Star Wars: The Names Awakened

Remember all those new characters from the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer whose identities we could only speculate on? Well now we at least have their names, curtesy of J.J. Abrams delivering some awesome retro-looking Topps cards to Entertainment Weekly over the weekend. First of all, that’s one of the coolest ways to leak out some new Star Wars details. Second of all, well now we have names.

So now what? These names don’t really tell us much on the surface, really. Letting these names slip isn’t some disastrous spoiler or anything. But I’m a Star Wars fan, as I’m presuming you are as well. As a Star Wars fan, waiting for a new Star Wars movie, I’m going to do my damnedest to extract as much detail out of these small morsels of information as possible. So follow me down the rabbit hole into what I’m currently thinking about these names. And yes, I’m going in order of the trailer, so I’m kind of burying the lead. Deal with it.

Finn


The first card we’ll look at is dealing with John Boyega’s character, who is apparently being named Finn. Interestingly enough, we are not given a last name. J.J., being the careful riddler that he is, has a reason for everything he does. As a result, one can only assume that Finn’s last name is omitted for a reason, even if that reason is just because this guy only goes by his first name. More likely, though, is that he is related to someone who’s last name is quite recognizable.

However, who could that be? Mace Windu? Unlikely. Even if he survived his fata fall/arm chopping, which is entirely likely by the way, it’s fairly unlikely that such a staunch Jedi would have survived the purge, remained on the run, and managed to mate while he was at it. But that would be pretty cool.

Lando’s probably the most likely candidate for a father. I mean there aren’t that many black characters in the Star Wars universe. And out of all the characters in the universe, Lando was the most likely character to get laid, to be honest. Heck, Finn may have even been a one-night stand love affair who got raised by his mother and ended up fleeing to the Academy to escape a fate of destitute poverty and make something of himself. Maybe the legacy of his bastard father who ended up being a good guy will come to haunt him. Maybe one of his personal goals is to find his father, but finds out he was killed by the empire, and this is one of many catalysts that turns him against the Empire.

These are all intriguing possibilities. I personally love the idea of a Lando father more than Mace. Or Captain Pananka. I mean, I like Pananka, but come on…

But as usual, it’s entirely possible we’re putting too much effort into this analysis, and he’s just some guy named Finn. But while we’re on the topic of going way too deep into detail, let’s look at the number of that Topps card. #76 Red series. J.J. has admitted that the numbers do have significance, but wouldn’t admit what the significance is. Now, I can easily imagine the numbers are some sort of scene order, but I doubt it’s something that stupidly simple. So I went ahead and checked out what the corresponding cards of the same series and number were. So here’s card # 76:


That this card is associated with John Boyega’s character is interesting. I had speculated before that Boyega’s character might be a Stormtrooper who has defected to the Rebel Alliance, as he started running once the sound of an Imperial Probe Droid resonated on screen. The fact that he is “on the run” is confirmed with the text of the card. However, the fact that he is a Rebel on the run from the Empire seems to be further confirmed by the card that this one has been associated with.

The above Artoo card is of the scene right after Leia inserted her holographic request of help for Obi-Wan Kenobi into his carbon-scored chassis. As you will remember from the films, she didn’t just insert a message into the droid. She also stuck in the Death Star plans in his memory banks as well. Could that mean that Finn is this series’ version of Artoo? Is he carrying the plans or secrets to some new devastating Imperial weapon? This seems to be implied.

BB-8

Yeah, this little guy now has a name too. The fact that he’s been given a name at all seems to imply that he’s more than just a stupid minor character we’ll see once or twice. He probably belongs to someone, and my money is on Daisy Ridley’s character. Why? Well because of all the people in the trailer, she’s the only once that seems to belong on this desert planet that J.J. refuses to admit is Tatooine.

I also want to point out the irony that Beach Ball droid here happens to be named BB. Also, that number 8? Yeah, that also looks like two globes on top of each other. Har har J.J. Someone was having too much fun naming this droid.

Anyway, there’s not much to say about this guy other than that. Before we move on, though, let’s look at the corresponding Topps card.

Another Artoo reference. But the thing is, this card above shows Artoo after he’s gone off on his own, away from his goldenrod companion. He doesn’t survive very long, unfortunately, because soon after, he gets shot with a handheld ion cannon by a Jawa and then dragged off to get sold to the Lars’.

So, a couple things about this. This could possibly imply that since BB-8 appears to be shooming off on his own, could eventually meet capture and maybe end up getting sold off, Artoo-like, to Finn or, more likely, Daisy Ridley’s character.

Rey

Speaking of Daisy Ridley’s character, we now have her name as well. It was rumored to be Kira, but I’m kind of glad it’s not. Rey’s actually a way more Star Warsey name than Kira, in my opinion.

Once again, we’re faced with another character without a last name. Although it seems like this is getting to be a trend, it’s actually not. Half the human characters actually do have last names. Rey and Finn, do not. So does this imply that Daisy Ridley is playing Rey Skywalker, or Rey Solo, or the like? Unfortunately, we don’t know. This card itself doesn’t really imply much other than that the Popsicle speeder is actually her own and she didn’t just steal it.

So, let’s check out the corresponding 1977 Topps card:

Interesting. The corresponding card # 74 is actually of Luke Skywalker, with his speeder, on the sandy Tatooine. The images presented here are actually very similar, much more similar than the other cards, which seem to portray some sort of foreshadowing or foretelling.

In any case, seeing as how Luke and Rey are being directly compared here, it stands to reason that Rey is either a descendant of Luke’s (which I honestly find kind of doubtful), or she is somehow following in his footsteps. As much as I’d love to see a Finn and Rey combo going out to find their respective dads, I find it far more likely that most of the universe forgot about Luke in the last 30 years, but Rey finds out somehow, follows his path, and seeks him out hoping to convince him to finish what he started with the Empire. Maybe she’s even a Jedi.

However, I’d also like to point out that the scene being portrayed in the above card is after Luke’s parents have been killed and he’s gone with Ben to Mos Eisley to find a pilot. In other words, the hero’s rejection of his destiny has already happened, but he has now been forced to confront it. Seeing as how Daisy seemed rattled and in a hurry, it’s entirely possible that she is also in the same situation as a character. She has rejected her destiny for a decade or two, but something has now happened that has thrown her into action to face her destiny.

Poe Dameron


While I’m a bit disappointed that this guy doesn’t have some sort of fancy lineage like an Antilles or something, I’m also glad that this guy doesn’t have a legacy to look up to. He’s his own character and he will have to stand on his own in this universe. Considering how intense he looks in that picture, Poe Dameron could very well be an epic character.

At first, I wasn’t sure what to make of the name. I’m not sure I’m such a big fan of “Poe.” I mean, he does share names with a cartoon panda. But if you read his name out a few times in full: Poe Dameron. Poe Dameron. Poe Dameron. It actually sounds pretty cool. The silliness of the single syllable first name seems to be mitigated by such a deep and complicated last name. Oddly enough, it seems to flow off the tongue, but I have no idea how that can be.

The thing is, this guy also shares a name with the dark poet himself, Edgar Allen Poe. A lot of websites have been using that correlation to suggest this guy could be a dark or evil character, maybe one that straddles the line between light and dark. Eh, it’s possible, but I don’t find the first name of Poe to be nearly as dark sounding as the last name of Poe. His intense expression, the fact that he’s flying into presumably the same snowy forest that our dark lightsaber wielding friend is wandering around in, and I don’t know, maybe the black helmet, all might suggest that he gets captured by the dark side. But I don’t think so. Maybe in future movies. But I think this guy’s a good guy. I mean heck, look at the corresponding card:

What the heck does that card say? Goddamned nothing, that’s what. Maybe it’s a way to tell those complainers who bitched about no battles being portrayed in space in the trailer to shut the heck up. But in any case, this card being associated with Poe Dameron only shows that, yes, those X-Wings are space worthy. Maybe they just fought a space battle. Maybe they’re heading towards a space battle?

Kylo Ren

First of all: Finally. We got confirmation. Yes, that is a lightsaber.

Alright, I’ll stop burying the lead. Yes, this is the most interesting character of the bunch, mainly because we know pretty much nothing about him. But we do have a name. And it’s the least likely name I was expecting to get.

Where’s the Darth?

There is no Darth, no title. He’s just Kylo Ren. Not to be confused with Sabine Wren, of course. There’s no W in that name.

While this character may indeed have a Darth name and Kylo Ren is his civilian name, I highly doubt that J.J. would reveal something like that. The only reason his civilian name would be meaningful in any way was if he was hiding in plain sight like Palpatine or something. Generally, most Sith lords abandon their civilian names once they become full-fledged Sith lords. By giving us his civilian name, J.J. would be spoiling something for us, which is not something he’d do.

Instead, I’d imagine this guy doesn’t have a Darth name. He’s not a Sith lord. Hell, maybe he’s not even force sensitive.

*le gasp*

Yeah, I did the same thing when I thought of that. What if this guy’s not even force sensitive? Maybe he’s some sort of wannabe that’s hunting after artifacts, found some old lightsaber, or gods forbid, built a weird shitty one himself? I mean, that would make for a really odd villain, but I can see it. I’ve heard rumors before that Adam Driver’s character would actually be some sort of boring royalty or nobleman who’s gotten a bit nutty and become obsessed with the ancient Sith. There have been rumors that Palpatine somehow became one with the force, Jedi-like, and is a voice within his head, driving him towards…something. Maybe he awakens some ancient evil. I can actually see it and I can see the storyline importance. Star Wars has never shown a layman use the tools of the Force, except for Han cutting open a Tauntaun. What if this villain believes he can achieve power with the artifacts of the Sith. It makes the fact that he’s kind of stumbling through the Harry Potter forest in the trailer make a bit more sense. He’s not just clumsy. He just doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing.

However, that makes that blade a bit more dangerous for him. The reason only force-users use lightsabers is because they’re fucking dangerous. A broadsaber like his is potentially awesome, as I mentioned in a previous article, but only if he’s properly trained and capable. Then again, maybe this is some sort of supercharged lightsaber designed specifically for battling Jedi. I mean, it has been 30 years without any Jedi or Sith action going on. It stands to reason that the muggles will want to do something to defend themselves against these superheroes. Once again, the fact that he’s named Kylo Ren and not Darth Dhoom implies to me that he’s not Sith at all.

But get this, we’re all assuming he’s using the broadsaber in battle. What if that’s not even the point of the blade? What if it’s some sort of key or some answer to a riddle? What if the dark side that is being awakened is not him. Maybe it’s something awakened because of him? That theory is slightly dashed by the “ignites his lightsaber” so I’m not holding much hope for that.

And then there’s the 3rd slightly more exciting possibility. By keeping his civilian name, and therefore rejecting the Sith culture, perhaps he’s some sort of “Grey Wizard” instead of Jedi or Sith. Thirty years isn’t long enough for an entire cultural identity to die off, presumably this guy would know that Sith lords become Darths. So perhaps it’s a personal choice, which I find also very exciting.

That said, the fact that we’ve had rumors that seem to corroborate the former possibility seems to lend the “non-forcey nobleman” theory a bit more credence.

Alright, so without further ado, let’s look at the corresponding Topps card:

Wat? First of all, you may be wondering why this is a red card. If so, well done! If not, you suck.

The Blue series (series 1) only ran for 66 cards. Card 67 was the first card of the Red series (series 2). What does that mean? Well firstly, that means this See-Threepio and Luke card doesn’t really correspond to the Kylo Ren card. At least, it doesn’t seem to. There’s a mild possibility that Kylo Ren is actually a different name for Luke, which I speculated, but inevitably decided to reject. I love that possibility, but I find it highly unlikely. That is clearly Adam Driver in that trailer. Besides, there’s no way that J.J. would slide in that little bit of spoiler so early in the process. I mean it’s possible, and I would love a plot twist like that, especially considering what implications it would have, but I find it very unlikely.

The only part of this card I might hold as useful might be that Threepio has just convinced Luke to buy his friend Artoo for no reason other than because he wants to be with his friend, a fairly uncharacteristic attitude for a droid. Uncharacteristic is perhaps quite key. Or maybe manipulation through perceived innocence.

The most important part of this corresponding card, I think, is that blue card 67 never existed. Which seems to imply that this guy isn’t really anything we’ve ever seen before. There’s something new and different about him which rejects all previous molds. Obviously, there’s the saber. But maybe it refers to what I mentioned above, that maybe he’s a wannabe nobleman wielding a lightsaber or that he’s some sort of Grey Wizard who balances both the dark and light sides of the force.

Anyway, that’s as much speculation as I’ve been able to get out of these pictures in the last couple days. Thought of something I didn’t? Sound off in the comments and let me know!