I haven’t seen the new Star Wars film “The Force Awakens” myself. So I don’t think it’s possible to leak any spoilers, but consider yourself warned. In the new film Director JJ Abrams includes a new planet called Takodana. The name sounds oddly Japanese because, well, it is! At a press conference in Tokyo last week Abrams himself, after much prodding, revealed a fun fact: Takodana was named after the Tokyo neighborhood Takadanobaba.
“I can share one thing,” said Abrams. “There is planet in the movie called Takodana. And I named it (as such) because the first time I came to Tokyo, we stayed in a hostel in Takadanobaba.” He continues: “So it was a nod to my favorite city.”(!)
It’s unclear whether the spelling of “Takodana” was simply Abrams’ phonetic interpretation of the town or an intentional obfuscation. But either way, Takadanobaba locals should be proud!
Takadanobaba, or Baba, as it’s known locally, is home to a large student body who commutes to the nearby Waseda University, as well as other vocational colleges and prep schools. It’s also the hometown of the fictional Astro Boy. Waseda even created a video to introduce the “Baba Walk,” a path down Waseda Dori that includes used bookshops, ramen joints and restaurants.