The Shadow Council weighs in on potential titles for Star Wars: Episode IX.
Some titles we could see and others we definitely won’t.
Like so many in recent weeks, members of the Shadow Council have been eager to find out the name of Star Wars: Episode IX. By this time in the year preceding the first two installments of the sequel trilogy, we already knew the title of the upcoming film. At the time of writing, there has been no official announcement. Code name ‘Trixie’ is still all we’ve got.
The Council, along with many fans have passed the time between films trying to speculate on what the title of the final film might be. Here are some our (serious and not so serious) picks:
Reasons for: If the Sequel Trilogy really is about the legacy of Anakin Skywalker, then Son of Darkness could be talking about his son Luke, or grandson Kylo. Snoke referred to Ren as Son of Darkness in The Last Jedi, so it’s not a huge leap to consider with a title like this that the newly empowered Supreme Leader of the First Order is indeed fulfilling the role the previous guy laid out for him. Heir to Vader.
Additionally, if we consider that JJ Abrams has been quotes as saying he began work on this trilogy asking himself, “Who is Luke Skywalker?”, it could also mean that this title would refer to Luke. If that’s what the director and producer of this trilogy was taking into consideration at the very beginning, then perhaps all the titles in the trilogy relate to Luke as much as anyone else. He was sought out and awakened in a sense in Episode VII, he was the last jedi when we met him in Episode VIII, so perhaps the final film would confront or affirm that Luke Skywalker is the son of Vader, meaning that Anakin’s legacy is perhaps only one of darkness.
Reasons against: Without a corresponding Episode IX: Part 2 sort of set up that would have to be called Daughter of Light, this title moves the focus of the trilogy away from it’s protagonist Rey, and also leaves our impression of the iconic Skywalker family on a potentially dour note. Son of Darkness could work as a middle title for the trilogy, followed by a Daughter of Light, if as the Council suspects, Rey is a Skywalker. Luke in Greek references light, so if Rey was his child, regardless of his own status as son of darkness, she would be a daughter of light and illustrate that from darkness comes light. Which is actually a pretty satisfying narrative exploration of Anakin Skywalker’s legacy and Luke and Rey’s roles in it, pulling all three trilogies together. But without that follow up and Son of Darkness as the title for IX, all the struggle and complexity of being a Skywalker, would ultimately end up in darkness. It doesn’t really work.
This title would certainly end the sequel trilogy and the Skywalker Saga as a whole on on a darker note than we might have imagined. As a council, we don’t expect an ending like that so Son of Darkness is a pass from us. At least Kylo would be happy with it!
Reasons for: Hope is Reborn fits very well, as the concept of hope is centrally important to the Star Wars saga. The original trilogy launches with A New Hope, so it feels quite fitting to end the sequel trilogy on hope’s return (even possibly including a glowy blue Luke himself?) to the galaxy, far, far away. When we first follow his journey, Luke Skywalker brings hope to the galaxy in destroying the Empire’s Death Star. The last time Luke speaks in The Last Jedi, he tells Kylo Ren that the rebellion is reborn, and presumably hope along with it. It would make the titles for the sequel trilogy flow together very neatly, in addition to being a good narrative fit.
Reasons against: As a title for a final installment, it doesn’t seem very final. Given the future for Disney Star Wars is to continue having regular content, that lack of finality might not be such a strike against it, but if this really is the end of the episodic format, then maybe reborn isn’t the way to wrap things up.
This title hits a lot of the right notes for many of the members of the Shadow Council. The Force Awakens The Last Jedi and Hope is Reborn sounds pretty groovy.
Reasons for: Dawn of Hope, like Hope is Reborn connects with some of the central themes and concepts that matter in the Star Wars Saga. Leia discusses hope with Poe in Episode VIII as being literally like the sun, which carried a lot of narrative weight, given the dire (and seemingly hopeless) straits of the Resistance at that time.
“Hope is like the sun. If you only believe it when you see it, you’ll never make it through the night.”
If the events of The Last Jedi were our heroes’ night, then surely the final film will pick up on those faint threads of hope we saw in the last moments of the previous film and bring them into the sun. The gang (though majorly outgunned and down most of their fleet) is back together, made up of a mixture of old guard and new, wiser and more resolved to fight the good fight, restore the light and defeat the First Order.
As a title, this also aligns nicely with previous saga titles in a few ways. Return of the Jedi and The Last Jedi parallel as would A New Hope and Dawn of Hope. With this title, the final titles of each of the trilogies also speaks to some aspect of the journey of the overall saga itself. The Revenge of the Sith, The Return of the Jedi and Dawn of Hope implies something about the complete arc of episodic films.
Reasons against: It might be too sappy? I dunno guys, we really like this one.
Of the speculated titles, for most of the Council, Dawn of Hope is the most compelling guess.
Reasons for: This would make all the titles in the sequel trilogy a complete sentence without any additions. The Force Awakens The Last Jedi To Begin Anew, works as a literal sentence. It also hints at some of the same themes of hope and dawn and rebirth that our other guesses do without being as explicit about what is starting again. As a sentence it also can represent in some ways what’s happened to the franchise as a whole, under Disney, in restarting feature films.
Reasons against: It’s not really catchy and the acronym of To Begin Anew has completely the wrong meaning for a final film. TFA, TLJ and TBA. Not quite right. Additionally, the lack of explicit reference or connection to hope or dawn or something like that, leaves it hanging in the context of all three trilogies. It might connect the sequel trilogy neatly, but it doesn’t draw on any of the other parts of the saga, which makes it an unlikely final title.
While it could work, To Begin Anew is an unlikely candidate.
Reasons for: Well…none. It could be considered that all padawans do need to do their homework in order to pass their trials, but it’s a stretch and we all know it.
Reasons against: Way way too many words. Also, Quad Harrington threw this one in as a joke.
Council says NOPE!
Place your bets! What do you think the title for Episode IX will be? Let us know in the comments!