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Saturday, January 14, 2006

10 New Planets for Star Wars

Before George Lucas was consumed by the Dark Side of the Force, he used his powers for good and not for evil.

One of the great goods he did upon us all was giving us all kinds of wonderful new names - which were not new names at all. In fact they were very familiar names: Han, Luke, Sky, Walker, Millenium, Falcon, Chew, Tobacco. But these familiar sounds had been reshuffled, paired with one another in unlikely combinations. Words which had no extraordinary significance before to us, were slapped onto things strange and wondrous, where they acquired an unexpected depth and weight. So Taunton, a little town in England, became the name of a furry dinosaur with ram's horns. Massassi, the name of an African goddess, became the name of the gigantic stone complex where the Rebels were holed up on the fourth moon of YAVIN.

My favorite star names are those of the Star Wars planets, because those have some of the most mundane and everyday roots - sometimes to the point of silliness - which, as a creator of fictional worlds, I find fascinating.

DAGOBAH, for example, is the name of a kind of ancient Indian temple. MUSTAFAR is essentially a common guy's name in the Arabic-speaking world - the equivalent of Hank or Bob. And NABOO - as far as I can tell - has its origins in an abbreviation for the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention, 2000. And, of course, YAVIN is derived from the word we use to describe our own solar system's giant gas planets. It would take a while to explain , but trust me there.

There are other planet names out there which George Lucas could have used - perhaps should have used - instead. I mean, let's face it, MUSTAFAR is a stupid name for a planet. Planet Bob? What was he thinking?

It may be arrogance to think I can compete with the man who brought us CORUSCANT, HOTH and ORD MANTELL, but here are ...

10 New Planet Names for the Star Wars Galaxy
  1. Osama
  2. Tandoori
  3. Moo Goo Gai Pan
  4. Alito
  5. Cirrhosis
  6. Angelina Jolie
  7. Scapula
  8. Mandrill
  9. Pina Colada
  10. Verizon
Honorable Mention: Planet Kasdan

I honestly think my names could have improved the movies even that much better:
"I have chosen to test the station's destructive power on your home planet of Cirrhosis."
or
"What of the reports of the rebel fleet massing near Angelina Jolie?"

or
"You must learn the ways of the Force, if you are to come with to Scapula."

or even
"Our scoutships have reached Tandoori. They found the remains of a rebel base, but they estimate it has been deserted for some time."

Much better. Much, much better. Don't you think?

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2 Comments:

A starwars fan ha ? Ive been a trekkie myeself. and Ive seen almost anything which is related to scifi.
I liked the role of darth vader than luke skywalker . Han solo was quite good.. ..what is your favorite starwars movie?

- By Blogger Squire, at Sat Jan 14, 12:58:00 AM GMT  

The original 1977 cut of "Star Wars" will still be the hands-down best, in my book. And I mean the ORIGINAL cut - sans "Episode IV: A New Hope".

- By Blogger Neal Romanek, at Thu Jan 26, 07:03:00 AM GMT  

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