Weekend Roundtable: Alternate ‘Star Wars’ Titles

When Disney and Lucasfilm announced last week that the title of J.J. Abrams’ upcoming ‘Star Wars’ sequel will be ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ (with no ‘Episode VII’ in between, apparently), fans were divided in their feelings about it. As is usually the case, the haters were a little more vocal in expressing their opinions. For this week’s Roundtable, we offer up some alternate titles, and speculate about what the movie’s plot might be.

Shannon Nutt

STAR WARS
Episode VII
The Force Hits the Snooze Button, Goes Back to Bed

It is a dark time for the Rebellion.
Although GEORGE LUCAS has
been removed from Lucasfilm, angry
fanboys have driven him from
Skywalker Ranch and pursued him
across Marin County.

Evading the rabid fan base, a film crew,
led by J.J. ABRAMS, has
established a new filming base on
the remote island of England.

The evil DISNEY EMPIRE, obsessed
with re-establishing the franchise,
has promised dozens of movies and
thousands of tie-ins in the years
to come…

Brian Hoss

‘Star Wars: Cha-Ching!!!’

A long time ago in galaxy consisting of George Lucas’ ego, a decision was made to make a ‘Star Wars’ prequel trilogy full of things that only very young children could love, or at least tolerate. After years of millions of voices crying out, Lucas moved on, pleased to be crafting more important things, like movies about Crystal Skulls. Only then did it make sense to awaken the original cast of ‘Star Wars’ and hack them into a remake of ‘Cocoon’. (This is the good news, BTW.)

To be continued in ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Schwartz Awakens’.

Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)

‘Star Wars: 2 Force 2 Furious’

Luke Skywalker is a fugitive. Oh, yeah! Let that sink in for a minute. After letting Vin Diesel get off scott-free at the end of ‘Episode VII’, every Jedi from here to Bespin is feverishly hunting Skywalker down. That’s okay; the former Jedi Knight has reinvented himself as an underground pod racer in Mos Eisley. With his new pals Tej (Ludacris) and Suki (Devon Aoki) pimping his ride… pssh, you don’t even wanna know how fast Skywalker’s new pod can do the Kessel Run.

Sometimes fast ain’t fast enough, though. Just as Skywalker cements his reputation as a force to be reckoned with in Mos Eisley, the Jedi catch up to him. While in custody, J.B.I. (Jedi Bureau of Investigation) Agent Porkins cuts the guy a deal. If Skywalker joins in on this mission to bring down Alderaanian Sith Lord Kart’r Verone (Cole Hauser), his criminal record will be wiped clean. Skywalker goes for it, with one demand: he gets to choose who’s riding shotgun. Skywalker’s not gonna ride this mission solo, but he’s gonna ride it with Han Solo, yknowwhatimsayin’?

Skywalker and Solo go undercover as pod racers for Kart’r Verone, dismantling the Sith Lord’s operation from the inside. Oh, they do their job all right, serving Verone’s operation up on a silver platter to the Jedi, but…wait! Verone’s skipped out on his SoroSuub Personal Luxury Yacht 3000, and he has the Jedi mole who’d previously infiltrated his group (Eva Mendes; no ‘Star Wars’-type name or anything, just Eva Mendes) with him! Verone knew all along that she was a Bothan spy, and someone’s gotta pay for his empire going up in flames.

Can Skywalker rescue his spicy new lover and bring down Verone for good? I have a bad feeling about this!

M. Enois Duarte

Is it just me or does the new title for the next installment sound incredibly corny and directed towards children? I’d like to suggest a name change for J.J. Abrams to consider. How about ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII – Disney Anxiety Commences’? Or perhaps this next one is bit more fitting: ‘Episode VII – Angry Fan Force Incited’. I don’t know. It’s just a thought.

Luke Hickman

Let me be honest here. I love J.J. Abrams but I couldn’t possibly care less about the ‘Star Wars’ franchise. Those movies had their day, but that day is passed. In fact, it was long gone when the prequel trilogy was made. If anything, Episodes I through III proved that. And while I’m at it, I believe that had ‘A New Hope’ been made today (by the way, when the hell was it given the subtitle ‘A New Hope’?), it would be passed over just like all the recent flop YA adaptations.

The only difference between ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Twilight’ is that die-hard geeks of all ages fuel the mediocre ‘Star Wars’ franchise – not just a bunch of screaming teenage girls. I didn’t grow up watching ‘Star Wars’ like most kids my age. I always found them slow and boring. I can’t say for sure, but I believe that it wasn’t until Lucas remastered them (for the first time) and re-released them on the big screen (for the first time) that I actually saw Episodes IV through VI from beginning to end. The series has never been my cup of tea. I don’t mean to come off as an elitist, but I prefer science fiction over space Westerns. Give me meat and quality over fluff and spectacle. ‘The Force Awakens’ might be fun, and it might even have some dazzling visuals. Without Lucas’ involvement, it’s sure to be worlds better than the prequel trilogy, but it’s still the seventh installment of a stale franchise. Because of that, I think a better title would be:

‘Star Wars: Episode VII – Beating a Dead Horse’

After a long and convoluted scrolling title card sequence, the movie opens with a giant cartoon mouse-shaped ship floating through space. As it moves along, the mouse’s white gloved-hands can be seen reaching out at the stars – but then we zoom in to see that they’re not stars. No, they’re pieces of beloved once-perfect franchises. After grabbing them, the mouse consumes them one-by-one. It grabs a handful of Marvel movies, then excretes a series of identical sequels over and over again. Then it grabs Indiana Jones, even swallowing down that awful ‘Crystal Skull’ garbage. Who knows what that will look like on the way out, but it will certainly stain the memory of the first three.

Enter the Millennium Falcon. Han Solo’s busted-up leg still hangs out the door. He’s only following the mouse for the paycheck and workman’s compensation. Luke Skywalker is there because he’s hungry and broke, in desperate need of the paycheck. Princess Leia is only there because she’s got nothing better to do.

The entire movie is dedicated to these three following the mouse and fooling a horde of geeky moviegoers into thinking that a large cast of new characters is just as great as those they grew up loving.

Tom Landy

Something tells that me a more appropriate title would be ‘Star Wars: I Have a Bad Feeling About This…’ It’s not that I don’t have any faith in J.J. Abrams (if anyone can save the franchise, he can), but George Lucas has sent these movies so far off the rails with the horrible prequels that I’m not sure the franchise even can be saved at this point. Plus, it’s not like the original cast are spring chickens anymore. I’m having a hard time believing that the same kind of magic will be there. To paraphrase a certain golden droid, I’m saying the possibility of successfully making a brilliant film is approximately 3,720 to 1 against… but let’s hope I’m wrong.

Josh Zyber

Little-known fact: Before Disney ordered J.J. Abrams to change it, the working title for the next ‘Star Wars’ movie was ‘Star Wars into Darkness: Rise of the Dark Force’. No, that title doesn’t make any sense. And yes, it sounds an awful lot like Abrams just mashed together his last ‘Star Trek’ movie with any of a dozen other generically-titled fantasy properties. What did you expect? J.J. Abrams isn’t exactly known for coherency or originality.

Of course, given the director’s proclivities, the movie will be little more than a hodgepodge of scenes and plot points from earlier franchise entries regurgitated out of context to push the audience’s nostalgia buttons.

The plot: Decades after the events of ‘Return of the Jedi’, the Empire is back! Out of shape and out of practice, the aging Luke Skywalker journeys to Dagobah to get whipped back into shape in a musical training montage by Yoda’s never-before-seen identical twin brother Joda. He then has to dart across the galaxy, reliving past glories. He’ll battle more AT-ATs on Hoth! On Bespin, he’ll lose his other hand to the villain Darth Mutter, who reveals that he… no, wait, she… is really his mother Amidala Skywalker (recast for no apparent reason to Winona Ryder in old age makeup), who didn’t die in childbirth after all. Finally, he’ll blow up another Death Star, because ‘Star Wars’ fans will never get enough of that.

In addition to that, Abrams has become so obsessed with lens flares that no less than 30% of the movie consists of footage of himself standing in front of the camera, shining a flashlight into the lens, captured in glorious IMAX.

What would you title the next ‘Star Wars’ movie, and what would the plot be? Tell us in the Comments.

35 comments

  1. Chris B

    Seems like the overwhelming sentiment of you guys is that Episode VII is doomed already…what a pity. I choose to believe Abrams can pull of a revitalization of the series. I didn’t much like the title at first but it’s kind of grown on me a bit to be honest. It’s sort of symbolic in a number of ways…Oh and Luke, it’s fine if you’re not a Star Wars fan or think the movies are boring, but comparing them to fucking Twilight?! Come on man….that’s low!

    • Ian Whitcombe

      As a Trekkie, is it wrong to say that I don’t like the idea of Star Wars VII being *better* than his Trek attempts? I feel like if you’re going to show contempt to one franchise, might as well be consistent and show contempt to the other.

      • EM

        But his Trek forays are a Star Wars-ization of Star Trek. Abrams may not truly grok Spock and the rest of it, but he might feel the Force enough to have a fighting chance at delivering Star Wars sequels that ooze authenticity.

        Not that I would hold my raspy, metallic breath or anything.

        • Ian

          What’s hilarious to me is that I find Abrams’ Star Trek films a lot more juvenile than any of the Star Wars movies. Even the prequels are designed with serious themes and intentions in mind.

          • EM

            Point taken. On the other hand, I think Super 8, which is about juveniles but is often serious, demonstrates a great affinity for the zeitgeist of the salad days of the Star Wars Saga (notwithstanding some truly superb Star Trek films released during that period); and so there is some reason for a new hope, as it were.

  2. Drew

    Not a single member of the staff is even remotely enthusiastic about the continuation of ‘Star Wars’? That’s surprising. Color me dubious. It has become the HIP thing to do, so why not pretend like you hate it, and that you always have.

    Once you were aware that this post was headed in this direction, why didn’t you just call it WEEKEND ROUNDTABLE: CLEVER AND PRETENTIOUS WAYS TO TAKE A SHIT ON STAR WARS?

  3. Isn’t the force “RE”-Awakening? The movie title makes it sound like it never happened before.
    Based on all we know though, this movie is all about the Skywalkers right? The rest of the Jedi were hunted and killed off and Luke & Leia were the last two from the family lineage.
    Star Wars: The Incest
    Star Wars: The Skywalker Realm
    Star Wars: The (Disney)Empire Drains Your Wallet
    Star Wars: Because….Fuck You

    I wonder if Disney will say FUCK YOU to the USA when it comes to 3D with this franchise as well?

    • EM

      So…if someone claims to have awoken or been awoken this morning, you believe that the claim implies that that person has never come out of sleep before?

      • Right EM…the implications here are that the Force has been dormant for some time. Why? Most likely because Luke is the last of the Jedi and, despite Yoda’s instructions, HASN’T gone on to train others because he fears he’s not a good enough teacher to keep his students away from the Dark Side.

        • EM

          Shannon, I believe your interpretation that the Force has been somehow dormant is the meaning that is likely intended; but as for reasonable interpretations of the title, “there is another.” The verb could be intended in the active sense, i.e., to say that the Force awakens someone or something; it could also be that the ambiguity is intentional.

      • Return of the Jedi was well, a Return of the Jedi.

        Regarding Luke training others, NO, what I understand is The Force is in a person’s bloodline. You either have it or you don’t.

        My 3D reference is to Episode 7, it will likely be 3D in the theaters but not on USA Blu Ray.

      • EM

        If LFL was serious about the 3D conversions, they should have started with the trilogy that far more people actually like rewatching, even if that trilogy was more difficult to convert. I don’t know whether the tridimensionalization would have turned out esthetically worthwhile, but at least the films would be enjoyable (if one could get past Greedo’s shooting first [into the audience, I presume] and all that other Georgie-come-lately dreck).

  4. EM

    ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ (with no ‘Episode VII’ in between, apparently)

    I wouldn’t read anything into that omission. The previous films’ episode numbers (including IV, once it was established) have often been omitted in official contexts, including classic logos in marketing.

  5. Elizabeth

    I’m just hoping he recasts Lando Calrisian as a white person just as a “screw you” to all the people that bitched about Khan being recast as a white person (he was genetically engineered – he can come out of the test tube any color they want him to). And lens flares so big they have lens flares. Maybe someone could point out that Chewbacca is actually female (and married to the now-white Lando). And C3-P0 could come out as gay (not that we haven’t all suspected anyhow).

    I enjoyed the 2 Trek films he’s done so far. So I’m actually excited to see Episode VII (or maybe we’ll find out it’s actually Episode X).

    • Josh Zyber
      Author

      Khan was genetically engineered and raised to adulthood 250 years before the events of Into Darkness. So no, he can’t just magically change race due to “genetic engineering.” That’s stupid.

      • Guy

        I justified it to myself in this way: Due to the history of colonization, a pasty white British man is much more likely to be named Khan and be from India than a Mexican-born man of Spanish descent. So basically I self-posited that Ricardo was wrong for the role in the beginning and Cumberbatch corrected it. To quote Lethal Weapon, “Thin…” Still didn’t fix all the problems with the rest of the movie though.

      • Elizabeth

        Fine, the events of Star Trek IV altered the timeline such that Khan was created as a white guy. I’m going to say it was caused by McCoy healing the old woman in the hospital. The doctor treating her drew blood, found the regenerative compound that regrew her kidney and that eventually became the basis of Khan’s healing abilities. And given that it all started with a white woman, it reinforced the scientist’s latent white supremacist feelings and led to him engineering Khan to be white instead of Indian (or Hispanic pretending to be Indian as was the case with Montalban).

        Timeline fixed.

        • EM

          So, Khan became a conqueror and ruler when no more than seven years old and had a fully adult appearance when no more than ten? That is superior.

    • Cumberbatch being Khan has more to do with Benico Del Toro pulling out at the last minute and JJ needing to find a solid replacement quickly than any intentional motive to tick off loyal Trek fans. Besides, casting is the LEAST of INTO DARKNESS’ problems.

      • Elizabeth

        I didn’t mean to imply Abrams cast a white guy Khan as an intentional screw you. I was trying to imply that I found the outrage about it ridiculous. Nobody seemed to care that Sulu went from being Japanese to being Korean.

        • Chris B

          Different countries isn’t that big a deal because the ethnicities are still the same. Latino to Caucasian is a much bigger leap. Especially when the character is still named Khan.

    • EM

      Frankly, I think this may be worse than the whole débâcle des 400 coups. I can just see a still of Yoda’s twin side-by-side with a still of Darth Mutter’s big reveal to Luke, captioned “Joda”, “Su madre”.

      That would be for the Despertar de la Fuerza crowd, of course.

  6. eric

    STAR WARS: AGE OF ULTRON

    If we were to revisit the past films I think different names would be much more appropriate if we really looked at the core of each story line.

    STAR WARS I: THE ONE
    STAR WARS 2: COPY OF A COPY
    STAR WARS 3: A TIME FOR WAR
    STAR WARS 4: INCEST
    STAR WARS 5: NOW YOU KNOW ITS INCEST
    STAR WARS 6: RETURN OF HAN SOLO

    They should reboot the whole series, change it up… its time to create something for a new generation to fall in love with and obsess over for decades to come. The whole franchise has just been a nerdy excuse to get away with watching a soap opera.

    I was so excited and got chills when the LUCASFILM LTD logo lit up the screen and the music started on the first prequel. I lost interest and was completely disappointed less than 5 minutes later and when J.J. Binks showed up I completely gave up and have never looked forward to another STAR WARS film since then. But, I am sure there are millions that loved these three and don’t like the original three. I was excited by J.J Binks… er ummm J.J. Abrams first STAR TREK film, but let done immensely with the sequel, if this STAR WARS can be as good as that first STAR TREK film he did then I have something to look forward to.

  7. Scott H

    Star Wars Episode VII
    Attack of the Lens Flair

    Like the dog in UP, The camera will be focused on the millennium Falcon as it zooms through space, and then all of the sudden for no apparent reason, oh lens flair.
    And then when the bluray comes out there will be a extra special extra lens flair edition with deleted lens flair never seen before.

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