Dear Star Wars fans naming your sons Kylo: Why?
It’s enough to make you wonder how many people actually understood the very basic plot of The Force Awakens.
According to the U.S. Social Security Administration’s annual list of baby names released Friday, the name “Kylo” exploded in popularity in 2016. Which suggests a surprising number of fathers would like to end their lives being stabbed through the chest by their estranged emo sons.
Kylo was the 3,269th most popular baby name for boys in 2015, the SSA says — but in 2016 it shot up to number 901, making it the fastest rising boy’s name on the chart.
The SSA specifically attributed the rise to Kylo Ren, the Darth Vader devotee and son of Han Solo played by Adam Driver. Which, given that anyone giving their kid that name prior to The Force Awakens was basically misspelling “Kyle”, is a pretty safe bet.
We can forgive the parents of those 2015 Kylos. After all, the name was released many months prior to the movie, and until December of that year nobody knew the character would be turn out to be a petulant Force-wielding brat manipulated by mysterious evil into abandoning his mom and stabbing his dad.
Parents of 2016 Kylos, however, have no such excuse. They are the folks who saw Kylo Ren angrily trashing his room with a home-built lightsaber and thought “yeah, I want 18 years of dealing with that.”
Kylo isn’t the only Star Wars-related name to have risen on the list. “Leia” shot up 100 spots in 2016 and is now the 321st most popular name for newborn girls in the U.S., even before we lost Carrie Fisher at the end of the year.
That much we can understand. We’d even forgive those Kylo parents if there were an equal number calling their boys “Han” — but that name doesn’t even crack the top 1,000.
“Rey” was a popular name in 2016, rising from 907th to 868th — but on the boy’s side of the aisle, not the girl’s. “Luke” is holding steady as the 28th most popular boy’s name in the country; given the religious nature of the name, however, it’s hard to say how much of that is due to Star Wars.
Meanwhile “Anakin” is on the rise, again suggesting the prequels are more popular than people give them credit for. The name, synonymous with Darth Vader’s Jedi alter ego before he went to the Dark Side, went from the 910th most popular in 2015 to the 778th most popular in 2016.
That much we can understand. Anakin was a war hero before he fell, and only went to the Dark Side in a misguided attempt to prevent his wife from dying (or so George Lucas told us in Revenge of the Sith).
But Kylo? C’mon, you’re practically begging the kid to get beat up by a girl so he can have a cool scar (even if that scar is likely to roam around his face.)
Of course, there’s at least one more movie starring Kylo on the horizon, The Last Jedi, and it’s almost certain he’ll survive into Episode IX in 2019. So there is certainly a possibility of redemption for the 2016 Kylos before they are even old enough to see the movies. Still, it seems to us like those parents are playing with spark-spitting cross-guard lightsabers here.