Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens Names

Greetings, readers! May the Force be with you!

I'm jumping on the Star Wars bandwagon since I saw the film yesterday and it was EXCELLENT. Yes, there are a lot of Star Wars name posts out there, but it's my turn to contribute to the zeitgeist.

If you haven't seen the film yet and don't want to know anything, do not continue reading. But I won't be spoiling any major plot points.

My favorite character of the film, Rey is a strong, independent, intuitive woman who every human should aspire to be (too much?) I think the name (and spelling) of Rey is great for any little one. It's more substantial than frilly Raelynn, and less fusty than Raymond. Last year, Rey ranked at #884 on the boys' list, but if past Star Wars name trends are any indication, the Force will soon be strong with Rey for girls. 

Leave it to Star Wars to take a classic Irish name and make it edgy and interplanetary. Like Luke, Finn can be short for other names, but stands well on its own. The character of Finn in The Force Awakens is courageous, kind, and funny - not a bad namesake! Finn is currently ranked at #234 for boys, but I think we'll see it move into the top 100 very soon. 

To be honest, I couldn't understand the name of this character until the end credits - Poe is quite a short name, aurally and visually. But it fits in perfectly with Rey and Finn - robust, one-syllable names that have the capacity to be nicknames. In the film, Poe is a smooth fighter pilot and friend to the main characters. And I think Poe works as a friendly name for any gender. 

Having never heard the name Maz before, I checked the data - turns out there were 5 baby boy Maz's born in 2013. Star Wars' Maz is an old, wise woman - kind of like a female Yoda, but less confusing - and is voiced by the fabulous Lupita Nyong'o. Maz is another short and sweet name, with a cool z-ending and transcultural potential. 

Switch out the last letter of one of the most popular K-names and you have a unique extraterrestrial name. It rhymes with darling Milo and won't raise many eyebrows - but naming your child after a Star Wars villain might (it's no wonder there are so few Darth's on playgrounds). But the next few films will tell us more about Kylo, so the jury is out!

Of course, Luke and Leia have stood the test of 40 years of naming, and Han isn't unheard of either. Who knows what awesome names the next few films will bring us!

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