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Old March 11th, 2004, 03:42 PM   #1
skippercollecto
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Default names in star wars

This is a question I've pondered since high school, and have never found an explanation for. In the original Star Wars movie, about half of the major characters had "Earth"-style names: Luke, Leia, Ben and Owen, and in the closing credits there's even a character listed named John.
So why did only the characters in the original movie have Earthling names, when the story clearly takes place nowhere near Earth, and has no relationship to Earth? And as far as I know, no Earth names ever appeared again in any of the subsequent stories. Or did George Lucas, when he was originally creating the storyline almost 30 (yikes!) years ago, plan to have part of take place on Earth or an Earth-related planet?

Mary
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Old March 13th, 2004, 12:37 AM   #2
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Lucas intended for the race to remain human, just from other planets. So you still get weird names like
Han, Anakin, Obiwan, Wedge, Biggs, Boba (even though he is mandalorian he is a human...clone), Lando, ect...

But they are still of the human race.
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Old March 13th, 2004, 06:14 PM   #3
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The Star Wars Galaxy is made up of a mish mash of different worlds where different names are used. Just like if you open up a baby names book you can find weird names like lesietta or etc. Names one culture finds normal will be abnormal for another. Some star wars names can, arguably, be seen as semi-normal in other cultures. A japanese man probably wouldn't be named Ben, Kris, or Matthew and a american woman probably wouldn't be named Ayume. The cultures vary from world to world, just as ours does from country to country.

Does that make sense?

((also if you read into the EU other normal names: Jacen, Jaina, Corran, Mara, Winter... etc. are used along with the not so american/English names (ex: Mirax, Kyp, Booster, Karrde, Jag, Alema, Qoorl))
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Old March 14th, 2004, 04:23 PM   #4
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Default other cultures' names

Actually, some of the characters' names in the various Star Wars stories sound Asian to me (is Asian the politically correct term to use?).
Biggs is now the name of a mega-supermarket chain. I doubt George Lucas ever envisioned that!
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Old September 25th, 2008, 07:07 PM   #5
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Default european names

I searched for this message I wrote four years ago because I rewatched Attack of the Clones and noticed a surprising number of "Earthling" character names in the closing credits. So I looked up all the Star Wars movies on the IMDb and this is what I came up with:

Terran names in Star Wars

A New Hope
Ben, Biggs, Luke, Leia, Owen, Willard

The Empire Strikes Back
Janson, Jess

Return of the Jedi
Karie, Max, Watts

The Phantom Menace
Ann

Attack of the Clones
Dexter, Hermione, Jocasta, Mari

Revenge of the Sith
Cody, Colton, Kit

The Clone Wars
Rex

I noticed that even though these folks are listed with these names in the closing credits, many of them are never actually referred to by their given names in the movies themselves.

I realize that all of these names are of European origin. There may be names of Asian or Native American origin in the films, but I am not familiar enough with their etymologies to recognize all but the obvious ones, such as Nguyen or Chang. I also noticed that although some of these names have alternate spellings, they are still pronounced like we pronounce them.

Which leads to my next question:
Does Earth figure somehow and somewhere in the Star Wars universe? Is this a fan fiction question?
Mary
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Old September 26th, 2008, 03:50 AM   #6
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Default Re: european names

Quote:
Originally Posted by skippercollecto View Post
Which leads to my next question:
Does Earth figure somehow and somewhere in the Star Wars universe? Is this a fan fiction question?
Mary
I don't think Earth can or should play apart in the Starwars saga. its in a Galaxy far far away etc .. imo
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Old September 26th, 2008, 04:51 AM   #7
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Default Re: names in star wars

Until that dream project fans have always envisioned comes along.

Star Wars vs Star Trek

Earth being no part of SW means it'll be a neat crossover far as trek is concerned.

KJ
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Old September 27th, 2008, 11:55 AM   #8
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Default Re: names in star wars

I've never wanted a Star Trek - Star Wars crossover. to me, they had too many differences.

For me, it honestly always was Star Wars Battlestar Galactica. That's the crossover that made the most sense.
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Old September 28th, 2008, 08:59 AM   #9
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Default Re: names in star wars

Quote:
Originally Posted by skippercollecto View Post
I searched for this message I wrote four years ago because I rewatched Attack of the Clones and noticed a surprising number of "Earthling" character names in the closing credits. So I looked up all the Star Wars movies on the IMDb and this is what I came up with:

Terran names in Star Wars

A New Hope
Ben, Biggs, Luke, Leia, Owen, Willard

The Empire Strikes Back
Janson, Jess

Return of the Jedi
Karie, Max, Watts

The Phantom Menace
Ann

Attack of the Clones
Dexter, Hermione, Jocasta, Mari

Revenge of the Sith
Cody, Colton, Kit

The Clone Wars
Rex

I noticed that even though these folks are listed with these names in the closing credits, many of them are never actually referred to by their given names in the movies themselves.

I realize that all of these names are of European origin. There may be names of Asian or Native American origin in the films, but I am not familiar enough with their etymologies to recognize all but the obvious ones, such as Nguyen or Chang. I also noticed that although some of these names have alternate spellings, they are still pronounced like we pronounce them.

Which leads to my next question:
Does Earth figure somehow and somewhere in the Star Wars universe? Is this a fan fiction question?
Mary
To assimilate terran names is much easier as to create a handful new, never heard before, sounds well but not terran-like names ( by writing a SF-story that is one of the first things you will learn... )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
I don't think Earth can or should play apart in the Starwars saga. its in a Galaxy far far away etc .. imo
I agree 100% !!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reaper View Post
I've never wanted a Star Trek - Star Wars crossover. to me, they had too many differences.

For me, it honestly always was Star Wars Battlestar Galactica. That's the crossover that made the most sense.
I think Star Wars should be Star Wars and BSG should be BSG. No need for a crossover IMO.
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Old February 6th, 2012, 01:55 AM   #10
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Default Re: names in star wars

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reaper View Post
I've never wanted a Star Trek - Star Wars crossover. to me, they had too many differences.

For me, it honestly always was Star Wars Battlestar Galactica. That's the crossover that made the most sense.
Perhaps, but watching the Enterprise NCC-1701 cut loose with a few photon torpedos at the Death Star would have been kinda cool. I wonder how full phasers would do against the DS's armor.
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Old March 4th, 2012, 05:30 PM   #11
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Default Re: names in star wars

After watching some other series in recent months, I've noticed that it isn't just Star Wars that uses Earth names for people from other planets or galaxies. Lost in Space did it a lot. And even BG did it, with the Terrans, who weren't Earthlings.
"John" must be a common name across the universe....
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Old March 6th, 2012, 12:49 PM   #12
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Default Re: names in star wars

Ok, ready for the ULTIMATE geek answer?

You see, the names you hear are a TRANSLATION of a galactic language of a spoken name mentioned in a star far, far, away. So translated you hear "Luke" because that is the equivalent to what that name would be in the Terran culture. But the name does not sound like "Luke" in that other language but that language' equivalent of the name.

Names that sound alien or bizarre are actually closer to how they sound in that non-Terran language because there is no Terran equivalent when translated, so the original sound is used.
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