I’ll be adding “Endearing Sidekick” to the list of tropes I’ll certainly be avoiding. Boy, am I peeved. New Star Wars trailer, right, right? Fucking cool, right?
No! Fuck that Star Wars trailer! Everything was going just great until they did that thing that every slightly family friendly IP has to fucking do these days! They introduce an objectively cute, smaller character who’s sole purpose is to be just that. Cute and small. Fuck. They had to do it.
Let’s talk about this “porg” thing just a moment. Small faced, big eyed, penguin-like, high-pitched. Why. Why did they have to do it. When they introduce this thing in the trailer it directly follows Chewbacca and mimics his signature chuffing, in a higher pitch. Now the entire world’s lost its god damn mind over this thing.
We saw this happen with Olaf in Frozen, as well! Not that I at all have any attachment to that film, but that was the last straw for me of that movie. If they had kept with the themes they were working with, the nice and complex moods, and what in the hell did they think when they designed this motherfucker?
Make him actually dim-witted, stupid, something we can hug and make fun of, miss adding any depth to his character, and then kill him at the end before introducing magical resurrection to the story. Yeah, yeah, he was an endearing icon of the protagonist’s childhood, I get that. I think it’s cool. But why, oh why, would they have to characterize him like they did?
It’s like they could smell the cocaine residue left in rolled up hundred dollar bills when they were doing lines in the marketing and merchandising department. Then one guy sits up, screeches “I have an idea!” with his tie tied around his head loosely shoots out of his chair and sprints up thirty flights of stairs to reach the writing offices, and then blurts the idea out into the room. That’s how it happened.
So Disney’s done the exact same thing with Star Wars, not that you could blame them. No sir, a video game, cinematic universe, produce promotions, expanded universe of novels, and a legacy of memories associated with the brand couldn’t line the coffers enough. They had to go and do this.
Now we’re left with this fucking porg. Whatever the hell they’re gonna call this one (I’m sure they’re going to give it a name), they’re going to make a toy line based solely off this little prick and it’s going to sell incredibly well. Meanwhile, we don’t even know what race YODA is but we know what this thing is right off the bat and, hey look at that, it’s sitting with Chewbacca in the Millennium Falcon! There’s that star power in action!
For the record, R2-D2 was insufferable enough. The dynamic between him and C3PO makes it worthwhile, but taking R2 on his own I would not like him as a character as much as his partner.
And we all know how well Jar-Jar went over. But where Jar-Jar at least had potential to communicate in something other than mumbles or chirps, they took that idea and decided “Fuck it, let’s stick anime eyes on a fucking blob thing, that’ll sell” and it fucking will!
Just like baby Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Maybe I just have a thing with generically cute characters, but this is where I think that character fell through as well. Read the character of Groot in a book and you’d think it’s fucking stupid. A character who’s emotions are stoic and slightly happy, who can only communicate by declaring he is aware of his own name. Also he’s a sentient tree kinda like the ancients from Warcraft. Makes perfect sense.
Check out that moment from the end of the first movie again. All of our protagonists are plummeting towards certain death, and to save them all Groot magically manifests more biomass to create a sort of roll cage out of his own body. In doing so, he says instead of “I am Groot” (as he’s said the entire god damn movie), “We are Groot”. Whoa. Back up. Hang on there. The fuck was that?
Is he saying he is god? Is Groot in all things? What the fuck did the magical talking tree mean when he asserted that a group of aliens were somehow him as well? I’ll have many questions to pose Vin Diesel about this one.
Imagining the character design document for these characters always eludes me. Groot. Why? Olaf? Why? Porg? Why? Subtract them from the story and they don’t add anything of substance to the plot at all, and instead they more cater to that dollar demographic. Merch. Memes. Virality.
Of course. Fucking sidekicks. And I was just admiring how they handled the reveal of Rey in The Force Awakes. Finn being a red herring at to who the force was going to awaken in. Good execution. Nice ambiguity.
Porg? Fuck off.