Star Wars Baby Names for Boys
By Abby Sandel
The first Star Wars movie debuted way back in 1977. If you’re welcoming a baby in 2016, chances are that you’ve never known a world without Luke and Leia, Han and Chewbacca, and, of course, the menacing Darth Vader.
Now there’s a new installment in movie theaters, the seventh theatrical release in the franchise. After some disappointing prequels, The Force Awakens is a mega-hit, with fans, critics, and the movie-going public.
Does a hit movie mean that children will be named after the characters? At least one family was already inspired to choose a Star Wars-themed name after their son was born the day the movie opened in theaters.
It helps that many of the best Star Wars baby names are very wearable and nicely on trend for 2016. You could easily give your child a name from a galaxy far, far away without it being too obvious that you’re a fan.
Or maybe you’re happy to take inspiration from a favorite series. More than 750 girls have been named Khaleesi in the last few years, so why not a few more boys with names that would fit right in on Tatooine?
Luke – Biblical, traditional, and slightly cowboy, Luke is a straightforward name just right for a heroic character from a space opera. The name was given to 918 boys in 1976. Four years later, when second movie The Empire Strikes Back came out, there were over 3,000 newborn boys given the name. Luke has been a Top 100 name every year since 1992. Luke Skywalker is back in the new movies, a fact that will probably keep this name in the US Top 100 for years to come.
Han – Luke might be the hero, but Han is everybody’s favorite. He’s an opportunistic loner when the story starts, but doesn’t stay that way for long. Like Luke, he’s back in The Force Awakens. Han has roots in Chinese, but could also be a member of the extended John family via Johannes. Han is given to just a dozen or so boys every year, but in our age of Jax and Kai, the name could catch on.
Anakin – In 1999, we met Darth Vader as a child. Three prequel films told the story of how Anakin Skywalker, promising apprentice Jedi Knight, became one of the greatest villains of all time. A handful of boys were given the name in the years before the prequels debuted. 1999’s The Phantom Menace led to 114 newborn Anakins. By 2014, there were 218 boys given the name – enough to crack the US Top 1000, and much more popular than Han.
Lando – If Anakin can succeed as a given name, why not Lando? The Empire Strikes Back is often considered one of the best of the Star Wars movies. Billy Dee Williams played Cloud City’s Lando Calrissan. The character is in cahoots with Darth Vader at first, but soon sides with the good guys. Lando fits with Leo, Arlo, Milo, and all of the boy names ending in o that are so stylish today, and has a long history of use. But Lando was at its most popular in 1980, the year Empire came out. As of 2014, it was given to just nine newborns.
Ben – Looking for a name that bridges the old and the new? Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi was also called Ben. He’s played by Alec Guinness in the 1977 original. Ewan McGregor plays him in the prequels. Like Luke, it’s not an obviously Star Wars–_inspired name. But it’s a meaningful choice for a son. Just ask one of the characters in _The Force Awakens.
Jedi – Of course, you could skip all of the character names and just go with Jedi. A Boston couple named their new son Ryker Jedi after he was born on December 17th, the day The Force Awakens opened in theaters. I’ve also seen Jedi used as an unexpected nickname for Jedidiah. George Lucas seems to have borrowed the word from Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom stories, where jeddak is a title. 21 boys were named Jedi in 2014 – a new high.
Poe – Now let’s take a look at names from the latest installment in the series. Poe Dameron is a hotshot fighter pilot for the Resistance. The name evokes writer Edgar Allan Poe, though it’s also the stage name of a (female) singer and a Legend of Zelda video game ghost. The red Teletubby was Po; so is the bear at the heart of Kung Fu Panda. Five girls were named Poe in 2014, but the movie might be enough to put this on parents’ shortlists for a son.
Rey – We haven’t met boys named Katniss or Hermione, but the heroine at the heart of The Force Awakens could change how we name our sons. Ray is mostly masculine; Rae more common for girls, but they’re both used for both genders. Rey comes from the Spanish word for king, and has charted in the US Top 1000 for boys since 1999. Until now, it’s been exclusively masculine. Could the new movie boost the name for girls and boys?
Finn – Finn has been on an upward trajectory since the 1990s. It’s literary (think Huckleberry) and Irish (MacCool). Glee’s Finn Hudson tied the name to a pop culture phenomenon, and famous Finns have appeared in everything from Grey’s Anatomy to Adventure Time to Disney-Pixar’s Cars franchise. Now it’s the name of a Star Wars hero, too. Is this the recipe for a future Top Ten name? It’s too soon to say, but Finn could catch on just like Luke did, nearly four decades ago.
Are there any Star Wars names you’d consider for a son?