Friday, 8 May 2009

Top 5 characters from Star Wars

Like most boys (or girls) who were between the age of seven and twelve in 1977, Star Wars is one of my favourite movies. The saga it began is as popular now, thirty years on, as it was in the late seventies. Just the other day my youngest was explaining to me the plot details of the original movie whilst playing Lego Star Wars on the PlayStation. He knows the story as well as me and is as entranced by the characters as I had been in '77.

1. R2D2
I can't really explain why a small robot who communicates in bleeps and clicks made such a big impression on me. However, I'm pretty sure R2 would be high up in most people's top five. Alongside his "straight man" C3P0 he brings a comic lightness to the films yet also plays an important role in the key events. Anthony Daniels is perfectly cast as the counterfoil to R2's bravery and determination. The two robots were based on Tahei and Matashichi the peasant's from Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress and provide an alternative view of the saga which I think is one of the films great strengths.

2. Yoda
It took me a while to love Yoda. Initially he seemed to be just an excuse to use Jim Henson's Muppet appeal. However, If there's one thing the prequels got right it was the chance to see Yoda in his Jedi prime. Seeing the little green guy spinning in mid-air whilst demonstrating sword skills that would impress Errol Flynn is worth the price of admission on its own.

3. Han Solo
Yeah, Luke might have been the main hero but he was always a bit too wet to really admire. Han Solo was the real star of the show, a bit rough around the edges and not always driven by the right motivation, he was the lovable rouge it was impossible to dislike.

4. Darth Vader
One of the greatest ever movie Villains. He features in so many of the standout moments; his arrival on the captured rebel ship, the dogfight for the Death Star, his redemption as he dies saving Luke's life. Vader's appearance makes an impact on the story without the need for dialogue.

5. Boba Fett
A late change in my top 5 thanks to a chance conversation the other day (cheers Gav). Boba Fett doesn't say a great deal but he steals the screen whenever he appears. Star Wars kick started my love of collecting things. Initially it was bubble gum cards but I soon moved on to the little plastic figures. I think Boba Fett was particularly rare and I remember being over the moon when I eventually got one thanks to an offer on the back of a Corn Flakes packet. In Empire and Jedi Fett was cool because he looked battle worn and tough to beat, his subsequent revelation as the original source for all clones has only added to his mystique.


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