This may be old news for some of you and for others this may be entering spoiler territory BUT: a few days ago rumours abounded that the title for Star Wars episode 8 had accidentally been leaked by no other than Lucasfilm itself! So, consider yourself warned: this may be spoilery (probably not, let’s face it) and verryyy speculative. AVSForum did some research and found out that Lucasfilm has applied to the European Union Intellectual Property Office for a trademark on the name Star Wars: Forces of Destiny, which included a 2,000-word list of items including clothing, toys, Christmas tree ornaments (!) etc. As The Independent says, it’s more than possible that this title isn’t meant for Episode 8 but rather for any of the many, many projects Lucasfilm is currently working on. I do think the Christmas tree ornaments are a good indication it’s for something geared towards a Christmas release but you never know. However, where is the fun in going with the easiest answer? So let’s speculate just a little bit!
When the title for Episode 7, The Force Awakens was announced the response was quite mixed. Some people loved it, others felt it was a little bit vague. I myself am partially still confused by it since I’m not quite sure which awakening is exactly referred by it. For myself I have decided the title responds to Rey’s awakening to her Force abilities, which seems to be what many others have also decided on. Snoke’s ‘There has been an awakening’-line also seems to refer to her. So, if we take this as a stepping stone, what does that tell us about this new title?
Star Wars: The Forces of Destiny, to me, suggests two different interpretation. On the one hand, an interpretation some websites seem to be fond of, is that it contains a hint that we will be learning more about Rey’s origins. The Force Awakens ended with Rey showing an incredible ability to tap into the Force which raises only more questions about her parentage and history. Were her parents Force users? Was she put on Jakku in order to protect her from her own powers, perhaps? Destiny implies longevity, something that has been in process for a long time. Since we know nothing yet about why Luke went into exile and why he is at an ancient Jedi temple, there is a good chance that perhaps there is a prophecy similar to the one regarding Anakin, but for Rey. There are a lot of similarities between Anakin and Rey already, and I wouldn’t be surprised if these continue to grow. Knowing how being the subject of a prophecy worked out for Anakin (hint: not very well), having a prophecy dedicated to her could also be bad news for Rey.
Another option, which I favour, is that this title hints that Rian Johnson will continue to work on the diverging paths of Rey and Kylo. Their final shared shot in The Force Awakens couldn’t have showed clearer that they are on opposing sides, Rey cast in a shade of blue very reminiscent (to me) of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s lightsaber, while Kylo was cast in the red of the Sith. As the young progenies on opposing sides of a galaxy-wide dispute, they will become instruments in the battle. While Snoke clearly has plans for Kylo, Rey now has Luke to train her. Are they the two Forces of Destiny which will decide the future of the galaxy? I’d prefer this interpretation because it puts the new generation of Star Wars characters at the front and centre of the franchise. Their decisions and actions will decide what happens, rather than being pawns in someone else’s game. Part of Anakin’s downfall was that there were so many people’s expectations and plans depending on him that there was hardly any room for him to make his own decisions. Seeing a riff on that in the Sequel trilogy would be interesting.
Something else I find fascinating is the plural of ‘Forces’. The ‘Force’ in The Force Awakens clearly referred to the Force, yet ‘Forces’ doesn’t have to, necessarily. ‘Forces’ could be anything, it could be the First Order and the Rebellion, it could be Snoke and Luke, it could be Rey and Kylo. Even if this doesn’t end up being the title for Ep 8, it surely gives us plenty of space for interpretations.
What do you think? Do you like the sound of it and what do you think it refers to?