Star Wars Episode 9

It all started on Monday when Star Wars actor Anthony Daniels tweeted out a vague message hinting that news was on the horizon. Since we expect the first trailer for Star Wars Episode 9 to be released during Star Wars Celebration (taking place from April 11 through 15 at McCormick Place in Chicago), we didn’t expect a trailer. So many people, myself included, suspected he might be talking about a title for the ninth and final installment of the Skywalker saga. The next day (yesterday), Disney was to hold an investor’s meeting, which gave more heat to the fire.

But as the investors call came to an end, no new revelations were shared (not even that Disney is planning to keep Deadpool R-rated – Bob Iger had already said that over a year prior).

However, this day gave me some time to think and speculate about the title of this final film. When might we actually get it? What could it be? Let’s dive in.

Carrie Fisher in Episode 9

When to Expect the Star Wars Episode 9 Title

To help determine when we should be expecting a title reveal for Episode IX, let’s look back at how Disney has handled the title reveals thus far:

  • The title for Episode VII, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, was revealed on November 6, 2014, a year and a month before the film was set to hit theaters. The reveal happened upon the completion of filming on the JJ Abrams film.
  • The title for Episode VIII, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, was revealed on January 23, 2017, a little less than 11 months before the film was set to hit theaters. The reveal came six months after director Rian Johnson wrapped principal photography.
  • The spin-offs have been a weird mix. The title for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was revealed during a Disney investor meeting on March 12, 2015, five months before the film began principal photography. And Solo: A Star Wars Story got its title in a video released online featuring director Ron Howard on October 17, 2017. He filmed this video as the production had wrapped its extensive “reshoots.”

Star Wars Episode IX is expected to wrap in the next month or so, and we’ve seen significant players on the series already announce they have finished their parts. If I were to put an educated guess here, it would be that we’ll get a Star Wars Episode 9 title announcement during the week Abrams wraps production. So expect that to happen sometime before Celebration.

Episode 9 cast

What Should The Star Wars Episode 9 Title Be?

Before we speculate on the title, let’s take a look at the film titles released thus far:

  • Episode I: The Phantom Menace
  • Episode II: Attack of the Clones
  • Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  • Episode IV: A New Hope
  • Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  • Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
  • Episode VII: The Force Awakens
  • Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Is There a Pattern?

George Lucas was concerned about symmetry in not only his storytelling, but also the marketing for this films. You can see that with the first two trilogies. They go in a pattern of three words, four words and four words. He also seemed to sway from one side to the other:

  • 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 continued this theme, but Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi broke the four-word pattern. Also, the title is in reference to Luke Skywalker, the light side. So it broke any recognizable pattern and symmetry to the titles, making it hard to use this past information as for help to predict this final title.

return of the jedi logo

Something of the Something

There are some things here that are evident. Star Wars titles love to be the “something of the something.” We’ve had three “something of the something” titles in the first two trilogies alone: Return of the Jedi, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith. But we’ve yet to get a “something of the something” title from this last trilogy. This has led a lot of fans to speculate that this last title could be something of that angle.

Here are some predictions:

  • Rise of the Jedi: This would give us a “something of the something” title for this trilogy, and is an echo back to Return of the Jedi, a film that Abrams is likely emulating for this final chapter.
  • Rise of the Resistance: Many fans are suggesting this title, but it’s already the title of one of the rides in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. I’m not sure I like it because it sounds more like a middle chapter, not a conclusion.
  • Fall of the First Order: Seems a bit on the nose.

Balance of the Force?

Yesterday, someone on Reddit posted a supposed leak from code found on the StarWars.com website showing the title “Balance of the Force.” No one has been able to substantiate this title or leak as real, and I believe it to be a fan photoshop. However, the title suggestion was the most common one I received when I put the question out on Twitter on Monday. And it does seem like a fitting and definitive title for the last installment, but I think it may lack the mystery that Abrams usually brings to the table.

The title is also the title of a Star Wars video pinball game, which leads us to believe that it won’t be used. That said, I believe Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo has revealed in the past that one of the titles that was considered for Episode VII was previously employed as an unrelated expanded universe (i.e., Legends) novel, so that wouldn’t preclude it from being used. In fact, Star Wars: The Last Jedi was originally the title of a 1981 Star Wars comic book.

Some Other Ideas

Admittedly, I tried to guess the title of Episode 8, and I was very, very wrong. So I wouldn’t listen to me when it comes to this…but here are some guesses at the title for Episode 9:

  • A Last Hope: I like this idea the most as it would be a good bookend to A New Hope. Rey is the last hope in the Galaxy. From what I understand, Abrams is not just ending this trilogy with this film, but trying to bring the entire nine movie arc full circle. So this title could work for that. Jacob Hall, my editor, has suggested it could also be A Final Hope or The Last Hope, although I kind of doubt they would use the word “The” at the beginning of every one of the titles in the sequel trilogy.
  • The Resistance Strikes Back: This feels like something George Lucas may have created, but not Abrams. Also, it’s another title that sounds like a middle chapter of a trilogy.
  • The Final Order: A suggestion from weekend editor Brad Oman, who argues that The First Order will be the last order when they are defeated and also that it could have layers to it, like a final order from Kylo Ren to stand down, and maybe it’s also the last Jedi Rrder, too.
  • A Title Hidden in One of the Previous Films: Adam Frazier speculates that just as The Last Jedi was hidden in the opening text crawl in The Force Awakens, maybe the title for Episode 9 is hidden somewhere in the previous two movies: THE DARKNESS RISING, A NEW ORDER, SON OF DARKNESS, THE LAST HOPE, A SPARK OF HOPE, THE REBELLION IS REBORN.
  • Ashes of the Empire: One Reddit thread agrees with Frazier’s theory and thinks it could be these words that appear a couple of lines above The Last Jedi in that original Episode VII crawl (see the image above).
  • Spark of Hope: This is another idea based on something from The Last Jedi, suggesting that the galaxy hearing about Jedi Master Luke Skywalker’s return would restore a spark of hope to the fight.
  • The Knights of Ren: While I do think Abrams will follow-up on this angle from The Force Awakens, I don’t think the Knights of Ren are enough to make the title for the last and final chapter.

I’m honestly not sure I love any of these ideas outside of “A Final Hope.” Did we miss any good Episode 9 title ideas? Leave your ideas in the comments below.

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