Most Star Wars fans know that the first movie wasn’t called A New Hope until years later, but a book reveals that the name change came earlier.

When Star Wars Hitting theaters in 1977, viewers couldn’t have predicted the cultural impact the film would create. Now, more than four decades later, the franchise is still strong, but it is not without a few more surprises. As most movie fans know, the first movie was not released with the subtitle Episode IV – A New Hope and it was simply titled Star Wars. It wasn’t until the 1981 relaunch that the film was officially given the name everyone knows. But what is not well known among the fan base is that the relaunch was not the first public appearance of his new title.

Many of those who saw the original probably never expected this to be the beginning of a trilogy, much less an entire saga. But when relaunching the film under the title of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, promised this was far from the end for Star Wars. What made the presentation even more ingenious was the addition of Episode IV, which raises even more questions about its meaning, as this was the first film released chronologically.

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Most did not know that this was all part of George Lucas’ larger plan for the series that later became the “empire” that billions of people know and love today. In 1978, a book titled The art of Star Wars was released by Ballantine Books, which served as evidence of the future of the franchise. While the book primarily focused on artwork, as its title suggests, it also had, “Including the full George Lucas movie script” on its cover.

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Unlike the concept and production art that have since become famous, Lucas’s fourth draft for the film featured in the art book went unnoticed. But one of the most interesting aspects of the script was its title, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope – From the Journal of the Whills. What makes the name even more fascinating is that the script used in the book was written on January 15, 1976, more than a year before the film’s release. The title shows that Lucas always had plans to make this the fourth inning in a bigger series and also shows that he was willing to play for the long haul if he was successful.

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Alec Guinness and George Lucas behind the scenes of Star Wars: A New Hope

While the first half of the title reaches the relaunch, from the Journal of the Whills it is cut off and not seen again in canon for decades. Not much is known about the Whills themselves, except that they were a group of beings who recorded the events of the galaxy in their diary, but their followers have had a little more presence. In canon, the Guardians of the Whills are a group of worshipers of the Force without a connection to it like the Jedi. Instead, they are people who simply live through the Force. While the Whills are never seen on screen and their fans don’t appear until 2016 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, it seems that everything Star Wars Initially, the saga was meant to be told from Whills’ perspective. Fortunately, the longest title was cut and the Whills concept was left on the bench until the right time came to enter canon.

For the history that surrounds Star Wars, it is impossible to know what is and what is not a true story. However, in the case of Lucas’ initial film title in The art of Star Wars, Pablo Hidalgo, a member of the Lucasfilm Story Group, was able to confirm that A new hope The first official public appearance was in that same book, three years before the film’s re-release. The information is not only revealing about how many secrets Star Wars it still has, but it also shows that it’s never too late to learn more about a franchise loved by so many people.

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