From Pages to Screen: Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Character Explinations

Many questions have risen since Star Wars: The Force Awakens was announced and everyday more information is released.  Recently many questions have risen regarding the names of the new characters within the Star Wars Universe.  Well thanks to the recent article in Entertainment Weekly and director/co-writer JJ Abrams we have an explanation.


Abrams explains that there is a reason we don’t know the last names of Finn (John Boyega) and Rey (Daisy Ridley). “I will only say about that that it is completely intentional that their last names aren’t public record,” . We can then assume that these two characters are from established families, yet Abrams won’t say.  If this is the case then it should be a big deal once it is revealed.

star-wars-7-force-awakens-oscar-isaacPoe Dameron

“Dameron” is actually the surname of Abrams’ assistant, Morgan Dameron, although Abrams says he went with the name because not only did he know it, “it just musically felt right.” When it came to “Poe”, Abrams says “We went through a bunch of different names, and Poe ultimately felt like the right name.” He added, “Someone reminded me recently that my daughter had had a polar bear named Poe [or Po’ — short for “polar”], and that might’ve been why it felt right. There was a kind of sweetness to, and a charm to that name.”


“I named him BB-8 because it was almost onomatopoeia,” the director says. “It was sort of how he looked to me, with the 8, obviously, and then the 2 B’s.” Abrams also says that while many of the character names changed and second-guessed, BB-8 always stuck. Also, the “BB” is not a reference to Abrams’ producing partner, Bryan Burk. Don’t let anyone tell you different because that definitely sounds like some piece of fan lore that will crop up in decades to come.

IMG_0665General Hux

The leader of The First Order (played by Domhnall Gleeson).  Abrams had trouble remembering the origin of his name, but he thinks it might have come up during the long storytelling conversations he had with co-writer Lawrence Kasdan.

We were walking through a cemetery that’s near the Bad Robot offices,” says Abrams. and “we would often, as we were talking about characters, sort of just be glancing at names to see if any of them stuck. I don’t believe that Hux came from there, but it may have.”

Phasma Captain Phasma

“Phasma I named because of the amazing chrome design that came from Michael Kaplan’s wardrobe team,” says Abrams. “It reminded me of the ball in Phantasm, and I just thought, Phasma sounds really cool.”

TFA 4 Kylo WrenKylo Wren


“Ren”, like “Darth”, is an honorific. Kylo Ren comes from the “Knights of Ren”. So what was his original name? The character will continue to be shrouded in mystery like Vader was through the original series. At the very least, Abrams says, “He is not your prototypical mustache-twirling bad guy. He is a little bit more complex than that.”

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