Since J.J. Abrams and the Lucasfilm team revealed the main cast of Star Wars: Episode VII a few days before Star Wars Day, I was thinking we might get the announcement of the film’s subtitle on May 4th. That day came and went with little more than a quick video greeting from Abrams and co-writer Lawrence Kasdan, so it looks like my theory was busted. But now AICN is reporting that they have two separate sources who know the new Star Wars film’s subtitle – or at least the “working title” of the movie: The Ancient Fear.
Reportedly, the subtitle refers to Max von Sydow’s villain character, who, according to AICN’s source, “makes Pazuzu look like a pussy!” (Pazuzu, as you’ll recall, is the name of the demon in The Exorcist, which of course starred von Sydow.)
Keep in mind this is still a rumor at this point. AICN reported in 2004 that Episode III’s title would be The Creeping Fear, so maybe one of their sources is just messing with them, or maybe they’re just plain wrong again. The whole reason I even wrote about it is to kick off a discussion about the importance (or lack thereof) of Star Wars movie subtitles and what you think this new one will mean for the tone of the new trilogy moving forward.
Let’s assume it’s real for a second: what sort of villain could von Sydow be playing that could be regarded as an “ancient fear”? This is obviously speculation on my part, but to me, it doesn’t seem likely that he’s a Sith lord because if Han, Luke, and Leia are still around, memories of Vader and the Sith aren’t exactly “ancient.” The Sith originated a couple thousand years before The Phantom Menace, so I guess the title could be referring to one of them, but perhaps von Sydow is playing a Yoda-like creature who lives for hundreds of years, making him the ancient one they’re fearful of. Theoretically, the “fear” could also be referring to something else entirely, not a person as this source suggests.
In all likelihood, this is probably just a working title that will never be used for the real film. Maybe The Ancient Fear is Abrams’ fear of someone finding out the real subtitle. Looks like we’ll just have to wait until it’s officially announced for real confirmation, but in the meantime, I want to throw the question out there to you guys: do the subtitles matter to you in the Star Wars universe? Everyone knows Lucas changed Revenge of the Jedi to Return of the Jedi at the last minute, but does that level of minutiae mean anything to you as a diehard fan sitting down to watch the film? Based on what little confirmed information we have right now, do you have any ideas about what the storyline in this movie is going to be? Head to the comments and let’s talk Star Wars.
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