Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi is now in theaters, and all eyes are now on J.J. Abrams’ forthcoming Star Wars: Episode IX, the concluding chapter in Lucasfilm’s Star Wars sequel trilogy. Walt Disney Studios acquired Lucasfilm in 2012 and simultaneously announced plans to develop Star Wars: Episode VII, which ended up being directed by Abrams and subtitled The Force Awakens. The film released in December 2015 and went on to break virtually every box office record – both domestically and globally. And now that The Last Jedi is in theaters, it’s time to discuss all the possibilities for Episode IX.
Aside from all the fan theories that are being conjured up right now, one of the first things that people wonder when it comes to a new Star Wars film is its subtitle. The original and prequel Star Wars trilogies followed the same pattern: 3 words for the first film, 4 words for the second, and 4 words for the third. Plus, the second installment in each trilogy featured a war-type title – The Empire Strikes Back and Attack of the Clones – while the third films focused on the return of a sect: Return of the Jedi and Revenge of the Sith. Lucasfilm’s Star Wars sequel trilogy throws all of that out the door, so it’s going to be somewhat difficult predicting Episode IX‘s title – but we’re going to give it a shot.
5. The Knights of Ren
Ben Solo, aka Kylo Ren, is not a Sith, but he is the master of the Knights of Ren, a group of dark side Force users who operated under Supreme Leader Snoke’s command. While not much is known about the group, they are believed to be comprised of Luke Skywalker’s former pupils who were taken from his Jedi Academy by Ben Solo. The Knights of Ren first appeared in The Force Awakens, but their absence from The Last Jedi irked many viewers.
Since Abrams is returning to write and direct Episode IX, perhaps he’ll take the opportunity to finally explore the Knights’ background. And considering that the Knights of Ren are neither Jedi nor Sith, but still follow the ways of the Force, The Knights of Ren would be an ideal title for Episode IX (comparing that title to the titles for Episodes III and VI).
4. A New Order
Can Star Wars: Episode IX give birth to a new order in the galaxy? That’s what the original and sequel trilogies have been building toward, after all. If so, then Abrams’ next Star Wars film can use the subtitle A New Order (or A New Republic).
The Galactic Empire used to the term the New Order to refer to the Imperial political system during the original trilogy, an inverse term based on the Republic being referred to as the Old Order. But with the First Order gaining momentum and the Jedi Order in shambles, perhaps Rey could lead a new generation of Jedi – thus referring to the potential title of A New Order – to oppose Kylo Ren and his trusty (yet mysterious) Knights of Ren. The title could represent both a new Jedi Order and the reconstruction of the Republic… again. Plus, A New Order (or A New Republic), though breaks Star Wars title conventions, continues the 3-word trend Lucasfilm seems to be taking with their sequel trilogy.
3. A Spark of Hope
Hope is at the very core of the Star Wars saga, ever since Luke Skywalker took possession of his father’s lightsaber and decided to embark on a journey to become a Jedi Knight.
In both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) talks about being the Resistance being the “spark” of the rebellion that will destroy the First Order, specifically saying, “We are the spark that’ll light the fire that’ll burn the First Order down.” Considering Poe’s quote and the fact that the line, “…and restore a spark of hope to the fight,” appears in the movie, A Spark of Hope seems to be a likely but strange title for Lucasfilm’s concluding chapter in their Star Wars sequel trilogy. Although it’s unlikely that the word “spark” would be used in a Star Wars title, it’s still a plausible outcome when looking at all the evidence.
2. The End
Shortly after George Lucas’ 1977 Star Wars film hit theaters, he revealed his plans for a nine-part Star Wars saga, which would comprise both a prequel trilogy and a sequel trilogy. While Lucas wrote and directed the prequels himself, the sequels are being developed entirely by Disney-owned Lucasfilm, without virtually any input from Lucas. Regardless, Star Wars: Episode IX is meant to effectively conclude the Skywalker saga. So, it’s only fitting that the final film be subtitled The End.
For those that don’t know, Star Wars: Episode I operated under the working title, The Beginning. It was widely believed that The Beginning would be the film’s official titled, but Lucas eventually confirmed/changed Episode I‘s title to The Phantom Menace. Still, it’s possible that Lucasfilm may continue with Lucas’ original plans and use the subtitle The End for Episode IX.
1. The Skywalker Legacy
Considering that Star Wars: Episode IX will conclude not only the Star Wars sequel trilogy but the Skywalker saga as a whole, The Skywalker Legacy would, then, be an appropriate title to end the overarching narrative. So far, the Skywalker family has been split between good and evil. And Episode IX will determine which side of the Skywalker family will ultimately win: the dark or the light. Kylo Ren is following in this grandfather’s footsteps (before Vader’s redemption) and representing the dark side of the Force, whereas Leia represents the light side. A balance in the Force may finally come about in Star Wars: Episode IX and set the Skywalker legacy for the future – or end it altogether. In either case, the Skywalker saga will end.
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