As I write this, we are just days away from the release of Avengers: Endgame. It's been a long, miraculous road, 22 films over ten years to get to this point. And as people watch and re-watch this shared universe and notice new things and new threads of interconnectivity (especially when you watch them in chronological order vs release order) I can't help but wonder how appreciative they are of the care taken with this franchise.
I mean, not every franchise planned things out this well. We've had 25 Bond films (as of next year) over 57 years with almost no continuity between them. Star Trek, Star Wars, each corner of geekdom has its own little battles over what is cannon. And that got me to thinking about the upcoming slate of theatrical releases, and the state of things for geeks.
You guys realize we really are in the Endgame now, right?
Think about it. Avengers: Endgame finishes off (although to hear Kevin Feige talk, Spider-man: Far from Home is the end of Phase 4) this massive Infinity Stones story arc.
Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker will end the "saga" storyline of a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away this December. Like them or not, the X-Men movies wraps up their stay at FOX with Dark Phoenix (or New Mutants) this year. We're getting a third Bad Boys, Bill and Ted, Ghostbusters, and John Wick, and one has to wonder which of these will be the "final" outing, completing the trilogy for those series. Only one more Fantastic Beasts movie is planned, and the Wizarding World is done, two more Godzilla films on the horizon, but one has to wonder how much momentum they can sustain beyond that (or if they should).
The abortive "Dark Universe" over at Universal can't seem to catch a break. Tarantino has announced his retirement after only two more movies, and even Kevin Smith returning to the Askewniverse with the Jay and Silent Bob Reboot won't make another beyond that. On television, Star Trek Discovery has wildly divided fans, Game of Thrones is closing down shop as we speak, Orange is the New Black, Gotham, Vikings, iZombie, Mr. Robot and The Big Bang Theory are all hanging it up this season.
My point is, that geeks are losing a LOT of content in the immediate future.
And yes, I know Marvel isn't done making movies. Star Wars will endure. There probably will be another John Wick. J.K. Rowling will find a way to squeeze another Wizarding World movie into ours. We'll get the occasional 4th film in a trilogy, some will be Crystal Skull, some will be Fury Road. New TV shows will crop up to fill the void left by the old. (Personally looking very much forward to both The Dark Tower and Lord of the Rings).
But still, it's hard to say goodbye to all these friends so closely to one another, especially given how so many of these are bound to end.
Looking at you, Thanos.