Star Wars and the unfortunate ubiquity of the Final Climactic Explosion

For the love of the Force, don't let The Last Jedi end with a bang

The second Death Star explosion.
(Image credit: Collection Christophel / Alamy Stock Photo)

The Last Jedi, the ninth film in the Star Wars franchise, opens this Friday, and early reviews have been glowing. While I haven't yet seen it, my fondest hope for the film has been that it doesn't end, like many of its predecessors, with a gigantic explosion. As a member of Generation X, I have a deep and profound attachment to the entire saga, but I've also come to realize that the destruction of the Death Star back in 1977 was one of the worst things to happen to movies in recent decades.

Not that anyone felt that way at the time, of course. When Luke's torpedoes dropped into that exhaust port (don't ask why they made a 90 degree turn — seriously, just don't) and the Death Star exploded in an epic fireball, everyone jumped out of their seats to cheer. But since then, as special effects have developed and Hollywood convinced itself that blockbusters had to have great, big, destructive climaxes, we've seen film after film, including many of the Star Wars films, in which there's a large battle that ends in a great big explosion, which too often fails to provide the kind of emotional satisfaction it's meant to.

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