When it comes to cinematic families, it's hard to argue that there is a worse movie son than Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. While this nefarious villain, who slaughtered a number of young Jedi students, and even his own father, isn't exactly a great role model for kids, it seems that U.S. parents have taken quite a liking to the name Kylo. The U.S. Social Security Administration revealed in their annual report today that the name Kylo rose in popularity more than any other boys name in the year 2016.
Associated Press reports that the Social Security Administration has released their annual list with the 1,000 most popular names for both boys and girls. While Kylo is not the most popular name on the list by far, arriving in 901st place, Kylo represented the largest surge in popularity of any other boys name this year rising a whopping 2,368 spots from 3,269th place last year. While this surge in popularity for a villain's name may be surprising, it's part of a popular trend. Perhaps as this saga continues, the evil Supreme Leader Snoke may make it onto the list in the years to come.
BabynameWizard.com founder Laura Wattenberg revealed to Associated Press that the names of movie villains are quite often more popular than movie heroes, in recent years. The list often represents popular names that have surfaced in pop culture, which is also prevalent on the girls side of the list, although there is no movie connection. The girls' name that rose through the baby name ranks the most in 2016 was Kehlani, most likely due to the rise in popularity of Kehlani Parrish, a singer and songwriter who was nominated for a Grammy in 2016.
This report also comes a few months after the hilarious Star Wars Babies animated parody short surfaced, which literally shows a number of popular Star Wars characters as babies. Given the popularity of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and last year's spin-off Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, it will be interesting to see if there are any names from Rogue One that surface on next year's list. If U.S. parents follow this villainous baby name trend, it's possible that variations of Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) may find its way on the list next year, or perhaps some of the heroic names may make it onto the list, like Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker), Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen), Baze Malbus (Wen Jiang), Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) or Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed).
With Star Wars 8 hitting theaters this December, it's possible that new or returning characters from that movie could end up making it onto this year's list when it's released next year. Perhaps heroes like Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega) or Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) could find a way into the top 1,000 names, or perhaps another villainous name will emerge. Star Wars names could be popping up on that list for years to come as well, since Disney has indicated they plan on releasing one Star Wars movie per year, indefinitely, so there will be plenty of time for parents to name their kids after Star Wars characters.