With speculation over the Star Wars: Episode VII cast mostly obliterated by a single photo, the Internet must now come up with other ways to fill the coming months with idle conjecture, beginning with the eternal question facing any new Star Wars movie: What will it be called? And now, after weeks of calling it things like Star Wars: Episode VII – Money Never Sleeps, millions of jokey subtitles cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced by the first rumored “official” one from Ain’t It Cool News’ Harry Knowles—who, to his credit, was the first to break the news that it would be called The Phantom Menace, on the day Star Wars fans first confronted the terrible reality of getting what they always thought they’d wanted.
According to Knowles, the working title for Episode VII is The Ancient Fear, in reference to
the feeling surrounding every new Star Wars project since 1998 Max von Sydow’s character, who is by all appearances very Max von Sydow-y. Naturally, Knowles’ source is both anonymous and sketchy, based on an initial leak—along with the information that the film would shoot in Abu Dhabi, which did prove to be true—that was recently, independently confirmed by another insider, whom Knowles says “I’m told to call Col. Mustard.” Provided one can trust a source who can’t distinguish between a simple yes or no answer, Col. Mustard says he’s been told J.J. Abrams and company are running with The Ancient Fear—a title that does provide a parallel, at least, with the saga’s past titles suggesting lurking danger. It also reminds you of your subconscious dread of facing the fact that Han Solo et al. are very old now.
More specifically, Col. Mustard says it refers to it refers to Max von Sydow’s “villain who makes Pazuzu look like a pussy!”—Pazuzu being the mythical, Babylonian king of the demons of wind, which is already kind of a pussy thing to be a king of. Oooh… the wind. And of course, Pazuzu is also the demon who possesses Linda Blair in The Exorcist, so we maybe know that Max von Sydow’s Star Wars villain will at least be more intimidating than a demon who picks on little girls. That is, if one can trust this report at all. Otherwise it’s back to the more modern, vaguely defined fears about any new Star Wars movie.