Major Spoilers head honcho Stephen and I have a few things that we disagree on, but none seems to pop up as often as the question of what to call the original 1977 Star Wars movie.  I find the Episode IV designation to be frustrating and confusing, but I understand his point that it is the fourth chronological installation of the film series.  When it comes to Star Wars nomenclature, there’s always confusion: If you call ‘The Phantom Menace’ the first movie, it misconstrues the fact that this movie came out thirty years after SW:EpIV.  Of course, this will all be moot in a couple of years, when there are fifty-six film installations of the Star Wars series, leading to today’s long, long ago query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) will also point out that the original release of the film (AKA the one Stephen and I saw in theatres) did NOT have the Episode IV header, asking: What’s your preferred Star Wars nomenclature: Star Wars or Episode IV?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. Star Wars, The Empire [Strikes Back], [Return of the] Jedi. Not Episode IV, not A New Hope. No prequels either….

  2. Malone_hasco on

    First one will always be just “Star Wars” to me. Then The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. I Dont care what next three are called. I have to decide these new ones later.

  3. Daniel Langsdale on

    It is “Star Wars,” full stop. Just look at the movie posters that were out for it, EVEN FOR THE SPECIAL EDITION. No “A New Hope” for the original; no episode numbering on any of the original three; and for that matter, it’s just “Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi,” not “Star Wars: blah”. Judge the title by its cover.

    And while we’re at it, “The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe” is the first of the Chronicles of Narnia.

    • The Magicians Nephew is book 6 not 1 even if it is 1 chronologically.
      Are we going to go back and rebrand all of the Bond movies based upon the book chronology?
      In that Case, the Bond order is :
      Casino Royale : Daniel Craig
      Live and Let Die Roger Moore
      Moonraker Roger Moore
      Diamonds Are Forever Sean Connery
      From Russia with Love Sean Connery
      Doctor No Sean Connery
      Goldfinger Sean Connery
      For Your Eyes Only Sean Connery
      Thunderball Sean Connery
      The Spy Who Loved Me Roger Moore
      On Her Majesty’s Secret Service George Lazenby
      You Only Live Twice Sean Connery
      The Man with the Golden Gun Roger Moore
      Octopussy and the Living Daylights Roger Moore/Timothy Dalton

  4. I do not understand the Episode IV. Is this some kind of drug culture thing?
    I saw Star Wars in a drive-in. Then I saw Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi in the movie theaters.
    I don’t recall an episode in the title until The Phantom Menace.

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