Top Ten Science Fiction Movie Sidekicks

R2-D2 saving the galaxy.

R2-D2 saving the galaxy.

This week we take a look at the top ten science fiction movie sidekicks. The rules for the list require that each entry appeared in a motion picture. Characters that appeared in television alone will not make the list. As with any top ten list, there is always room for debate. Let me know who I left off the list in the comments section. I hope you enjoy

1) R2-D2 (Star Wars)

R2-D2 is the ultimate sidekick. The little robot from the Star Wars franchise has been a sidekick for two generations of Skywalkers (Anakin and Luke). He only seems to get better with each new film. No matter if you are stuck in a giant trash compactor, fighting hordes of clone troopers, or lining up for a shot at the Death Star, R2 always manages to have exactly what you need. He is the Swiss Army Knife of sidekicks. I can think of no one better to have by your side when trouble starts.

2) Mr. Spock (Star Trek)

Mr. Spock has filled the big screen with countless acts of heroism and pure logic. While he carries himself as a front line hero, Spock prefers to ride shotgun with Captain Kirk. Even in the latest versions of Star Trek, Spock finds his way quickly from leading role to trusty companion. Spock is dependable and always calm under fire. When you need an answer, he’ll give it to you straight, whether you like it or not. Spock is the sidekick who knows the rules so you don’t have to.

Samwise Gamgee

Samwise Gamgee

3) Samwise Gamgee (The Lord of the Rings)

Sam is perhaps the most loyal sidekick to ever grace the silver screen. His beloved master Frodo found many opportunities to belittle him and even tried to turn him away. Sam was given opportunities to steal the One Ring for himself, but he never gave in to temptation. He always remained true. Sam lacks the smarts and bag of tricks carried along by many sidekicks, but he will never betray you and will always push on no matter the odds. Sam defines loyalty in a sidekick.

4) Chewbacca (Star Wars)

Chewbacca may not be a great communicator, but he knows how to have fun and is a terror when the fighting starts. Chewie is at his best when he is kicking it alongside some of the real stars in the franchise. He has spent most of his time co-piloting for Han Solo, but he’s also served with Princess Leia, Lando Calrissian, and whoever else was willing to translate for him. Chewie has a big heart and a short temper. When a brawl breaks out, there is no one better to have at your side.

5) Robin (Batman)

Robin appeared more on the small screen than he has on the silver screen. His brief appearances in film have led to mixed results. The 1966 version of Batman showed Robin at his sidekick best, fighting crime and ripping out crazy exclamations. Robin could hold his own in a fight, but he always depended on Batman to save the day. Robin has appeared in media more than any other sidekick, serving time in comic books, television, and motion pictures. To me, Batman always seems incomplete without Robin by his side.

6) Hermione Granger (Harry Potter)

Hermione is not a true sidekick in the classic fashion. In many ways, she exceeded the abilities of the hero in her tale, Harry Potter. Maybe Harry was holding her back. At times she served as his mentor as well as his conscience. Her encyclopedic knowledge of everything allowed Harry to fumble around and eventually defeat the bad guy. Perhaps one day Hermione will get to headline her own movie.

Ygor, Doc, and the Monster

Ygor, Doc, and the Monster

7) Ygor (Frankenstein)

Although there are at least thirty films featuring the Frankenstein monster, not all of them include Dr. Frankenstein or his sidekick Ygor (a.k.a. Igor, Fritz, Karl, and others). Frankenstein’s hunchbacked lab assistant was never better than when he was depicted by the great Bela Lugosi in the 1930s and 1940s. Whether digging up graves or helping to create monstrous life, Ygor never failed to follow his master’s every command. Ygor is truly a loyal and worthy sidekick.

8) Doctor Leonard McCoy (Star Trek)

Dr. McCoy was at times a reluctant sidekick to Captain Kirk. He shared sidekicking duties with Mr. Spock, causing the two to frequently disagree. Bones always remained loyal to the Captain no matter if he agreed with his decisions or not. His willingness to put himself in danger for the sake of crew and captain balanced well with his dedication in saving lives. Dr. McCoy never sugarcoated his opinion. He was always true to himself and to the Federation.

9) Donkey (Shrek)

Yes, Donkey could be annoying to Shrek and to everyone else, but he stuck by his side no matter the odds. Donkey followed him into dragon-guarded castles and across the sea. He was a house sitter and a matchmaker. Donkey was never quick with an answer nor good in a fight, but he always came through with exactly what Shrek needed when the pressure was on. At least when Shrek wasn’t having to save his life.

10) Doctor Hans Zarkov (Flash Gordon)

Dr. Zarkov graced the screen as Alexis in early films and later became Hans. He played many roles in the tale of Flash Gordon. In some he was as much a nemesis as he was a sidekick. My favorite depiction is from the 1980 film where Zarkov fought side by side with Flash to save Earth from Ming the Merciless. Zarkov showed his true colors in the film. I’m hopeful there will be another return to the big screen for Flash and Zarkov.

Honorable Mention:

Dorothy and her sidekicks

Dorothy and her sidekicks

 

  • T-800 (Terminator 2)
  • Quora (Tron: Legacy)
  • Hit-Girl
  • Kato (Green Hornet)
  • Subotai (Conan the Barbarian)
  • EVE (WALL-E)
  • Gurney Halleck (Dune)
  • Duncan Idaho (Dune)
  • Trinity (Matrix)
  • Tin Man (The Wizard of Oz)
  • Scarecrow (The Wizard of Oz)
  • Cowardly Lion (The Wizard of Oz)
  • Toto (The Wizard of Oz)
  • Maximilian (Black Hole)
  • Robot (Lost in Space)
  • Mini-me (Austin Powers)
  • Pepper Pots (Iron Man)
  • Barf (Spaceballs)
  • Twiki (Buck Rogers in the 25th Century)
  • Sallah (Raiders of the Lost Ark)
  • Merlin (King Arthur)
  • Lancelot (King Arthur)
  • Others

R.K. Troughton works as an engineer, developing tomorrow’s high-tech gadgets that protect you from the forces of evil as well as assist your doctor in piecing you back together.  His passion for science fiction and fantasy has been fed through decades of consumption.  He is the author of numerous science fiction and fantasy screenplays and short stories, and his debut novel is forthcoming. His articles appear every Wednesday morning on Amazing Stories.

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