It’s already been out there for a couple of days, but in case you missed it, there is a new video going around the web that tries to change our perspective on the titles for the nine Star Wars episodic movies forever. The idea is that while the nine titles are actually accurate, they all refer to the wrong movies. Here’s the pitch:
- Episode I is where Anakin Skywalker rises from being no one to potentially being the chosen one. It should be called The Rise of Skywalker.
- Episode II is where we find out that a Sith lord (Palpatine) has been building an army for years to destroy the Jedi. It should be called Revenge of the Sith.
- Episode III is where the clones attack on the Republic. It’s the Attack of the Clones.
- Episode IV is where Obi-Wan tells Luke it’s time for the Jedi to return. It should be called Return of the Jedi.
- Episode V is where Yoda teaches Luke how to use the Force. It should be called The Force Awakens.
- Episode VI is where Luke effectively becomes The Last Jedi.
- Episode VII is where a new organization that is basically an Empire-wannabe attacks. It should be called The Empire Strikes Back.
- Episode VIII is where Luke gives the Resistance A New Hope.
- Episode IX is where Palpatine returns, after years being The Phantom Menace.
I know what you are thinking – he’s kinda right, huh? I love Star Wars titles, even though I am very critical of many of them. For example, I’m so glad this guy pointed it out, because it’s something that has been bothering me for years. Why in the world is Episode II called Attack of the Clones, if the Clone Wars don’t even begin until the very end of the movie, and therefore the clones never really attack? Sure, they show up in Geonosis at the end of the movie and they surround the droid army, but it’s not really what the movie is about, right? Am I crazy?
Notice that criticizing the title of the movie does not mean you are criticizing the movie. For example, I’ve never been a fan of the title A New Hope, especially because they added it after the fact. I understand why Lucas did it, but A New Hope is like one of the most boring and generic titles ever, while Star Wars, the initial name of the movie, is one of the coolest and most original movie titles ever. I’m not a fan of the title The Rise of Skywalker either, but I have to admit that maybe if I had liked where the movie went with that name and the significance of the title, I would have liked the title more. Still, before seeing the movie, that was a title I wasn’t that excited about.
On the other side of the spectrum, two of my favorite titles (I’m not saying movies, even though they are also two of my favorites) are The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, the former being my favorite Star Wars title, because of its significance before watching the movie (more of a meta-reference, since the movie was supposed to be the resurgence of the Force, meaning Star Wars, after it had been on hiatus since 2005), and while watching the movie – the movie is about how the force is awakening inside Rey. It wasn’t there before, and the big payoff of the story is when she is able to summon the force while on the edge of that cliff fighting Kylo, which lead to her victory.
Also, The Last Jedi is a title I’ll be forever interested in. As Rian Johnson said at the end of The Director and the Jedi (The Last Jedi‘s making-of documentary), the title refers to Luke. However, “Last” and “Jedi” are both singular and plural nouns in English, so it’s not clear just by reading the title if it refers to one Jedi or multiple Jedi. In fact, international markets translated the title in plural. That’s something I’d like to ask Rian Johnson someday.
Also, one of my favorite titles is The Phantom Menace, and that has nothing to do with the movie. Sure, the title might be a little cheesy, but it works on so many levels, and it is intriguing as very few Star Wars titles.
How about you? Do you agree with the changes proposed by the video? What Star Wars titles have been bothering you for years? What are some of your favorites? And what are some of your least favorites?
Check out the video below: