Before I start off my column, I just wanted to say thanks to all you guys who gave me awesome comments about my first article where I talked about fantasy art. It really kicks ass to be writing for this site, and I know some of you guys don’t like me because I’m the new guy, but I can sympathize. I know it sucks when there’s a new writer and you’re all going “you suck, bring back Lowtax,” but if you didn’t like the first one, I hope you like this one better!
So here goes: One of the really awesome things about Star Wars (and brother, there are a TON of awesome things about Star Wars) is the fact that the whole universe is filled up with more awesome characters than you can even imagine. See, that’s why you’re not George Lucas… he can imagine them, and he did! Everywhere you look in any of the movies there’s some alien guy hanging around in the background doing something cool, so every time you watch the Star Wars movies you see new things and you’re like “I wonder who that guy is? I wonder what his story is?”
Anyways, I’ve decided that for my second Something Awful column ever, I’m going to talk about some of the sweetest looking background alien guys in Star Wars. My buddy showed me how to freeze-frame the DVDs on a computer, which has to be the greatest thing ever, so it’s even going to be illustrated with photos. This is gonna be an epic saga, guys, just like the movies.
By the way, I should start off by saying that if you haven’t seen all the Star Wars movies, you should stop reading this in case I say stuff that gives it away! Also, if you haven’t seen Star Wars, what the holy heck are you even doing on the internet?
I’m mostly going to focus on the New Trilogy, but I just had to start out with the original Star Wars, because it basically invented the whole idea of having awesome background aliens, so let’s talk about a few guys from Episode IV: A New Hope first.
Episode IV: A New Hope
This guy right here, I think his name is Hammerhead, made one hell of an impression on me back when I was just a little kid. Oh, by the way, I used to totally know the names of every alien in the “cantina” scene, but that was a lot of years and muchos beers ago, so I’m a little rusty now. So anyway, this guy was like my introduction to Star Wars when I was a kid. My dad was watching it on TV and I toddled in right at the part where they showed this guy, and of course I’m going “whoa!” I was hooked for life. I don’t know why this dude stuck in my head so much, but I had some crazy ideas about him when I was a kid. I used to call him “bike man.” I would make my dad rewind the tape like a million times and watch this guy over and over, even though he’s only there for a second. I called him bike man because I thought his head looked like a motor scooter! You know, like you could sit on the back of his head and the big flat front part is like the front of the scooter with the handlebars on it, you get it? Here’s a picture of what I mean:
I was totally convinced that the devil guy rode around on his head like he was one of those motorbikes. I even remember telling all my friends at school that there was a scene where the devil guy rode around on him! And the thing is, I totally, totally believed it. I must have dreamed it or something, because I can clearly see it in my head to this day. When Star Wars came out on DVD I even tried to see if there was a deleted scene like that, because it is so clear in my mind. So anyway, that’s bike man and he kicks ass!
Here’s the devil guy who I thought rode around on the other guy like a bike. Of course I know that’s not true, but I still think this guy is awesome as hell (no pun intended). What the heck was George Lucas even thinking when he was designing this scene? He was saying, “okay aliens over here, more aliens, more aliens, more aliens, and right here I want a devil! Yeah, that’s right, a regular devil like the devil on one of those Mexican painted religious candles!” So right smack dab in the middle of Star Wars we get a Mexican candle Satan, and you know what? I love it. It’s awesome. Who thinks of that? It’s like, either you’re in the frame of mind where you come up with aliens OR you’re in the frame of mind where you think up putting an awesome devil in there, but not both! But the genius of George Lucas is that he totally did both.
These two guys are best buds. It’s a beautiful picture about racial harmony when you have this worm guy and this elephant guy sitting there drinking together like it’s no big deal at all, they’re just two working Joes out for some brewskis after a hard day of whatever the heck it is that a worm guy and an elephant guy are qualified to do. You can see Mexican Candle Satan back there scheming like always. He’s saying, “how can I drive these dudes apart, it’s not like I can make a woman come between them because I have no idea where I can find a girl who could appeal to both of these freaky guys.” Then I guess he gives up and scoots away on top of bike man’s head.
Hey, who let this guy in here! This little dude isn’t old enough to drink, right? Yeah, that’s what he wants you to think, but really he’s some kind of secret badass alien killer who just looks like a little coconut bat. You go up to him and you’re all like, “are you okay, lil buddy? Where’s your da-da?” and he just looks at you with his little bat face and he’s like “this ends here, Earth man,” and he pulls out a spinning laser knife and suddenly you’re all “ohhhhh craaaaapppp” in slow motion.
Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Yeah, I know some of you guys think it’s corny and stuff, and we all have our problems with Episode One and whatever, but let’s not even go there. This update is just about enjoying Star Wars, and if you can’t just relax and enjoy the first one then you’re way too uptight about Star Wars, so just can it! Let’s see some aliens, right?
If you blink too quick you might not even see this guy! There’s this part on Tatooine where Jar Jar (yeah, shut up, I said Jar Jar) sees some alien turkey snacks or something hanging up at a meat market and he’s like, “mmmm, me’s a eats a!” and he grabs one with his big fish tongue. Anyway, this dude is the guy who’s running the meat market and he yells at Jar Jar, so now we’re all caught up.
This guy is absolutely awesome because, and forgive me for saying this, but he looks kind of cheesy. But in a totally good way! He looks like a throwback to 80s monster movies where some group of teenagers gets gobbled up by some underground mutant thing. But when you throw him into the Star Wars universe, suddenly he’s not so weird anymore, and he can’t get away with eating teenagers because they all have laser guns, so what does he do? He settles down and buys some overalls and starts up a meat shop. In a way that’s really beautiful, because even monsters have a place on that world where they can contribute to the community.
This is one of Anakin’s little friends who tries to talk him out of wasting his time building a pod racer. Does he look familiar? Yeah, that’s because it’s Greedo, the guy Han Solo shoots later! He’s just a kid here, so this must be before he went bad. If only they had midnight basketball or something on Tatooine, he might have grown up cool like the mutant guy in the last picture. I think that even when he was a little kid he was a bully, though. He’s holding a freaking frying pan! What the heck is he gonna cook out there in the desert? No way, he’s not cooking, he’s about to bonk some little kid over the head with it and steal their lunch money. Greedo was a bad apple from day freaking one.
This is one of the guys on the Jedi Council, which is why if you look on the right of the photo you can catch a little wisp of Qui-Gon’s righteous hairdo (how many of you guys did your hair like that after this movie? Fess up! I know I did for a while). I wouldn’t exactly call this guy “badass” because to be honest he makes me laugh. Not that I would fight him, because he’s a Jedi and he would burn my ass up in a thousand different ways, but he is just kind of a silly looking little guy and I bet he knows it.
George Lucas is revolutionary because not every tough guy in Star Wars has to look like a tough guy, some of them look like little blue helium balloons. I mean, think about Yoda: the guy is just this stubby little dude, but we’ve all seen how he can kick some asses when it comes down to it.
Yeah, this isn’t a background character at all, but there is no way I am going to take freeze frames from the Star Wars DVDs without getting some shots of Mr. Badass himself, Darth Maul. This guy is a freaking businessman of pain and is probably like one of the all-time best movie characters in the world. I don’t want to sound like a jerk, but I was way more upset when Maul died than when Qui-Gon died. Admit it: when he killed Qui-Gon, half of you was like “YES!”
Anyway, this guy is the proof that Episode One is a good movie. Does a bad movie have anything as awesome as Darth Maul in it? No, it absolutely does not. I’ve dressed up like Darth Maul on Halloween like four times since Phantom Menace came out, but I still haven’t totally nailed the makeup (people ask me if I’m supposed to be an Indian). If you have any tips on how to do the makeup you should e-mail me and we’ll talk some shop.
Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Now we’re moving into stuff that everyone agrees is awesome. Yeah, it gets some flak for the romance scenes, but when you think about it, this movie has way less romance scenes than something like Lord of the Rings, which is an awesome series of movies but there is a lot of romance stuff to wallow through on your way to the badass wizard fights.
I love this poor S.O.B., he’s just driving home from work in his little George Jetson car and suddenly there’s this freaking Jedi swinging through traffic, and this guy almost hits him and he totally flips the heck out. You only see him for a second, but he’s so sad looking that you wonder what happens to him after that. I bet he gets home and his wife is going, “Bruce, did you remember to get some milk?” And he’s like, “oh god, I totally forgot because when I was driving home this Jedi comes swinging at me out of frigging nowhere and almost slams into me,” and his wife is like “yeah right, and I’m the queen of Naboo.”
Jeez, wouldn’t it be awful if this guy ended up getting divorced because of Obi Wan? I wonder if Obi Wan would feel a disturbance in the force if he made this guy get divorced. But Jedis are such hardasses about love that I bet he would just be like, “good, serves him right.”
Okay, this guy is almost unbelievable. He’s this greasy restaurant owner that is apparently Obi Wan’s old friend, so Obi Wan goes and hands him what has to be the rarest little poison dart thing in the galaxy, and this guy goes, “oh yeah, that’s easy, that’s from that secret planet that nobody knows about, just take a right at frickin Neptune and you’re there.” Total B.S., right?
Wrong. Here is the part that is totally wild: this guy is just like my uncle Big Steve (I was Little Steve back then but god knows I’m not so little anymore). Big Steve used to be a long haul trucker until he opened up this awesome truck stop with all these amazing arcade games and French fries with gravy and stuff. Not only did he look exactly like this alien dude (I swear to god they based this alien dude on Big Steve) but he had been all around the country a million times and it seemed like he knew everybody and everything. You could bring him a scuffed up bottle cap from anywhere in the dang universe and he would instantly go “oh yeah, this is Red Badger Ale, brewed in Akron, Ohio, 5.4 percent alcohol by volume” or whatever. So to me, this guy was not only not unbelievable at all but I felt like I knew him as soon as he walked on the screen. Truly badass. I could tell so many awesome stories about Big Steve, but I will save that for another update.
This is totally the girl you regret not dating in high school because she was totally into you but you never knew it. You never even noticed her because you were off drooling after some cheerleader with giant hair, and this girl was maybe a tiny bit heavy but she was sweet and fun and had a really pretty face, you know? Oh man, I don’t want to bum you guys out, but I totally bummed myself out just a little bit because I remembered this girl named Amy Bussman who was all of those things and more and I totally blew it because I was after Jenny Hartman for like three years. When it came to girls I didn’t know my butt from my elbow. I’m going to invent a time machine and go back in time and slap some sense into high school me, and when I come back into the future, my perfect wife Amy Bussman will be waiting for me.
So the crazy thing is, Anakin walks right past this babe in the bar when he’s after that bounty hunter chick, and he doesn’t even notice this girl at all, but she looks at him like he’s the greatest thing ever. You just want to slap him and go “turn around, dude, she’s right there and she’s not all gorgeous and superior like Padme, so you won’t go all wacko trying to hang onto her and turn into an evil robot butthead.” It’s amazing how many levels of meaning Star Wars has if you look deep enough into it.
Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
This has got to be my second favorite Star Wars movie after The Empire Strikes back, which is saying a lot because I love them all. I don’t even have to explain how radical this movie is, because if you have any sense in your head you already know.
Obi Wan has been through a lot of crazy stuff in his life, but when he came face to face with this thing he must have just been going “okay, now this is a little much.” Everything about this guy is just messed up and creepy, and Obi Wan has to be nice to him because they’re both good guys, but I’ll bet you that every bone in Obi Wan’s body was telling him to chop this guy in half and run like hell.
This picture means I totally win. Let me explain: when I heard Episode Three was getting a PG-13 rating, what was the first thing I said to my bud? “This means we’re gonna see some boobs.” And he says, “no way, George Lucas is never putting boobs in Star Wars,” but I was like “the only reason we haven’t seen boobs is because all the other ones were rated PG, so now that he’s got this PG-13 rating, he’s just going to go hog wild.”
So I was totally cheering when this chick walked on the screen right before the opera scene, because here’s this alien chick with this crazy open dress and these big old fake alien boobs. They look a lot bigger on a theater screen, but you can still tell in this picture that they’re pretty epic. So my friend owed me a coke, I got to see some alien boobs sticking out, and George Lucas probably got to sneak some peeks at this actress in the makeup room.
The only problem I have is that it looks like she has fake boobs, which look cool and everything, but have you ever touched them? They feel like a Stretch Armstrong.
Oh, and what have we here? More alien boobs, my buddy owes me another coke and the moviegoing public gets to ogle some more rackage. God bless you, PG-13. Look at that! It’s a bummer because she’s about to get shot by her own troops, but that cleavage is intense, I’ll bet on a clear day you could just look down into that boobie ravine and see for miles and miles.
Now that I’ve got you guys on a high from looking at all those awesome alien racks, I’m gonna bring you back down to earth with this guy. Yuck! I hated this guy right away when I saw him because he looks just like this skin tag I had on my neck. Skin tags are so effing gross, and this guy is basically a big skin tag. I got so fed up with the freaking thing on my neck that after a while I just bit the bullet and yanked it off with some needlenose pliers. Here is a tip from me to you: DO NOT DO THAT. You wouldn’t think so, but it bleeds all over the place and it stings like an S.O.B.
Just like with that sweet Darth Maul shot earlier, I had to throw in this one even though he is not a background character at all. I love this shot, it is so artistic, because when he looked back like that I suddenly knew for the first time that he was totally Darth Vader now. I mean, obviously I knew that he was Darth Vader all along, I’m not stupid, but you know what I mean. This is where you find out that he has gone totally ape-dip and he’s not coming back for a long time. Doesn’t that “you were the chosen one” speech give you chills? It’s totally intense, you feel like you’ve lost a member of the family.
Anyway, that’s all for my huge-ass epic Star Wars column. I hope you liked it, and if you didn’t like it, I hope you’ll like my next column, which is going to be possibly even more awesome.
"Really, Holmes!" I dropped into my seat, shocked. "You are remarkably tall! What are you, six foot six? Six foot eight?"
As the 19th century diver approaches a giant clam, a flash of brilliant golden light flares from within the shell. I emerge in a swirl of bubbles and do the timeless universal underwater hand signals for the following: ZODIAC KILLER, KKK, BLOOD OF YOUTH
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.