New Star Wars movie The Rise of Skywalker definitively ends the story that began with 1977’s A New Hope, closing off the “Skywalker saga” and giving a final goodbye to characters from the franchise.
But is it the end of Star Wars itself? Well, no – there’s already plenty of TV spin-offs either airing or in the pipeline, and even more spin-off movies planned for further along – and according to veteran Star Wars actor Billy Dee Williams, even that’s just the beginning.
“To call it the end… it’s the end of some aspect. That’s what I think,” Williams, who played Lando Calrissian in 1981’s Empire Strikes Back, 1983’s Return of the Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, told RadioTimes.com.
“I think Star Wars is going to go on for generations, into the future.”
Frankly, it’s hard to disagree – and while he’s not sure if he’ll personally be a part of that future, Williams thinks that Rise of Skywalker brings the saga to an appropriately emotional point to tide us by until we return to a galaxy far, far away.
“Oh, I think it’s powerful,” he told us. “It’s an emotional excursion. Anybody who sees it is deeply touched by it – certainly Daisy Ridley (Rey) and Adam Driver (Kylo Ren).
“And all the kid actors, they were all just absolutely wonderful in it. They’re all great actors.
“It was, I think, a monumental experience,” he said, adding that he also thought it was an appropriate send-off for original series actor Carrie Fisher, who was digitally added to the film following her death in 2016.
General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) in STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
“You know I saw her two weeks before she passed away,” Williams told us. “I ran into her, I was at a caviar place in LA. I love caviar.
“And she came in, she was buying some caviar, some other things. We talked, we were talking about getting together. And then the next thing I knew she was passed away. It’s sad.
“She was such a wonderful, such a great human being,” he added. “She was witty, smart. It was too soon.”
Happily, at least Williams got to share the screen with her one last time – and from the sounds of it, the legacy of the franchise she helped create is only just beginning.
Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker is in UK cinemas now