People take their Star Wars fandom to extreme lengths, from writing over 34,000 fan fiction stories, to lining up to see The Force Awakens weeks in advance, to spending an insane amount of time recreating what the original trilogy of movies would have looked like in HD had they been completely unaltered from their original state.
People care a lot about Star Wars, enough to express their fanhood in ways that will impact the lives of their children forever. In 2014, the most recent year for which this kind of data is available, Leia and Anakin were two of the most popular baby names in the U.S.
We use the term “most popular” very loosely: Leia ranked at 509 (605 babies) and Anakin ranked at 957 (218 babies). But still, these names ranked ahead of ones you would think are far more common, like Mike (we assume most self-identifying Mikes are legally named Michael), Howard, Cassandra, Gloria, Sasha, Courtney, Christine, Lisa, Sharon, and Denise.
Those aren’t the only movie-inspired names that were on the list: also making the cut were Khaleesi (Game of Thrones) and Sloan (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off… we know, we’re pushing it). Celebrities were also a big naming inspiration in 2014, as Adele, Zayn (Malik) and Drake are now also children.
Advice to new parents or soon-to-be parents: When naming your kid, approach it like a teenager thinking about getting a tattoo. Will you really have the same interests ten years down the line and not be embarrassed by this permanent part of yourself? Star Wars is an established enough franchise that you should be OK to draw inspiration from, but let’s not allow this to be a gateway movie to more Jar Jars.
Featured image courtesy of Lucasfilm/Disney