Coming Attractions: New Star Wars Names

December 1, 2016 nicknamer

By Nick Turner

In the nearly forty years since the first Star Wars movie debuted, the series has had a notable impact on baby-naming trends.

The original films gave a boost to the name Luke, and the prequels helped push the once-esoteric Anakin into the Top 1000.

Now there’s a new Star Wars movie–Rogue One–set to premier in a couple of weeks, bringing a fresh assortment of character names to pore over.

It’s hard to predict which monikers might strike the fancy of baby-naming parents, but Rogue One contains a range of options — from those that are already established (Galen, Orson) to the more adventurous (Bistan, Raddus).

I went through the list of character names from the movie and compared them against Social Security Administration data, aiming to get a sense of which picks might catch on.

Here are some of the more promising choices…

BODHI: Of all the character names, Bodhi Rook (a rebel pilot in Rogue One) would be most at home in an American preschool.

Bodhi went to 578 U.S. boys and 16 girls in 2015, for a total of 594. That’s up from 230 five years earlier, a sign this name is already taking off.

The name is of Sanskrit origin and means “awakening” or “enlightenment” — perfect for your infant member of the rebel alliance.

LYRA: The name of the protagonist’s mother in the film, Lyra is the most popular girl’s name in real life. Lyra went to 272 female babies in 2015, up from 218 five years ago. Rogue One may give it an additional lift.

GALEN: This is the dad’s name in the movie, and it went to 47 U.S. baby boys last year. But it hasn’t shown consistent growth in recent years, and I don’t necessarily see Rogue One reversing that trend.

SAW: A resistance fighter played by Forest Whitaker, Saw seems like a pretty unlikely pick. And yet the name went to 31 boys last year, more than triple the amount a year earlier. I’ll bet few saw this coming.

BAZE: Here’s another option that doesn’t sound like it would fit in here on Earth, but there were six boys named Baze last year.

CASSIAN: Now here’s one with flair. Cassian Andor is another rebel, and his name has the multisyllabic glamour that helped Anakin climb the charts. It went to 19 baby boys in 2015, and I could see it performing better in coming years. It’s Number 237 on Nameberry.

DRAVEN: General Draven has the second-most-popular boys’ name in real life. It went to 259 kids last year, though that’s down from more than 300 five years ago. It previously got a boost as the surname of the lead character in The Crow, and Linkin Park‘s Chester Bennington gave the name to his son.

ORSON: If you’re more in the mood for a villain, Orson Krennic’s name may be your pick. Orson went to 65 boys last year, up from 28 five years ago. It seems like it has room to grow.

None other of the film’s names registered in the Social Security data banks last year — including that of Rogue One‘s heroine, Jyn. That choice feels a little clipped for modern tastes, so I don’t see it catching on. But you never know.  Others, including Chirrut, Mon, Bail and Jebel, are going to be a tough sell for all but the most hardcore Star Wars fans.

A final option: Just cut to the chase and name your baby Rogue. It went to 33 girls and 25 boys last year.  That’s up from the previous year, showing that the Rogue ones have plenty of company.

About the author


Nick Turner is a writer and editor living in New York City (by way of San Francisco). He and his wife have successfully named three kids. Follow him on Twitter at @SFNick.

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