Writing Wednesday: No Second Bananas
I have to thank Briane Pagel for Tweeting a link to this great post from 2008. It’s such a good post I kind of wanted to add my own two cents about it. If you’re too lazy to actually read the post, it’s about how sometimes the “secondary” characters are better than the “main” character. I haven’t read Dune or Harry Potter past the first one, but he is dead on the money when he references Star Wars and how some people like Han Solo more than Luke Skywalker. (And since Star Wars is the basis for everything in our society these days, why bother with anything else?)
Actually I’m not one of those people. Only because Luke got to fight with a lightsaber, which I thought (and still think) was freaking awesome. But I get why some people like Han more. Luke was such a goody-goody, sitting around on Tatooine drinking blue milk on the farm and shooting womprats and then learning to be a Jedi, the ultimate goody-two-shoes in a galaxy far, far away. By contrast Han got to hang around seedy bars, fight bounty hunters, fly his own ship, and have a Wookie backing him up the whole time. Plus while Luke gets to be a Jedi and props from ghosts, Han gets Luke’s sister. (And if you read the books they get married and have kids and probably great-grandkids by now.)
I was trying to think of something to compare it to and thought of “Happy Days.” Luke was the Richie Cunningham, the boring, nerdy kid who was lucky if he got to first base. Han was the Fonz, the cool dude who had chicks swooning. Richie was probably more like who you are in real life; the Fonz was the guy you wished you were. Is it any wonder he was so popular the show went on for years after Richie left?
But of course some people like Darth Vader the most. Others like Boba Fett or Yoda…no one likes Jar Jar Binks except George Lucas. I always had a soft spot for poor Dak, the guy in Luke’s snowspeeder who gets like three lines, knocked out, and crushed by an AT-AT. I’m just a fatalist that way. Anyway, before I get running too long as I promised not to do, people are weird and sometimes they’re attracted to different things. That’s why it’s like they say, “There no small parts, only small actors.” You might think a character is secondary, but to a reader that character is the best.
Friday Flix returns with why even bad movies can be worth watching…