On July 30, 2020, Zebulon Dak made a minute-long YouTube video stating that every Star Wars film had the wrong title. I watched the video and was blown away by his rearranging of the movie titles. While I disagreed with some of his changes, there were others that hit the nail on the head.
This got me thinking. Could I come up with something better? If so, I couldn’t do it alone. So, my good friend, Jonathan Sulzbach, whom I had known since 2010 in college, joined in on the fun. Like me, he had been a Star Wars fan himself since his formative youth.
For three hours, we debated, drinking coffee and doughnuts, laughing and geeking out. This felt more productive to us than not writing our own creative works. Sometimes, ironically, procrastination can be most productive.
Our shared goal was to assign the proper title to each Star Wars film in the 9-episode saga. We didn’t allow ourselves the freedom to create new titles. We had to work with what was already there, namely The Force Awakens, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, The Empire Strikes Back, The Rise of Skywalker, The Last Jedi, A New Hope, Return of the Jedi, and…Revenge of the Sith. The order in which the titles appear above was the end result of our collaboration. This order became official in our minds, even though they remained unchanged on Disney+.
We did this to cope in a way with how the sequel trilogy turned out. Since Disney took over the franchise, the stories told in that galaxy far, far away have only declined in quality and spirit. Was this exercise necessary? Well, it was fun, to say the least. Desperate fans call for desperate measures. Are we expecting job offers from Lucasfilm? We’d sooner get an apology from Disney for damage done since 2015. We’d sooner hear that the sequels are getting remade. Would we move to Los Angeles and work for them as story consultants? I can’t speak for my friend, but I certainly would, even if the job description purely entailed running grocery errands for John Knoll (I wouldn’t work for the Lucasfilm Story Group, unless I had total creative freedom).
If I were to wait for any of those things to happen, I’d be waiting for a very, very long time.