Well, after months upon months of speculation, we finally know what Star Wars Episode IX, the long-awaited final chapter of the saga, is going to be called: The Rise of Skywalker. There are dozens of title theories out there that turned out to be wrong because Star Wars fans hate not knowing things. If there’s a thing they don’t know, they’ll guess what it is until they’re told.
There were some pretty cool predictions. It’s tough to theorize about which titles would’ve been better and which titles would’ve been worse because none of us have seen the movie. The filmmakers gave Episode IX the title The Rise of Skywalker, because they know the plot and they know that that’s what it should be called. Still, let’s give it a go. Here are 5 Star Wars IX Title Predictions That Were Better Than The Rise Of Skywalker (And 5 That Were Worse).
10 Worse: The Spark of Hope
The title possibilities in The Last Jedi’s opening crawl were pretty scant, so all they got from it was Spark of Hope. To be fair, it does also reference Poe Dameron’s great quote: “We are the spark that will light the fire that’ll burn the First Order down.” But The Spark of Hope just sounds silly. Is this a Star Wars movie or a wannabe Terrence Malick movie? The Rise of Skywalker is a far better title.
9 Better: The Will of the Force
A Redditor proposed the incredible title The Will of the Force. The only problem with this title is that it’s a little repetitive. The Last Jedi felt repetitive, reusing the word “Jedi” just two movies away (in terms of continuity) from Return of the Jedi, and The Will of the Force, if that had been the title used, would’ve been two movies away from The Force Awakens.
But still, it’s a great title for this movie. It seems as though, thematically, this is going to be a movie about the way the Force pulls people. Palpatine has used the Force to keep his physical body alive for so long, Luke has become one with the Force in death, Rey is questioning the Light Side, Kylo Ren is questioning the Dark Side – this would’ve been an awesome title for that!
8 Worse: The New Order Rises
This is a pretty cool title, and it was Screen Rant’s official prediction for what the title would be. The only issue is that if this was the title, it would spoil the ending. If something called “the New Order” were to rise, that would mean the Resistance won and the First Order crumbled and peace had been restored to the galaxy.
Now, while anyone can see that that’s almost definitely how the movie is going to end, we need to be kept in suspense by the title as we head into the movie, and that’s why The Rise of Skywalker works so effectively as a title. The New Order Rises would be a great title for the first chapter in the next trilogy: Episodes X-XII (if that even happens).
7 Better: Ashes of the Empire
The Last Jedi was taken from The Force Awakens’ opening crawl text, so some fans figured the Episode IX title would be taken from the opening crawl of The Last Jedi. When a lot of them found little in terms of title possibilities in that text, they turned their sights back to The Force Awakens’ opening crawl and found the phrase “ashes of the Empire.”
Ashes of the Empire would be an awesome title, because it sounds semi-obscure, like the title of an Expanded Universe novel and not a core saga movie. And as we’ve seen from the trailer, the ruins of Death Star II – the literal ashes of the Empire – are heavily involved in the plot, so the title would fit.
6 Worse: Return of the Balance
It was one thing that The Last Jedi repeated the word “Jedi” from a previous Star Wars title, but to copy the whole phrase “Return of the...” from the chronologically previous trilogy’s big finale would be a step too far. Plus, “Balance” doesn’t work as a buzzword in the same way as “Clones” or “Sith.”
It refers to the balance of the Force – and Balance of the Force might not have been a bad title – but that’s not clear to passive moviegoers and it just doesn’t grab the audience in the same way a really great title like The Rise of Skywalker does.
5 Better: Children of the Force
Another suggestion from Reddit, the incredible title Children of the Force gets rid of the pesky “The”s that have marred the sequel trilogy’s titles and brings back the classic “of the” titles that promise action and transition and conflict.
This is the end of the Skywalker saga, and who are the Skywalkers? Children of the Force! Luke and Leia are children of children of the Force. Kylo Ren is a child of a child of a child of the Force. So, this title would tie everything together. It would also follow up on the promise of the next generation of heroes teased by the appearance of “Broom Boy” at the end of The Last Jedi. The only downside is the horror-y shades of Children of the Corn that the title conjures up.
4 Worse: Legacy of the Jedi
This one wouldn’t work. It makes sense as a progression of the story. The Jedi Order was put to rest in The Last Jedi and now, the new generation of heroes will be inspired by the myths of the Jedi, hence the importance of their “legacy.”
However, you can’t follow one movie with “Jedi” in the title with another movie with “Jedi” in the title. And “Legacy of the...” just doesn’t have the same cinematic oomph as “Revenge of the...” or “Attack of the...” It makes it feel like a postscript or an afterthought, not the “all-out war” that John Boyega has promised it’ll be.
3 Better: To Restore Hope
One Redditor theorized that Episode IX would be called To Restore Hope in order to complete the following phrase: “The Force awakens the last Jedi to restore hope.” It reuses the “hope” motif that has driven the whole saga and brings the sequel trilogy full circle as Luke’s journey to save the galaxy by confronting the very real darkness inside him.
To Restore Hope doesn’t follow the usual Star Wars titling formula of “The Something” or “Something of the Something,” but this is a different kind of movie and a very special part of the Star Wars saga (by being its conclusion). An unconventional title would be a great way to sell that.
2 Worse: The Knights of Ren
While a leaked poster revealed the complete bunch of the Knights of Ren, finally together to wreak havoc, The Knights of Ren wouldn’t make a great title for Episode IX. It would be an awesome title for a Star Wars movie, but it can’t be the name of the last one. This is the culmination of the Skywalker saga; a definitive end to the journey that we’ve been on since 1977.
So, the title can’t just be thrown away on something like The Knights of Ren. It needs something grandiose that emphasizes the finality of that journey, like The Rise of Skywalker. This title can still be used for a video game or tie-in novel, but it wouldn’t make a great Episode IX title.
1 Better: The End
This is the one that most fans thought it would be, to the point that a logo for it was widely circulated online, because it is the end. This is the end of the Skywalker saga – the final chapter of the core Star Wars storyline we’ve been following since the beginning.
The End isn’t like the titles other Star Wars movies have – it’s more final and unambiguous than those other Star Wars titles – but isn’t that kind of the point? It marks a departure from theatrical titles, just like the movie itself marks the story’s departure from the Skywalker bloodline.