Star Wars fans, your time has come. A new campaign to give the moon a new name is underway, and with your help and a little bit of Force, the heavenly body could be born again with a much more exotic and memorable moniker, such as Ghomrassen, Guermessa, or Chenini.
Obviously, any Star Wars fan worth their lightsaber will instantly recognize the above names as being one of Tatooine’s trio of moons, which partner its two suns. In fact, you might even have them tattooed on your buttocks… in which case you’ve taken things too far, but we digress.
Earth, on the other hand, only has one sun and one moon. And therein lies the rub. Our sun is just called sun and our moon is just called moon. It’s pretty much like having a dog and calling it – you guessed it – dog! Or worse still, calling the Earth “planet!”
The moons that inhabit the Star Wars universe – such as Ghomrassen, Guermessa, and Chenini –may sound like sexually transmitted diseases, and they appear at first bite a bit of a mouthful, but they definitely boast names that grab your attention, albeit in a slightly pompous and pretentious way.
Even on NASA’s own website,when it describes the two moons of Mars being called Phobos and Deimos, it then asks, “Don’t you wish our moon had a cool name like that?”
Anyhow, here’s the thing. The moon might just be getting a new name, and even if no obliging Star Wars fans come forward to baptize it Ghomrassen, Guermessa or Chenini, why not be a little reckless and throw some other ideas in the bucket with a Star Wars themed flavor?
For example, “Luke” may not exactly be the best name for a moon, but “Skywalker” on the other hand definitely has a lot of potential. So too do a lot of other names that have seeped into popular culture courtesy of Star Wars.
Could we name earth’s only satellite “Vader?” Too masculine perhaps? How about “Princess Leia?” It’s a thought, and anything is possible if the campaign based in Utah really takes off and folks get to vote on a new name for the moon.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the campaign was born when “Tad Henderson and his family were driving home on a crisp January night last year, with a brilliant full moon bathing their journey in light.” When it suddenly struck Ted’s daughter that “Isn’t it dumb that the moon’s name is moon?”
Agreeing with his daughter’s common sense statement, Ted replied, “Let’s name it something different.”
The moon used to be know as “Luna” in Latin, and “Mona” in Old English, but for centuries it’s just been known as the moon, which is somewhat cheesy. Especially when you consider that moons which are not even in Star Wars but exist in our actual solar system have cool names such as Titan, Ariel, Europa, or Phobos.
Compared with such hard-hitting names, “moon” pales in comparison and just won’t do.
That’s why Henderson is choosing to helm an online campaign to “Name the Moon,” wherein netizens are asked to sign a petition to get the moon’s name changed.
Readers are asked what they would like to see the name changed to. Some have suggested Pax (Latin for “peace”) and Lani (Hawaiian for “heaven”). Many like “Kai” because it means “ocean” in Hawaiian and Japanese and is quite apt, as the moon is responsible for Earth’s tides.
Star Wars fans, this is where you come in. To date, thousands of suggestions have been submitted, but “Boba Fett” for instance isn’t one of them. Let’s use the Force and remedy that together.
An animated series called “Loony Moonies” has also been launched by the group, which teaches people about the solar system while being “entertaining, educating and engaging.”
In one episode, the galaxy’s moons gather together to think of a new name for Earth’s moon, but being an unimaginative lot, they cannot come up with anything as creative as Ghomrassen, Guermessa, or Chenini. Instead, they’ve delegated the responsibility to the people of Earth.
Henderson hopes to petition the International Astronomical Union, the group responsible for naming celestial objects, and get them to green light the change in name for the moon.
“It’s actually kind of funny. We’re really scratching something that they believe we shouldn’t be. But you know, the moon is ours, it’s not theirs.
“The moon is part of the universe, and the universe is the common heritage of mankind. So we can name it whatever we want, if we want.”
So Star Wars fans get your thinking caps on. The time is nigh.
(Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)