In the latest issue of EW, J.J. Abrams breaks down some details on the new characters in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Finn and Rey
Abrams says there’s a reason that we don’t know the last names for Finn and Rey. “I will only say about that, that it is completely intentional that their last names aren’t public record,” so does that mean their last names are Star Wars Royalty like Solo or SkyWalker? Abrams won’t say, but there’s obviously something big they are hiding.
Abrams says “We went through a bunch of different names, and Poe ultimately felt like the right name. Someone reminded me recently that my daughter had had a polar bear named Poe, and that might’ve been why it felt right. There was a kind of sweetness to, and a charm to that name.”
The characters’ bouncy look eventually led to his name. “I named him BB-8 because it was almost onomatopoeia, 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 was always the choice for the new droid.
The leader of The First Order is young and ambitious, but Abrams has trouble remembering the origin of his name. He thinks it might have come up during the long storytelling conversations he had with co-writer Lawrence Kasdan, or is Abrams playing around his origins?
“We were walking through a cemetery that’s near the Bad Robot offices, and we would often, as we were talking about characters, sort of just by glancing at names to see if any of them stuck. I don’t believe that Hux came from there, but it may have.”
What does the 1979 cult horror film Phantasm have in common with The Forcer Awakens? Gwendoline Christie’s Chrome Trooper baddie, Captain Phasma. “Phasma I named because of the amazing chrome design that came from Michael Kaplan’s wardrobe team, It reminded me of the ball in Phantasm, and I just thought, Phasma sounds really cool.”
As we reported earlier today, Kylo Ren comes from the “Knights of Ren”. So what was his original name? Abrams says, “He is not your prototypical mustache-twirling bad guy. He is a little bit more complex than that.”