Thursday, December 11, 2014

What's in a Name?

Entertainment Weekly got the exclusive on the character names for The Force Awakens teaser. Check below the cut for the info from Lucasfilm's clever release strategy. The names come in the form of Topps cards, really driving home the movie's A New Hope aesthetic. One thing about them, though, is distinctly not like A New Hope...

  • John Boyega plays Finn, last name conspicuously absent. 
  • Daisy Ridley is Rey (a distant reference to the name used in casting, Rachel?), last name also conspicuously absent,
  • The ball droid is BB-8, a cute, symmetrical name. 
  • The dark side character is Kylo Ren.
  • Oscar Isaac plays Poe Dameron, which sounds like it could have been lifted from the EU most of all.
 The descriptions on the cards are simple, and don't give us much (except that the lightsaber-weilder is male.) 

What's missing, here? A common name. There is no "Luke," no Western name easily connected to George Lucas himself. The name that jumps out to me first, "Finn," can be traced to Irish mythology and Scandinavian countries, according to

Rey could be short for Rachel, and also conjures up "ray gun."

"Kielo" is a Finnish feminine name meaning "lily of the valley," behindthename says - but I have a feeling that guy isn't in the forest to pick flowers.

They're short, punchy, retro names, and were delivered in the same way the name of the movie was delivered - as part of a larger packet of information, just a steady drip to keep fans waiting until December 18, 2015.

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