Slumber party’s over, Star Wars fans. With today’s announcement that the official title for J.J. Abrams’s recently wrapped Episode VII is Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the fan-spawned theories — and memes — are proliferating.
First of all…
What does it mean?
Fans who spent years digesting the myriad Star Wars books, comics, and video games set in the aftermath of Return of the Jedi appear confused by the title. After all, in those George Lucas-sanctioned storylines, known as the Expanded Universe, Luke Skywalker forms the New Jedi Order and keeps the traditions of the fallen knights alive, which comes in handy as new threats arise, including the emergence of a cloned Emperor.
But earlier this year, all that history went kablooey when Lucasfilm announced that it would reboot the canon and that the new cinematic trilogy would not necessarily be beholden to the oft-convoluted plots teased out in the books and games.
So why does the Force need to wake up? Did the rebels get complacent after the fall of the Emperor and Darth Vader? Did all those AARP-eligible heroes from the original trilogy need to be roused from an epic nap?
One fan, FiercePierce, suggested that Abrams’s awakened Force is a more powerful version than we’ve ever seen in the franchise. That or maybe it’s “people seeking out teaching from the most powerful Jedi there is, Luke Skywalker! I love this title!”
However, a Rebelscum.com user does not approve of what the title: “Was The Force asleep? If so, for how long? Who woke it up? Has Luke not used The Force in 30 years? Weird.”
Craig W. Chenery adds another hypothesis: “What if the force is not referring to The Force, but rather Imperial Forces or some other form of power? There could be a lot of hidden meaning to this title.”
(Seriously, though. Somebody go check on Grandpa Han. Make sure he’s not drooling on the Falcon again.)
Meanwhile, those fans who aren’t parsing the title for meaning have cranked up Photoshop. Which brings us to…
Episode VII: Rise of the Sleepy Memes