Tomorrow may be my birthday (Happy Cinco de Kai-yo!) but today is a day for celebration as well.
You see, I’ve been a Star Wars fan my entire life. The first movie I ever went to, though I was in my mother’s belly at the time, was Star Wars. As a kid, I had almost every action figure, ship and playset Kenner ever made. A collection I set out to restore in my 20′s. Here’s a glimpse at part of my current toy room:
Between that and the movie obsession, I’m as shocked as you that the Editor-in-Chief said yes when I got down on one knee. Believe me!
But I digress… those of you that have read my stuff for a long time may recognize this list as I have done it before. However, as time goes on, things change. As do opinions. So, I’ve made a few tweaks as I revisit this topic. I hope you enjoy!
HONORABLE MENTION: EWOKS.
Stop hatin’! After all, they’re just bite size Wookies.
I still don’t understand why people love C3PO and hate Jar Jar. Not that Jar Jar isn’t annoying as hell just because C3PO is the Jar Jar equivalent of the original trilogy. He’s really a nag and nuisance for most of the film. However, this robot is also besties with R2D2 which turns his annoying behavior into comic relief most of the time. Easily one of the greatest droids of the Star Wars universe!
9. LUKE SKYWALKER.
Thought he’d be a little higher on the list? What can I say? I’ve never been a huge fan of “boy scout” type characters. The kind of character that always does the right thing in the end. Always been more of an anti-hero guy myself. Still, Luke is the main protagonist in one of the greatest trilogies ever made. He’s also the closest thing to a face we’ll ever have on Joseph Campbell’s “Hero” archetype. So, he makes the list but #9 is the best I can do.
8. STORM TROOPER.
Sure, Storm Troopers seem like idiots. They’re bad shots and can be taken out by Ewoks and nerdy droids that can hardly bend their arms. Still, Storm Troopers are awesome for the same reason zombies are awesome. Their sheer numbers are frightening, even overwhelming, and they are relentless. With the exception of the recently over-used Clone Trooper, I am a fan of all incarnations of the Storm Trooper. The classic is my favorite with the Scout Troopers from ROTJ coming in a close second.
He’s a Mog… half man, half dog. Oh, wait, wrong movie! Chewy is a Wookie and how do you not love a Wookie? They’re loyal, they’re great mechanics, they can handle a blaster, they’ll back you up in a fight and they let out the most adorable growl when you scratch them behind the ears. Chewy being on this list is probably no big surprise to anyone. However, he gets bonus points for being the inspiration behind one of the funniest lines ever uttered on The Simpsons. When Nelson breaks Ralph Wiggums’ Chewbacca action figure he says: You broke my Wookie! I couldn’t find a clip for you but it’s out there, folks. I suggest you find it!
6. DARTH MAUL.
Personally, Darth Maul is my favorite “baddie” in the Star Wars universe. It just seemed sacreligious to put him ahead of Vader. Still, it’s a compelling argument: tatted face, yellow eyes and teeth, never says a word and rocks a double lightsaber like a Bo staff. What’s badder than that? My favorite scene in all the Star Wars films is the one where Darth Maul takes on Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon. Sure, he disappears as quick as he came but he does it in style and earns his place on this list by being the only reason people will ever rewatch The Phantom Menace!
5. DARTH VADER.
Now, let’s be clear, we’re talking Darth Vader here. Not Anakin! While the original trilogy focuses on Luke Skywalker, the six films combined are really dedicated to the evolution, dissent and ultimate redemption of Vader’s character. While the 2nd trilogy left many people disappointed, mainly due to the execution, the overall journey of this character is pretty fascinating. Plus, he can choke a dude out from across the room. Thank God because it’s hard for him to walk alot. He has breathing problems, you know.
R2 is the unsung hero of the entire Star Wars saga. He can co-pilot an X-wing fighter, get a rebel transmission halfway around the universe and can even stop a giant trash compactor from crushing you and your friends. He even manages to make C3PO tolerable. Not to mention, he manages to help provide comic relief for three films while only speaking in Boops, Beeps and WOOOOOOW’s. Gotta love, R2!
3. BOBA FETT.
Sure, Boba Fett dies like a punk being eaten by a giant sand vagina but, in his limited screen time, Boba Fett manages to cement his position as baddest of the bounty hunters. It’s a shame, though, how little time we get with his character. George Lucas has even been quoted as saying that had he known Boba Fett would’ve been so popular he wouldn’t have killed him off the way he did. He tried to make up for it by introducing Boba as a boy in the 2nd trilogy and even tried to recreate the magic by giving us Jango Fett but it just wasn’t the same… it just wasn’t the same.
I really struggled with whether or not to throw Yoda in the number one spot. Unfortunately, he lands right here. The oldest and wisest of the Jedi comes in two forms: CGI and puppet. Personally, I’m a fan of puppet Yoda. Used to have one of my own! However, I will give CGI a little love. After all, it gave me another one of my favorite Star Wars scene. I was there on opening night for Attack of the Clones, when shaky old Yoda pulled back his robe, used the force to draw his lightsaber from it’s hollster and went all ninja on Dooku. The crowd errupted and I was provided with one of my favorite cinema experiences.
1. HAN SOLO.
Let’s be honest… there’s only one character in movie history cooler than Han Solo and that’s Indiana Jones. If you disagree, you’re probably a communist!
I love Han Solo for being all the things that Luke Skywalker is not. He’s a true anti-hero. A character with few friends, lots of enemies and no affilliations. Someone with a shady past who still finds themselves compelled to do what’s right when the time calls. A flawed character. Not to mention, a character that will cut open a Tan-Tan and stuff you inside of it to keep you from freezing regardless of how bad it smells. He also made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs… whatever the hell that means.
That’s it for now, you Rebels and Imperialists. Have a great May the 4th and remember: HAN SHOT FIRST!!!!!
Remember, we here at Man, I Love Films don’t do definitive lists. We do our favorites and we want to hear yours. So, make sure and tell us about them in the comments section below.