Iconic Characters Who Almost Had Totally Different Names

Our name can be a huge part of our identity, and the same goes for our favorite fictional characters. Mickey Mouse, Sherlock Holmes, Luke Skywalker: their names feel so perfect that we can’t imagine calling them anything else. But did you know that these characters — and many others besides them — almost went by completely different monikers? It sounds like sacrilege, but it’s true. Read on to discover what some of the most iconic heroes and villains of books and screen were nearly called.

1. Luke Skywalker

Luke Skywalker is one of the most iconic characters in movie history. So it might shock you when you learn that he very nearly didn’t exist. Yes, in the early drafts of Star Wars that George Lucas penned, the character directly in Luke’s rightful place was a female Jedi named Starkiller. A 65-year-old general was also considered. Thankfully, with the aid of his own surname and some further inspiration, Luke Skywalker was born.

2. Mickey Mouse

Mickey Mouse is a legendary cartoon character with a most memorable moniker. The name rolls off the tongue so perfectly that you might be stunned to find out it was nearly very different. In fact, Walt Disney was going to call the iconic rodent “Mortimer” until his wife Lilian thankfully talked some sense into him. Mrs. Disney reportedly told him that Mortimer was a bad fit, and Mickey was a lot “friendlier-sounding.” Bravo Lilian!

3. Doc Brown

Now, we all love Christopher Lloyd as the eccentric Doc Brown in the Back to the Future franchise. You’ve probably never considered until now, though, just how integral the moniker “Doc” was to the character. But if we told you that the first draft had him going by the name “Professor Brown,” you’d quickly realize how that would have been just plain wrong: sacrilege even. Thankfully the alteration was made, to help lend the character his signature quirkiness. 

4. Yosemite Sam

One of the coolest characters in the Looney Tunes cartoon universe, Yosemite Sam almost went by a different name. Indeed, three or four monikers were mooted by writers when they were seeking to name the rootin’ tootin’ gunslinger. Those considered included “Texas Tiny,” “Wyoming Willie,” and “Denver Dan.” Finally, when in search of that Western-style name, the creators landed on Yosemite Sam. Bingo!