Now that the principal cast for Star Wars: Episode VII has been revealed and filming is about to go full swing, you can certainly expect Star Wars scoops to begin escaping J.J. Abrams' mystery box, and in great numbers. The first of what is surely many tidbits to hit the Web is the working title for the film: The Ancient Fear.
Now, regardless of how you feel about that title, let's reiterate that this particular rumor claims it's the working title of the film, which could mean any number of things. It could be a fake title to throw off snoops looking for info, not unlike how The Dark Knight used the title Rory's First Kiss during production. Or it could be a temporary title like Batman vs. Superman, that the studio fully intends to change down the line and will only keep if it seems to stick around in the pop conscious. So, do not think the can't-possibly-change title will be Star Wars: Episode VII - The Ancient Fear.
Having said all of that, if this is indeed the actual subtitle for the film, what would it hypothetically be telling us? George Lucas' original film, retroactively titled A New Hope, was about a farm kid who ends up becoming a key figure in a galactic rebellion, and as such that title beautifully completes the expectation that everything's riding on his shoulders. There's a gravitas and an optimism to it that just embodies everything bright and adventurous about the first film.
The Ancient Fear, on the other hand, doesn't exactly have an ounce of optimism to it. That's a bit disappointing for those of us hoping that we'd be getting back to the original trilogy's roots, but it's also not really surprising considering going dark and gritty is kind of the default stance with franchise reboots these days. It also implies that there's something the first six Star Wars films never told us, and we sure hope Abrams and company don't pull a, "Didn't you know there's something even stronger than the Force?" rabbit out of their hat (supposedly the ancient fear in question is a reference to a villainous character played by Max von Sydow, though we're hoping he'll actually be a good guy and this trilogy's version of Alec Guinness).
But, again, The Ancient Fear is just a rumor at this point (and it's worth pointing out AICN's last Star Wars rumor ended up not being true). We'd be surprised if Disney announces the real title before a major event like Comic-Con (the studio is not hosting its own D23 convention this year), but maybe if the rumors get close enough to the real thing, it'll announce early. At this point, we'll just be disappointed if the production title for the film ends up being anything but Spaceballs 2: The Search for More Money. Come on, Abrams. We're sure Mel Brooks would let you put that on a call sheet if you asked nicely.
So what say you? If the movie is indeed called Star Wars: Episode VII - The Ancient Fear, do you think that's a good title?
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