J.J. Abrams explains Star Wars: The Force Awakens main character names

With a film such as STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS it's expected that each and every piece will be analyzed by fans. We devour every teaser, every rumour, and every image (speaking of, did you check out the new images released this morning?) Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, director J.J. Abrams shed some light on one of the many aspects which fans have been scrutinizing, the names of the characters.

Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac)

The X-Wing pilot played by Oscar Isaac owes his surname to Morgan Dameron, J.J. Abrams assistant.

Dameron came out because it was, obviously, a name that I know, and it just musically felt right, there was no sort of deep reasoning behind it, and I also knew it would make Morgan blush if we named a character that. So she had this giant smile on her face.

Abrams initially thought that he might have changed the name at some point but it ended up sticking. The character's first name on the other hand went through a variety of different possibilities before they settled on Poe because it "felt like the right name." Abrams later found out why it felt "right," when someone reminded him that his daughter had had a polar bear named Poe.


While the names of many of the characters went through countless revisions, the adorable BB-8's name was never changed.

It’s funny how sometimes, the bad ideas, you try them out and kick the tires a little bit, and it just kind of falls apart and you can go somewhere else, you’ve just got to know it’s temporary. And that one, he never had another name. I named him BB-8 because it was almost onomatopoeia, it was sort of how he looked to me, with the 8, obviously, and then the 2 B’s.

Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie)

Remember PHANTASM? The 1979 horror film which featured The Tall Man (Angus Scrimm) and his flying silver death spheres? Turns out J.J. Abrams remembers it as well.

Phasma I named because of the amazing chrome design that came from Michael Kaplan’s wardrobe team. It reminded me of the ball in Phantasm, and I just thought, Phasma sounds really cool

General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson)

Not every name needs to come from some profound background, the name of Domhnall Gleeson's character originated from a gravestone J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan encountered during a walk; or perhaps not, Abrams isn't sure.

Larry and I would walk all over the place when we were breaking the story, and we would record our conversations, we were walking through a cemetery that’s near the Bad Robot offices, and we would often, as we were talking about characters, sort of just be glancing at names to see if any of them stuck. I don’t believe that Hux came from there, but it may have.

Finn (John Boyega) & Rey (Daisy Ridley)

While the full names of many of the other characters are known, our two main heroes have only been addressed by their first names so far. Could this be because we may recognize their last names? J.J. Abrams isn't ready to reveal that detail just yet, but he did confirm that there's a reason why Finn and Rey's full identities are being kept in the dark.

I will only say about that that it is completely intentional that their last names aren’t public record.

Kylo Ren (Adam Driver)

Much like Darth Vader, the name Kylo Ren is not the character's given name but rather a name he “came to” when he joined a mysterious order called the Knights of Ren. Whether this means that his "true" name would have some significance to us, much like Finn and Rey, remains to be seen.

There are a lot of new characters who will be bringing a lot of new names with them but in the beginning it was just one name that brought J.J. Abrams into this new Star Wars universe. When Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy first approached Abrams to take the helm of STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, the director was initially unsure whether he wanted accept the proposal but Kennedy brought him on board by asking just one question, "who is Luke Skywalker?" Abrams immediately knew that he had discover the answer saying "oh my God, I just got the chills. I’m in." The rest, as we say, is history.

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS opens on December 18, 2015.

Source: EWEW



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