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For some reason or another, be it the Super Bowl, tweets from C-3PO actor Anthony Daniels or just a feeling that the announcement is overdue, the past few weeks have been a fervor of anticipation and speculation that the title revelation for Star Wars: Episode IX was imminent. And yet as of now, like the rest of Star War: Episode IX, the title remains shrouded in mystery.
The title is apparently so secretive that the Lucasfilm story group does not know it and new cast member Dominic Monaghan has said that director J.J. Abrams alone knows what the final chapter in the Skywalker Saga will be called. And yet, considering how few people supposedly know the title there sure are plenty who think they know.
As is the case with everything regarding this movie, rumors abound about the film’s title. So you know the drill, grab those saltshakers and let’s talk about the title for Star Wars: Episode IX.
First up in the list of contenders is Star Wars: Son of Darkness. When it comes to rumored titles, this is perhaps the most ominous, hearkening to the Dark Side centric titles of The Phantom Menace and Revenge of the Sith. This title would seem to apply to one character in particular and while it could technically work for Luke Skywalker as the son of Darth Vader, it is far more likely that it refers to Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).
As was the case for Avengers 4, some fans are looking to dialogue in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi for potential Star Wars: Episode IX titles. Avengers: Endgame ultimately did pull a piece of dialogue from Avengers: Infinity War for its title and a similar thing could happen here.
In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, in Snoke’s throne room, the Supreme Leader says to Kylo Ren “My worthy apprentice, Son of Darkness, heir apparent to Lord Vader” before commanding him to fulfill his destiny by killing Rey. So if the title is Son of Darkness, it would clearly be pulling from this scene and referring to Kylo Ren.
One reason this seems like a strong contender is that this sequel trilogy is very much a tale of two characters. One of them is Kylo Ren. I think it would come as no surprise if Ben Solo is ultimately redeemed in Episode IX and if he has such an arc, this title, which refers to him, would definitely be applicable. And as Episode IX is the last chapter in the Skywalker Saga, and he’s the last Skywalker (we think), having him in the title would be fitting.
Next up is another title originally surfaced on Reddit in a since deleted post (still have those salt shakers?), Star Wars: The New Order. I personally think this one is pretty solid because it works on several levels. It would maintain the three-word titling scheme, beginning with the word ‘the’ that has been used thus far in the sequel trilogy, providing some symmetry to the whole thing.
Since the First Order is the villain in the sequel trilogy, The New Order would flip that around, referring to the new order in the galaxy that will be established when good (presumably) triumphs over evil. Another meaning one could infer is that this title is about the Jedi Order.
Despite the assumptions after Return of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker was never able to restore the Jedi Order to the prominence it once had in the Republic. This title would imply that the Jedi Order would exist again, but newer and better than before. It’s a hopeful title that also has a bit of poetry to it, especially if it’s A New Order instead of The New Order; the last line of a poem whose first line was A New Hope.
Another title that has been bandied about is Star Wars: The Knights of Ren, which would set up the greatest troll job of all time if the much-hyped Dark Siders still don’t show up. Considering the recent rumors that not only will the Knights of Ren be in the film, they could actually be the final villains, this title or The Order of Ren would be applicable. Despite that, it is a bit on the nose and it would be somewhat strange to reference a group of characters that we haven’t seen before, villains at that, in the final film in the Skywalker Saga.
Most recently, a supposed leak indicated that the title for Episode IX would be Star Wars: Balance of the Force. This leak also showed an image, purportedly meant for the official Star Wars website, of the Star Wars logo in purple with this subtitle. This rumored title made the rounds in a big way when it seemed like the title reveal was imminent. You could assume that if this was the title and it leaked, Lucasfilm would just reveal it, but there are no guarantees of that.
Personally, I don’t love the way Balance of the Force rolls of the tongue. It doesn’t flow great, but I do love the substance of it. This is supposed to be the final chapter in the Skywalker Saga and I’ve argued in the past that in order to bring closure to that Saga, Star Wars: Episode IX has to bring balance to the Force. The Force’s lack of equilibrium has been a driving theme in this Saga so to finally see it achieve balance in the end seems right and necessary.
Rey and Kylo together are probably the key to bringing balance to the Force and this rumored title would be a cool way to send the Saga out on a positive note. We’ve also seen the yellow and red lettering for the first two films in the sequel trilogy respectively, so a purple logo, the blending of the Sith red and the Jedi blue to show balance would be cool.
Alright, now those seem to be the rumored titles that have been the most talked about, but let’s dig into some of the others that have been rumored or suggested, lightning round style.
Star Wars: Ashes of the Empire. The words “Ashes of the Empire” appear in the crawl text for The Force Awakens but it feels a bit late in the game to use this title; it would have been more appropriate for Episode VII.
Also taken from an opening crawl, The Last Jedi’s, is Star Wars: The Rising Tyranny. This title would do a great job at conveying the stakes for Episode IX where tyranny must be overcome or the galaxy is doomed. That said, it does feel like a middle chapter title.
Next up is Broom Kid’s title of choice Star Wars: A Spark of Hope. This is also taken from the crawl of The Last Jedi and the message of that film’s end, where Luke’s display of power and sacrifice gave hope to citizens across the galaxy that all was not lost.
I’ve also seen Star Wars: The Chosen One suggested. It’s a cool title and certainly has relevance to the series, but considering that Anakin Skywalker was the chosen one, it seems unlikely. Unless of course Anakin/Vader is in this movie (he’d have to play a major part right?) as has been rumored or J.J. Abrams decides that now Rey is the chosen one.
Another fun possibility would be Revenge of the Jedi, the original title of Return of the Jedi. This title is both hopeful and badass but I think a bit unlikely.
Legacy of the Force sounds cool and really would work for a film that is the final chapter in a franchise that has a more storied legacy than any in cinema, but Legacy of the Force is already a series of books in Legends and I doubt Lucasfilm would want to use an existing title.
Star Wars: The Rebellion Reborn could also be a possibility because Luke says it in The Last Jedi. It’s hopeful and references the Rebellion of the original trilogy, indicating that the Resistance builds up and becomes a full on Rebellion, achieving the same victory.
It’s a fun guessing game to play, and many people are considering things like how many words each film’s title has, the sequel trilogy movies all start with ‘the’ and are 3 words, the final films in each trilogy have started with the letter ‘R’ and so on and so on.
But this is Star Wars and this is the last Star Wars movie in the Skywalker Saga. Of course we want the title to sound cool and have meaning and weight and an eternal quality to it. Say what you will about the film itself but Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a banger of a title.
Personally, I want a title that is both hopeful and puts a stamp on things, providing some closure to this Saga as I hope the film itself does. I’d also like it to have some parallels to what came before in both theme and structure. Therefore Balance of the Force or A/The New Order would be my preference of the rumored titles. Some variation of Star Wars: The Last Hope or Star Wars: A Final Hope would also feel right.