Star Wars: The Force Awakens was originally called something very different

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Emily Badiozzaman

There are two types of people in this world: those who took 17 Dec off to watch Star Wars and those who don't quite get the big deal.

Regardless of which category you fit into, everybody now knows what The Force Awakens is, who the hell Kylo Ren is and the fact that the movie has smashed a tonne of records.

But it was almost another film title that would become inescapable this festive season. Pablo Hidalgo, creative executive at Lucasfilm Story Group, revealed on Twitter that the movie was originally called Star Wars: Shadow of the Empire.

In case you didn't know, that's one letter off being Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, which was the name of Steve Perry's 1996 novel and N64 game. The story bridged the gap between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi while Han was frozen in Carbonite and introduced us to new characters like Dash Rendar and the evil Xizor, alongside Luke and Leia.

The book and game received mixed reviews so it's probably just as well that the exec's steered away from naming the film so closely after a lukewarm previous instalment.

If you still don't get the big deal, you're welcome for the pub knowledge. 


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Emily Badiozzaman

Emily is a freelance writer for She covers breaking news, entertainment, style and lifestyle for the site. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found eating and drinking or thinking about food and drinking. Follow Emily on Twitter: @ebadiozzaman 

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