It”s no secret that pop culture influences society at large. For proof, you need look no further than the rash of infants named Khaleesi or Elsa in the last few years.
But no film has had such a sustained influence on baby-naming practices as Star Wars. Using this calculator, I wanted to see just how much of a push Star Wars gave to the likes of Luke, Leia, and more.
#1: Luke Skywalker
By far the most dramatically sustained result. The name Luke was already on the uptick in the early 70s – perhaps how it came to be on Lucas” radar in the first place? – but there is a sharp upturn in 1977. As the children who saw “A New Hope” aged up and had children of their own, Luke only became more and more prevalent. The desire to say “Luke, I am your father” is a powerful motivator.
#2: Leia Organa
The graph for Leia has a stranger trajectory. There”s the initial bump in the late 70s – no doubt bolstered by the films – but then her popularity languished for two decades only to pop back up into a meteoric rise in the new millennium.
#3: Han Solo
For whatever reason, Han just never quite grabbed hold in the baby name business. There”s a weird spike in the pre-Star Wars era and the tell-tale jump after the release of “A New Hope” but then things kind of peter out into a rise and fall that would give stock brokers heart palpitations.
#4: Lando Calrissian
1980-1981 was a good time to name your baby Lando, apparently immediately after watching “The Empire Strikes Back.” However, it was a sharp rise and equally sharp descent. Flatlining in the 90s, Lando has quietly been regaining ground as the kids who grew up with the scoundrel have children of their own.
#5: Anakin Skywalker
I don”t know why you”d want to name your kid after Darth Vader, but apparently there”s a market for it. Starting with “The Phantom Menace,” Anakin skyrocketed in near-vertical ascent that has most likely been sustained by “The Clone Wars” cartoon.
Interestingly, Padme was unavailable as the calculator claimed there wasn”t enough data to create a chart. Not all Star Wars names are created equal it seems.
[H/T to Reddit for the idea.]