2019, The Year of Farewell
I was talking to Amanda the other day and I realized something in equal parts spectacular and heartbreaking: 2019 is the year of farewell. If you’re any variation of nerd, you probably know what I mean without me going into any deeper detail. If not, let me put it in perspective.
I read Game of Thrones - and by Game of Thrones, I mean the real Game of Thrones, as in the first book of the series A Song of Ice and Fire - back in the winter of 2010-2011. I finished it the spring of my senior year, when a lot of things were going on in my life. I’d never read a book like Game of Thrones. I couldn’t articulate what about it was so arresting and so special about it, and nobody really cared to ask. I finished the book about a week before the first season aired on HBO - and no, I had no idea it was being made for television. Since that time, I’ve read all the books, and have watched all the episodes at least three times. I feel like I’ve known these characters for nearly a decade. They are part of me now.
Game of Thrones ends this year.
I first saw Iron Man when I was in high school and I remember thinking, I’ve never seen anything like this. Another low budget, indie superhero flick came out that year called The Dark Knight by Christopher Nolan, and I remember thinking, I really love Iron Man, but DC has got this competition by a landslide. It’s not even close. Spider Man 3 had left an awful taste in everyone’s mouth. Iron Man was a revelation, but one film does not a dynasty make.
I remember my friend misquoting Tony Stark saying, “They say that the best weapon is the one that you never have to fire. I respectfully disagree. I prefer the weapon you only have to fire once. That's how Dad did it, that's how God does it…and it's worked out pretty well so far.” Fans of the show will recognize that he misplaced the word “God” for “America,” but to be frank I liked his version more. That could be in part because I liked him a lot, and still do. He’s getting married soon. He lives in Oklahoma. We aren’t kids anymore, and neither is the MCU.
The MCU, as we’ve known it since Iron Man, ends this year.
I don’t remember the first time I watched Star Wars, but that’s just because I can’t remember a time in my life when I had not seen Star Wars. Star Wars is part of my DNA, like Indiana Jones or Goosebumps or Santa Claus at Christmas. Han Solo was one of my first heroes. Luke Skywalker was like my cool big brother. Princess Leia was one of my first crushes.
The Star Wars saga ends this year, too.
2019 marks the end of a lot of long, long franchises. Game of Thrones has, for some people, been in their lives since the first book came out in 1996 (23 years). The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been going strong since 2008 (11 years). Star Wars became a cultural watershed moment when it first hit the screens in 1977. That’s a forty-eight year old franchise. Let that sink in. In two years, Star Wars will be half a century old.
“We’re in the endgame now,” as Dr. Strange said in Infinity War. As a creator, a nerd, and a fan I just want to say - I am so grateful to be here for this, and for all these beautiful, lovely characters that became my friends along the way.
Alright. That’s enough.
Gotta start getting ready for this weekend.