Tons of U.S. Babies Are Now Getting Named After Marvel & Star Wars Villains

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
Kylo Ren and Thanos, baby

Baby names in the United States have consistently evolved over the years. Baby Center revealed that popular names such as "Liam" and "Emma" have been a consistent choice for parents in recent times, but the continued dominance of superhero movies and franchise entertainment could turn the tide as more babies are being named after popular characters. 

In 2017, Metro revealed that baby names inspired by Marvel characters are slowly gaining momentum, with a good chunk of them now accounting for a significant portion. Marvel heroes, such as Parker (Peter Parker), Wade (Wade Wilson), and Natasha (Natasha Romanoff) were confirmed to be at the top of the list. 

Now, it seems that certain villains not just from Marvel but also in Star Wars are also taking the spotlight under the baby name umbrella.

Parents Are Naming Their Babies After Villains (Really)

Based on a new study from, via Comicbook, several Marvel and Star Wars villains have prospered on the rising popular baby name list of children born in the United States. 

The graph below from the Social Security Administration's Name Popularity Index gives an exact overview of how certain Disney names have risen to the ranks of popular baby names: 

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The Social Security Administration

Quill, who is based on Chris Pratt's Peter Quill, is the name that has jumped the most on the leaderboard, with a whopping 8,457-spot increase. The names after Quill are Kristoff, Rey, Aladdin, Merida, Belle, Simba, and Olaf. 

On the villain front, Thanos has risen to 2,892 spots while Star Wars names Kylo and Anakin grew similarly with 2,344 and 1901 spots, respectively. At the lower end of the spectrum, Loki has risen to 71 spots.

Why Do Parents Prefer Names Tied to Superhero Movies?

The dominance of Marvel and Star Wars in pop culture is further cemented by the latest data about baby names. 

There are many good reasons why parents decide to name their babies after popular on-screen characters. It's possible that they choose to do so due to the fact that they want to have a memorable name for their babies while also being associated with such iconic individuals. 

The inclusion of Thanos in the list might be surprising for many, considering that the character served as a relentless villain during the MCU's Infinity Saga. Despite that, there's no denying that Thanos is such a unique name that babies from the US would stand out if they have such a label. 

In MCU canon, there are actually those who believed that Thanos was right for his actions during Avengers: Infinity War, with Hawkeye even referencing this belief as a hilarious Easter egg. There's a slight chance that those parents who named their babies after Thanos might be believers in the Mad Titan's actions as well. 

Looking ahead, it's reasonable to assume that a prime candidate for a popular baby name in the future would end up being Kang as the Marvel villain is poised to become an overarching threat of the Multiverse Saga. 

- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.