A new report released by the US Social Security Administration, as reported by Mashable, says that there was a noticeable spike in the number of new babies named “Kylo” in 2016. The name jumped from the 3,269th most popular baby name for boys to the 901st in one calendar year. Yes, you read that right. Last year, new parents across the nation looked lovingly upon their newborn baby, and decided to name the child after a grown-ass man who idolizes a former tyrant and throws lightsaber-fueled temper tantrums on the reg. And those tantrums happen so regularly that Adam Driver, the actor who plays Kylo Ren, even made fun of it on SNL.
Did anyone stop to think that Kylo Ren was probably not the best namesake to give your progeny?
I get it. Star Wars is a sweeping saga that means a lot to its fans. I’m one of those fans, to be certain. I still remember the first time I watched A New Hope, and I’ll forever consider Carrie Fisher and Leia Organa as one of my first and most constant role models. It makes perfect sense to want to honor a story and characters that mean a lot to you by naming one of your children after a character from that universe.
But…Kylo? Really? Maybe you don’t buy into Kylo’s outbursts of anger as grown-up tantrums. Maybe you like his “outlaw” personality, and his choice to lead a life outside of the one his parents had originally chosen for him. So let’s look a bit closer at the legacy you’re attaching your kid to when you name them Kylo:
Our boy Kylo was born as one Ben Solo, the child of Han Solo and Leia Organa, named after the famous Jedi Obi-Wan (aka: Ben) Kenobi. Ben was trained in the ways of the Jedi by his uncle, Luke Skywalker. After being seduced by the Dark Side, Ben killed all of the Jedi padawans, joined the Knights of Ren, and set off to finish what his Sith grandpa Darth Vader started by wiping out the Jedi. When confronted by his dad, Kylo runs Han through with his lightsaber in an effort to stamp out any remaining light in his soul.
And sure, we know Kylo will show up in The Last Jedi and will likely be in Star Wars IX, so there is a chance for a redemption arc for him, too. But he’s certainly not there yet. And in a universe with heroes like Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Lando Calrissian, and even newer characters like Poe Dameron, Cassian Andor, and Finn–and we haven’t even begun to talk about the amazing female characters like Leia, Rey, Jyn Erso, and Ashoka Tano–why would you pick the petulant performer of patricide?
The Star Wars universe, as well as the old and new expanded universes, is full to bursting of amazing, complicated, wonderful characters. None of them are perfect, but with such an embarrassment of riches when it comes to amazing characters and rich legacies to tie to your children through a namesake, both you and your kid can do so much better than Kylo. So please, don’t name your kid Kylo. Help your kids have a better namesake, Star Wars fan parents. You’re their only hope.
Do you disagree? What character from Star Wars would you name your child after? Let’s talk about it in the comments!
Gif credit: Giphy, Giphy, Giphy
Feature Image: Lucasfilm
Kylo Ren has himself a new Starship
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