Han Solo Movie 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' Aims to Beat Elan Sleazebaggano for Worst Name Ever

Solo: A Star Wars Story has a character named Therm Scissorpunch. We thereby award the Han Solo movie The Elan Sleazebaggano Memorial Worst Name Trophy, created in honor of the Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones character who tries to sell death sticks to Obi-Wan.

A good Star Wars name is a delicate thing. It should sound appropriately alien, but also have some resonance to us. Emperor Palpatine evokes ancient Rome (his first name, Sheev, is less powerful). Darth Maul is ferocious. Admiral Piett sounds snivelling. Or they could just be fun to say, like Ponda Baba, Sebulba, Mon Mothma, Nien Nunb or Boba Fett. Some of the best Star Wars names use English words to discordant effect, as if we're reading a mistranslation. Salacious B. Crumb certainly is salacious, but is he also messy? If there's a reference in there—maybe we're meant to think of R. Crumb (Wookiepedia says yes)—it's not surface-level.

There's always a danger that a Star Wars name will be too on-the-nose, hewing too directly to a word's English-language meaning, instead of slippier evocations. Only protagonists, like Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, should have a name with overt heroic or roguish overtones. Names can be especially tricky when real-world titles are involved. For me, General Grievous is just on the wrong side of that line, Count Dooku just on the right side. Grand Moff Tarkin, with his made-up but weighty honorific, is better than either.

So far, Disney's new Star Wars movies have played it safe. Rey, Kylo Ren, Poe Dameron, Jyn Erso, Finn: all names that work but don't dare any goofiness. That looks to change with Solo: A Star Wars Story. A recent Denny's promotion (don't ask), revealed several characters from the upcoming Han Solo movie, many of which we've seen or heard of in other promotions or trailers (including the badly named Moloch, which doesn't even bother to cover Biblical origins with anything alien). But while I can get used to Argus "Six Eyes" Panox (who has double the typical Gran ocular complement), Therm Scissorpunch exhibits many of the worst Star Wars naming traits.

"Therm" is great, no complaints here. It's that "Scissorpunch" that's the problem. First, it's horribly awkward to say out loud. Try and imagine Han Solo saying it: "Yes, Scissorpunch. As a matter of fact, I was just going to see your boss." Nope, doesn't work. But far worse is it's thudding literalness, revealed when you get a look at ol' Scissorpunch itself:

Therm is a lobster-thing, which means it literally has scissors for hands, presumably also useful for punching… scissor-punching. I've got a bad feeling about this: when Star Wars gets literal, it's always a bad sign. In Attack of the Clones, there's Dexter Jettster, whose name doesn't evoke his appearance, but does over-evoke Golden Age science fiction and the insanely out-of-place 1950s diner Jettster runs on Coruscant. But Jettster is vastly outclassed in the bad names category by one of his Episode II peers: Elan Sleazebaggano, the namesake of our prestigious, if fictional, award. Sleazebaggano is a death stick dealer Obi-Wan Kenobi bumps into in the Outlander club on Coruscant. His name, with sleazebag right in it, completely sums up his character, denying us any of the typical pleasures of an off-kilter Star Wars character name. He flatly is what he is. And unless Therm Scissorpunch is an unexpectedly sweet and sensitive soul, we're looking at the same flat intent and unpleasant mouthfeel.

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Obi-Wan Kenobi uses a Jedi Mind Trick on Elan Sleazebaggano in "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones." Lucasfilm

Han Solo: A Star Wars Story is out in theaters May 25 and will feature Star Wars names way better than Therm Scissorpunch. I'm already partial to Enfys Nest, the movie's rumored villain. It's just fun to say. Enfys. Innnn-fizzzzzz.