The stories behind the names of the Star Wars: Rebels heroes.
Thanks to Tim Knight for the link.
I often get stuck on a good name for a character, particularly when I can sneak in some extra meaning and subtext.
I have at times fallen back on randomly generating letters to get a Star Wars name started. The trick there is knowing when to stop - two syllables is a good bet.
My last Star Wars character was Vannik Dahl, Rebel smuggler bodyguard. I don’t know where I got Vannik from - sounds a bit like Manic, which he wasn’t really. Dahl came from John Dahl, writer and director of The Last Seduction, because of the hint of a Noir connection for a story about smuggling and underworld deals gone bad, rather than Roald Dahl.
(It has also previously been suggested that Sabine is reference to Satine from Clone Wars, another major Mandalorian, who was in turn named after Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge! because they’re both romantic foils for Euan McGregor...)
Darth Vader possibly coming from Invader (as well as the German for Father) led to Darth Sidious, which led to a big run of jokes about Darth Competent, Darth Conceivable and Darth Ept and so on.
Of course, George Lucas has said that the real trick is to read a name out loud and see if it sounds okay.