Mark Hamill Proud That Gibbon Primate Gets Named After Luke Skywalker

Author Thumbnail BY Tiny Diapana - January 11, 2017

It looks like the Star Wars franchise has moved beyond the influence of human species. Scientists have discovered a new species of primate, and they’ve decided to give the gibbon a Star Wars name.  

According to BBC, new research has just confirmed that a long-studied gibbon found in South West China’s tropical forest is a brand new species of ape, and scientists have decided to give the primate the name Skywalker hoolock gibbon.


One of the reasons why the researchers decided to name the gibbon after Luke Skywalker was because the Chinese characters of the ape’s scientific name translate to “Heaven’s Movement.”  The second, and most understandable reason behind the name choice was because the scientists were big fans of Star Wars.

In interview with BBC, Dr. Sam Turvey of the Zoological Society of London who had been part of the team that studied the Skywalker hoolock gibbon expressed how happy he was to find a new species of primate.

"In this area, so many species have declined or gone extinct because of habitat loss, hunting and general human overpopulation. So it's an absolute privilege to see something as special and as rare as a gibbon in a canopy in a Chinese rainforest, and especially when it turns out that the gibbons are actually a new species previously unrecognized by science."

Luke Skywalker himself expressed pride in the newly discovered primate, with Star Wars icon Mark Hamill tweeting that he was proud that the giboon had been named after his character.

With only 200 of the Skywalker hoolock gibbon found in the wild, it’s great to hope that the rare and endangered animal will be given even more attention now that it’s been named after the Skywalker family.

Read: Kanan Headed Deeper Into The Gray Side of The Force in Star Wars Rebels

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Tiny Diapana is a literary dilettante and warrior of the written word. She has a penchant for poetry, with some of her compositions seeing publication in anthologies. Tiny is drawn to magic realism (eg. Salman Rushdie, Etgar Kerret) and books that are stylistic and Kafkaesque. Her free time is often spent on boardgames, books, manga, comics, pop culture series, movies and practicing bass.
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