In a panel at San Diego ComicCon earlier today, LucasFilm President Kathleen Kennedy announced the studio’s decision to rename the upcoming Star Wars movie The Rise, Return, and Revenge of Skywalker. When asked about the studio’s abrupt about-face, she commented, “The Star Wars saga has a long history of of recycling movie titles every third film in the main series. We thought it would be appropriate to continue that tradition with Star Wars Episode IX.”
In the lead-up to the 1983 release of Star Wars Episode VI, the film was titled Revenge of the Jedi before it was ultimately changed to Return of the Jedi. This doubtless hurt the feelings of the person who proposed the original title, and that person was mollified in 2005 with the release of Revenge of the Sith.
Series creator George Lucas was not consulted about the name change. He quickly applauded the decision: “I think any decision that copies one of my decisions is a great decision,” he said from the Skywalker Ranch. “This is definitely one of those decisions.”
Disney CEO Bob Iger also said that he was not involved in the decision to change the name, but he quickly tweeted his support, “I applaud our team’s decision to follow the naming tradition for Star Wars movies set down by George Lucas himself. He has never made any artistic missteps so far, and I look forward to blindly following his example.”