The 30-plus year follow-up to “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi” now has a working title, according to veteran movie blogger Harry Knowles: “The Ancient Fear.”
Knowles wrote Tuesday that he’s known about the title for a month, and has been trying to confirm it with director J.J. Abrams. The blogger described the source as the same person who told him part of the film would be shot in Abu Dhabi, which Disney later confirmed.
“When I put the title to J.J., he never even responded,” Knowles said. “That alone was suspicious.”
Knowles said he received confirmation from a second source who brought up the title without being asked, and said it referred to the unnamed character to be played by infamous “Exorcist” actor Max von Sydow.
According to a Mashable report, most Star Wars titles were decided early in the production process, which increases the likelihood “The Ancient Fear” will be the official title of Episode VII.
The only exceptions are Episode VI, which bounced between “Revenge” and “Return of the Jedi” before release in 1983; and Episode IV, which was solely titled ‘Star Wars” in 1977 and moved through various names including “Journal of the Whills” and “Adventures of the Starkiller” before settling on “A New Hope” in 1981.
Episode VI producer Howard Kazanjian referred to “Return of the Jedi” as “Blue Harvest: Horror Beyond Imagination” while shopping film set vendors so he could get a fair price, knowing full well that slapping “Star Wars” on the title would send rates skyward.
Lucasfilm has neither confirmed nor denied the title.
Abrams made the official cast announcement last week, and confirmed the return of the original trilogy’s primary actors.
“Star Wars: Episode VII” is scheduled to debut in theaters Dec. 18, 2015.