2019 Is The Year Of The Pop Culture Finale

2019 Is The Year Of The Pop Culture Finale

The new year has only just begun but it’s already got us thinking about the end. Over the course of the next 12 months, fans are going to see the end of some of the biggest franchises and shows of all time. Let’s take a look at which pop culture favourites are wrapping up in 2019.

Image The story of Luke and his family is coming to an end. (Photo: Lucasfilm)

The Skywalker Saga

On December 20, Star Wars: Episode IX hits theatres. It’s being touted as the final film of the Skywalker Saga, which is kind of a big deal when you consider that’s the same story that began way back in 1977 and has now stretched across three trilogies, a TV show, comics and novels, and more. Episode IX won’t be the last Star Wars film, obviously, but it will mark the end of the series’ most famous chapter. We can only guess where it will go next.

Image Most of these Starks are already dead, but will any survive to the finale? (Photo: HBO)

Game of Thrones

The eighth and final season of Game of Thrones will begin on HBO sometime in April. It’s likely to reveal who ultimately takes the throne of Westeros as well as show us the long-teased battle between Ice, in the form of the White Walkers, and Fire, in the form of humanity lead by Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons. Again, Game of Thrones is too big of a franchise to just go away (much like winter, spinoffs are coming), but the main story we’ve been following since 2011 is coming to a close.

Image Things with the Guardians of the Galaxy and the rest of Marvel are about to turn upside down. (Photo: Disney)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe…As We Know It

The story that began in 2008’s Iron Man ends on April 24 with the release of the fourth Avengers movie, Avengers: Endgame. The film should, hypothetically, see the defeat of Thanos as well as the final exit of some of the main characters that have defined the Marvel Cinematic Universe since the beginning. Marvel movies will continue (though, as of publication, we don’t know exactly how long they will do so, beyond Spider-Man: Far From Home in July) but they’ll be free of the purple thumb of Thanos, who has been the main bad guy the whole time. Plus, there’s some new blood on the way. (See below.)

Image The X-Universe that started in 2000 is likely coming to an end this year. (Image: Fox)

Fox’s X-Universe

This is kind of an assumption but we’re confident in it. This year will see the release of two X-Men movies from Fox, Dark Phoenix on June 6 and New Mutants on August 1. And while the latter could certainly be spun out of the X-Men universe, Dark Phoenix cannot. It stars the cast of the last several X-Films and is almost certainly going to be the last time these actors play these characters in this story. Fox is being purchased by Disney and Disney will almost certainly be recasting those roles to bring the characters into the new Marvel Cinematic Universe (see above).

Image One of the most popular sitcoms in recent memory is finally ending. (Photo: CBS)

The Big Bang Theory

It’s no secret that we here at io9 will be its last (probably ending sometime over the summer)—and while Sheldon may live on, at least in his younger version and in reruns, the main story is coming to an end.

Image The Joker and Batman will have a long life together after Gotham. (Photo: Fox)


Fox’s Batman origin show, Gotham, comes to an end with its upcoming fifth and final season. We’ll finally see a young Bruce Wayne become some version of Batman, as well as the fates of some of his greatest foes. Plus we’ll at least see how Jim Gordon leaves the city for the Caped Crusader of the future to take on.

Image Hiccup and Astrid see a new world in the final How to Train Your Dragon. (Image: Dreamworks)

How to Train Your Dragon

Hard to believe it’s been five years since How to Train Your Dragon 2 was released but finally, we’re going to see the series finale, The Hidden World. The film should answer questions about the dragon Toothless’ origin and, most importantly, where the dragons all go in the end.

Image Mr. Glass and David Dunn are set for a final showdown. (Photo: Disney)

The Unbreakable Universe

In 2000, M. Night Shyamalan created one of the best superhero movies ever with Unbreakable. Sixteen years later, he made a surprise return to the film’s universe with Split. And now, on January 17, he finishes the story with Glass. The film brings back Samuel L. Jackson as the title character, who will finally show the world that his life’s work — to prove superheroes exist — was not for nothing. For fans (like me) it’s beyond exciting to finally go back to this world after the first film barely scratched the surface.

Image Pennywise, you’re going down. (Photo: Warner Bros.)


Yeah, this is kind of a cheat. Can a part two really be a finale? Well, when it’s the conclusion to a story that was teased back in the 2017 hit, we say yes. It: Chapter 2 comes out September 5 and it’ll not just bring back the younger versions of the Loser’s Club but introduce their grown-up versions (played by the likes of Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, and Bill Hader) to finally take down Pennywise once and for all.

Image Elliot and his frenemies (real and imagined) are about to conclude the story of Mr. Robot. (Photo: USA)

Mr. Robot

I have to admit, I dropped off Mr. Robot a few seasons ago, but there’s no denying that Sam Esmail’s USA show starring Rami Malek was something of a game changer. The story of a hacker burdened by some serious mental issues will conclude with the fourth season and is set to air sometime this year.

Image Count Olaf’s final schemes are now available on Netflix. (Photo: Netflix)

Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events

Will Count Olaf beat the Baudelaire children? Will the kids finally defeat their evil rival? All will be answered in the third and final season of the hit Netflix show, based on the final few books in the popular series, which is now streaming.

These are probably also finales, but we can’t be sure…

Image Buzz and Woody meet some new friends in, maybe, the last Toy Story? (Image: Disney)

Toy Story

Toy Story 4 opens June 29 and, while we aren’t 100 per cent sure if it’ll be the last entry in the series, there’s a good chance, right? How many more times can Pixar take out its biggest gun complete with its unattainable expectations? Though, to be fair, the same was said after 2010’s Toy Story 3. Everyone, including Pixar, probably thought that was the last film in the series, completing a nice trilogy, but now we get this latest instalment. Even if it’s not the last one though, it certainly will be for a long, long while.

Image John Wick has a lot of guys to kill in what may be the character’s final film. (Photo: Lionsgate)

John Wick

John Wick is back on May 16 with the third film in the series. Now, most fans had assumed Wick would end in a trilogy, especially since the last film ended with Wick needing to take on the entire world of underground assassins. However, recent interviews suggest it may not be the end. If it is though, we are sure John Wick is going out with a bang.


      • Based on Eps 7 & 8, no not at all. Maybe Ep 9 can pull it all together, but I don’t envy the people who had to write it. Episode 8 didn’t leave them much to work with.

        • Oh I agree. I really enjoyed Episode 7 as the lead in to a trilogy… but episode 8 massacred everything pretty badly. Literally no idea where they can take episode 9 to salvage this.

    • As Scruffydog points out Kylo Ren is a Skywalker. And even if you didn’t consider that enough Luke is a big part of Ep 8. It’s all a big family drama 😉

  • I feel like a few of these are a stretch. I’ve heard no mention that Glass, How to Train Your Dragon 3 and Toy Story 4 end these franchises, and though the end of the Fox X Universe seems inevitable, that this is the end is an assumption.

    • Mr Twist has said he has no plans for any movies in this universe after Glass.
      HTTYD3 has been said by the director himself that this is the end and the ending will be bittersweet.
      Dont know about TS4, and considering TS3 was supposed to be the end….*shrug*

      • HTTYD will be back in 20 years i’m sure to cash in on the nostalgia of current kids.

      • Not exactly disagreeing. But on HTTYD3 that quote from the director was from like 5 years ago, plus they have dropped the “3” off some of the advertising for it, so there is rumor going around it mightn’t be the last.
        Neither of those points really mean that much, but i have just seen people say they might have ‘dropped’ the 3 because during the time of 1 and 2 being made/coming out they were saying it was a trilogy. So to just slowly get away from that you drop the numbers in the title. Im not too sure, but its plausible they’d want to continue given how much money the movies made.

          • Ok, didn’t know he’d reaffirmed that. i just knew that he’d said things along those lines yonks ago but i hadn’t heard much since. Well then i guess number 3 shall probably be the end for a while. Until they think of a good spinoff at least.

        • Even the TV adds for HTTYD3 have been spinning it as the final movie. While that may not be definitive it seems like a good confirmation.

          On a different note, how are they going to do Dark Phoenix without Hugh Jackman? He’s an integral part of the story, have they cast a new Wolverine or are they going to bastardise the story?

          • If they do the comics version, You dont really need wolverine at all.
            Wolverine didnt become REALLY popular til AFTER the dark phoenix saga.

          • Fair enough then, i have actually avoided watching any trailers/ads. I have just heard they dropped the 3 off some advertising and peoples theory on why they’d do that.
            But with the m2d2 confirming above the director said it was the last one recently, and with what you are saying i guess it likely is the last (direct) sequel, (as im sure there will at least be spinoffs or something).

        • Well when the director/writer of all the films says he has no plans to make a sequel to it at the moment and wants this to be the pretty little bow for it all, and all people say is “its just marketing speak”
          When the director/writer of the dragon series has been saying for years that this is the last movie but people go on about how the number was taken away.
          Im not sure what more i can add. If you people dont want to see this as the last, cant help you.

    • Even John Wick is quite likely to progress beyond the 3rd, director and reeves are both in full support of the idea if the films continue to sell well, which is highly bloody likely.

      • Isn’t there a TV show still in the works? Even if there are no more John Wick movies there’s still the TV show.

    • Saw How To Train Your Dragon 3 the other day. It’s definitely an ending, although it does leave some wiggle room for a soft reboot sequel in the future.

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