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#1
Old 09-16-2009, 03:10 PM
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What was Lucas thinking with the Porkins character in Star Wars?

Porkins was the overweight X-Wing pilot in the first Star Wars movie. I can't get over how ridiculous that character is. Sure he's overweight, but did he really have to name him Porkins? Even his chin strap isn't fastened. Was his head too fat for the strap? The whole character just seems like a cruel joke. Has Lucas ever talked about why he included that character?
#2
Old 09-16-2009, 03:14 PM
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Because Jar Jar Binks was still two decades from fruition.
#3
Old 09-16-2009, 03:20 PM
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Red Six standing by.

I assume he was just a friend of Lucas who was thrown in fill up holes in casting.

His Wookiepedia article is longer that most US presidents' on wikipedia.

ETA: Wow, he was the "Think about the future" guy in Batman.

Last edited by wierdaaron; 09-16-2009 at 03:22 PM.
#4
Old 09-16-2009, 03:25 PM
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People actually care about what the name of the character is when the name is not used in the movie?

It seems to me it's more realistic to have a group of rebels not have every pilot look like a male model. They are supposed to be a group of rag tag people, not all look like George Clooney.
#5
Old 09-16-2009, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
People actually care about what the name of the character is when the name is not used in the movie?

It seems to me it's more realistic to have a group of rebels not have every pilot look like a male model. They are supposed to be a group of rag tag people, not all look like George Clooney.
His name is in the movie if memory serves.

IIRC
The actor tells a story that he was originally supposed to be an alien pilot with a pig nose but the prosthetic didn't look right. I believe he's joking but I could be wrong.
#6
Old 09-16-2009, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
People actually care about what the name of the character is when the name is not used in the movie?
You should know that absolutely every THING that appeared in any Star Wars movie for more than 1 frame of film has an intricate back-story that somehow interweaves between every series installment, regardless of whether they have any significance within the film they appear in. And I mean that officially, not stuff made up by the fanboys.
#7
Old 09-16-2009, 03:31 PM
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What percentage of people who watch Star Wars care about all the back story stuff?

You know this almost reminds me of a certain skit Shatner did on SNL. I bet you know which one I am thinking of.
#8
Old 09-16-2009, 03:34 PM
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Obligatory:

How Not To Fly an X-wing
#9
Old 09-16-2009, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
What percentage of people who watch Star Wars care about all the back story stuff?

You know this almost reminds me of a certain skit Shatner did on SNL. I bet you know which one I am thinking of.
Providing additional details on that backstory is a multi-million dollar industry, so I'm guessing it's a fairly high percentage.
#10
Old 09-16-2009, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
People actually care about what the name of the character is when the name is not used in the movie?
It is.

"I'm going in. Cover me, Porkins."
"I'm right with you, Red 3."

My understanding has always been since these are assembled rebel pilots, they shouldn't all be military types.

More curious is why none of them were alien life forms until ROTJ.
#11
Old 09-16-2009, 03:57 PM
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Hey, he's Fake Jabba! I didn't know that.
#12
Old 09-16-2009, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
It seems to me it's more realistic to have a group of rebels not have every pilot look like a male model. They are supposed to be a group of rag tag people, not all look like George Clooney.
I'm not saying that he shouldn't be overweight. But of all names that an overweight character could have, why Porkins? That's a name I would expect in Animal House. That's practially like having his name be Fatso. And to top it off, the guy is not even with it enough to latch his chin strap. His scene is a closeup on his face. You know Lucas et al. saw the strap and didn't do anything about it. They must have had a reason.
#13
Old 09-16-2009, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by filmore View Post
Porkins was the overweight X-Wing pilot in the first Star Wars movie. I can't get over how ridiculous that character is. Sure he's overweight, but did he really have to name him Porkins? Even his chin strap isn't fastened. Was his head too fat for the strap? The whole character just seems like a cruel joke. Has Lucas ever talked about why he included that character?
Only to Top Men.

Top. Men.

#14
Old 09-16-2009, 04:08 PM
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I thought the pilots just had call signs, not names - except Luke. But my excuse is I saw the movie back in the original theater run. In other words, I am a semi-old fogey.
#15
Old 09-16-2009, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by filmore View Post
I'm not saying that he shouldn't be overweight. But of all names that an overweight character could have, why Porkins? <snip> They must have had a reason.
You mean in the same movie with a bounty hunter named "Greedo"? Or a rogue gun-for-hire with the last name "Solo"?
#16
Old 09-16-2009, 04:11 PM
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Put me in the category of call sign/nickname. At least for me and my friends many of the nicknames we have for each other are not exactly flattering.
#17
Old 09-16-2009, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Jorge_Burrito View Post
Put me in the category of call sign/nickname. At least for me and my friends many of the nicknames we have for each other are not exactly flattering.
Bigs: "I'm going in. Cover me, Porkins."

Porkins: "Fuck you, man! My name is Jeff!"
#18
Old 09-16-2009, 04:17 PM
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BTW, I am pretty amazed it took 4 whole minutes before Jar Jar was mentioned in this thread. Normally he comes up quicker than that.
#19
Old 09-16-2009, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Munch View Post
You mean in the same movie with a bounty hunter named "Greedo"? Or a rogue gun-for-hire with the last name "Solo"?
Greedo -- A villian. Derogatory names are appropriate
Solo -- A neutral word that reflects the character's behavior.

Nicknames should be appropriate for the character. If it was a callsign, I would expect all other pilots to have similar, tongue-in-cheek names (like as in Top Gun).
#20
Old 09-16-2009, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filmore View Post
I'm not saying that he shouldn't be overweight. But of all names that an overweight character could have, why Porkins? That's a name I would expect in Animal House. That's practially like having his name be Fatso. And to top it off, the guy is not even with it enough to latch his chin strap. His scene is a closeup on his face. You know Lucas et al. saw the strap and didn't do anything about it. They must have had a reason.
Why do you care so much about that chin strap ? Hell, why would anyone bother to put on an open face helmet in space is beyond me, much less strap it. If your cockpit gets dinged you're gonna suffocate in minutes anyway, so why bother ?

Besides, if I recall properly, isn't leaving one's helmet unstrapped standard procedure in combat ? Or maybe that's just infantry ?

Last edited by Kobal2; 09-16-2009 at 04:24 PM. Reason: omitted word
#21
Old 09-16-2009, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Kobal2 View Post
Why do you care so much about that chin strap ? Hell, why would anyone bother to put on an open face helmet in space is beyond me, much less strap it. If your cockpit gets dinged you're gonna suffocate in minutes anyway, so why bother ?
Because it reflects on the character. When an overweight guy named Porkins goes into combat without attaching his strap, I'm thinking "what's that fat, lazy slob doing going on a combat mission." The other pilots are your typical in shape fly boys and they all attached their strap. So here is the one overweight guy. Not only is he overweight, but his name is Porkins. And not only is he overweight and named Porkins, he's the only one who didn't attach his strap. Stuff like that doesn't happen in the movies by accident.

This is the image I have of Porkins: http://goingfaster.com/angst/kfcporkins.jpg
#22
Old 09-16-2009, 05:16 PM
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Sort of like Chunk from The Goonies...

I'm surprised Lucas didn't have Porkins drop a candy bar in the cockpit during the trench run.
#23
Old 09-16-2009, 05:24 PM
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I read an interview with William Hootkins (the actor who played Porkins), some years ago (he died in 2005), in which he was recalling filming "Star Wars". One specific thing I recall is that the orange flight suit costumes that they had were "one size fits all." Not surprisingly, they didn't fit *him*; the costumer split Hootkins' flight suit up the back so that he could fit in it.

As a result, he had to be certain not to slump too far forward when he was blowing up, so that the camera didn't catch the T-shirt he was wearing under the orange suit.
#24
Old 09-16-2009, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Jorge_Burrito View Post
Put me in the category of call sign/nickname. At least for me and my friends many of the nicknames we have for each other are not exactly flattering.
Nope, the extended universe even expands on it. He is Jek Porkins.
#25
Old 09-16-2009, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by filmore View Post
When an overweight guy named Porkins goes into combat without attaching his strap, I'm thinking "what's that fat, lazy slob doing going on a combat mission."
See, I thought "boy I hope they blow up the Death Star."
#26
Old 09-16-2009, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Troy McClure SF View Post
See, I thought "boy I hope they blow up the Death Star."
Clearly you're not a real fan.
#27
Old 09-16-2009, 06:58 PM
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Best laugh of my day. Thanks, Larry.
#28
Old 09-16-2009, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Kobal2 View Post
Why do you care so much about that chin strap ? Hell, why would anyone bother to put on an open face helmet in space is beyond me, much less strap it. If your cockpit gets dinged you're gonna suffocate in minutes anyway, so why bother ?

Besides, if I recall properly, isn't leaving one's helmet unstrapped standard procedure in combat ? Or maybe that's just infantry ?
Oddly enough, this isn't terribly implausible. Apparently they encountered turbulence when going through atmosphere, and since The Force alone knows what you might encounter in any given battle, it's not a bad idea to protect your noggin from getting slammed around. Even just exhaust fumes from a cap ship that size could do. Assuming they have exhaust fumes.

Second, apprently there were explosions in space which could knock ships about. We know at least some cap ship guns fired extremely destructive shells (turbolaser or not), and while the shockwave would be small (limited to the immediate matter of the shell) a helment could keep you from breaking your skull open. After all, if you lost consciousness you are poretty much dead, so most competent militaries will enforce that kind of uniform.

Also, other sources make it clear that fighters could be non-fatally damaged. Some pilots wore spacesuits they could eject in for hopeful rescue.
#29
Old 09-16-2009, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
BTW, I am pretty amazed it took 4 whole minutes before Jar Jar was mentioned in this thread. Normally he comes up quicker than that.
As do salmonella-laced clams.
#30
Old 09-16-2009, 08:47 PM
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All these years, I thought it was "Forkins".
#31
Old 09-16-2009, 09:35 PM
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"Stay on target...

STAY ON TARGET..."

Lole. Porkins is one of the all-time best "throwaway" characters of film.
#32
Old 09-17-2009, 12:18 AM
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"Cover Me, Porkins: A Life In Film". I would have bought it if he'd written it.
#33
Old 09-17-2009, 01:24 AM
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Originally Posted by ArchiveGuy View Post
Only to Top Men.

Top. Men.

I think Lucas cast him in Raiders to make up for the rather indelicate Porkins thing.

The character of Jek Porkins was written and named before being cast, I know that much. I read an interview with the actor in Insider magazine.
#34
Old 09-17-2009, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Argent Towers View Post
"Stay on target...

STAY ON TARGET..."

Lole. Porkins is one of the all-time best "throwaway" characters of film.
That wasn't Porkins. Biggs had gotten Porkins killed minutes before that. "Stay on Target" was Gold 5. I'm sure he's got a name and rich and extensive fanwank backstory, but I don't have the energy to search for it. He's a dick anyway - he tells Gold Leader to stay on target, but when Gold Leader gets killed, he bugs out of the trench instead of trying to complete the mission.
#35
Old 09-17-2009, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by muldoonthief View Post
That wasn't Porkins. Biggs had gotten Porkins killed minutes before that. "Stay on Target" was Gold 5. I'm sure he's got a name and rich and extensive fanwank backstory, but I don't have the energy to search for it. He's a dick anyway - he tells Gold Leader to stay on target, but when Gold Leader gets killed, he bugs out of the trench instead of trying to complete the mission.
He's not carrying torpedos, and the shaft is ray shielded.
#36
Old 09-17-2009, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by muldoonthief View Post
That wasn't Porkins. Biggs had gotten Porkins killed minutes before that. "Stay on Target" was Gold 5. I'm sure he's got a name and rich and extensive fanwank backstory, but I don't have the energy to search for it.
Here it is. Not quite "rich and extensive", but it's there.

Quote:
He's a dick anyway - he tells Gold Leader to stay on target, but when Gold Leader gets killed, he bugs out of the trench instead of trying to complete the mission.
It's not like he was going to make it to the objective anyway, with two-thirds of his shield trio dead and Darth fucking Vader sitting on his tail.
#37
Old 09-17-2009, 12:23 PM
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Fat guy in a little coat....
Fat guy in a little coat....

Would Porkins (i'm still laughing at that 32 years later) made really made weight in anyone's military? Nah.

Does Porkins look like the demographic of Star Wars fans? ummmm......yup.

I'm thinking it was the first in a series of bunghole-smooching moves by the whoremaster Lucas to attract various audiences to this movie.

Last edited by ministryman; 09-17-2009 at 12:24 PM.
#38
Old 09-17-2009, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
What percentage of people who watch Star Wars care about all the back story stuff?

You know this almost reminds me of a certain skit Shatner did on SNL. I bet you know which one I am thinking of.

Apparently enough to keep this thread going....
#39
Old 09-17-2009, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by ministryman View Post
Fat guy in a little coat....
Fat guy in a little coat....

Would Porkins (i'm still laughing at that 32 years later) made really made weight in anyone's military? Nah.

Does Porkins look like the demographic of Star Wars fans? ummmm......yup.

I'm thinking it was the first in a series of bunghole-smooching moves by the whoremaster Lucas to attract various audiences to this movie.
Classy.
#40
Old 09-17-2009, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Miller View Post
Bigs: "I'm going in. Cover me, Porkins."

Porkins: "Fuck you, man! My name is Jeff!"
I love you.
#41
Old 09-17-2009, 01:03 PM
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When Episode I came out in 99 I remember reading a few articles about how some characters were racist - for example the guy who owned Anakin's mother had a hooked nose so that was making fun of Jews. And the Trade Federation bad guys were supposed to be Asian.

I just watch these type movies for fun and I don't really look for all these "hidden" messages.
#42
Old 09-17-2009, 01:05 PM
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Porkins has one point of notoriety in the battle, as being the only pilot as far as we know who was flamed by the Death Star's guns and not another fighter. Score one for the Imperial AA crews.
#43
Old 09-17-2009, 01:14 PM
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Ewan McGregor's uncle played pilot Wedge Antilles in Episodes 4-6. Are there any other families with more than 1 person in the Star Wars movies?
#44
Old 09-17-2009, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Redwing View Post
He's not carrying torpedos, and the shaft is ray shielded.
Why wouldn't he be carrying torpedoes? He's flying a Y-wing, a fighter-bomber designed to carry torpedoes. And if I was defending my only base from complete destruction, and the only weapon that could take out the attacker was a proton torpedo, I think I'd put them on every ship capable of carrying them.
#45
Old 09-17-2009, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
Ewan McGregor's uncle played pilot Wedge Antilles in Episodes 4-6. Are there any other families with more than 1 person in the Star Wars movies?
Lucas's son and daughters had cameos in both Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, but I don't think that's what you're really after.

Last edited by Morbo; 09-17-2009 at 02:16 PM.
#46
Old 09-17-2009, 02:28 PM
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I knew about Lucas' kids, I was looking for actors related to other actors.

I saw an interview with McGregor where he talked about going to see his uncle in Star Wars as a kid . Of course he had no clue 20 years later he would be in the movies.
#47
Old 09-18-2009, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by ministryman View Post
Does Porkins look like the demographic of Star Wars fans? ummmm......yup.

I'm thinking it was the first in a series of bunghole-smooching moves by the whoremaster Lucas to attract various audiences to this movie.
You do recognize how foolish this comment makes you look, right? You realize that when he was scripting the film, there was no "demographic of Star Wars fans"? Go ahead and hate what Lucas has become, but to attribute that to the Lucas of the mid-70's is ludicrous.
#48
Old 09-18-2009, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Push You Down View Post
IIRC
The actor tells a story that he was originally supposed to be an alien pilot with a pig nose but the prosthetic didn't look right. I believe he's joking but I could be wrong.
A Tellerite?
#49
Old 09-18-2009, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Icerigger View Post
Porkins has one point of notoriety in the battle, as being the only pilot as far as we know who was flamed by the Death Star's guns and not another fighter. Score one for the Imperial AA crews.
The Death Star had gay runs?

Poor Porkins.
#50
Old 11-19-2009, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Hal Briston View Post
You do recognize how foolish this comment makes you look, right? You realize that when he was scripting the film, there was no "demographic of Star Wars fans"? Go ahead and hate what Lucas has become, but to attribute that to the Lucas of the mid-70's is ludicrous.
I am almost 50, so I am eccentric, and I don't care how foolish I am or appear. It was my opinion, interlaced with some humor.
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