EDITORIALS

Why Leaving 'Episode VII' Out of the 'Star Wars' Title Doesn't Matter

by
November 6, 2014

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Just this afternoon, the official title for Star Wars: Episode VII was announced as being Star Wars: The Force Awakens. While most of the focus should actually be on the title itself (which is just fine), there seem to be a fair amount of complaints and observations on what isn't there: the words Episode VII. Frankly, I'm not sure why this is such a big deal, especially when the argument for the inclusion of Episode VII in the title seems to just be to go along with the title pattern of the prequels, which most Star Wars fans have done nothing but complain about for years now. It's not as if there isn't a precedent for having a Star Wars title appear without an "Episode" number attached to it in the history of the whole saga. More below!

Case in point, all of the original films in the first Star Wars trilogy simply went by Star Wars (later called A New Hope), The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. On none of the original posters for any of these three films will you see a reference to which episode this film constitutes. The only place the "episode" clarification ever appeared in the original films was in the traditional opening crawl (it wasn't part of Star Wars originally). The use of "Episode [Number]" in the title was something that came about with the prequels. But even Revenge of the Sith didn't use Episode III in the title treatment at first:

Now Germain Lussier at SlashFilm and I had a discussion on Twitter about how "Episode VII" was left out of the title, and he said Lucasfilm confirmed that it wouldn't be part of the official title. Some people think this is evidence of the fact that this is a new direction for Star Wars, but we just saw why it's nothing out of the ordinary. In the end, it doesn't matter because fans will still refer to the movie as Episode VII just as much as the marketing will call the film solely by The Force Awakens. That's how it's always been since the prequels came out. Meanwhile, we all still mostly call the old films by their full titles. At the end of the day, it's just like Happy Gilmore says, "Gold jacket, green jacket, who gives a shit?"

So if you're going to complain about something, then let's talk about The Force Awakens as a title, because that's something for fans to talk about. Again, this title seems fine to me as it's mysterious, ominous and also raises some questions as to why The Force has been lying dormant this whole time. It's certainly better than The Phantom Menace, and less campy than Attack of the Clones. But honestly, they could have called this movie Tyler Perry's Star Wars and I would've still be stoked to see it. All right?

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  • Franklin Carpio
    No, not Tyler Perry... But I get what you're saying. They could of titled it anything and fans would complain and complain but at the end of the day who's NOT going to see this...
  • Tuomas Lassila
    It'll take a little while to get used to.
  • Rauncor
    but how would people on the internet know im a star wars fan if i dont complain.
    • Certainly back then part of the charm was, no one knew anything. I remember when i saw the HUGE ESB ad in Sunday's paper when I was a kid. My heart was racing with excitement. Basically my jaw was on the floor during the entire movie. Today, everything gets analyzed, critic to hell and judged before anyone has even seen anything. Im certainly guilty if all of it. Must be hard as a film maker today. But i think like with music, you cant make everyone happy. Im sure JJ knows this.
      • Rauncor
        i envy you sir.
  • I love how there's always an explanation for everything. And i love when others speak for me. Very uncreative title if you ask me but heh, what matters is the movie. Judging from the leaked artwork, it looks right on target. :)
  • TheOct8pus
    Jeez. Get yer panties out of a bunch...
  • ColtNoir
    but seriously...who cares about the title? The internet breeds complaints on literally every single article. it's insane.
  • Steven
    I don't see TPM or AotC as poor or campy. Star Wars titles have always given the underlying theme of the movie. TPM - pretty much refers to Palpatine's manipulations AotC - self explanatory, with the nice twist of the clones being the good guys (a middle finger to the EU from Lucas). RotS - obvious ANH - dark times and a young farm boy TESB - more dark times... RotJ - farm boy becomes Jediand redemption fas well. TFA - a reference to the three decades and the force being dormante? Don't really get this title as a sequel.....will be great to find out
    • Jon Odishaw
      Well a new hope was already taken.
  • Sean
    It's still going to be referred to as Episode VII either way
  • Mike
    They can call this Star Wars Yoda returns for all I care. Just make a watchable movie
  • DAVIDPD
    Yeah boy! Now I can start using more caps! THE FORCE REBORN!!!~
  • bumboclot
    I was hoping for "Son of Yoda".
  • Dotpols
    Meh - it could be worse.
  • Jason Scarpelli
    I prefer the once rumored title "An Ancient Fear" much better.
  • Sithmastah
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Abeloth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • OfficialJab
    lol that Happy Gilmore quote was a weird choice
  • avconsumer2
    Eh - whatevs. I would have milked the classic format. I'm not JJ though. (I also preferred Revenge of the Sith)
  • Mike Samual Zarquon
    This movie is not a continuation from the other episodic movies and hence no reference to a number title. The movie was made to stand on its own, or maybe, the episodic title will be inserted at the beginning of the movie when it is released next year at the cinemas.
  • erictan
    Also, we now know how the remaining logos/titles of the next two sequels will be laid out...

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