George, did you expect some fans to respond negatively to your title, The Phantom Menace?
If we were to go back to 1977 and I told the fans that I was going to title the first one, A New Hope, the fans would have the same reaction. They would be saying: "What kind of title is that?" Well, it's the one I want to use. These movies are truly timeless. Fifty years from now no one is going to care what I titled this film. There just going to know it as that Phantom Menace movie.
It seems that the title of Episode 1 and Episode 4 are somewhat parallel in structure, will the title of Episode 2 and Episode 5 also closely mirror one another?
The first Star Wars movie I did was about this new hope who was going to seek his destiny and save the galaxy from tyrrany. The new Star Wars movie focuses on a phantom menace, which sets in motion certain events that create the need for a new hope some thirty years later. A New Hope is a positive title, which uses positive words, while The Phantom Menace uses negative words in order to convey a negative meaning. Thematically, these titles are polar opposites. Episode 2 focuses on the successes of the Jedi Knights during the Clone Wars while Episode 5 focuses on the successes of the Galactic Empire during their civil war with the rebels. Episode 3 is about the rise of the New Order, which is negative. In contrast, Episode 6 focuses on the return of the Jedi, which is positive. In the first trilogy, the first and third films had positive, feel good titles while the middle film had a negative title, which notes that the bad guys are in control. For the new trilogy, the first and third movies will have titles that have words that arouse a negative feeling and the second film will have a positively worded title to reflect the successes of the good guys.
Have you selected the titles for Episode 2 and 3?
Can you share those titles with us?
Are the titles that you will use for the Prequel Trilogy the ones that you came up with back in the 1970's?
Yes. The titles to these new films have been in my head for over 25 years.
So this is the final title for Episode 1?
I'm going to use the title that I first came up with over 25 years ago.
If The Phantom Menace were to perform poorly at the box office, will you still make the next two films?
No one can guarantee what's going to happen next summer, but everyone at Lucasfilm is working on this film as hard as possible. That's what we did on the first three and things turned out well. Regardless of what happens, I'll complete the new trilogy.
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