Chuck Wendig’s forthcoming novel Star Wars: Aftermath — Empire’s End, which is considered canon by Lucasfilm, has a chapter dedicated to perhaps the most reviled character in that galaxy far, far away. The scene is set in Naboo and focuses on a young refugee boy named Mapo, a damaged kid in desperate need of a friend. Yes, Jar Jar Binks has literally become a sad clown.
This year, a surprising baby name appeared for the first time on the Social Security Administration’s annual list of the top 1,000 baby names in the United States. “Anakin” made its chart debut at #957, the name having been bestowed on exactly 218 baby boys in 2014. Granted, Anakin hovers near the bottom of the boys’ list, with nowhere near the popularity of Top-10 names like Jacob, Liam and Noah. But its appearance is noteworthy, because Anakin didn’t exist as a name until George Lucas invented it for Star Wars. Its one and only cultural association is the character Anakin Skywalker, the father of Luke Skywalker and a once promising Jedi knight who became the evil Darth Vader.