Ever since we walked out of the cinemas almost a year ago, dazzled by the nostalgic yet fresh and visually fantastic storytelling of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, we've been desperate to know anything we can about the next film in the sequel trilogy. What followed was a year of not-so patient waiting, as fans scrabbled to solve the mysteries of #StarWars7 and therefore answer our burning questions about Star Wars Episode VIII. And a lot of that guesswork comes down to the potential title.
The Star Wars titles have always basically described what's going on in the film, from the obvious — the Empire struck back at the Rebellion in Empire Strikes Back — to the slightly more subtle — is The Phantom Menace Darth Maul, or the young Anakin Skywalker? The Force Awakens was a great title because it worked on several levels, hinting that the Jedi (and the Force) was somehow missing from the galaxy after all this time, while actually describing the Force actually awakening in our protagonist, Rey.
Naturally, when we find out what the title for #StarWars8 is, we may be able to deduce what the movie will focus on, and what the situation in the galaxy is. So put on your tin foil theory hats, because we might finally know what the Episode 8 title is.
Star Wars Episode VIII: Forces Of Destiny
Yep, that's the title currently caught up in the ever churning flurry of the rumor mill. This is thanks to a trademark Disney/Lucasfilm recently filed with the European Union Intellectual Property Office, meaning that they now own the title "Forces of Destiny" and no-one else can use it.
However, while many are speculating that this is the title for Star Wars 8, that's not necessarily what this news means.
Lucasfilm own tons of properties in the Star Wars franchise, from animated shows to comics to toys to games. Unless you were living under a rock last December, you'll know just how vast the Star Wars empire is, as we were bombarded with the brand no matter where we went — supermarkets, billboards, gas stations, pretty much everywhere had some kind of Star Wars product to sell. And all of these products will be trademarked.
It's possible that "Forces of Destiny" actually refers to a video game, a new show, or even a playset that Lucasfilm want to sell in the EU (here referring to the European Union, not the Expanded Universe, because Lucasfilm already killed that off). But before we dismiss the potential title completely, let's examine what it could mean for the franchise.
Say Star Wars Episode 8 is indeed titled Forces Of Destiny. This would imply the film focuses on...
- Jedi lore and prophecies, possibly about the Chosen One.
- A fated journey and a predestined outcome.
- Either one person's destiny or the fate of the entire galaxy.
The title also implies that this destiny isn't necessarily wanted, as "Forces of" is both a play on the term "the Force" and puts in mind the idea of being buffeted by an external force, or being forced to do something.
A Tired Title
All of these themes line up very well with a sequel to The Force Awakens, but there are still a few problems with the title. Firstly, there's no verb or driving force (no pun intended). It doesn't state anything obliquely, set up an idea of risk, and there's no punch to it. While Return of the Jedi tells you exactly what's going to happen in that movie, Forces of Destiny is rather woolly, not really saying anything while falling back on cliche ideas.
"Forces of Destiny" sounds like a little video game based on Star Wars, and that's partly because there already is a game with a very similar title — the RPG Force and Destiny. And it seems unlikely that Lucasfilm would use a title for Episode 8 which is very close to another title that already exists in their expansive empire.
Ultimately, what really makes me doubt this Star Wars 8 title is the repetition of the word "Force". We've just had a Star Wars movie with the title hinging around the word "Force", and to use that again would be rather sloppy.
But who knows, maybe this is the title and I've just biased myself against it. Either way we'll find out soon, as Disney's CEO Bob Igor recently commented that "the title will be announced at some point," and this is likely to happen soon after Rogue One has got everyone all excited about Star Wars again.