Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Worst Star Wars Names

Ross Douthat takes on the great Anthony Lane--and wins! Here's Lane on the linguistics of Star Wars:
Sith. What kind of a word is that? Sith. It sounds to me like the noise that emerges when you block one nostril and blow through the other, but to George Lucas it is a name that trumpets evil. What is proved beyond question by “Star Wars: Episode III—Revenge of the Sith,” the latest—and, you will be shattered to hear, the last—installment of his sci-fi bonanza, is that Lucas, though his eye may be greedy for sensation, has an ear of purest cloth. All those who concoct imagined worlds must populate and name them, and the resonance of those names is a fairly accurate guide to the mettle of the imagination in question. Tolkien, earthed in Old English, had a head start that led him straight to the flinty perfection of Mordor and Orc. Here, by contrast, are some Lucas inventions: Palpatine. Sidious. Mace Windu. (Isn’t that something you spray on colicky babies?) Bail Organa. And Sith.

And here's Douthat:
Pace Lane, I actually think that "Sith" is one of the better names that Lucas coined; the worst include Dexter Jettster, Greedo, General Grievous, Count Dooku, and (of course) Jar Jar Binks.

Count Dooku gets my vote for worst name in the Star Wars universe.

7 comments:

arrScott said...

Dooku: Not that bad. Remember, Lucas has an odd thing for Dutch words (think "Vader.") And in the Dutch pronunciation, it's "Count Doh-koo." That's actually a great villain name.

Lawjedi said...

And Dooku probably wins the award for "Worst Bad Guy". Darth Vader, Darth Maul and Palpatine/Sidious were unapproachable and scary. You just wanted to punch Count Dooku or kick him in the groin.

Charles said...

Dooku. Windu. Palpatine.

They sound like prophet names from the Book of Mormon.

Anonymous said...

That Lane quote sounds like it would be one of the few things Kevin Smith actually cut from his Clerks II SW-LOTR dialogue. Bad.

Crank said...

Don't forget Nute Gunray.

Anonymous said...

Look! It´s Count Docu from the planet Xerox!

wf said...

The silly names are just Lucas´ way of saying "Dook u" to his fans.