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The Year of Endings

Things that came to an end in 2019

In my look ahead at 2019 that I did at the end of last year, then you’ll recall what I dubbed 2019. I called it “the Year of Endings.” The name came from the fact that several great stories in the form of movies, shows, and games would be ending this year. It felt appropriate.

With the year now largely wrapped up, I decided to take a look back on everything that came to an end. In addition, I wanted to share my thoughts about the way these things ended. Too often have I seen a good story ruined by a bad ending.

Infinity Saga

When Iron Man came out in 2008, I don’t anyone knew what it was starting. As a result of that film, a cinematic universe the likes of which had never been done was born. Now fast forward to 2019, and supeheroes dominate our culture, with Marvel capping off one of the most ambitious stories in history: the Infinity Saga.

I’ve been a fan of Marvel since I was a kid. So when I saw Thanos appear in that mid-credits scene in Avengers, I knew what Marvel was building to. However, never in my wildest dreams did I expect the Infinity Saga to end like it did. The franchise had plenty of high moments, a few low points, but through it all, it remained an incredible ride. The final clash between the Avengers and Thanos was one of the greatest moments in cinematic history. As a result of the MCU, I don’t think our culture will ever be the same again, and I’m happy about that.

Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones was, without a doubt, the definitive show of the decade. Based on George R.R. Martin’s books and inspired by Shakespeare’s plays, this show gave us a modern spin on a medieval world. The sheer amount of success it’s had is mind-boggling. From giving dozens of actors their big break, to all the memes and references in pop culture, Game of Thrones was a show that only came around once a generation. Then, we got the finale.

If you’ve read my reviews for the final season, then you know how I thought it was a let-down. Yeah, all the characters I hated died, but the way they did made it feel like a hollow victory. While I don’t agree with how the show ended, I’ve since come to a conclusion. While I think the final season could have been done better, I don’t think it changes the fact that Game of Thrones is one of the best shows ever made. The ride alone made the whole thing worth it in the end. Also, I could at least celebrate Littlefinger’s death.

Kingdom Hearts: The Xehanort Saga

Fourteen years. That’s how long fans had been waiting for Kingdom Hearts 3 to come out. In that time, we had to go through several mid-quels, prequels, and remasterings. However, in January 2019, Square Enix finally gave us the final chapter in the Xehanort Saga for their crossover RPG, Kingdom Hearts.

Personally, I enjoyed Kingdom Hearts III. I loved the updated graphics, the new game play mechanics, and the new worlds based on Disney properties that we could explore. However, my enthusiasm for it was marred by my belief that Square Enix delayed it longer than necessary. Then when I got to the end and saw what happened, I felt more frustrated than sad with how it turned out. Despite this, I still think Kingdom Hearts is one of my all-time favorite series.

Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

After forty-two years, eleven movies, and hours worth of content, it seems that Star Wars is dropping the curtain on the Skywalkers. After Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012, they announced their intent to create a Sequel Trilogy, culminating in the release of The Rise of Skywalker earlier this month. The film’s supposed to put an end to the story of Skywalker family. However, I don’t buy it for a second.

Ever since The Rise of Skywalker was announced, people talk like its the end of the franchise. In reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth! Star Wars proved a long time ago that it can tell great stories without involving the Skywalker family. In fact, some of the best content didn’t involve the Skywalkers or their friends at all! In other words, I see The Rise of Skywalker as the first chapter in a new era for a franchise that can go on for decades.

Star vs the Forces of Evil

Against all odds, Star and Marco found a way to be together forever. No more pressures of ruling, no more magic, no more fighting for the fate of the universe. They can spend the rest of their lives together as lovers, adventure buddies, and best friends.

This year saw one of the best cartoons put out in years come to an end. At one point, Star vs. the Forces of Evil was almost as popular as Steven Universe and Gravity Falls. However, that didn’t stop Disney from rushing bringing the show to a somewhat quiet end in May of this year. The question, though, is why I keep bringing this show up.

I think my obssession with Star vs. can be explained with three different reasons. Firstly, I think after being so thoroughly disappointed by it, I subconsciously transferred my love of Game of Thrones to Star vs as a means of coping. Secondly, I felt like Disney rushed to get the show’s final season out, throwing in multiple episodes in the span of a few weeks. As a result, it ended before we could get ready for it. Finally, I think that they could have told more stories in the show. Daron Nefcy has openly said she’d come back to do more with Star vs if Disney asked. Thus, I don’t think the story of Star Butterfly’s done just yet.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

I used to think that My Little Pony was a toy line meant for little girls. Then I saw Rainbow Dash beat the snot out of Starscream on an episode of Death Battle. That made me realize that these ponies could actually be cool. After that, I got into the show, and ended up becoming a brony.

In October of this year, Discovery Family and Hasbro brought My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic to an end. However, unlike Game of Thrones or Star vs., this show came to an end on a very satisfying note. Discovery Family went out of its way to promote it by re-running every episode ever, and the finale managed to tie up any remaining plot threads. In other words, it had a good ending. Best of all, IDW Comics will be continuing the story in comic book form starting next year, so this won’t be the last time we see these characters. I thought it was great seeing one of the decade’s best cartoons go out on a high note, and I only wish other shows could do the same thing.

Happy New Year

Do you agree with my picks? What other great things came to an end in 2019 that I missed? Let me know in the comments below, and happy New Year.

Click here to see more stuff recapping past years.

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