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August 14, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Character Name Origins Revealed!

Amidst all of the news that has dropped from EW’s interview with J.J. Abrams this week, a bit of more interesting information surfaced regarding the origins of the names of the new characters in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Last December, we learned the character names themselves through awesome throwback trading cards. Now, Abrams is beginning to slowly lift the veil on how he and writer Lawerence Kasdan came up with the names for the new characters in the film.



The lovable ball droid is a character that was surely one of the new highlights of the first trailer from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Here’s what Abrams had to say about BB-8:

“I named him BB-8 because it was almost onomatopoeia. It was sort of how he looked to me, with the 8, obviously, and then the 2 B’s. It’s funny how sometimes, the bad ideas, you try them out and kick the tires a little bit, and it just kind of falls apart and you can go somewhere else, you’ve just got to know it’s temporary. And that one, he never had another name.”


Captain Phasma:

When asked about the shiny new chrome First Order stormtrooper known as Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) Abrams had quite an interesting response:

“Phasma I named because of the amazing chrome design that came from Michael Kaplan’s wardrobe team. It reminded me of the ball in Phantasm, and I just thought, Phasma sounds really cool.”


General Hux:

General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) is, more than any character to date, someone who we know almost nothing about. We know that Hux is the leader of the First Order in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a group that is essentially the remnants of the previous galactic empire. When asked about the origin of Hux’s name, Abrams was just as ambiguous:

“Larry and I would walk all over the place when we were breaking the story, and we would record our conversations,” Abrams says. “We were walking through a cemetery that’s near the Bad Robot offices, and we would often, as we were talking about characters, sort of just be glancing at names to see if any of them stuck. I don’t believe that Hux came from there, but it may have.”


Poe Dameron:

The first of our three new leads here in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Poe Dameron (Oscar Issac), is an X-Wing pilot who is a part of a Rebel splinter group supposedly led by Princess Leia. Apparently, there’s not really a reason why they chose the name:

“Dameron came out because it was, obviously, a name that I know, and it just musically felt right. There was no sort of deep reasoning behind it, and I also knew it would make Morgan blush if we named a character that. So she had this giant smile on her face. We kept it for awhile, and it just stuck like things that work seem to.”

As for his first name of Poe, Abrams says that they had a difficult time coming on a decision to:

“We went through a bunch of different names, and Poe ultimately felt like the right name. Someone reminded me recently that my daughter had a polar bear named Poe [or Po’ — short for “polar”], and that might’ve been why it felt right. There was a kind of sweetness to, and a charm to that name.”


Rey & Finn:

Finally, Perhaps the biggest mystery of all the character names is that two of the three leads, Finn (John Boyega) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) have yet to have their surnames revealed to the public. When asked directly about this, Abrams responded with his signature close-to the-chest natured response:

“I will only say about that that it is completely intentional that their last names aren’t public record”

Does that mean one, or possibly both of these characters are related to people form the original trilogy? Possibly. Would I bet that Rey’s last name is Solo? there’s a good chance.

For now, all we can do is speculate until the film bursts into theaters December 18, 2015.

About the Author

Taylor Salan
Taylor Salan
Taylor Salan is a independent filmmaker who currently resides in the San Fernando Valley. Since childhood, Taylor Salan had a fascination with movies. Although he was an avid fan of film as a child, it wasn’t until his years as a young adult that his passion for the art of filmmaking truly came to fruition. A current student of the film production program at California State University Northridge, Taylor studies Cinematography but ultimately has plans to direct full time if afforded the opportunity. In his spare time, Taylor produces audio podcasts and blogs about film for He is also a longtime musician, playing drums for over 8 years.



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