Star Wars: The Force Awakens Was Nearly Given This Menacing Title

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In November 2014, Disney and Lucasfilm announced The Force Awakens as the title for Episode VII of the Star Wars saga. But the film could have had a different title. In fact, acording to Lucasfilm Creative Executive Pablo Hidalgo, the film was given a darker title called Shadow of the Empire for "a while".

@justinlasalata for longest time, the TFA title was the same as an old novel. Thankfully it changed. :) With so many books, it's inevitable
— Pablo Hidalgo (@pablohidalgo)
December 25, 2015
@VegaArts_@justinlasalata it was Shadow (singular) of the Empire for a while.
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— Pablo Hidalgo (@pablohidalgo)
December 25, 2015

Fans of the franchise would be familiar with the Shadow of the Empire as it was the title of Steve Perry's 1996 novel and it was also used for a multimedia project that included a comic book mini-series published by Dark Horse Comics, and a videogame developed for the Nintendo 64.

Since the story, like nearly every other Star Wars stories that wasn't from the original six films, is no longer considered canon, according to Disney, J.J. Abrams and company would have been fine using Shadow of the Empire as the title. If you've seen the movie, you'd agree that the title would be a fitting name given the rise of the First Order and all. But I'm glad that they decided to go with The Force Awakens instead.