Tuesday, June 04, 2013

"Between his howling and your blasting everything in sight it's a wonder the whole station doesn't know we're here."

 As you know, I've been reading - nearly finished reading - Star Wars, A New Hope. I won't say much about it here as I plan on reviewing it. But, I've been a bit at a loss for a character post, which is why I skipped a day. (That and I was too busy sulking on learning that Matt Smith will no longer be playing the Doctor after the Christmas Special. You've no idea how excited I was to have him and Clara in a whole series together. Then they had to go and break my heart.)

 Anyways, I still am too busy sulking to come up with an actual character to post about, that and I want to finish the book before I do the one I really want to do. But, I do have a post on characters.

 Han Solo has got me thinking about sidekicks, a subject which comes to mind every now and then when I watch movies or read books. 

 Typically, sidekicks are supposed to stay in the background of the story. Their goal is to make the hero look even cooler then he normally would. Their not supposed to get the girl, they're not supposed to defeat the villain, they're just supposed to be there. Yet, very few sidekicks stick to this rule.

 There are different kinds of sidekicks. There are the ones who provide comic relief - Haddock, the Thompsons, Pippin, Puddleglum, Scotty, Reily from National Treasure, and even Han Solo. Whenever there is a tense moment, these types of sidekicks will say or do something ridiculous to keep things on a lighter side. They work best with the quieter, more solemn heroes. They are not supposed to get the girl, they are not supposed to steal the spotlight, they are just supposed to make us laugh. 

 Then you have the sidekicks who are completely devoted to keeping the hero alive. Samwise Gamgee, Kenobi, Gandalf, - I think Haddock could fit into this category as well. He provided a lot of comedy in the books, but when it came down to it, he gladly would have died if it meant keeping Tintin alive, such as in Tintin in Tibet. These characters usually end up sacrificing something for the hero, whether it is their life or giving up something they really want. (Such as for Sam, giving up his life working in the quiet gardens he loved to travel into Mordor with Frodo. Haddock giving up his "quiet" life at Marlinspike to join Tintin on many of his dangerous adventures. Gandalf risking his life to help Frodo and Aragorn in their quests. And Kenobi, who died to give Luke and the others a chance to escape.)

 But the point is, no matter what kind of sidekick a book or movie has, the story really wouldn't work without them. Where would Jill and Eustice be without Puddleglum? They would probably have not made it ten steps into their quest before giving up to have a good, long argument. It was Sam who helped Frodo carry the ring up to Mount Doom. If Sam hadn't carried him, I doubt he would have made it into the mountain at all. (And I won't go into Haddock and Tintin now because they get a whole post to themselves.) The same with Han and Luke, the two who inspired this post. But, basically, where would Luke have been without Han? After Kenobi died, there was the risk of him just giving up, Han reminded him of what he had to do.

 And sometimes these sidekicks get tired of hanging out in the background, as if they were ever in the background to start with. After all, we remember them as much as we do the heroes. But, sometimes, they decide the hero shouldn't get the girl, so they take her instead. (Han, Sam, Ron, I'd be tempted to say the Doctor but I don't think there was ever a chance of him getting Amy.) And sometimes they accomplish in stealing the spot light - I think Han fits into this one. I've noticed that a lot more people now like him over Luke - at least those who don't hate him over his "I know" after Leia said she loved him.

 So, in spite of a few girl stealing cases, and some attempts at role swapping, most sidekicks seem content to help out the hero in whatever way possible. And because of this role, they are never forgotten by the reader or viewer, though sometimes the rouge sidekicks are remembered more. (I have one such sidekick in one of my books, so don't tell him this or he's likely to take over the whole story.)

 What about for all of you? What are some of your favourite hero/ sidekick teams? And which kind of sidekick do you like the best?

 Don't forget, these posts are part of the lead up to the publication of my newest book, A Stretch of Loyalty. I am holding a giveaway for one free, signed copy of the book. If you wish to enter all you have to do is write your own character post, then leave your name in one of my comment boxes. I will read the post and add your name to the giveaway. You may enter more than once. Closing date is June 14th, when the book will be published. I will announce the winner June 15th.
 Thanks to those who have already entered and helped in spreading the news about my book!

 And on a side note to all you Whovains out there. What are your thoughts on Matt Smith leaving?

 Quote is from Star Wars.




  1. GREAT post! I always love the sidekicks more than the heroes. I think it's because they are usually the comic relief... and are just more memorable because they don't have the whole weight of the plot hanging on their shoulders. They are allowed to be comic relief.
    My old Shakespeare teacher used to say that it's the little characters that people remember. They may not have many lines, but the lines they do say, they can make completely hilarious - just by the way they play it. One time, she said, they saw a Twelfth Night play and, though the priest didn't have too many lines... the way he did them made him the favorite character of the whole thing. Instead of saying, "Do you take this man to be your husband" he said his line like this: "Mawrige is hwhat bwings us togeder today."

    I do love Han Solo and Luke. And, being a fan of a certain author... Tony and Peter. And Kirk. Though I'm not sure if he can necessarily be called Steed's sidekick...

    Matt Smith leaving.... Hmm... I don't really know how I feel. He's had four years, that's pretty good. Mostly I'm excited to find out who is going to be the next Doctor! Oh, the suspense.

    Now, you asked me a couple weeks ago whether I like the first three Star Wars movies. I shall answer that now, as I forgot to before.
    Everyone hates them. And I can see why. But I saw them before I knew how much everyone hated them and I enjoyed them (and I like Jar Jar Binks - even though the rest of the world despises him). I really like the first one. And the second one is my favorite of the first three. The third one.... eh, I'm not a huge fan.
    I really love Ewan McGregor as a young Obi-Wan. I think he played his part wonderfully. He was a Star Wars fan when he was little. And his uncle played one of the pilots in the A New Hope (Wedge, I think).
    I also like Natalie Portman as Padme.... And Mace Windu is super cool - all the Jedi's are. Not to mention the cool bad guys (Darth Maul and Count Dukoo).
    But the guy who played Anikan.... aiy. I do NOT like him. I don't think he did a very good job playing the role (and maybe it was partly due to bad writing). I can't see his Anikan becoming the Darth Vader from the original three movies. I just can't see him turning into that.
    What are your thoughts?

    The museum is really cool. If you ever come to the pacific northwest, send me an email and maybe you could come visit for a day and we could go see the Dalek and Captain Kirk's chair (which I believe is the original) together!
    Most of the exhibits stay forever... but some of the artifacts will be moved from museum to museum (like the original Tolkien documents) to make room for new artifacts.

    Have a good rest of your week. =)

  2. ~I`ve only watched the ninth doctor =( But I heard rumors that Benedict Cumberbatch may be the next doctor!! Have you watched Star Trek 2 yet? It`s really good!

    ~I watched Star Wars so long ago I forgot what even happened.... I`ll have to rewatch the entire series some day! There are Star Wars story books? o.o I thought there were only movies, or was it adapted into books later on?

    ~Oh I love funny sidekicks! They`re such fun to read! I wish I was good at writing side kicks, cause my side kicks seem to make their way into the main character circle. And then I end up having tons of main characters....

  3. I suppose Han is kind of a sidekick, but I never thought of him as a sidekick because I have always thought of Han, Luke and Leia as a team with Luke receiving slightly more time than the others. I have always considered Chewbacca the sidekick of the Star Wars franchise, but good point with Han.
    Samwise is great, my favorite LOTR character.

    Matt Smith leaving is horrible! Clara and 11 are the best, possibly the best companion/Doctor combination ever.


  4. I love this post! Sidekicks are my favourite characters. I can't really think of any more besides what you listed -- Shrek and Donkey, maybe? But I almost always like the sidekick a little better than the hero. I'm not really sure why some actors are so set against being the sidekick, when really they get all the best lines and all the love from the fans :P

    Anyway, this was a really good analysis. You should do lots more of these, you're very good at them. And yes! I heard about Matt Smith! I had no internet for literally one day, and the next day I got on tumblr and everyone was crying and saying goodbye to Matt Smith. I was like "what did I miss?"

    I am pretty sad that he and Clara didn't get a whole season, and I think the Ponds' extra episodes were unnecessary for the episode, but I am excited for Clara to be a regeneration companion! I hope the next doctor is cool...I've never been around for this type of thing before, because Matt had already taken over for David Tennant when I started watching.

    Ooh -- Mickey and Rory are good sidekicks! I just thought of them.

    Now I need to go have a Narnia/Lord of the Rings/Star Wars marathon. I haven't seen any of them in a while. Once again, fabulous post!

  5. I love sidekicks - both to read and to write about! I have one character in a book I shelved who may just get a book of his own :)

  6. I recognized your quote right off the bat...one of my faves from Star Wars :)

    To me, a great sidekick not only enhances the main hero, but can also stand alone if need be....such as Dr. Watson, one of my favorite sidekicks.

    As for Smith leaving, I'm not too broken up about it. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed his run, but I'm ready for someone new to take over. Someone, preferably, a little older....

  7. Remember Roy Roger's sidekick. I loved the ole guy. There are so many more that need listing, but I'm behind in my chores. Thanks so much for visiting my blog, Jack. It's much appreciated.

  8. Sometimes when the hero is the loner type, the sidekick does get the girl.

  9. My favorite sidekicks has been Rose Tyler and Dr. John Watson....obviously.

    I am loving Matt Smith, but when a friend of mine broke the the news of him leaving Doctor Who I cried after church and many people started to stare. I just started his run and finished Vincent and The Doctor episode yesterday and I just love his humor and Amy Pond. My hope for the new Doctor is that it wont be an actor/actress that I hate and continue to hate for the rest of the series....

    Sam R.

  10. Hating Han for saying, "I know" after Leia said she loved him? What?! That was one of the parts I remember best. One, it was hilarious. :) Two, it's his character. If he hadn't said it, well, Han Solo just wouldn't be Han Solo.

    Hero and sidekick teams? I still like Holmes and Watson best I think. MacGyver and Jack Dalton, for an old TV show. :) Fili and Kili because they are inseparable brothers (though technically they're both sidekicks). Westley and his sidekicks Inigo and Fezzik. Tris and Christine if you've read Divergent. Katniss and Rue for the small time they were able to collaborate. Shamus and Kirk, they are so hilarious. :) Oh, and Packer and Delaney if you've read the Trophy Chase Trilogy.

  11. As far as hero/sidekick combos, I think one of my favorites would be Danny and Renee from Dekker's The Priest's Graveyard/The Sanctuary, mostly because Renee (the sidekick) is forced to play the hero in The Sanctuary, and she's pretty good at it. I like a lot of Dekker's duos, mostly because even though they're main characters helping the protagonist, there's a part of you that wonders if they're really the villain.

    I also really like Shay and Tally from the Uglies series. The two of them had such a bizarre dynamic that was always changing, and they never really understood each other, but somehow ended up on the same side at least most of the time.

  12. I usually like the sidekick more than the main character and I'm not sure why. :) Sidekicks are awesome!

    I am so sad that Eleven is leaving! Nooooooooooo! I so love Eleven. And I am enjoying Eleven and Clara and I want more of them! *Sulks* I'm going to have to take a break between eleven and twelve or I probably wont like twelve very much. ;) I need to let my Eleven attachment grow a little cold. Sounds sorta weird, but, hey. Luckily I still have almost a whole series of Eleven left to watch. I will savor them. (Yeah. Like that's going to happen! *Next episode. Next. Next. Next...Oops. :)



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