‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ gets title: ‘The Force Awakens’

Nov. 06, 2014 | 9:53 a.m.
J.J Abrams (top center right) at the cast read-through of "Star Wars: Episode VII" at Pinewood Studios with (clockwise from right) Harrison Ford, Daisy Ridley, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, producer Bryan Burk, Lucasfilm president and producer Kathleen Kennedy, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Mark Hamill, Andy Serkis, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Adam Driver and writer Lawrence Kasdan.  (David James)

J.J Abrams (top center right) at the cast read-through of “Star Wars: Episode VII” at Pinewood Studios with (clockwise from right) Harrison Ford, Daisy Ridley, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, producer Bryan Burk, Lucasfilm president and producer Kathleen Kennedy, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Mark Hamill, Andy Serkis, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Adam Driver and writer Lawrence Kasdan. (David James)

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is the title of “Episode VII” in the sci-fi adventure film franchise, Walt Disney Pictures announced Thursday.

The title had remained a mystery since plans for the film were announced more than two years ago. Walt Disney Pictures unveiled the title in a tweet announcing the completion of principal photography for the movie.

“The Force Awakens,” directed by “Star Trek” alumnus J.J. Abrams, takes place 30 years after the events of “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi,” with original stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker joining Ford as part of the ensemble cast.

Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega and newcomer Daisy Ridley, in addition to Irish actor Domhnall Gleeson, performance capture expert Andy Serkis and venerable Swedish thespian Max von Sydow, will also star in “Episode VII,” as will Lupita Nyong’o, who earned an Oscar for supporting actress earlier this year for her heart-wrenching turn in “12 Years a Slave,” and Gwendoline Christie, who plays the towering fighter Brienne of Tarth on HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”

The film also stars several new names, including American actress Crystal Clarke and British actor Pip Andersen, a parkour specialist.

Abrams’ “Episode VII” kicks off a planned trilogy in the George Lucas-created saga set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Abrams will be succeeded by Rian Johnson (“Looper”), who will write and direct “Episode VIII.” There are also spinoff films in the works.

“The Force Awakens” is due in theaters Dec. 18, 2015.

— Noelene Clark and Blake Hennon | @LATHeroComplex

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