And STAR WARS: EPISODE VII's official title is…

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Ladies and gentlemen, the Force has awakened. Or will awaken. Is awakening. Whatever the semantics, Episode VII finally has an official title in Star Wars: The Force Awakens! The announcement was made in the most low-key of manners as the official Star Wars twitter account just slipped it in like no big deal when reporting on the fact that the film has just wrapped its principal production.

There had been several leaks on the production in recent months, but the folks at Disney/Lucasfilm managed to keep the full title firmly under wraps by apparently not registering the web domain names until just shortly before the “announcement”. At the time of writing this article, www.theforceawakens.com was still a dead link.

So what does “The Force Awakens” actually mean in terms of narrative potential? The most obvious answer is of course that by the time we rejoin this universe for the first time (chronologically) since Return of the Jedi, there have been a few changes: Namely, Luke Skywalker is not the only Jedi in existence anymore and the Sith have probably also risen up again.

There could be a lot more to the title though, strongly hinted at by a rumour that also broke just hours before the title announcement. But now we’re headed deep into SPOILER country, so if you would rather not hear what could be potential story details, then I suggest that you take your stuff and get the force outta here! The rest of you can scroll down after the pic for more.

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Last SPOILER warning!

This rumour first hit the streets last month courtesy of Making Star Wars, but since Episode VII rumours has been dime a dozen lately, I didn’t pay much attention to it. However, since then, a number of other publications have come forward to corroborate this rumour, and now Making Star Wars has offered up some further info.

I’m told that in the back story for the film, Luke Skywalker does something amazing with the Force. He’s really powerful, more of “wizard than lightsaber wielding warrior.” Basically, Luke Skywalker has a “Force Unleashed” moment and realizes he might be bad for the universe.The aftermath of that event is difficult for Luke.

Luke Skywalker has become the most powerful Jedi ever, but he doesn’t believe he’s the wisest. He doesn’t want to make the mistake his father made by thinking he knows what’s right for the universe. Skywalker becomes somewhat deranged in his seclusion. He is consumed by his fear that if he should return to “society” his power could be misused, he could be manipulated, and he may accidentally hurt the one’s he loves.

For these reasons, to protect the galaxy and himself, Luke retreats into self-imposed exile for many years. I’m told he can’t always control the power. While he sits in a meditative state, he levitates things unconsciously and he’s not always in complete control and he’s never sure if he’s doing the will of the Force or acting on his own passions. Luke is seeing the past, the present, the future, “old friends long gone” and other things that prey upon his sanity.

Luke Skywalker is described as “creepy and frightening in appearance” because you supposedly can see “the fire in his eyes” behind his grizzled appearance during some scenes.

Woah. Ever since the first stories in the Expanded Universe started introducing the concept of a Jedi Academy, everybody had sort of always just assumed that that’s what we would be seeing in the new trilogy: the next generation of Jedi in action. I don’t think anybody ever contemplated that we could be dealing with story where there are no real other Jedi yet, because Luke Skywalker has essentially been hogging the power of the Force and it has driven him off the deep end. Making Star Wars claim that “his absence is the reason things have escalated in the universe”, but that through him being coaxed back into the fight by the Force sensitive characters played by John Boyega and Daisy Ridley, we not only get to see that next generation actually being figuratively born, but it allows Luke to have this total character arc of redemption and becoming the leader and mentor he was always meant to be.

That is a very enticing narrative prospect, and one that is definitely not far-fetched at all. If this rumour does indeed pan out, then consider me very, very excited.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens also stars Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, Lupita Nyong’o and Gwendoline Christie alongside the original trilogy trio of Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher. It will be hitting cinemas on December 18, 2015.

Last Updated: November 7, 2014

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