Star Wars has given us a number of iconic characters over the years, and most of them are paired with an equally memorable name. With some, you don't even have to say the whole thing for anyone to know who you're talking about. Obviously that's true of Artoo and Jabba but even the real-world names Luke and Leia are most synonymous with the twins from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
Now we have more wonderful characters with great names thanks to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and some of them have very cool and interesting origin stories. We'll probably hear more about these names as we learn more about the characters, as the series continues. For now, here's more neat trivia to add to your ongoing conversations about the hit new sequel (SPOILERS):
Rey (Daisy Ridley): Little has been revealed of Rey's name origins, partly because her last name remains a secret tied to some mystery to be uncovered in another movie. But those theorizing that her full name is Rey Skywalker, how about this idea: ignore the spelling, which makes her out to be some kind of king, and think of her as a "ray of light." Well, the name Luke comes from the Latin lucere, meaning light.
Finn (John Boyega): We get this literary-sounding nickname's origin on-screen, care of Poe Dameron. It's short for Finn's designated Stormtrooper name FN-2187. And it's probably no coincidence that 2187 is also the cell number of Leia on the Death Star in the original movie.
Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac): Speaking of Poe, the first (also literary sounding) name of the ace X-wing pilot may have come, subconsciously, from a toy polar bear belonging to J.J. Abrams's daughter. Or it's from Star Trek digital effects supervisor Darren M. Poe. As for the surname, that's been confirmed as sourced from the name of Abrams' assistant, Morgan Dameron.
BB-8: Everyone's favorite new droid is not named "BB" because it sounds like "baby," nor is it anyone's initials. "I named him BB-8 because it was almost onomatopoeia,” Abrams told EW. “It was sort of how he looked to me, with the 8, obviously, and then the 2 B’s.”
Kylo Ren (Adam Driver): Like most Star Wars villains, this isn't the guy's real name. "Ren" comes from his being one of the First Order's Knights of Ren. We also know his real name is Ben Solo, with the first name likely being a tribute to Obi-Wan 'Ben' Kenobi (the old canon novels had Luke Skywalker naming his son Ben Skywalker).
General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson): Abrams isn't positive, but he thinks he and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan got "Hux" from a gravestone in a cemetery they were walking through. The character has no known first name, but he is the son of an officer of the Galactic Empire named Brendol Hux.
Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie): This officer of the First Order assigned to the Stormtroopers was apparently named after she was designed. The chrome of her uniform reminded J.J. Abrams of the deadly sphere from the 1979 movie Phantasm, and her height is probably also related to the villain of that movie being known as "The Tall Man" (Captain Phasma was originally to be played by a male actor).
Maz Kanata (Lupito Nyong'o): If Abrams is into musically inspired names, this ancient and mysterious barkeep could be named for the famous Sergio Mendez and Brazil 66 song "Mas que Nada," which you'd know from any movie with a scene set in Brazil.
Ello Asty: One of the nonhuman Resistance X-wing pilots, this guy was named after the Beastie Boys album Hello Nasty, because Abrams loves the rap group that much. The character also has "Born to Ill" written on his helmet. And while not officially part of the origin, it's worth noting that his name sounds like the four-letter spelling out of the Abrams-conceived TV series Lost.
Starkiller Base: Not a character, but the superweapon and headquarters of the First Order comes from one. Luke Skywalker's name was originally written as "Luke Starkiller," but that was too deadly sounding for the movie's hero.