Fans want to know what the next Star Wars movie is going to be called, and it turns out so do the people who work for Lucasfilm. Pablo Hidalgo, a member of the Lucasfilm Story Group, recently admitted on Twitter that, while he may be on the "inside" of many Star Wars decisions, he has no idea what the name of the final episode of the trilogy is called. As he recently tweeted...
Pablo Hidalgo takes things a step further on Twitter than to say that he simply doesn't know what the title of Star Wars Episode IX will be, he adds in the idea that the movie may not even have a title quite yet.
It's certainly a possibility that the film has yet to be titled. While working titles have probably been suggested or at least thought of by writer and director J.J. Abrams, the fact is that the film is in no hurry. A franchise like Star Wars doesn't need to put up posters in theaters to sell tickets and until the movie is ready to show a trailer, a title isn't exactly necessary.
The recent situation around Avengers: Endgame showed Disney that the buzz around the question of what the movie will be called is as good as any marketing the studio can pay for. Also, since we only got the title of the new Marvel movie a handful of months before it released, the same will certainly work for Star Wars so there's no rush there.
The question of the title of Episode IX has begun to heat up in recent weeks because it was at about this point two years ago that the title for Star Wars Episode VIII was revealed, leading fans to wonder if the title for the next film might be revealed soon as well. With no word from Disney or Lucasfilm, and an indication that even many senior people don't know what the movie will be called, it feels unlikely we're going to get the title revealed in the next few days.
Instead, it seems more likely that Disney will follow the strategy laid out with Avengers 4 and reveal the title of the movie as part of the film's first trailer. With Star Wars Celebration barely more than two months away, it feels like that's where we can expect the trailer to drop. Seeing it drop before the event when it's this close doesn't seem likely, and if the event goes by without a trailer at all the fans might burn Chicago down.
Numerous people have claimed to have inside information regarding the Episode IX title and titles like Son of Darkness, which is an awful title,and Balance of the Force, which is a much better one, have been suggested. While some were able to guess the title of The Last Jedi, and thus might be able to guess this new title as well, there's no evidence that any of the "leaked" titles are legit.
It does all go to show just how tightly studios are keeping information in order to prevent leaks from taking place. As part of the Lucasfiilm Story Group, Pablo Hidalgo and others are tasked keeping the Star Wars universe coherent among the various mediums and determining what qualifies as Star Wars canon and what does not.
Certainly, Episode IX itself will be canon, and as such, Hidalgo probably knows the story of the movie as well as anybody. The fact that he could probably recite dialogue from the script, but doesn't know what the movie is called, is certainly evidence that nobody who doesn't need to know the title actually does. Not that one would expect a major leak to come from Hidalgo, but you can never be too careful.
Of course, one then wonders who actually does know the title. As I mentioned, J.J. Abrams probably has given the movie a title, if only in his own head. At the same time, he doesn't get to title the movie all by himself. Kathleen Kennedy probably has veto power over the title at the very least, and so if there is an official title, we can guess the two of them probably know it. There may be others inside Lucasfilm or Disney who would need to be part of that conversation as well.
The fact that the title hasn't been released probably means that it's not yet gone to print on a million boxes holding all of the new Star Wars merch that will be launched later this year in anticipation of the new movie. A lot of leaks and spoilers come via merchandising campaigns and I would guess that Lucasfilm would simply go ahead and release the title officially before it ended up in front of too many eyes, regardless of how many NDAs those people had signed.
There likely will need to be some marketing people inside Lucasfilm who are made aware of the title so that campaigns around it can get rolling so that they're ready to go once the official reveal is made.
It is also possible, as Pablo Hidalgo suggests, that the movie doesn't have a title yet. It's easy enough to just refer to the project internally as Episode IX without giving it another name and so much of the focus of the project has clearly been on actually making the movie, so perhaps there have been no serious discussions about a title as yet. Maybe Hidalgo suggests the movie might not have a title because he would expect to know it if it did.
In the end, the title itself is just one piece of information among many that fans are potentially excited about. How this trilogy is going to end is going to be a big deal for a lot of people and there's always the hope that the title will give us some hint of what is to come in the actual movie. Of course, none of the titles of Star Wars movies really give anything away. The Force Awakens was suitable vague and The Last Jedi simply had everybody wondering who it was referring to up until the movie came out.
Once we know what Star Wars Episode IX is called we'll simply spend the rest of the year debating what the title means, which is, of course, the point.
Of course, there is always another possibility. Perhaps Lucasfilm won't bother revealing the title or the trailer until the movie comes out. Such a thing seems insane but if there's one film series that could likely pull it off it would be Star Wars. Many fans don't need to see a second of footage to buy opening night tickets, and how many people would want to go as soon as possible just to see what was at the center of all the mystery? It's unlikely, but with these reveals coming closer and closer to a film's actual release, it feels like we're getting close to a point where this could happen.