The latest film in the Star Wars saga almost served like a climax to many of the story elements that were introduced in The Force Awakens, but there's still one more film in this trilogy to go.
With Star Wars: The Last Jedi hitting theaters, it brings a lot of changes to the galaxy far, far away, and a lot of set up for what could be the final confrontation between the First Order and the Resistance.
So what can fans expect when Star Wars: Episode IX finally hits theaters in 2019? Well, quite a bit.
Warning: Major spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi below…
By the movie's end, the Resistance forces have dwindled and though they managed to stave off total destruction by the First Order, they still have to contend with a ferocious new leader hunting them down.
Throughout the course of The Last Jedi, the few Resistance ships that managed to escape D'Qar before the First Order arrived were pursued across the galaxy, shot down one by one until a sole carrier remained.
Only a few forces arrived at their hidden base on Crait, a remnant stronghold from the Rebellion's campaign against the Empire, and they managed to make their last stand. Even more of their ranks were decimated, until a group small enough to fit in the Millennium Falcon remained.
Poe Dameron and Leia Organa lead the survivors on board where they escape the First Order and go on the run, but not before sending out a distress beacon imploring the systems to rise up against the forces of tyranny. The last scene of the film teases that the legend of what happened in that battle has spread across the galaxy, giving way to hope to rise up in those who are being oppressed.
Meanwhile, Kylo Ren has assumed control of the First Order forces (we won't spoil how here), and has let his rage get the best of him in his attempts to squash the Resistance.
This sets the stage for an epic confrontation in Episode IX, though it remains to be seen in what form it will take shape. Rey has become a formidable user of the Force, despite not learning much from Luke Skywalker, though she has the means to expand on those teachings.
And though the Resistance has been decimated, they still have an opportunity to add more to their ranks, and now that Poe Dameron has learned effective lessons befitting of any leader, they could have an opportunity to gain an edge in the fight.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is now playing in theaters.