Skyfall – What Does It Mean?
Decoding that mysterious title
So it’s official. The 23rd James Bond film is called Skyfall.
But what does this most enigmatic of titles actually mean? Time to adjust our laser-targeting cuff-links, sip some Bollinger 53 and fire some hot bullets of wild speculation from our trusty Walther PPK…
1) OPERATION: SKYFALL
Could it be the codename of a classified Mi6 op? There’s more than a hint of classic ’60s Bond title about Skyfall – the equally intriguing Thunderball took its name from Operation Thunderball, the secret service mission to foil SPECTRE’s plot to hold the world to nuclear ransom. We can just see the words Operation: Skyfall on a neat manila folder stamped EYES ONLY.
2) THE SKYFALL PROTOCOL
Spooks has the Sunstrike Protocol. Mission: Impossible has the Ghost Protocol. Could Mi6 have a similar Skyfall Protocol, a shadowy survival scenario only activated in the direst of emergencies? The film’s official synopsis reveals that the service itself comes under attack in Skyfall, as a result of dark deeds in M’s history. Could Mi6 itself be compromised from within – and is the Skyfall Protocol the only way Bond can continue to operate, radio-silent and alone?
There’s no Quantum in the new Bond movie, which leaves a vacuum to be filled by another malevolent, globe-threatening conglomerate. Could S.K.Y.F.A.L.L be the new S.P.E.C.T.R.E? If so, what are the acronymic possibilities? Sinister Killing Yahoos For Annihilation (of) Life (and) Liberty? Okay. We cheated. A bit.
4) CASTLE SKYFALL
We know Skyfall will film in what director Sam Mendes describes as “the wilds of Scotland”, with Duntrune Castle, in Kilmartin, Argyll & Bute, reported to be a climactic location. Could Skyfall be the name of the castle itself? It certainly has a romantic Highlands ring.
5) SKYFALLING TO THEIR DEATHS…
The Bond movies have rarely touched on the subject of Bond’s past, but Ian Fleming gave the character a tragic childhood in the novels: the young Bond was orphaned when his parents, Andrew and Monique, were killed in a mountaineering accident near Chamonix. There are rumours that Skyfall will finally address Bond’s personal history. Could the title refer to his parents plunging to their deaths in a cold Alpine sky?
6) MR SKYFALL
Or maybe Skyfall will simply follow the route of Dr No, Goldfinger and Octopussy, and take its name from its villainous protagonist. Is Javier Bardem playing Alexis Skyfall or something similar? It’s the kiss of death from Mr Skyfall. He loves only sky…
So, that’s SFX’s wild, uninformed speculation. What’s yours?