The minds of the “Star Wars” faithful were racing Friday after they heard the title of “Episode IX” would be “The Rise of Skywalker.” But one of the first fans to have their brain utterly exploded was star John Boyega.
The British actor, who plays Stormtrooper-turned-hero Finn, tells USA TODAY that he didn’t even know the title until the day before. “I’ve got questions, man. I got questions,” Boyega says. “I thought it was going to be ‘Star Wars: Heirs to the Force.’ For some reason I just had that title in my head, that it would be something along those lines.“This is just very specific: ‘Rise of Skywalker.’ And I don’t know what it actually means. Bearing in mind that I’m a part of it, but there were certain changes to the script while we’re filming and I’m not in a lot of the scenes that Rey has with Kylo Ren. So my curiosity just hit the roof.”
It’s a title that could mean a bunch of things: Is Rey (Daisy Ridley) actually a Skywalker? Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is a Skywalker by blood, so does this mean there’s a turn away from the Dark Side? Or could Skywalker be the common name for heroic Force-wielders who take up the mantle from the Jedi?
Director J.J. Abrams, unsurprisingly, isn’t revealing anything that might risk “breaching the agreement that we have to preserve the fun for fans,” he says. “But I will say I think it is the right title.”
However, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy feels that “The Rise of Skywalker,” the title and the movie, “really draws from all the previous films in a way, even though we’re focused on new characters in the mythology. It really is a perfect combination of what’s come before and where we are today.”
Joonas Suotamo, who inherited the mantle of Chewbacca from Peter Mayhew, loves the title. “It’s so mysterious,” he says. “It speaks to the promise that we’re going to see an end to this story that started in 1977.”
And for Anthony Daniels, in his ninth film playing the iconic droid C-3PO, the title “means I’m out of a job,” he quips. “It means I can eat what I want, I don’t have to worry about staying slim or whatever. And it means that there are more places to go in the galaxy where more people will meet other people, more villains, more creatures, more aliens. … It’s just you might not see C-3PO there.”