Let’s Break Down the New ‘Star Wars: Episode 7′ Title, ‘The Force Awakens’
On Thursday, Lucasfilm SHOCKED THE WORLD and released the title to ‘Star Wars: Episode 7’, which now, forever and ever, will be known as ‘The Force Awakens.’ Compared to past announcements, this one -- which was released over the official Star Wars social media accounts – is kind of par for the course as far as title announcements go. Only ‘Revenge of the Sith,’ which had its title revealed at San Diego Comic-Con, had any real hullabaloo associated with the actual announcement. But, more importantly, what is ‘The Force Awakens’ trying to tell us? What does it all mean? WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!?!?!?!?!?!? I MUST KNOW WHAT IT MEANS!
Let’s break this all down. (Also, you’re welcome, nobody…)
Admittedly, this is the most difficult word in the title to get a true grasp on. Its origins come from old English and in a sentence (as in this case) is often used as a determiner. So, what the “the” is doing seems to be qualifying an upcoming phrase. It’s only the second ‘Star Wars’ movie to start with the word “the,” the (no pun intended) last one being ‘The Empire Strikes Back.’ Now, ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ is considered to be the best of the ‘Star Wars’ movies, so is “the” telling us that this new movie will be just as good? A few days ago, Anthony Daniels tweeted that this new movie might be better than ‘The Empire Strikes Back.’ Well … I think we have our first clue that C-3PO might just be right.
There are two ways to look at this. What if J.J. Abrams isn’t talking about the Force that we all know from the movies – you know, the Force that surrounds us and penetrates us; binding the galaxy together – but more the traditional definition of the word. Like, maybe, the force of an object hitting another object. Or maybe he means a team? Like Delta Force? So, maybe, he’s referring to a new super team that will be introduced during the events of ‘Episode VII.’ And what will that team be?
‘The Force Awakens’ is Voltron. The new ‘Star Wars’ movie will be the Voltron origin story that a lot of people thought 'Cloverfield' would be and, I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t be more excited.
You see, a simple title really can tell us everything we need to know about a movie.
Mike Ryan has written for The Huffington Post, Wired, Vanity Fair and GQ. He is the senior editor of ScreenCrush. You can contact him directly on Twitter.