Star Wars fans are nothing if not a passionate bunch - so much so that we might even be a tad on the obsessive side. If recent fan outcry regarding the release date of Episode IX's title is anything to go by, it's clear that tensions are currently pretty high in the Star Wars fan world. And as of right now, there's no end in sight to ongoing fan curiosity.
Plenty of rumors have emerged in the last year and a half regarding what Episode IX's real title could actually be. After undergoing a few changes to its production title, which was once Black Diamond but most recently has been referred to as trIXie, the rumors and theories have only increased in frequency - and, in some cases, total ridiculousness.
While similar to another title, there's just something about the more concise title A New Order that feels far more epic. Episode IX really does allow for the opportunity for the Star Wars franchise to build something entirely new.
Whether A New Order would refer to a new Jedi Order, a new First Order, or a new type of Order that we couldn't possibly conceive of just yet, the possibilities are endless, and it would only open the already vast universe up for more rich storytelling - featuring characters new and old.
"Let the past die. Kill it if you have to. It's the only way to become what you were meant to be." That was one of the clearest lessons to be taken away from Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. Star Wars is now decidedly a franchise looking to the future.
A title like Ashes of the Empire, first circulated on Reddit, represents far too many forms of reflecting on the past. Ashes are what linger after a fire has burnt out, and the Empire has long been gone. This title just wouldn't do the film or the franchise any favors.
One plausible theory for an Episode IX title would be that it would follow in the footsteps of Episode VIII's title. The Last Jedi was one of the most intriguing phrases found in the opening title crawl of Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
Looking at The Last Jedi's title crawl, one phrase that has stuck out in particular, given the way the film ended, has been Spark of Hope. With the universe of Star Wars, and the Force itself, now opened up to so many more characters than we ever knew, Episode IX could go the optimistic route and use a positive title.
It would certainly be a surprising creative decision to have Episode IX's title center entirely around one character, in the way that Episode VIII's title may (or may not) have. It would be even more surprising to have some grandiose, incredibly negative title like Son of Darkness.
As ominous and foreboding a title as that would be, should the film be darker than what we've already seen, it's a title that just plain doesn't fit either. Kylo Ren was never the "Son of Darkness", and if the first few films have revealed anything, it's that his struggle between dark and light is only going to continue.
Even with all the loss that occurred in the final act of The Last Jedi, most notably the sudden passing of Luke Skywalker as he presumably became one with the Force, the film still managed to end things on a relatively hopeful note with the Resistance rebuilding itself from the ground up.
Of course, the First Order was also in a state of rebuilding itself, with a brand new Supreme Leader at its helm. So it's not just the Resistance, and perhaps the Jedi Order, that was reinventing itself. As a plausible title for Episode IX suggests, The New Order Rises could have more than one meaning.
Since first briefly teased in The Force Awakens, the Knights of Ren have been the subject of much fan discussion. While we still know hardly anything about them, early rumors about Episode IX suggest that the mysterious figures may finally make an appearance.
Yet even if the characters wind up playing a significant role in the film's overall narrative, a title like Order of Ren just wouldn't cut it. It's too narrow, and not at all fitting for the characters, whether speaking of the Knights, or Kylo Ren himself.
While not exactly a direct reference to one of the lines that started the Star Wars saga as a whole, it's impossible to look at a rumored title like The Last Hope and not instantly be reminded of a young Princess Leia's plea, "Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope."
Looking ahead to Episode IX, there are plenty of things that could be considered a last hope. Whether Rey's leadership as the new face of the Jedi, the rebuilt Resistance, or perhaps even a redeemed Ben Solo, the theme of hope is one that has lingered throughout the entire Skywalker journey - and it would be fitting to end with it, too.
Star Wars is at its best when both sides of the divide are fairly represented. A title that focuses entirely on one side of the still growing conflict misses the mark - and even more so when the terminology it uses is entirely out of date, as in the case of the rumored title Rebellion Reborn.
The light side of the ongoing battle that makes up the titular war in Star Wars hasn't been called the Rebellion or the Rebel Alliance since the original trilogy, but really, even if it were Resistance Reborn instead, nothing about this title works.
This rumored title may just be the very best one of them all. The Light Side of the Force and the Dark Side of the Force have always been at war with one another, and the promised chosen one, once believed to be Anakin Skywalker, was meant to bring balance to the Force.
So the idea that the entire Skywalker saga could end in a full circle way, with a title such as Balance of the Force, is really exciting. It may be too good to be true, since it is pretty much a popular fan theory brought to life. But if this supposed leak is even remotely close to the real title, then it's a pretty damn good one.
If a title focusing only on the supremacy of the Light Side would feel inadequate, then it's only natural that a similar rumored title focusing entirely on the Dark Side would feel like it missed the mark, too, if this really is the final chapter of the Skywalker saga.
Reign of Darkness definitely has the making of an epic title, but as an ending point for this beloved series, it just doesn't feel right. If anything, the darkness present in The Last Jedi is struggling to keep its hold, with the likely unreliable leader Kylo Ren now in charge.