At least it’s a fun topic for an internet that’s been anything but fun lately, eh?
I’ve seen a couple of major threads going around in people’s posts this morning regarding the new Star Wars movie title unveiled today. One, that it brings back the member berries of The Last Starfighter, which I have to believe is an intentional planting into our consciousnesses by the Disney propaganda machine. Second, the “what do they mean by that?” regarding the last Jedi. Is it Luke? Is it Rey (who is bae)? Is it plural or singular? It also brings back the member berry of the particular line by Yoda, “The last of the Jedi, will you be.”
That all will probably already be talked to death on social media by the time I post this, less than an hour into the name unveiling.
What I’m interested in is the change of direction in naming conventions, analyzing just the differences in titles after the CORPORATE DISNEY MONSTER has distilled Star Wars into what it’s becoming now. Ignoring the movies themselves, but just looking at what the titles do. If you look at, say, every Star wars Movie up to The Force Awakens, the naming conventions spoke action. They are verb-centric. They give you that feel like classic action/adventure serials of the 1930s-40s, and intentionally so. The verb-centricness go as follows and evokes natural emotions:
Star WARS – We’re gonna be warring in the stars!
A New HOPE – Things are really dark, but there’s something that’s going to change that!
The Emprie STRIKES Back – Things look bleak for our intrepid heroes!
RETURN of the Jedi – Our heroes are all growed up and they’re gonna beat some face now.
The Phantom Menace broke this convention, but still gave an air of mystery that’s different from the new naming conventions.Though this movie was horrible, this is a really cool title.
ATTACK of the Clones – Begun, the clone wars have!
REVENGE of the Sith – Things about to get really bleak here.
The Force AWAKENS – it’s been dormant for a lot of years, but now we have new star wars!
Those are just what the titles do for you. And it’s because of the verb-centricness of them, driving us to imagine action. And that’s what science fiction and space opera is supposed to do: drive your imagination. Now look at the pure Disney-era installments (I don’t call The Force Awakens this as it’s a remake of a new hope).
Rogue One: We know rogue squadron, so this must be the first one. A person, a name. Kind of a bland concept, at least we know it’s a rogue of some sort? Not very evocative.
The Last Jedi – Member berries. Jedi. Okay. We know they’re in the film. This doesn’t call to action at all, as isn’t the whole point of being Jedi being a hybrid Christian/Buddhist Monk and just being aware of your surroundings to the point where you can do nothing and blend into the force? There’s nothing here that’s exciting.
It reminds me of the way that Disney took the ERB classic “A Princess of Mars” which gave a mystery, set the story up for readers as “wait, how can there be a princess on Mars?” and opened up imaginations. It’s not a verb-centric title, but it has a similar effect to The Phantom Menace. Disney then made their film version, which was one of the best films of the last decade despite the fact no one watched it, John Carter. Which, evokes nothing, except for thinking about some Anglo dude.
This says nothing of the film. Rian Johnson is an artist in the classical sense, film wise. I trust his capabilities as much as I distrust Disney’s board room that will suck the passion out of things. At least with someone like him instead of Abrams, there will be somewhat of a counterbalance to that. But the name, frankly, is bland and doesn’t tell us anything.