There's long been a recurring trend, when a hit movie, TV show, or book series sweeps the world, to see a bump in baby names inspired by their characters. 2015's #TheForceAwakens was one such resounding hit, introducing a new set of heroes for a new generation while completely revitalizing the Star Wars franchise. Overall, it has inspired a lot of people, apparently to such a degree that fans now feel compelled to name their children after one of the main characters in the film. Except...it's not the character you'd think, according to a new study.
'Kylo' Is Now A Really Popular Baby Name
The Social Security Administration released its list of most popular baby names for 2016. It revealed that the baby name for boys that had the most prominent rise in popularity was 'Kylo,' after the fallen son of our favorite princess-turned-general and our late nerf-herder. The name climbed 2,368 places after the #StarWars movie, placing it at number 901.
Interestingly the founder of BabyNameWizard.com, Laura Wattenberg, revealed that after the release of The Force Awakens, she asked a focus group consisting of people who had seen the film whether any of the new character names would catch on. Children and teenagers liked 'Kylo,' but older participants were not happy with the name. Well, now we know which party was right with their intuition.
Why in the world would a parent want to name their child after #KyloRen, a psychopathic villain who murdered his friends and his own family? That may be because parents are more smitten with the dark side. According to Wattenberg, villains are more popular than heroes. Then again, it's not like we haven't seen this before.
This Isn't The First Time Star Wars Plays A Big Part In Naming Children
Kylo's mother, #Leia, also made the 2016 list, ranking as the 321st most popular name given to baby girls. Once again, the bump was courtesy of the release of The Force Awakens.
Kylo's grandfather, #AnakinSkywalker, also inspired many parents to name their newborns after him. In 2015, 'Anakin' ranked high on Social Security Administration's 2014 list, getting to the 951st place, with a total of 241 babies named after #DarthVader's past identity. It's worth nothing the character's popularity goes way back, though. We recently learned there's a man out there named 'Darth Vader' working as a surgical technician.
So, what can we take away from this? First, Kylo Ren's family tree is quite popular around the world, despite how evil two out of three most popular members have been. Second, Star Wars has had an unexpected ripple effect on society. Yes, it's been an important part of pop culture for a very long time, but it's interesting to see just how The Force Awakens affected things outside of entertainment.
With that said, parents do need to be a bit more mindful of what name they give their children. They need to realize some names simply don't translate well into the real world, no matter how exciting or epic they sound in a fictional, war-torn galaxy full of Jedi Knights trying to keep the balance of the universe.
What do you think about these popular Star Wars names? What's the strangest name inspired by a fictional character you've ever heard? Let me know in the comments!