It should be noted that 2017 might have been the biggest year for Star Wars since Disney purchased Lucasfilm over five years ago.
The house that George built came off a wave of buzz after its first spinoff movie released to critical acclaim and box office success, though it was hampered with the passing of Carrie Fisher. But Star Wars managed to rebound, continually dominating the headlines for both good and bad reasons.
Kathleen Kennedy has kept a clear head in guiding the franchise forward, maintaining a dominant presence in film, television, and expanding outward to different mediums. And yet, the year was not without controversies — multiple controversies, when it comes to movies and video games.
But Star Wars continues to maintain a foothold in geek culture, and appears poised to do so well into the future.
Here are the ten best Star Wars stories of 2017.
Lucasfilm has a history of not responding to rumors in any way. But when a BBC report claimed they were in conversation with the Carrie Fisher estate and that it would lead to anything similar to Peter Cushing's likeness being used in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the company decided to break its rule and affirm to fans: Carrie Fisher's legacy is protected, and Leia will not be digitally recreated in Star Wars: Episode IX or any time in the forseeable future.
The full statement reads:
"We don't normally respond to fan or press speculation, but there is a rumor circulating that we would like to address. We want to assure our fans that Lucasfilm has no plans to digitally recreate Carrie Fisher's performance as Princess or General Leia Organa.
"Carrie Fisher was, is, and always will be a part of the Lucasfilm family. She was our princess, our general, and more importantly, our friend. We are still hurting from her loss. We cherish her memory and legacy as Princess Leia, and will always strive to honor everything she gave to Star Wars."
The legendary Gungan warrior, beloved Senator of Naboo, and all-around good guy Jar Jar Binks is featured in Chuck Wendig's latest novel, Star Wars Aftermath: Empire's End. But things haven't gone to well for Jar Jar ever since we last saw him initiating the decay of democracy when he pushed forth the vote to give Chancellor Palpatine emergency powers over the Republic.
The series of Aftermath books take place between the end of Return of the Jedi and the beginning of The Force Awakens, explaining many of the changes in the timeline that occur when the latest film begins.
In the book, a refugee character named Mapo is on the streets of Naboo when he witnesses the Gungan performing as a street clown, entertaining the onlooking children while the adults pass by.
He introduces himself to Mapo and tells him that people don't like him because he helped the Empire take control. Poor Jar Jar has since fallen on hard times and has had to become a literal clown to make ends meet.
Apparently, Disney's conditions for theaters screening Star Wars: The Last Jedi include unprecedented demands, according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal.
Disney is requiring 65 percent of the revenue from ticket sales from theaters, up from 64 percent for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. They're also requiring theaters play the film in their largest auditorium for at least four weeks, while other Disney movies are typically in that space for two weeks.
But if a theater were to break any part of the agreement, that increase would jump 5 points to a whopping 70 percent. That means if a theater agrees to air the film on eight screens for the first four weeks, but drops one of them before that time because the tickets aren't selling enough to justify it, they will be penalized.
The new Star Wars Land parks at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA and Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios in Orlando, FL now have an opening date - or at least year. Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed on the quarterly investor earnings call that both versions of Star Wars Land will open in 2019.
The confirmation comes after a record year for Disney at the box office, and is one of several major expansions in the Parks and Resorts department. Parks and Resorts had a 6% increase in revenue and 13% increase in operating income in Fiscal Year 2017 Q1. They recently revamped their Disney cruise ships, opened Shanghai Disney Resort, and saw increase at both Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland, as well.
"Our intent is to make it feel as if you've just walked into one of the movies," Imagineering executive Scott Trowbridge said of the parks. "Bringing Star Wars to life in the physical world gives us the opportunity to play with a whole bunch of things we've never done before, to really engage all of the senses."
Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were announced to be removed from the production of Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Apparently the directing duo were fired from the production after clashing with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy over the movie's direction. Both groups issued statements regarding the split, with Miller and Lord saying "we normally aren't fans of the phrase 'creative differences' but for once this cliché is true. We are really proud of the amazing and world-class work of our cast and crew."
The statement from Kennedy says "Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are talented filmmakers who have assembled an incredible cast and crew, but it's become clear that we had different creative visions on this film, and we've decided to part ways."
Ron Howard was brought on to replace the directors, taking over the production of the latest Star Wars spinoff.
Other than a director, it's being said that plans for the film are still in the early stages, with no script in place yet. It's speculated that Daldry would both develop and write the film, if he signs on.
This Obi-Wan Kenobi movie has been a long time coming, with fans wishing for it, Lucasfilm teasing it, and Star Wars prequels star Ewan McGregor consistently reaffirming his commitment to reprising his role as the young Obi-Wan. There's been no official confirmation of McGregor returning yet, but safe to say, it's something that fans expect.
Currently, on Rotten Tomatoes, The Last Jedi has a 91 percent rating from critics, which ties it for the highest score in the entire Star Wars franchise. However, the audience score on the site is much lower, coming in at just 51 percent.
Yes, you read that right. Almost half of the 162,801 audience members who have reviewed The Last Jedi said they didn't like the movie. While the critic score puts The Last Jedi at the top of the franchise food chain, the audience score tells a very different story.
Here's the statement from Lucasfilm:
"J.J. Abrams, who launched a new era of Star Wars with The Force Awakens in 2015, is returning to complete the sequel trilogy as writer and director of Star Wars: Episode IX. Abrams will co-write the film with Chris Terrio. Star Wars: Episode IX will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Michelle Rejwan, Abrams, Bad Robot, and Lucasfilm.
'With The Force Awakens, J.J. delivered everything we could have possibly hoped for, and I am so excited that he is coming back to close out this trilogy,' said Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy."
Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow was originally hired to direct Star Wars: Episode IX but was removed from the project reportedly due to clashes with Lucasfilm over script rewrites.
Disney has just announced Rian Johnson is developing a brand-new Star Wars trilogy with Lucasfilm. Johnson will work on the new trilogy with long-time collaborator Ram Bergman. Johnson is set to write and direct the first episode of the upcoming Star Wars installment.
"We all loved working with Rian on The Last Jedi," said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm. "He's a creative force, and watching him craft The Last Jedi from start to finish was one of the great joys of my career. Rian will do amazing things with the blank canvas of this new trilogy."
"We had the time of our lives collaborating with Lucasfilm and Disney on The Last Jedi," Johnson and Bergman said in a joint statement. "Star Wars is the greatest modern mythology and we feel very lucky to have contributed to it. We can't wait to continue with this new series of films."
Drawn out by Rey and the efforts of the Resistance — lead by his Force-sensitive twin, Leia — Luke appears on Crait to help an outmanned and outgunned Resistance. The Jedi Master appears to his old apprentice one final time by way of Force trickery, revealing that he hasn't left Ahch-To — it was all a ploy to aid the Resistance in their escape.
With Kylo thwarted, for now, a satisfied and exhausted Luke ends his astral projection. Luke dies on a rock on Ahch-To, overlooking double suns on the horizon. The once-Jedi Master fades away, leaving just a robe behind. One last look and Luke Skywalker is gone in a blink.
What were your favorite Star Wars moments in 2017? Let us know on social media!