I’ve got a little naming dilemma. A favorite family name, and one that goes well with my daughter’s name, is used in the new Star Wars movie … for one of the bad guys.
The Name Sage replies:
What a tough question!
My initial answer is that yes, you can absolutely use the name, if – and only if – you won’t be driven mad by questions about your choice.
And there will be questions. Not only was the latest installment in the Star Wars series a major blockbuster, it’s the beginning of a whole new storyline with multiple sequels in the works.
The good news? Bad guy or not, the character could boost Kylo as a baby name, and make it a more mainstream possibility. After all, Anakin entered the US Top 1000 in 2014. Eight boys were named Kylo that year, too – likely inspired by familiar names like Kyle, Milo, and Kai.
Still, I wonder if I’d like to be named Kylo, or Leia – or any name strongly associated with a fictional character – and only that fictional character. (Luke doesn’t count – there have been plenty of others Lukes besides Skywalker.) Even though you’re not naming your son after Kylo Ren, he may grow weary of explaining.
It’s also possible that the different spelling will prove to be a disadvantage as your son grows up. I’m picturing him as a college student, ordering a double shot of espresso during finals week.
Barista: May I have your name for the cup?
Kylo-not-spelled-that-way gives name.
Barista: Like Star Wars? Cool!
Barista writes K-Y-L-O on the cup.
It strikes me that Kylo might be the best middle name ever, if you’re open to that option. As a middle name, Kylo is a little bit like Tiberius or Danger – a secret that is potentially embarrassing when you’re a teenager, but also kind of fun. That’s even truer because it’s a family name that just happens to share sounds with the Star Wars character.
Should Lauren give her son the family name Kylo, or is this family name too closely associated with the Star Wars villain?
- AYes! It’s a family name, and that’s much more important than a movie villain, no matter how famous.
- BNo! Your son will have to explain his name forever, and that gets old quick.
- CMaybe … It depends on how upset you’ll be if others assume the name was inspired by the movie.