The announcement this week that the upcoming seventh episode in the Star Wars franchise will be titled The Force Awakens surprised many fans, but possibly none more than Canadian Dan Lalonde, who produced a fan film of the same name eight years ago.
Lalonde produced his own Star Wars film under the title The Force Awakens in 2006, according to Indiewire, posting it online for free. A Vancouver-based videographer, Lalonde wrote the 50 minute movie, which follows the story of an ordinary Canadian guy who develops the powers of a Jedi.
Lalonde noted that his Star Wars fan movie was inspired not only by the galactic epic, but also by the 2004 Howard Hughes biopic The Aviator. The film follows an emotionally troubled recluse who discovers his Jedi powers when he stops a meteor from killing his girlfriend. Speaking with Yahoo Movies, the filmmaker revealed that the title of his Star Wars fan film simply presented itself to him.
"I thought, hey, he's awakening the force by stopping the giant meteor coming at him."
Lalonde also noted how shocking the news of the next Star Wars film's title was to him.
"My movie is kind of crappy, to be honest, which makes it even more funny," he said. "It is pretty awesome, though, to have come up with the title."
While Lalonde's film may have utilized the title, he wasn't the only one to predict the name of the next Star Wars movie. As Screencrush notes, a user on the Star Wars fan site TheForce.net was also able to guess the title of the new film in 2012.
The website was able to track down the user in question, Queen Gimmedala, and break the news to her that she had correctly guessed the title of the new Star Wars movie years in advance.
"I totally forgot I came up with it... Ultimately this was a random guess. No inside info or connection to Lucas. But to me it seemed logical that the first movie in this trilogy would need to address the force. I'm a believer that the movie titles in each trilogy closely relate and I suspect this will carry over for the ST."
Amazingly, some of the same "The Force needs coffee" jokes that permeated Twitter after the official announcement, as the Inquisitr noted, were seemingly predicted in 2012, by a user named furcifer, who responded to Queen Gimmedala's post.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is in theaters December 18, 2015.
[Images: Theforce.net via Screencrush]