The force is strong with this one: Parents name newborn after Star Wars

Ryker Jedi Gracie was born at 7 pounds, 11 ounces.

From left: Dr. Kimberly Cole, Denise Gracie holding Ryker Jedi, Jim Gracie holding son Noah.
From left: Dr. Kimberly Cole, Denise Gracie holding Ryker Jedi, Jim Gracie holding son Noah. –Courtesty of Winchester Hospital

Dr. Kimberly Cole turned to the parents of the baby she delivered at Winchester Hospital early Thursday to tell them they’d had a boy.

She asked the couple, Jim and Denise Gracie, what his name was. They told her “Ryker.’’ Then she asked what his middle name was.

“The dad said to the mom, ‘Should we?’ and she said, ‘Yes, it’s Jedi,’’’ Cole told

Jim Gracie said he and his wife had been toying with the name for a while — they’d thought about it for their first son, Noah, 5, who was also delivered by Cole.


Gracie said he’s been a fan of the films for as long as he can remember — the films came out before he was born.

“I don’t know a world without it,’’ he said.

The couple knew their second child’s due date was close to the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and decided that if the baby was born on the day or close enough to it, they’d give the middle name of ‘Jedi’ if the baby was a boy and another Star Wars-related name if a girl.

“We figured it would be fun idea, and once we did it, the doctor was like, ‘Really, oh that’s awesome,’’’ Gracie said.

Cole said the experience was a new one for her.

“I’ve done this for a long time, and I feel like I’ve seen it all,’’ she said. “But I’ve never delivered a Jedi.’’

His son’s first name, it turns out, has another major franchise character connection — Star Trek — though spelled differently, which Gracie said was unintentional.

“It just kind of had a nice ring to it,’’ he said of the name “Ryker.’’

The Woburn couple isn’t in a “mad rush’’ to see the new film, Gracie said, but do plan to see it sometime in the coming weeks.


As for introducing Ryker Jedi to the films he’s named for, Gracie said he’s certain the movies will be on in the background when his son comes home.

“He’ll have no choice once he walks into the house, we’re kind of surrounded by it,’’ he said.

Gracie said there’s been lots of fun around his son’s unique name. Instead of saying “Congratulations’’ to the couple, hospital staff has been saying “May the force be with you.’’

“Every time he wakes up it’s like, ‘Oh, the force awakens,’’’ he said. “It’s just a lot of fun, and the nurses are having a good time with it.’’

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