It looks like Disney has decided to retitle the original Star Wars movie so that it fits the company's new titling approach for Lucasfilm's Star Wars sequel trilogy.
This is the third time that the film has been retitled. During its release back in 1977, George Lucas' science fantasy space opera was referred to as Star Wars. However, when the film's sequel, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back was re-released in cinemas back in 1981, the original Star Wars movie had been changed to Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope to set its place in Lucas' budding Skywalker saga and then added the title in the opening crawl.
Now, the name's been changed again.
According to a report by Screen Rant, Disney has changed the title of Star Wars: A New Hope, allowing the movie to fit in with Lucasfilm's simple titling for the sequel trilogy. Disney recently had a presentation for its new streaming service, Disney+, and during the presentation the Mickey Mouse House confirmed the change to Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, saying that the new titling tradition has been applied to earlier films in the franchise as well.
Not only is Disney now using A New Hope's simplified title in its Star Wars banner in Disney+, but it's also using the new name in the film's newly released merchandise.