When thinking about powerful characters, quite a few come to mind: Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams), Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), Yoda (Frank Oz), and Darth Vader (James Earl Jones). There are many more, but for the sake of word space, I will stop here.
Now, when thinking about the less powerful characters, there are only a select few. In the beginning, C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) and R2-D2 (Kenny Baker) are sent to Jabba the Hutt (Larry Ward) with a message from Luke. Luke defines Jabba as “powerful” and “presents…[the two droids as] a gift”. R2-D2 and C-3PO, no matter how endearing, are represented as disposable.
However, both of these characters play important roles in this movie. C-3PO is obviously helpful because he can speak many languages. However, he is especially helpful when the team is captured by Ewoks, and they think he “is some sort of god”.
After returning to their village in the trees with their god and captors, the Ewoks intend for Han “to be the main course at banquet in [C-3PO’s] honor”. However, he does not have any authority with the teddy bear species until Luke uses the Force to make him hoover above them.
R2 continuously works well as an announcement system to danger. He lets the team know Luke is approaching, even though he is not a bad guy. Although he tries, R2 “can find no trace of Princess Leia” (Carrie Fisher) when she ventures into the forest with the little Ewok. And even though the team gets captured by a net, R2 is on top of things and cuts them out.
Princess Leia is also one I would consider less powerful, but extremely important in this movie. She is one of two women who speak in this movie and the only one extensively shown. (This film fails the Bechdel Test.) However, she is the one to “free [Han] from the carbonite”. Although she fails at getting away from this situation successfully, she does have other important attributes.
She does exhibit her power and courage when she chokes Jabba the Hutt and helps Luke destroy his ship in the desert. She acts bravely, again, when chasing after the Storm Troopers. Luke tries to stop her but ends up jumping onto the speeder bike with her. She tries to save her “friends” in the Ewok village, but the creatures do not listen to her.
Also, they demonstrate actions similar to Leia; one of them jumps on a speeder bike and speeds away from the enemy to give the team a chance to break in. However, their confidence does take an extreme turn when they think they can take down a whole At-St-Walker. Talk about “delusions of grandeur”!
How powerful or important are these characters? It all depends on your “point of view”. Without these small, simple characters, this movie would not have ended the way it did.
There are many curious decisions made in the filming of this move. Five of them will open your eyes to what could have been
I am always interest in different interpretations of the characters.
If you feel the need to continue your Star Wars geek-out session (and you don’t already know about it), this website will bring you much joy!
Thanks for reading! See you next week!