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Star Wars VII gets official title: 'The Force Awakens'

The official Star Wars Twitter account has also confirmed that the much-anticipated sequel has concluded principal photography.

Walt Disney Company

The next "Star Wars" film has been given its title: "Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens."

The news means that fans of George Lucas' sci-fi space series finally have a proper way of referring to the upcoming sequel, which will be the first of three new movies that follow on from the events of 1983's "Star Wars Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi." (The three films released since '83 were prequels, with action that took place before what was depicted in the original "Star Wars" -- Episode IV -- released in 1977.)

The title of the new film -- which is being directed by "Star Trek" and "Super 8" mastermind JJ Abrams, was rumoured at one point to be "The Ancient Fear." The actual title however was confirmed on Twitter by the official Star Wars Twitter account -- and inspired some serious ribbing by fans. The above image was posted, along with a statement that the film, which is slated for release next year, has completed principal photography.

Original series stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill have all been confirmed to feature in the seventh Star Wars installment, which was commissioned following Disney's acquisition of the Star Wars franchise for $4.05 billion in 2012. Mickey and pals are also planning a series of spin-off movies based on individual characters, the first of which will be helmed by Gareth Edwards, director of 2014's "Godzilla."

Max von Sydow and "Girls" star Adam Driver will also star in Episode VII, plus returning stars Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca, Anthony Daniels as C-3PO and Kenny Baker as R2-D2. Other newcomers include John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis and Domhnall Gleeson.