Five Stories Ending in 2019
2019’s going to be an emotionally difficult year for many film/TV fanatics with the conclusion of several major series that have dominated the 2010s: sure, there are many more installments planned in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the world of Game of Thrones and the Star Wars galaxy, but this year will see all these franchises wrap their main narratives, sagas that have enraptured us for years, and it’s going to be bittersweet seeing how they end.
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
How to Train Your Dragon (2010) and How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014) are arguably DreamWorks Animation’s best films (sorry Shrek), and February’s How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World looks set to be another spectacular and moving win for the studio. It’s strange to think that, after a decade of films, TV and comic books, the story of Hiccup, Toothless and Berk will come to an end, but it’s great that the kids who grew up on HTTYD will get to experience their favourite heroes growing up and moving on with an almost real passage of time.
Game of Thrones season 8
From a kid-friendly flight of dragons to one considerably more adult: it’s hard to imagine life without pondering what will happen to the Starks, the Targaryens, the Lannisters and their allies, and yet, we will know all their fates after the belated finale of HBO’s A Song of Ice and Fire adaptation begins in April. These mere six episodes will undoubtedly be the show’s most epic and nailbiting, as we feverishly await the outcomes for all our favourite characters, and the end of a tapestry begun by George R.R. Martin in 1996. ‘Landmark’ simply doesn’t describe how momentous these episodes will be.
Avengers: Endgame will conclude an event first teased in 2010’s Iron Man 2 and begun proper the next year in Captain America: The First Avenger, as well as the story of Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, which began before any of that over a decade ago. It will see the Avengers literally avenge half of the universe, which fell at the hands of the Mad Titan Thanos, and if it’s as tightly constructed and emotional as Avengers: Infinity War, needless to say, we’ll be in for the ride of a lifetime.
Star Wars: Episode IX
We first met Rey, Finn and Kylo Ren just three years ago, and now their destinies are already on the verge of being fulfilled in December’s Star Wars: Episode IX, which will also conclude the Skywalker Saga that’s been at the centre of this galaxy of stories since its inception in 1977. With Mark Hamill as Force Ghost Luke Skywalker, the late Carrie Fisher as General Leia via some industrial light and magic, and the well overdue return of Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian, it’ll hopefully be the denouement all involved deserve, otherwise we’re going to be left wanting Episode X sooner rather than later.
Technically, Bond 25 doesn’t come out until February 2020, but it’ll cap the year of goodbyes started by How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, so it counts, ok? Daniel Craig’s fifth and final outing as 007 will be that rarest thing: a planned swansong for an actor’s portrayal of Bond that’ll leave you wanting more, unlike Diamonds Are Forever, A View to a Kill, Licence to Kill… you get the idea. With Cary Fukunaga at the helm, hopefully it’ll take inspiration from Fleming’s You Only Live Twice and be the unforgettable end Craig’s Bond deserves.
Gosh, I’m going to need a drink after all these (and I don’t even drink). It feels so strange to look back and realise a) another decade of my life will have passed and b) how these narratives have dominated it. There will always be much else new to look forward to (2019 shall also bring me more John Wick, Godzilla and Stranger Things), but I wonder if the stars in my life will ever align quite like this ever again.