The Force remains strong–at least for the Dark Side, and at least as far as chart-topping baby names go. According to the US Social Security Administration, an especially villainous Star Wars-inspired baddie (not that one, the other one) has made the biggest climb in popularity for baby boy names.
Progeny of Hans Solo and Leia Organa, and the conflicted antagonist from 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren is continuing to inspire a legion of parents to pay tribute via their offspring. The character name has jumped a whopping 2,368 spots to number 901 on the US Social Security annual birth names list–it had previously been at the 3,269th spot in 2015.
But Ren cannot lay claim to the entire empire; girl power (or mum power?) continues to rule with Leia being the 321st most popular baby name for girls–soundly beating Game of Thrones‘ mother of dragons Khaleesi at number 765.
Last year’s moniker favourites revealed more movie and TV influence: The Walking Dead‘s Tyreese, Hershel and Carol all popped up on much higher spots, while baby name Harley increased in popularity by 35%–thanks, no doubt, to Suicide Squad‘s Ms. Quinn.
While numbers like 901 or 321 don’t seem to indicate that much popularity, Associated Press points out that, because there’s more pop culture to plunder, today’s most trendy names are far less represented than their trending counterparts of fifty years ago: the most popular name for boys in 2016 was Noah, which was bestowed upon 19,000 baby boys – but in 1966, 80,000 baby boys were given the most popular boy’s name that year, Michael. There’s just more choice, now–which is great if you’d prefer your son to be the only reigning Knight of Ren in the playground.