The Star Wars 9 title remains a mystery, and it's possible Lucasfilm is pulling a page out of the Avengers: Endgame playbook for the reveal. After beginning production on the film last summer, director J.J. Abrams recently wrapped principal photography, posting an emotional photo of stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac on social media. Curiously, in his post, Abrams referred to the movie only as Episode IX, and no official announcement concerning the title was made by Lucasfilm.
This seemed odd to many, because it was a break from Lucasfilm's traditional practices. The titles for The Force Awakens and Solo were revealed the day filming had completed. Rogue One was known in August 2015 as production on the spinoff was starting. The Last Jedi was officially announced in January 2017, after shooting concluded in July of the previous year. Judging by history, fans expected to know the Episode IX title by now. There isn't exactly a set pattern to the title reveals, but it was reasonable to assume there would have been a simple "Star Wars: [Insert Title Here] has finished filming" tweet to commemorate the occasion. But apparently, the studio has other plans.
If Abrams didn't have permission to reveal the Star Wars 9 title (and everything in his tweet likely needed to be pre-approved before he posted), it means Disney has something big up their sleeve. Remember, this is not just another Star Wars film. It's the conclusion of the sequel trilogy and the Skywalker saga as a whole. It's Lucasfilm's biggest cinematic event since The Force Awakens, so it wouldn't be surprising if they wanted to do something extra special to emphasize the magnitude of the movie. We just saw Marvel wait until the Avengers 4 trailer to announce the Endgame title, so perhaps Lucasfilm is going to copy their Disney brethren for their own culminating chapter. Star Wars 9 is already one of the year's most-anticipated movies without an official title, so there isn't exactly a need to drum up buzz right now.
Looking at the calendar, there isn't an obvious window for an Episode IX title reveal until Star Wars Celebration in April. Announcing it on a random day in February or March would be odd and devoid of meaning. It would come across as arbitrary and only raise questions as to why it wasn't publicly shared when the movie finished shooting. Holding it off to make a big splash at Celebration, in front of a live crowd during the Episode IX panel, reads as the only logical explanation for not coming out with it now. And it's worth mentioning this wouldn't be entirely new territory for Star Wars. Lucasfilm officially announced the Revenge of the Sith title at a San Diego Comic-Con panel in 2004, at the end of a sizzle reel featuring clips from all the movies. It would be poetic if the studio pulled a similar stunt for Episode IX as they bid farewell to the Skywalker saga (again).
If there's a solid argument against this theory for the time being, it's that Lucasfilm in all likelihood will want to sell convention-exclusive merchandise with the Episode IX logo at Celebration, and keeping the title under wraps for this long may negatively impact the number of units they can shift. Back in 2017, the first Last Jedi trailer premiered during the second day of Celebration Orlando, meaning if the studio follows a similar pattern, they cost themselves one day of selling Episode IX merchandise (and all the extra money that brings). But there are more than enough Star Wars products out there to make up for that, and the buzz and excitement surrounding the title reveal would be worth it. Plus, all that Episode IX merchandise will fly off the shelves once all is revealed.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019