Sci-Fi Names: Beyond Zorg and Zalga

June 2, 2010 Linda Rosenkrantz

Loyal nameberryite Linelei leads us into the arcane world of science fiction names.

As both a science fiction nerd and name nerd, nothing gives me greater pleasure than combining the two. Since I was a little girl, I adored not only the stories but the names within the fantastical plots, and collected them as I read. While there are many science fiction names which have a tendency to be hokey, conjuring up images of green men and relying a little too heavily on the letters Z, Q, and X, there are some fabulous gems to be found in the sci-fi realm.

For example, names like Kayen and Cade, both from the expanded Star Wars universe, would mesh nicely with a classroom full of Aidans and Cashes, while names like Serenity and River, from the sci-fi show, Firefly, resonate with current nature naming trends for girls. So here I present you with boy’s names from science fiction, old and new, well-known and obscure, that may pique your interest. After all, how much fun would it be to explain that your baby was named after a psychic alien who fought to save the galaxy from total annihilation?

Mass Effect:
KAIDAN – human soldier, one of the good guys
GARRUS – alien who teams up with the good guys
THANE – alien assassin, but still a good guy!
MALCOLM (MAL) – captain of the ship.
DERRIAL – Shepherd (preacher)
STARK – has the power to help souls pass peacefully into death
BIALAR – turned against the bad guys
TALYN – living, sentient ship
RYGEL – deposed leader of many planets
Chronicles of Riddick:
RIDDICK – Vin Diesel. Need I say more?
The Fifth Element:
KORBENBruce Willis’ character who saves the universe
VITO CORNELIUS – priest who assists Korben
Blade Runner:
DECKARD – main character, a Blade Runner
HOLDEN – another Blade Runner
TYRELL – genius who created the Replicants
Star Wars:
BAIL ANTILLES – Leia’s adoptive father
ANAKIN – well-known name, and currently popular
AIREN – General in the Rebel Alliance
DENGAR – bounty hunter
KYPJedi knight, one of Luke’s prodigies
BARDAN – Jedi knight
KEYANRebel Alliance pilot and Jedi
DAVIN –stormtrooper, turned on his superiors to allow the Milennium Falcon time to escape
RUNE – alien
CORRAN – x-wing pilot and Jedi
TALON – smuggler lord who aids the Alliance
GALEN – Darth Vader’s secret apprentice who becomes a Jedi
DASH – smuggler
CADE – descendant of Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker
TYBER – leader of a criminal consortium
THAREN – last name of Bria, a rebel hero
Star Trek:
SAREK – Vulcan ambassador, Spock’s father
REBI – former Borg drone
AZAN – former Borg drone
SOVAL – Vulcan Ambassador
Robert Heinlein’s Books:
THORBY – from Citizen of the Galaxy, an orphan who makes the most of life
JUBAL – jovial writer
LAZARUS – the oldest man who ever lived – travels through time
ELIHU – from The Puppet Masters
RHYSLING – “blind singer of the spaceways”
VORIAN – founder of House Atreides
KAGIN – son of Vorian
CANDO – commander
TALIS – inventor
SELIM – leader of the resistance outlaws

And here are the girl’s names from science fiction. Apparently it’s cool to be blue, because there are a ton of blue-skinned aliens on this list!


Mass Effect:
LIARA – intelligent and skilled (blue) alien
TALI – kind and powerful alien
SAMARA – of the same race as Liara
ZOE ALLEYNE – first mate of the ship
INARA SERRA – “companion”, also very kind
KAYLEE – ship’s mechanic, innocent and spunky
RIVER – incredibly gifted psychic
SERENITY – name of the ship
AERYN – disciplined warrior
CHIANA –spunky grey alien
MOYA – living ship
NORANTI – elderly herbalist
GILINA – tech who sacrifices herself to save the others
NATIRA – another blue alien
The Fifth Element:
LEELOO – divine being sent to save the universe
DIVA PLAVALAGUNA – blue alien opera singer
Blade Runner:
ZHORA – powerful replicant
Star Wars:
LEIA – perhaps too familiar to be used?
MARA JADELuke’s eventual love interest, also force-sensitive
JAINA – Leia and Han’s daughter, a Jedi
ALLANALeia and Han’s granddaughter
PADMÉ AMIDALA – also more familiar
CORELLIA – planet which is Han’s homeworld
DELIAH BLUE – minor character, great name
NATASI DAALA – red-headed admiral, one of the only women to achieve rank in the Empire
TENENIEL –force-sensitive “witch”
JOELLE – member of the Jedi Council
TENEL – Jedi Knight and lover of Jacen Solo
KREIA – Jedi Master
OOLA – green dancer who stands up to Jabba the Hutt
SABÉ – one of Queen Amidala’s handmaidens, and her secret bodyguard
AAYLA – blue Jedi Knight
AURRA – bounty hunter
BRIA – Han Solo’s ex-girlfriend, sacrificed herself to get the Death Star plans
WINTERLeia’s childhood friend and nanny to her children
Star Trek:
DEANNA – empathic ship’s counselor
TASHA – chief of security
SELATasha Yar’s daughter
KIRA – first officer, Deep Space Nine
B’ELANNA – chief engineer, half-Klingon (Voyager)
AYALA – actually a male character, but a beautiful girl’s name!
Robert Heinlein’s Books:
PALLAS ATHENE – sentient computer
DEJAH – originally an Edgar Rice Burroughs character, heroine
ELDRETH – from Starman Jones
FRIDAY – genetically-engineered protagonist
LAPIS LAZULI (LAZ) – daughter of Lazarus Long, time-traveler
LORELEI LEE (LOR) – twin to Laz
MARGRETHE – from Job: a Comedy of Justice
ALIA – precocious psychic child
CHANI – wife of Paul, the Dune protagonist
GHANIMA – daughter of Paul and Chani
SIONA – rebel
BELLONDA – priestess
HARISHKA – priestess
IRIEL – priestess
RINYA – priestess

Linelei is a dedicated name nerd and a psychology student at the University of Nevada, Reno. She lives with a plethora of well-loved (and well-named) pets: two cats named Esmerelda and Zelda, a corn snake named Banyan, a cockatoo called Hedwig, and a hoard of fish (Octavius, Algernon, Sigmund, Jolie, Jindai, Kahuna, and Kate).


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