Today’s discussion: Star Wars names!
Now, I doubt we’re going to see a particularly large upswing of names from the latest movie. Force Awakens was only released in December. That’s enough time for a few more babies to be named Poe, Rey, and Kylo, but the chances that will send any of those names into the 2015 top 1000 are small (Finn is already popular). Look for them instead next year when the 2016 data comes out!
Still, Star Wars has been influencing baby names ever since 1977, and not only through the propagation of character names. Harrison likely would have died out if Harrison Ford hadn’t been Han Solo; actually, 1977 saw the lowest ranking for Harrison within the top 1000 ever, at #970. The rebound was swift and fierce. Now Harrison will potentially be a top 100 name, either in 2015 or 2016. It’s only a matter of time.
Leia already existed as a name in the extended SSA data during the 1950s and 60s, but entered the top 1000 in 1978 and 1980, presumably resulting from A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. Then she flew under the radar for 25 years until reentry in 2006. Revenge of the Sith may be partially responsible here, but Leia was already increasing in usage when that film was released in 2005. Luke, on the other hand, has always been a top 1000 name. *That* has become incredibly popular in the last few years, though.
Stranger universe names are teeming in the pot. Anakin finally made his top 1000 debut in 2014 (why???). Padme registered 14 uses that year. Han – 20 times. Amidala charted just once – 7 uses, back in 1999. And I found this article, which writes that even Darth was a baby name back in the 70s. Considering all those cartoons where Darth Vader is parenting his young twins, I can’t deny that this makes me chuckle. Thankfully, there are no Jar-Jars to be found.
Food for thought: in the way that Leia was already a charting name before the movies, Kylo already is within the data (8 of them in 2014). In other words, not even Game of Thrones writer George R. R. Martin invents all his character names.