Star Wars: The Force Awakens: J.J. Abrams explains origins of character names |

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens: J.J. Abrams explains what's in a name



When Abrams first revealed the names of his new characters, by way of mocked-up Topps trading cards last December, two were notable for being… singular.

The runaway stormtrooper played by John Boyega was known only as Finn, and Daisy Ridley’s desert scavenger was identified only as Rey.

I finally got to ask: Is that deliberate? Is there a piece of information that’s being held back there about their names — perhaps because their last names are ones we may already know?

Abrams isn’t ready to reveal their full identities, but did confirm that this theory was getting warm. “I will only say about that that it is completely intentional that their last names aren’t public record,” he says.

I wish there was more to offer on that, but it sounds like it ventures into spoiler territory. So instead, let’s identify someone else — someone new.

Image Credit: Lucasfilm

EW released this image already of Rey cutting BB-8 free from the net of a fellow scavenger in the dunes of Jakku, and here’s what Abrams was able to share about that shot: BB-8 was snagged by a surly little sand-dweller known as Teedo, who is riding atop what looks like a rhinoceros fused with metal boxes.

That beast of burden is known as a luggabeast, a never-before-seen creature from the universe.

Teedo also lacks a last name, but I’m guessing that doesn’t mean he’s Han Solo’s long-lost son. And it is a he — at least if you go by the actor inside the suit, Kiran Shah.

You’ve probably seen the 58-year-old Kenyan-Indian actor before, even if you didn’t realize it. At 4-foot-1, he holds the Guinness World Record for the shortest working stuntman, and has played an Ewok in Return of the Jedi, doubled for Christopher Reeve in the 1978 Superman film (when they needed to create forced perspective shots) and also helped make Frodo seem small beside Ian McKellen’s Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings movies.

Teedo sounds a little like Greedo, but if the little fellow is lucky (and hands over the ball-droid) maybe he won’t share a similar fate.

NEXT PAGE: Poe Dameron – a hybrid of a trusty assistant, and a polar bear.