A long time ago in a coffee shop far, far away…
There are a lot of weird names in the Star Wars universe, like the famously maligned Jar Jar Binks, Chewbacca the Wookiee, and bounty hunter Boba Fett. And as new Star Wars movies in the chronology and expanded universe start popping up in theaters, it means a new generation of creative writers and directors get to put a whole slough of iconic characters into the lexicon. But coming up with a memorable moniker is tougher than it seems as Rogue One director Gareth Edwards found out. Luckily, he would have Starbucks to help.
In an interview with CNN, Edwards recalls being tasked with leaving his mark on the galaxy by way of a personalized planet. The director was already treading into unknown territory, helming the first ancillary film that takes place outside of the original episodic timeline. As writer Gary Whitta was working on the story that would later become the screenplay, he offered Edwards the chance to name a planet that would be crucial to the plot on the film’s third act. Sensing the gravity of this decision, Edwards gave it some thought by taking a coffee break.
“I go over to get a coffee from Starbucks. I'm thinking, ‘What could be the name? It could be this. Maybe we could use that?’” he told CNN. “Then at the very end, she gives me the drink and they must have asked my name and I must have said, ‘It's Gareth,’ but they heard ‘Scarif.’ They wrote Scarif on the cup and I was like, ‘That sounds like Star Wars.’”
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So there you have it. An entire fictional planet that will forever be referenced at Comic-Cons to come was named after a botched spelling somebody Sharpie-d onto a paper cup. But hey, it’s not that farfetched: Belgian scientists just named a bunch of new planets after beer.