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Star Wars' Names- Do they affect the story?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by KrystalBlaze, Feb 18, 2003.

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  1. KrystalBlaze

    KrystalBlaze Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 3, 2002
    Now, do they?

    Every name has a meaning, although sometimes it's hard to find or not even listed at places. For instance, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Does that name have a meaning? I'm not sure, but really, can you think of his character not being named Obi-Wan?

    How are names used in the Star Wars Sage by GL? Would the outcome have been different if Han hadn't been Han, or Anakin hadn't been Anakin?

    I try to think now of Obi-Wan Kenobi with a different name... it just doesn't fit right.

    Did GL do a good job of choosing the names for his characters?
  2. chieftan_1111

    chieftan_1111 Jedi Youngling star 3

    Aug 29, 2002
    I know there are varying opinions on this, and that most would just call it a rumor, but I have heard that the name "Darth Vader" means "Dark Father" in some other language...

    I'm not sure how true that is, but it makes alot of sense to me...

    Also, there are theories as to the names of the Sith, that if you add certain prefixes, that you can gain insight to their name:

    Maul: this one is just straight obvious, meaning he "mauls" his opponents, overpowering them

    Sidious: If you add the prefix "in", you get insidious, which is what sidious is...sneaky little guy...

    Vader: If you add the prefix "in", you get invader, which is what Vader did...he was constantly busy....

    I heard one for Dooku's Sithname "Tyrannus", but i forget what it was...

    Anyway, that's my two cents to this discussion...
  3. rhonderoo

    rhonderoo Former Head Admin star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Aug 7, 2002
    I think Darth Vader is Dutch/German for "Dark Father" maybe?
  4. DarthLothi

    DarthLothi Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 4, 2001
    Yeah, I read somewhere that Darth Vader is Dutch for "dark father."

    Let's see...

    Luke means "light." (Latin, I think)

    Leia is from Hebrew for "weary."

    Solo = alone, by oneself

    Padme means "lotus." I think it's Hindu.

    Sabe is "friend" in Apache.

    Jinn = djinn, or genie. Persian, maybe?

    So all in all, I think GL did a good job with names.

  5. poor yorick

    poor yorick Ex-Mod star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP - Game Host

    Jun 25, 2002
    On another SW name thread, a person who speaks fluent Dutch pointed out that while "vader" is "father" in Dutch, "dark" is "donker."

    Donker Vader.

    I like it.
  6. dArTh_wenley

    dArTh_wenley Jedi Knight star 5

    Dec 10, 2001

    The names of the characters and places are one of the elements that make the Star Wars Saga shine.

    They are original (for the most part), inspired and (as illustrated above) some have hidden meanings.

    Perfect! :D
  7. Golightly

    Golightly Jedi Youngling star 1

    Feb 17, 2003
    I think some Star Wars names are great, but then there are some that seem way too influenced by real things on earth. Porkins, Sleezebagino (sp?), etc. Give me a break. Those detract from the experience, for me.
  8. Yomin_Carr

    Yomin_Carr Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 12, 2002
    I've found that the names are an integral part of the story. In a fan fic story, or in a RPG, picking the names of your characters is always very hard, simply because it's very hard to have that Star Wars feel. The names also have to suit the character, having an appropriate feel depending on their personality.

    For example, if Darth Vader's name was Jar-Jar Binks, I'd find it hard not to laugh each time he entered a scene...

  9. IG_88a

    IG_88a Jedi Padawan star 4

    May 15, 2002
    names are important, they give a sense of being, if GL chose the wrong names, you would not feel so close to certain characters.
    Luke Skywalker is such a simple name, a real farmboy name, nothing flash about it, except Skywalker may be reference to a family ambition to explore the stars.

    Even the Droids names seem to fit perfectly, so yes the names are very important.
  10. obioneII

    obioneII Jedi Youngling

    May 24, 2002
    Hi people!

    I find quite interesting the fact that GL has chosen Latin names for the most important Sith lords in the saga (Sidious and Tyrannus).

    It's interesting because Latin is a very easily recognizable EARTHLY language, and because it's exclusively used to name bad boys.

    I think that using a real language from earth so clearly, somehow affects the experience, that the "suspension of disbelief" is diminished. Particularly, I'd rather used exclusively "alien" names.

    The same can be said about the fact that there exists ducks in TPM. Why not just use some rare breed of alien bird instead of such a common animal for us? It feels weird for me.

    Any thoughts?

    AUNTIE_JEDI Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 30, 2002

    Han Solo actually has a very masculine name.
    'Han' means 'he' (also a man) in Swedish.

    Han Solo could be translated freely 'pure man'.
  12. Padawan_Jess_Kenobi

    Padawan_Jess_Kenobi Jedi Padawan star 4

    Nov 20, 2002
    I agree, I couldn't even think of Obi-Wan having another name [face_shocked]

    Well, Ben means "son of my right hand" is some language...
  13. Lars_Muul

    Lars_Muul Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Oct 2, 2000
    Just yesterday, I noticed how similar Anakin sounds to anarchy....
  14. poor yorick

    poor yorick Ex-Mod star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP - Game Host

    Jun 25, 2002
    I've heard that GL chose the name "Anakin" as a tribute to an obscure director with that name. Could be true, but I've never found a reference to a "Director Anakin Bluhbluhbluhbluh" anywhere.

    I know Annike is a female French name that pretty much sounds like "Anakin" but without the "n." I'd always assumed that GL liked this name and played around with it.

    As for Roman names and British accents . . . I guess these countries are permanently categorized as "oppressor nations" in the minds of Americans, even though we've been friends with the British since 1814 and the Romans haven't bothered anybody in about 1700 years.

    Poor oppressed Romans.

  15. NiktosRule

    NiktosRule Jedi Padawan star 4

    May 8, 2001
    I think the names are important. You can't have the main character with a terrible name.

    I can't imagine any of the characters having different names.
  16. Kwenn

    Kwenn Jedi Master star 5

    Mar 30, 2001
    Luke was actually Lucas's childhood nickname. And Skywalker gives the impression of some kind of God, walking in the sky...
  17. TheFallen

    TheFallen Jedi Padawan star 4

    Nov 27, 2001
    * The Emperial march begins *


    I don't know - I've read stories where a character's name was "Anal" - so I suppose that ripped me out of the story so fast that my head spun. They definitely affect a story.
  18. DamonD

    DamonD Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 22, 2002
    The obvious corruption of Darth Tyrannus' name would would be tyrannical - ruling over people or creatures with an iron fist, like a dictatorship.
  19. Lars_Muul

    Lars_Muul Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Oct 2, 2000
    Please, people, Tyranus is spelled with one "n". :)

    In the early drafts of Star Wars, the name "Anakin" was "Annikin", which is an actual finnish name. Perhaps he was inspired by Tolkien, who loved the finnish language?
  20. Jedi Daniel

    Jedi Daniel Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Apr 7, 2000
    I think names are very important in a movie, especially Star Wars because they all mean something.

    AERYN_SUN Jedi Knight star 5

    Apr 1, 2001
    Sabe in Spanish means 'she knows' and comes from saber = to know.
  22. TheOzhaggis

    TheOzhaggis Jedi Master star 5

    Nov 1, 2000

    * Yoda: a mutation of Yoga, which is what he teaches Luke.

    * Qui Gon Jinn: most likely a combo of Qi-Gong, a martial art similar to tai-chi, and the Muslim djinn, which are supernatural beings which can assume human form and control people.

    * Obi-Wan Kenobi: OBI is an African religion that involves 'sorcery', WAN has several meanings including pale or melancholy, Ken is scottish (YAY) for knowledge - together, it could translate roughly as "Pale/melanchology sorcerer with knowledge of magic"

    * Padme: "Lotus" (Tibetan), found in the most famous Buddhist mantra: OM MANI PADME HUM ("The Jewel is in the Lotus"). The Lotus symbolises wisdom - even something which grows from mud is not soiled by the mud. The meaning of the mantra is that you can transform your impure body, speech, and mind into the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of a Buddha.

    * Dagobah: a 'dagoba' is a dome-shaped temple built over buddhist relics or saints.

    * Hoth is the name of a Norse god of winter and darkness (aka Hodur).

    And there's plenty more where they came from ...
  23. Obi-Ewan

    Obi-Ewan Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 24, 2000

    Ana: without
    kin: relative

    Anakin has no father.

    Padme: Hindi for lotus flower, which, if The Simpsons is to be believed, is a symbol of marriage. Padme marries Anakin.

    Han Solo

    Han: Chinese dynasty
    Solo: alone. He is a loner, more or less, when we first meet him. Chewbacca is the Tonto to his Lone Ranger.

    Obi-Wan Kenobi

    An obi is a belt, worn over a kimono. What it means as a name, I don't know. "Great Belt" I have heard.
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