In the beginning there was merely Star Wars (1977). Its success permitted sequels and prequels as well as mountains of licensed merchandise. Consequently, a new way of naming the films was adopted. Imparting a sense of temporal chronology within a fictional universerve (while winking at the serialized television of George Lucas’s youth ), Roman-numbered episode names were attached to each film. The perculiar result was that twenty-two years after the first film’s appearance, Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, the plot-originating Episode I appeared. Then, after twenty-eight years, Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005) appeared, finally allowing audiences to fully understand the opening scenes of 1977’s Episode IV.
Readers would find it cumbersome to read these scaled-up titles in every film references, so we have adopted the stylistic convention of using an episode’s desciptive title (along with its release year) for first occurances within our chaptersas in The Phantom Menace (1999).