J.J. Abrams Reveals The Origin Of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Character Names

Entertainment Weekly‘s Fall Preview issue made waves earlier this week when it revealed a raft of new images from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but it also details exactly how director J.J. Abrams came up with some of the names for the franchise’s newest characters.

The identities of the new Star Wars characters have been slowly revealed over the last few months, with more information being made available about certain individuals, as the Inquisitr has previously reported. One of the most compelling of the new characters is the villainous Kylo Ren, portrayed by Adam Driver in The Force Awakens, and in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, we find out a crucial detail regarding the crossguard lightsaber-wielding antagonist.

“He is a character who came to the name Kylo Ren when he joined a group called the Knights of Ren,” Abrams revealed.

The confirmation of a new faction of Force users has raised questions about the relationship between the Knights of Ren and the Sith, as Den of Geek reports, but Abrams went on to assert in the interview that Kylo Ren is well aware of the history of the Star Wars universe prior to The Force Awakens.

“The movie explains the origins of the mask and where it’s from, but the design was meant to be a nod to the Vader mask. [Ren] is well aware of what’s come before, and that’s very much a part of the story of the film.”

Other characters in the film have much less symbolism behind their names. Poe Dameron, for example, is simply a name that “came to” Abrams (though the pilot shares a last name with the director’s assistant, Morgan). Domhnall Gleeson’s General Hux also holds a moniker that Abrams claims he didn’t invest with much import, though the base he commands, Starkiller, is a direct reference to Luke Skywalker’s original last name in the early drafts of Star Wars, as the Huffington Post reports.

Elsewhere, we learn that Gwendoline Christie’s Captain Phasma is named as a reference to the 1979 horror movie Phantasm (also a nod to the character’s distinctive chrome armor). Most interestingly, however, are Rey and Finn, two characters whose last names have yet to be revealed to fans. According to Abrams, this has been very intentionally done, leading fans to speculate what connection to the Star Wars universe the pair may have.

Thankfully, fans won’t have to wonder much longer. Hitting theaters on December 18, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is just a few months away.

[Photo by Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images]

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