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By Pete Vonder Haar | March 1, 2005


The name’s the thing in “Star Wars,” because so many of our favorite characters are easily identified by their monikers, which not only separate them from the legions of clone troopers, but also tell us a little something about the persons themselves. For example:

Luke Skywalker – “Skywalker” just drips with destiny, doesn’t it? At least Lucas didn’t stick with “Starkiller,” his original choice for a last name.

Han Solo – It’s extremely annoying that I can’t make the easy joke about Solo being a “lone wolf,” since he’s always accompanied by that goddamn Wookiee. Speaking of which…

Chewbacca – Still no word on how much the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company paid for this advertising.

Leia Organa – A pastoral (organic?) alternative to the highly mechanized Empire, or a name designed to encourage us to think with another “organ?” How far in advance did Lucas plot the slave bikini anyway?

Darth Vader – Of course, knowing what we know about this name’s actual meaning, it can only signify that Lucas had everything figured out from the beginning. Right? Except Obi-Wan called him “Darth” in the first movie like it was his first name. Never mind.

Lando Calrissian – I actually have no problem with this name. You can easily picture drinking a 40 of smooth and refreshing Colt 45 with a man named Lando.

Wedge Antilles – I got nothing. This is the only secondary character to survive the battles of Yavin, Hoth, and Endor, after all. Respect.

Okay, so the main characters are taken care of, but things get really amusing with some of the lesser known players:

Greedo – The assassin looking to blackmail Han out of his spaceship was named “Greedo?” Could be a coincidence.

Porkins – Except the fat Rebel pilot is named “Porkins.” One can only imagine how Lucas was talked out of “FatAss” or “Corpulon.”

Salacious Crumb – The Muppets from “Return of the Jedi” were seemingly entitled to the dumbest names. Crumb was only the first in a disturbing trend that would continue to the present day.

Sy Snootles – The elephantine Max Rebo wasn’t bad enough, so we actually got a character called “Snootles” (there’s also a character named Droopy McCool, which conjures images of Michael Douglas voiced by Bill Thompson). The worst names would be reserved for the “Ewoks” TV show, however.

Admiral Ackbar – The name itself isn’t as ridiculous as the poor guy’s race: the Mon Calamari. You know Imperial troops always looked forward to battles with them, as they could go through afterwards and collect the delicious charred corpses of their fallen enemies.

Then there were the names in the prequels, which reached new levels of hilarity. I mean, we already know (or we should, if we’ve been obsessively reading the background info on the internet) that “Anakin” is derived from the Greek word for “lord,” and Lucas swiped “Palpatine” from “Taxi Driver’s” Senator Palantine, but those are just the tip of the iceberg.

Nute Gunray – Lucas’ backhanded homage to Newt Gingrich and Ronald Reagan. You can almost hear a sound as if a thousand serious liberal satirists suddenly cried out, and were silenced.

Lott Dod – Wow, a Trent Lott/Christopher Dodd amalgam. Hell, if that’s as creative as he wants to get, Lucas can use the names I came up with for gaming when I was in 8th grade. I want credit for “Rollins Mustaine” and “Lord Humongous Westerberg,” however.

Jar Jar Binks – Shuffling the responsibility for this character onto your son is weak, George. We’d have more respect for you if you just admitted what a bad idea it was and let us pelt you with surplus “Episode I” Pez candies.

Mace Windu – Either a powerful household cleaner or something you might find listed in AD&D’s Player’s Handbook.

Count Dooku – All too easy.

General Grievous – Man, those Sith are getting lazy. I guess Darths Sidious, Maul, and Tyranus weren’t subtle enough.

Elan Sleazebaggano – “Joie de Vivre von Bastard” was taken, apparently. No matter, for all the death sticks in the world couldn’t cleanse the taint of this name.

Kit Fisto – The world’s first gay, furry porn star. Good night, folks.

By the way, my “Star Wars” name is Petvo Bolaf, Raabuick of Jameson.

Read the next installment in THE STAR WARS REPORT: EVERYTHING’S GONE “DARK”>>>

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