Every movie that has ever been made, or will be made will have at least one character. Characters are what the movie the critical acclaim, or in some cases, the resounding thud. The Star Wars Saga is full of characters that make an impact. And we all have our favorites, whether it’s a main character like Han Solo or Darth Vader, or a minor character like Mon Mothma or Bail Organa. My favorites are a mixture of both.
My all-time, absolute favorite character is a small droid that has been mistaken for a trash can, kidnapped by Jawas, or destroy two Super Battle Droids with some oil and rockets. That’s right. My favorite is none other than R2-D2! I like R2 because he is not your run-of-the-mill droid. He has an attitude, and he is proud of it. He is always “laughing” at 3P0 and getting into digital arguments with him. But when he is needed, he has no problem rolling in, or flies in and saves the day. His heroic deeds are scattered throughout all six films, the Clone Wars series and many of the Expanded Universe books. Our first glimpse of this is in Episode IV when he opens the door to the escape pod on the Tantive IV and even convinces his stuck-up, golden friend to join him. Later in the movie, he accesses the Death Star’s computer systems and is able to turn off the garbage mashers, saving the humans (and Wookiee) in the nick of time. Oh yeah, and it was in his memory banks that Leia places the Death Star plans in the first place. There are other instances in the OT where he saves the day, but too many to list here.
In the PT, he kills the buzz droid that could have damaged Anakin’s fighter in Episode III. In Episode I it was his ingenuity that fixed the hyperdrive on the Naboo cruiser and saved everyone from a fiery death. Imagine how the story would have changed if he was blown to bits like his fellow astromechs! In Episode II, he pushes 3PO off the ledge in order to fly in and save Padmè from getting burned to death, although she still gets captured. Again, there are other examples of his heroics throughout the PT. In my humble opinion, and this opinion is shared by other fans, R2 is the REAL hero of the Saga!
But R2 isn’t my only favorite character. I have a couple more that I would like to share with you. I am going to pick one character from each trilogy. My favorite character from the PT is Obi-Wan Kenobi. I liked watching him across all 3 films. I like the fact that we are able to see him grow from a young, slightly over confident Padawan in Episode I to a respected Jedi Master in Episode III. In between we get to see the struggles he endured in trying to train Anakin to become a Jedi, at first more because his former Master Qui-Gon Jinn asked him to, even though he didn’t think that Anakin was ready. All this while the galaxy that Kenobi had sworn to protect and defend was beginning to go to war. In Episode III, you see the frustration that he has with his former Padawan and now friend or in his words brother. He has the job of trying to make Anakin see the deception that Palpatine is using to get Anakin’s friendship and probably has to hide the fact that he knows about the relationship between Anakin and Padmè, but doesn’t want to say anything directly because he doesn’t know what Anakin’s reaction is going to be. One of my favorite parts of the saga is after Kenobi defeats Anakin and you see the emotion and anguish he is experiencing. Easily one of the more emotional parts of the entire saga.
Surprisingly, Obi Wan is not my favorite OT character. I liked him in Ep IV, but could have done without him in the last two. Just my opinion. My favorite OT character would have to be Wedge Antilles. He’s another character that you see evolve throughout the three films, although not in as much detail as Kenobi in the OT, unfortunately. Wedge goes from probably voicing the doubts that the rest of the pilots are thinking during the Death Star attack briefing and being chided by a farm boy who just shows up and thinks he’s the greatest pilot in the room to becoming one of the flight leaders during the attack on the second death star. In the EU he has an illustrious military career, but we won’t go into that. He also becomes one of Luke’s best friends, even though they start out bad.
I have another favorite from the OT, but he’s a bad guy. His name is Firmus Piette. We first see him in Empire with the rank of Captain. He gets promoted to Admiral in the most unusual way, watching Vader Force Choke the previous Admiral. He somehow survives when he fails to capture the Millennium Falcon after they escape Cloud City on Bespin. We see him fear for his life the moment the Falcon goes into hyperdrive. He eventually dies when the Super Star Destroyer Executor crashes into the Second Death Star at the end of the Battle of Endor. I think he was a cool character, only to die in the way probably every soldier would like to die, and that’s in battle, not getting choked to death by someone in another part of the ship.
Those are my favorite characters. I would be interested to see some of the minor characters that everybody likes. Please feel free to respond to this entry, or you can send me an e-mail at email@example.com. If you enjoy the podcasts, please post a review on iTunes. And remember, this is the podcast you are looking for.