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Star Wars Episode VII Title Revealed!
The internet is abuzz currently with the news that Disney has released the title of the seventh Star Wars film, which will be released in December 2015. "The Force Awakens" will be the movie everyone is flocking to next winter, camping out in front of movie theaters, neglecting their wives and children and taking time off from their jobs, just to make sure they get tickets to the midnight showing. And that's to be expected, because it's Star Wars. But there are a few implications the title card Disney released, which can be seen at the top of this article, has for this forthcoming film.
No Episode Number
Astute readers will notice that there is no episode number on the title card. The original film was originally just called Star Wars. It wasn't until the sequel, which was identified in the opening crawl as Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, that the original retroactively became Episode IV: A New Hope. It also wasn't until the prequels that the episode numbers became actually part of the titles on advertising and merchandise. Before The Phantom Menace, the original films had just been Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. With the prequels came a renaissance that completely reformatted the way the movies were titled, and the original movies were again retroactively changed to conform. Star Wars is no longer the original movie, it is the 6-part storyline as a whole, with the original film forever being Episode IV: A New Hope.
So with the lack of the Episode VII designation on the title card, we are left to wonder if The Force Awakens is really Episode VII at all. What I mean by that is, Disney could be considering Episodes I-VI as a completed storyline (will this eventually come to be known as The Darth Vader Saga in later generations?), and even though the original characters are being featured in the new film, maybe they are trying to convey the idea that this is the beginning of a new saga. It will be interesting to see if Episode VII does end up making it into the opening crawl, if they have a crawl at all, and on to posters and such when we start to see these things, which shouldn't be too far from now since we are right at around a year until release.
Awakens From What?
The subtitle, The Force Awakens, in itself is really interesting. Presumably, Luke Skywalker, after defeating the Sith and the Empire, would have spent the past 30 years hunting down and recruiting new Jedi, rebuilding the order. So what is the Force awakening from? The Force wouldn't have really gone anywhere, right? Could they mean this in a sense that the Sith are awakening? Or could this mean that Luke really hasn't rebuilt the Jedi Order since Return of the Jedi? Either way, the title itself opens the movie up for a lot of speculation, and speculation is all we really have at this point since JJ Abrams has been incredibly successful in keeping the movie under complete wraps, not even releasing set photos even though principal photography has officially ended.
What We Know So Far
In addition to the subtitle which was just released, here are the things we know about the new Star Wars movie so far.
-The Force Awakens will feature the cast of the original Star Wars trilogy (Episodes 4, 5 and 6) reuniting Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Chewbacca.
-Darth Vader may have a small cameo in a flashback.
-The Inquisitors from the animated series Star Wars: Rebels will play a major role in the film, possibly being the main villains.
-An entire slew of new characters are being introduced, however it is unknown who these characters are or if they are characters familiar to the Expanded Universe or original creations.
-R2D2 and C-3PO are returning, making them so far the only characters to appear in every film, played by the original actors (Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker). Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker appear in all 6 of the current movies, but are played by different actors between old and prequel trilogies.
As you can see, what we do know is very sparse, but with principle production finished and the title finally revealed, we can hope to start seeing promotional images and things of that nature, and maybe even a teaser trailer, very soon. Disney will probably start marketing this movie around the spring. We can probably also expect a lot of viral marketing on the internet, kind of like what was done for X-Men: Days of Future Past to fill in some backstory gaps.