Posted on Thursday, May 19th, 2016 by Peter Sciretta
Stop right here if you think this post has any leaked information or rumors from sources, because it does not. The following post is just my humble speculation about what the title of Rian Johnson‘s Star Wars Episode VIII could possibly be and when we might expect an announcement. Its all obsessive nerdery, so leave now if that doesn’t sound worth reading.
What Might Star Wars Episode 8 Be Titled?
I was having a conversation with a friend about the possible titles for Star Wars Episode VIII (yes I know what you’re thinking, I have cool friends and awesome not-at-all-nerdy conversations) and I concluded that the title of Episode 8 must be Dark Side-focused. I come to that conclusion because the first seven Star Wars live-action films seem to present a pattern (in release order):
- Episode IV: A New Hope is about a new hope to the light side of the force
- Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back is about the dark side
- Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, light side/good guys
- Episode I: The Phantom Menace, dark side/bad guys
- Episode II: Attack of the Clones, this might confuse some people but this title references the Clones who at this point are good guys
- Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, bad guys/dark side
- Episode VII: The Force Awakens, good guys
It seems like a lot of you agree with my conclusion. Of course, I presented this idea to Lucasfilm story group member Pablo Hidalgo on Twitter and he responded:
@slashfilm there's no rule book. People only apply rules from pattern recognition.
— Pablo Hidalgo (@pablohidalgo) May 19, 2016
While I agree that the human mind tries to find patterns and while there may not be any official style guide or rule book for the Skywalker saga of Star Wars films, I do think that George Lucas was obsessed with symmetry. I’m not going to pretend to know what Lucas was thinking when coming up with the titles of these movies and I’m not sure he initially intended for there to be a pattern, but I would bet that at some point he saw a pattern forming and decided to build upon it.
Of course, George Lucas is no longer involved in Star Wars and wasn’t really involved in The Force Awakens, so Disney, Lucasfilm and the producers behind these new movies can do whatever they want. But I would think that they probably also appreciate the symmetry in the franchise thus far and wouldn’t want to stray too far from it.
I didn’t love the title of Star Wars Episode VII when it was first announced as it didn’t sound like a Star Wars title. To me, Awakening of the Force sounded more Star Wars than The Force Awakens. Of course, I’ve grown to love it. But even The Force Awakens stays true to this pattern, and by being a three-word title it fits a series of three-word titles that begin each trilogy (the others being A New Hope and The Phantom Menace).
Its also worth noting that the middle installments of the two previous trilogies both have four-word titles (The Empire Strikes Back and Attack of the Clones) which include an aggressive, forceful word (“strikes” / “attack”).
So what will the title be? That I don’t know. I think the most obvious title to be suggested is The First Order Strikes Back, but thats probably way too obvious and almost groan-worthy in its reflection of the original trilogy. Someone on Twitter suggested Rise of the First Order, but that seems to lack an aggressive verb.
Of course, my theory is paper-thin: Episode 7 was almost titled Shadow of The Empire which would have broken my pattern theory (unless you of course put the films in Episode order) and definitely broken the pattern of three-word titles opening a new trilogy.
With these arbitrary rules I’ve observed from Star Wars movie history, I would love to hear your best guesses for the Star Wars Episode 8 title. Leave them now in the comments below. It will be fun to look back whenever the official title is announced and see if any /Film reader guessed it right.
And speaking of that…
When Can We Expect a Title for Episode 8?
Star Wars Episode VIII began filming on February 10th, 2016. While no end date has been publicly announced, judging by Rian Johnson’s Tumblr post celebrating the half-way point of the shoot, it seems as if the film should wrap around the first week of July 2016. Now, we don’t know that Disney and Lucasfilm will repeat their announcement of the movie title at the end of principal photography, but if they do it will be in early July. You know what also will be happening in July? Star Wars Celebration Europe takes place July 15th-17th 2016 in London. That seems like the best opportunity to make such an announcement.
But Disney might want to hold off until later rather than start their buildup a year and a half before the release of the film. If that’s the case, they could also possibly release a teaser trailer for Episode VIII in December with Rogue One but my feeling is that they might not want to overshadow the release of the first film in the A Star Wars Story line, or quite possibly confuse general moviegoers.Cool Posts From Around the Web: