It’s not likely you remember where you were when you heard that the first Star Wars prequel would be called The Phantom Menace, but you probably remember the questions it inspired. “Why does this allegorical sci-fi adventure sound like a silent-era horror movie?” “How can a menace be a phantom?” “How many years will Limp Bizkit continue being my favorite band?” It was the first moment in a chain of events that led a generation of moviegoers to slowly lose faith in a series that once seemed infallible. Here we are, though, nearly ten years since the last time a Star Wars movie (dis?)graced cinema screens, and that lapsed faith is slowly being restored. It started with the hiring of J.J. Abrams as architect of the new film, and continued with his casting of the original players, along with some interesting additions. Finally, after so much high-profile coverage of every bit of non-news from on set, the title of Star Wars VII has been revealed. The 30-years-in-the-making sequel to Return of the Jedi is not hypothetical, and it will be called The Force Awakens.
Let’s all take in this title together. What does it mean? When did the Force lose its potency, and/or take a catnap, enough to necessitate an awakening? Let us know your theories about what this could mean for the film in the comments below.