have set a low standard when it comes to ending a beloved franchise, and it wouldn't be hard to wrap a story up in a less divisive way than showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss did with the fantasy drama series. Still, it should be music to fans' ears to hear Ridley state so confidently that she doesn't find the Star Wars ending to be all that contentious.

The franchise's most recent entry in the Skywalker Saga, 2017's The Last Jedi, proved to be perhaps the most divisive Star Wars film ever. Many longtime Star Wars fans didn't think writer-director Rian Johnson's movie treated Luke Skywalker appropriately or characterized him accurately; some disliked the film's inconsequential and CGI-heavy Casino Planet subplot; and others felt cheated by the way the movie seemed to purposely undercut storylines that were set up in its predecessor, The Force Awakens. Then there was an uglier aspect of criticism from a separate contingent of "fans" — namely misogynist Internet trolls — who denounced every female character in the film as being a part of a conspiracy theory that was somehow capable of retroactively ruining their collective childhoods. Some of them even went so far as to cut their own women-free version of the film, for some reason. 

Those latter "fans" are unlikely to be pleased by anything in the new film regardless of its ending, but those who had rational and reasonable criticisms of The Last Jedi will no doubt be pleased about The Rise of Skywalker's apparent relative lack of controversy.

Now, that's not to say that The Rise of Skywalker won't rustle a few feathers. In the most recent footage from the film, Rey is shown to look like a Sith, sporting a dark hood and wielding a dual-bladed red lightsaber. Seeing the series' protagonist seemingly turning to the dark side undoubtedly struck fear in the hearts of many a Star Wars fan, and if Rey stays with the dark side for good — or even pulls a switcheroo with current series villain Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) — then you can bet the film's ending will be controversial.

Ridley herself didn't do anything to quell these fears in her MTV News interview, saying of her time as Dark Rey, "It honestly felt really cool. There were obviously conversations about how it looked — genuinely cool — and that people will wanna be like, you know, that version of Rey. However that may last, however long it lasts, wherever she ends up. But it felt really good." 

The actress also commented on the possibility that Kylo Ren may still yet reform, stating, "Is an apology ever enough? Will actions speak louder than words? Where will we end up? It's a good question, and a question that is posed by the film."

Ridley then confirmed, again without hesitation, that The Rise of Skywalker answered every question she had about Rey, and that the movie was "really, genuinely satisfying" to film. 

As far as what will actually happen in The Rise of Skywalker, there is precious little that we know for sure. We know that Rey at least appears to have gone over to the dark side at some point — but even then, we can't state for certain if that's really what's going on. We know that original trilogy and prequel trilogy villain Emperor Palpatine is back in some capacity. We know that Leia will appear in the film thanks to some leftover footage, despite actress Carrie Fisher's 2016 passing. We also know that Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker will be in the movie in some way, even after the character's demise at the end of The Last Jedi. We know there will be several new characters, such as Keri Russell's Zorri Bliss, as well as some returning old favorites, like Billy Dee Williams' Lando Calrissian. And finally, we know The Rise of Skywalker takes place at least a year after The Last Jedi.

Beyond those tidbits, the bulk of the plot — especially the ending — remains a mystery by design. Thanks to Daisy Ridley's comforting comments, however, it sounds like whatever happens at the end of The Rise of Skywalker will be pretty satisfying to the majority of the Star Wars faithful.