In an apparent response to the resurgence in the popularity of Star Wars over the past couple of years, Kylo became the fastest-rising boy’s baby name in the United States in 2016. Star Wars fans’ first exposure to the name, of course, came with the introduction of Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) in Star Wars: The Force Awakens in December of 2015. The original name of Driver’s character, of course, is Ben (likely named after Kenobi) – the son of Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) – and sometime after the point Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) lost his Jedi apprentice to the Dark Side, Ben became Kylo Ren.
Kylo’s last name clearly has ties to the Knights of Ren, but the origins of his first name hasn’t completely been revealed (even though it’s reasonable to speculate it is somehow related somehow to Solo). No matter its origins, the villainous ties to the name Kylo haven’t prevented new parents from bestowing the moniker to their baby boys.
According to a new ranking released by the Social Security Administration, the name Kylo has enjoyed the greatest increase in popularity in boy’s names from 2015 to 2016. The government agency says that in 2015, Kylo was ranked at No. 3,269 in popularity, and last year, it skyrocketed to No. 901. Granted, Kylo has quite a way to go to topple perennial favorites like Noah or Liam (which were No. 1 and No. 2, respectively in 2016), but it’s not that far away from passing Ben, which jumped slightly from No. 734 in 2015 to No. 709 last year.
For comparison’s sake, there appears no threat from Han to become a top-ranking name anytime soon, since the SSA says the space pirate’s moniker hasn’t cracked the top 1,000 names any year since 2000. Luke, meanwhile, dropped a slot from 2015 to 2016, from No. 28 to No. 29.
According to SSA stats, the second-fastest rising boy’s name behind Kylo is Creed, which coincidentally is the name Michael B. Jordan’s character took on in the Rocky-inspired boxing drama from 2015. Creed, of course, is the last name of Rocky Balboa’s foe-turned-friend Apollo Creed and the father of Adonis Johnson, played by Jordan. The curious correlation in the list of fastest rising names is that Adonis was the fourth fastest-rising name in popularity, jumping from No. 701 in 2015 to No. 307 in 2016.
To round out the top 5, Benicio (is it a stretch to say it’s related to Benicio Del Toro?) was the third-fastest rising boy’s name from 2015 to 2016, while Fox (could the X-Files TV series revival have anything to do with it?) was No. 5 on the list.
It’ll be interesting to see how Kylo fares in popularity next year with Star Wars: The Last Jedi coming out, and if the trend continues, expect the name to rise dramatically again. At this point, the only new name that could possibly rival it would be a cool name from the hotly anticipated Episode VIII that fans have yet to discover.
Source: Social Security Administration