When we can expect an Episode VII title announcement and other con season fallout

Steve Sansweet reveals Revenge of the Sith at SDCC '04
Steve Sansweet reveals the Revenge of the Sith title via t-shirt at SDCC ’04.

For those of us who remember the prequel era, perhaps the most puzzling part of fan speculation about Episode VII reveals has been the assumption that a title would be offered this early in the process. Mike Ryan at The Huffington Post has a nice look at Star Wars title announcements – and wonder no more why none of us veterans* are expecting to see a full title before mid-2014.

* I use the term loosely. Look how shitty this post is. I didn’t even use the title. Bad baby blogger.

A few more pieces emerged yesterday about fan expectations in the wake of D23. Germain Lussier at Slashfilm points out in his (occasionally eye-roll worthy) piece on the backlash, part of the issue is that the landscape of movie announcements has changed drastically over the years. Most pointedly, Marvel is giving fans their titles, characters and other tidbits long before they begin filming. On the other hand, Scott Mendelson thinks that Marvel and others actually reveal far too much about their films before they’re out. And even Harrison Ford has spoken out on the trend, saying that if Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark came out today they “would be no fun at all.”

We’re in a holding period for Episode VII right now. We have some varied answers from folks at the top, but with the notoriously secretive J.J. Abrams at the helm we can probably safely predict they won’t be nearly as forthcoming as the Marvel folks. And maybe that’s a good thing. (Or are they just driving us on?) It’s a whole new landscape, and even Lucasfilm is still figuring it out. So again: patience.

11 Replies to “When we can expect an Episode VII title announcement and other con season fallout”

  1. it’s interesting to think about how many fans are brand-new to the fandom for this movie cycle. I was in the fandom for the prequels, but I was in high school and college and didn’t spend a ton of my online time doing Star Wars stuff – I got really involved later, after graduation. I had read a few novels but didn’t check the web for news every day by any means. Whereas now, with Twitter, I’m checking for news literally constantly on some level I guess.

    My expectations are low and in fact I’d prefer to be less spoiled if possible. But I wonder if younger fans, who came of age in a more aggressive social media era, agree.

    1. I was in college for most of the PT craziness too, and while I was watching to some extent, I’m following this cycle far more closely than I was then. I didn’t start blogging SW regularly until we were far into the ROTS run-up, which was – or seemed – a lot calmer than the first two movies.

      But yeah, formats like Twitter, Tumblr, etc – that’s brought a whole new level of expectation.

  2. I was in the spoiler-hungry blog crowd starting in 2001 (except it wasn’t really blogging back then), so none of this feels really new. What’s a bit confusing to a dinosaur like me is the tighter schedule that Lucasfilm seems to be working off now. Back then it felt like movie, one year waiting period where Lucas was trying to get some sort of a script together, shooting over the summer, re-shooting the following winter, re-re-shooting the following summer, editing, music, movie. That way, you heard close to nothing in the first year, and starting in the second year spoilers and rumors would pop up everywhere.

    This time around, there are only two and half years to begin with, one of which will be over by the time they start shooting. Plus, they are rumored to shoot in winter rather than in summer, which confuses expectations even more. So if I appear impatient, it’s merely because my internal spoiler/expectations clock is seriously out of tune. And because I would really like to see… anything. ;-)

    And as far as title revelations are concerned: I expect a title announcement somewhere around next year’s Comic Con. Then a teaser trailer shortly before Thanksgiving, a trailer around Easter, and the greatest film of all time in May 2015. No pressure, Mr. Abrams. ;-)

  3. My favorite part of the /Film piece is where they read too much into my joke about fearing too many people would read too much into mocking up a title.

  4. i remember being in the crowd at the Star Wars Spectacular when Steve Sansweet announced the ROTS title and then mentioned that shirts were on sale in the store. that’s a way to clear a room at comic-con!

    Earlier in the panel, he made a joke/fake reveal about Episode III: Fall of the Re… whoops!

    in those pre-social media days, after the panel, i called my brother to let him know the title.

  5. Pablo: have you ever considered that now your comments might actually affect financial markets?
    *Pablo Hidalgo winked when he said some statement about Episode VII* – *Disney stock price jumps up*

  6. I find it funny that all these articles are hitting my Google Alerts that people “booed” about noStar Wars news. That didn’t happen. They all went “ahhhhhh” and then most were laughing and lightheartedly bummed.

    It did kind of get on my nerves when they stopped the presentation and put Darth Vader on the screen briefly. Everyone thought that was a fake out and someone or something was coming out. I kind of felt toyed with at that moment, but I don’t know if that was their intention or not.

    It was a good time though. We had fun, no one had a reason to complain.

    1. I do find a lot of the “people have paid thousands of dollars” stuff a bit disingenuous. Speaking as an invested Star Wars fan who would probably have to spend a thousand and change to get to and stay in the vicinity, there’s no way I’m putting out that much cash without it being something that’s all or mostly Star Wars, ala Celebration. The only way I’d go to D23 knowing what we did before it started was if I was already local.

      Anyone who shells out thousands to get there is probably already a huge Disney fan anyway.

  7. I could not agree more, Dunc. I’m actually in Anaheim, so I went. I dropped $55 for a Saturday pass. I was entertained. I did have to line up at 3am for a 10:30 panel, but I had fun. I had an experience and they never promised anything.

    I can tell you, I was looking for huge Star Wars fans to interview for my podcast, and all of the people in the front of the line for the live action panel, were not Star Wars fans in that sense of the word.

    I did meet a really great father and son team. The son was probably 11 years old. I mentioned The Clone Wars was canceled and I broke his heart. I’m note even kidding. He was almost in tears about it. Then I sold him on Rebels and how Season V might have set up the new series with Ahsoka having trained lots of rebel groups. I felt so bad. I know how crushed I was, and I’m an adult. I also convinced him it was okay, because he’s getting five more movies.

    I wish the rest of internet fandom took the news as maturely as that kid.

    1. I saw someone on LJ a few weeks back asking about TCW S6, and I just… passed it by. My sympathy, at least on the internet, has long since run out on that front. I can’t take the wailing and gnashing of teeth when there’s so much new (and to my eyes, likely better) things on the horizon.

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