‘Star Wars: Episode 7′ Official Title Announced: ‘The Force Awakens’
We thought that the 'Star Wars: Episode 7' title might get officially announced this past summer at Comic-Con, but that event came and went with no reveal. So, what better way to announce the new title than a random Thursday in November? Just this morning on Twitter, Lucasfilm and the official 'Star Wars' Twitter account revealed the 'Star Wars: Episode 7' title: 'The Force Awakens'.
Well, it's not the greatest title in the world, but it's certainly an improvement over 'The Phantom Menace'. As our own Mike Ryan says, it sounds like the title of one of the Expanded Universe books. (Which given what we know about the film's plot, may be apropos.) The 'Star Wars' titles were always supposed to be a little pulpy and while 'The Force Awakens' fits in that mold, it seems somehow bland. At least it avoids the use of the words "dark/darkness," "rise" and/or "dawn." Rumored titles also included An Ancient Fear, Return of the Sith and Rise of the Jedi, so let's be thankful it's none of those.
What's interesting is that "Episode VII" has been formally scrubbed from the film's title. Whereas the prequels kept the numbers in ('Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace' and so on), this new trilogy looks to be ditching that format all together. Likely because with the prequels, Lucasfilm wanted to stress that they were telling the beginning of the story. "Episode I" was important then. With the returning characters in this film, it's very clearly a sequel, so no "Episode VII" is necessary.
The title does seem to match what we know about the plot of the film. POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD. Specifically that Luke Skywalker has gone missing (possibly in self-imposed exile) since the end of 'Return of the Jedi'. Much of the story seems to revolve around Daisy Ridley and John Boyega teaming up with Han Solo and Chewie to track down their old partner. What state he's in when they eventually find him, and what level his force powers have risen to in the time he's be gone, are big questions for the end of the film. [/SPOILERS]
The news comes today as Lucasfilm officially announces the end of production on the film, though we had seen J.J. Abrams' note to the cast and crew, plus photos from the wrap party, so filming actually wrapped last week. It's curious timing on the reveal of the title, but perhaps this means that the rumored trailer is coming sooner rather than later. (As we have speculated, it could be in theaters as quickly as mid-December with 'The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies'.) It's also curiously lacking in bombast. Marvel held a massive event to essentially reveal the same things about some of their movies. The 'Force Awakens' reveal didn't even get an exclamation point on their socials. Heck, George Lucas even held a press conference to announced the 'Return of the Jedi' title (which was, at the time, announced as 'Revenge of the Jedi').
'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' opens in theaters on December 18, 2015.