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Discover your Star Wars alter-ego in time for The Force Awakens

Discover your Star Wars alter-ego in time for The Force Awakens

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Do you know why Obi-wan Kenobi changed his name to Ben when he moved to Tatooine? It wasn't to hide from the Empire. It was because the name Obi-wan is ridiculous. Truly ridiculous, and not made much better by the subsequent introduction of his mentor, the wise and similarly ridiculously named Qui-gon Jinn.

There are a few schools of Star Wars names. There are the garden-variety Lukes and Gavins of the galaxy, the kind of characters that tie us to the setting and make us feel that their galaxy is ours. Then there are the almost-normal. Think "Han" — so close to the real-life "Hans" that you've probably internalized it and accepted it by now. Or Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin — sounds like a name, right? You'd be wrong, but don't question it.

Pity Jedi Master Bayts

But dig through the archives and you'll find countless examples of names gone wrong. Pity poor Sio Bibble, Dash Rendar, and Jedi Master Bayts. Pity Wedge Antilles and Count Dooku, two major characters named for a golf club and a kid's word for a shit, respectively. Pity Kit Fisto, Savage Opress, Darth Wyyrlok, and URoRRuR'R'R, while you're at it.

If you're going to do sci-fi set in a galaxy far, far away, then you can embrace the gamut of nomenclature. Dearly departed sci-fi author Iain M. Banks did this as standard, naming his characters with jumbles of letters, and his ships like Fall Out Boy songs just because he could. In 1953, Raymond Chandler made jokes about sci-fi literature using words like "Google" and "Adabaran III." But Star Wars walks a weird line, mixing real names with contorted ones, smashing together nouns and noises to make humans, aliens, creatures, and droids.

It's tricky to name an entire galaxy of sentient beings across 30-plus years of literature, but there seems to be a bias for choosing the worst possible name whenever possible — the same bias, presumably, that gave birth to the concept of a "jizz-wailer" as a (surprisingly family-friendly) job description. But with Episode VII rapidly approaching, surfing a wave of renewed interest in the revamped expanded universe, it's time for you to get your own Star Wars name. Once assigned, please ensure you cosplay it at December's midnight premiere to the best of your abilities, and let us know your back-story in the comments below.