International translation certainly isn’t helping fans decipher the meaning behind Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. First, the word “rise” indicates the action of something already present. That’s led to speculation that The Rise of Skywalker means that an existing Skywalker, whether Luke, Ben Solo (Kylo Ren) or perhaps even Rey will rise up in Episode IX. The Star Wars: Episode IX Japanese title, however, suggests something different.
First let’s talk about international titles in general. A while back we reported on the Polish title for the film. In Polish, the title translates to “Skywalker Resurrected”. That would heavily imply that the film’s title refers to Luke Skywalker, who perished at the conclusion of The Last Jedi. The Episode IX Japanese title, to the contrary, tells us that in Japan the film will be known as “Dawn of Skywalker”.
Does Episode IX Japanese title imply something new?
As the folks over at Slashfilm aptly point out, the word “dawn” usually means the beginning of something. A day, perhaps, or an era. Remember, this isn’t the first time Star Wars has used “dawn” in a title. Jackson Miller’s novel A New Dawn told the tale of how Hera Syndulla met Kanan Jarrus, and of the dawning of the Spectres’ Rebel cell. (Their full story, of course, would be told over the course of four seasons of Star Wars Rebels.)
So does the Episode IX Japanese title of Dawn of Skywalker amount to anything other than just an idiosyncrasy of translation? Or could it confirm the rumor that Skywalker is intended as a descriptor for a new generation of Force-wielders in the galaxy far, far away? Possibly. Don’t forget, the Chiss referred to Force-sensitive beings, able to move through the un-mapped, Unknown Regions without navigation, as “Skywalkers.” We learned that in Thrawn: Alliances with Thrawn’s bemused reaction to meeting Anakin Skywalker for the first time.
Rise. Resurrection. Dawn. Whichever title you chose, whether the English, Polish, or the Episode IX Japanese title, it all comes back to Skywalker in the end.
Star Wars: Episode IX opens in theaters December 20.