StarWars.com slipped a huge nugget of cold hard fact through the interweb pipeline this morning when it announced via its Twitter, Instagram and the official site that the name of J.J. Abrams' forthcoming Episode VII will be Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Interestingly all of the graphics and announcements have dropped the cumbersome "Star Wars - Episode VII" nonsense that started back with The Phantom Menace in '99, which I find as a welcome nomenclature change. Nobody called Empire or Jedi "Episode V" or "Episode VI" and it's nice to have a title that rolls off the tongue like Awakens. (Though some have already snarked that they can see themselves slipping and calling it Awakenings, which yes - is a completely different film.
While fanboys are currently in the process of doing what they do best on the internet lately, complaining like there is no tomorrow, I'm pretty pleased with the title. It instantly tells you what the themes of the film will explore. It instantly gets the imagination going. And, as some have already pointed out, it's a little bit meta because it could also refer to the magic of Star Wars having been dormant for so long finally coming back into the spotlight.
I'm a little surprised with what little fanfare the title was released with however. Having been there at Comic-Con when Revenge of the Sith was announced and the huge hub-bub that surrounded that title reveal (even so much as creating a video that heralded it in the context of the other five films). So I'm wondering if something more is on the near-horizon, like an official photo, or a featurette, or something else to feed the marketing frenzy. There have also been rumors that a teaser trailer is in the near-distant future, though I would expect something like that closer to the end of the year at the soonest.
One thing is for sure, this certainly is a whole lot of fun. The conversations that I've been having with my friend Jason are excited moments of pure joy that I haven't had since around 1998. Before the dark times... Star Wars: The Force Awakens is in theaters December 18, 2015.