Ewok Corner: A Menagerie of Meaningless CharactersDecember 31, 2015 at 12:00 am | Posted in Opinion, Regular Feature, Star Wars | Leave a comment
For those who haven’t seen the movie yet, mild spoilers below.
The Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens included a swath of stories featuring characters from the film. While I suspected these characters would have small background roles, some of them are so miniscule that it’s a game in itself to spot them.
Where in the world is Constable Zuvio? The answer: he might be seen in the background right before Unkar Plutt offers Rey 60 portions of food for BB-8. Right before that scene, there’s a shot of Rey standing in line that’s a side shot and in the background are two characters with wide brimmed hats. This could be Zuvio and one of his cousins since they all wear the same hats. Yet this character received not one but two Hasbro action figures. One in 3 and 3/4 inch scale and one 6 inch Black Series figure. On top of that, he also got his own short story, “High Noon on Jakku” by Landry Walker. That seems a bit excessive for a character who was not mentioned in the film and who got almost zero screen time. It’s almost as bad as…
Sarco Plank, the backstabbing alien guide in Jason Fry’s The Weapon of a Jedi is supposedly somewhere in the film during the Jakku scenes. Like Zuvio, he got an action figure, and unlike Zuvio, he got a full length book. Yet plank gets no dialog, no name drop, and miniscule, blink-and-you’ll-miss-him screen time. I get creating fun backstories for background characters, but in the instances of Zuvio and Sarco, I think more visible characters should have been chosen. I doubt there’s much fan demand for Zuvio and Plank action figures. On the other hand, Maz Kanata is nowhere to be found…yet.
On the plus side, there’s Bazine and the Crimson Corsair. Both got the short story treatment, screen time and even dialog. In fact they play small parts in the story of the film. Bazine is the lady in Maz Kanata’s castle who rats out BB-8’s presence to the First Order. The Crimson Corsair, also in Maz Kanata’s castle, accepts Finn’s offer to work for passage to the Outer Rim (he’s the guy in red armor). Now these are justifiable characters for backstories. Oddly enough, Hasbro hasn’t made action figures of them. For those who are curious, you can check out Bazine in “The Perfect Weapon” by Delilah S. Dawson, and the Crimson Corsair in “The Crimson Corsair and the Lost Treasure of Count Dooku” by Landry Walker. Both are good stories.
While we haven’t seen the end of stories for minor characters in The Force Awakens, one can hope that we’ll begin to see more meaningful characters fleshed out. The veil of secrecy served its purpose. Now it’s time to dig in and have some fun. All we ask is no more Zuvio’s or Plank’s.