Top Five Companions
In light of recent news surrounding BioWare's "Companion System" in The Old Republic, I got to thinking... wishfully of course. There are literally hundreds of characters stretched out across the complicated history of the Star Wars universe. The films gave us the most iconic heroes and villains no doubt, but the books and the games have layered the mythos even further over the years. No doubt BioWare is working hard on creating even more characters for us to pine over, however being the contemplative individual that I am I couldn't help but put together a list (fancy that!) of some of my dream companions. They're not the hero types quite like Han and Luke, but in the Star Wars canon they've each served their own purpose however small it might have been. Whether you think the notion of companions is good or bad for the game, I think most of us probably have a few characters on our own wish-lists. Feel free to add yours in the comments below.
#5 Greedo the Elder
The Greedo most people know is probably best known for his death at the hands of Han Solo in Chalmun's Cantina. But Greedo the Elder was a nearly unrivaled bounty hunter. His son wasn't quite the Rodian the Elder was, but the original Greedo's triumphs and legend are part of today's larger Star Wars expanded universe. I suppose it's kind of obscure and there are probably several dozen other more detailed choices for companion, but Greedo the Elder's tale of shirking his people's gladiatorial traditions in pursuit of a more profound life and existence is a pretty inspiring one. And while he died a sad death at the hands of his rival, Navik the Red, Greedo lived a righteous and honest life hunting criminals and outlaws. He was an underdog and paragon for his people to change their ways. He could almost have a movie of his own, if it weren't for those bug-eyes that kept him from Hollywood beauty.
#4 Three Jawas
Fair enough. This isn't exactly a character. And maybe I've just played a little too much Allods. But I'd like nothing more than to have three Jawas acting as additional DPS companions in BioWare's upcoming MMO. Not only could they be ravenous little attackers helping me take down whatever dangers I might face, but with their scavenging abilities and knowledge of trade it would be like having my own little gold-eyed band of "Pawn Stars". They were the ideal salvagers and tradesmen of Tatooine. They may not have been the best fighters, I'll grant that. In fact, they were largely passive creatures. But many carried blasters and I'm sure a trio of them could do their fair share of damage when called upon. Still I suppose their chief purpose on intergalactic adventures would be as financial boons to one's main character. That and they'd look pretty awesome running around in tandem with you.
#3 Wedge Antilles
Wedge is probably the biggest name on this list that most everyday Star Wars fans wouldn't recognize right off the bat. By "everyday" I mean those who've only seen the movies and not played the games or read the novels. Like Greedo, he's not in the movies, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have a largely developed back story to pull from. Wedge is the ace pilot that manages to survive through all three of the original trilogy's films, and not only does he survive but he flourishes often shown as taking out several Tie-Fighters by himself in the battle scenes. He also was the first pilot in Empire Strikes Back to take down an AT-AT using that patented tow-cable technique that players later had to replicated in several videogames. You can even spot the guy in the "party scene" on Endor at the end of Return of the Jedi, drinking and grooving with all the ridiculous little Ewoks.
Simply put, Wedge is the man. He's the lead character in most of the Expanded Universe's X-Wing novels, and the player's character in the Rogue Squadron and Rogue Leader videogames. I almost hesitated putting him on this list as a "companion" character because it's clear to me and most hardcore fans of the mythos that Wedge is as much of a hero as any one of the other more well known staples.
I won't spoil the details of HK-47's existence, creation, and history for anyone who hasn't played the original Knights of the Old Republic games, but I will say that if I were to play a Sith in The Old Republic when it launches I'd be very disappointed if I didn't find some companion who was akin to HK-47. At the very least I hope BioWare makes some mention of this iconic droid in the process of creating the MMO. HK-47 was an absolutely killing-machine in both KotOR games. I mean that both literally and figuratively. He was the game's darkest-aligned characters certainly, but if you wanted to get some killing done there was no one better to have on your team in those games. On top of his abilities as an assassin, there was no better comic relief in either the original KotOR or its sequel. I'm not talking George Lucas' sense of of humor either. HK-47 was no Jar Jar.
Let me leave you with my favorite HK-47 line from KotOR II: "Your resistance is most entertaining, meatbag. I do want to thank you for all you have done for me up to this point. As a parting gift, you may tell me the name of some meatbag that you do not like and I will personally kill them. Oh why not, I'll throw in the rest of their family for free. But first, we have a little business to settle ourselves."
He's not quite the protocol-droid lookalike and killing machine that was HK-47, but in all the Star Wars mythos, with the exception of maybe one Wookiee, there was no better companion to be had than this little tri-wheeled droid. Aside from his obvious loyalty (as witnessed in the original trilogy), the diminutive Astromech Droid was the perfect rogue. He could slice into nearly any computer you asked him to, cut through doors, deactivate other droids, scan life-forms, and so many other uses to boot. He's the Swiss Army knife of droids. And with the potential of spaceflight in The Old Republic, R2-D2 would have made an epic mechanic to have onboard for in-flight repairs. In fact, thinking about how we certainly won't get Artoo as a companion is making me a little glum. So let's just stop this list here and leave the floor open to you guys.
If you could pick, regardless of lore and timeline consistencies, who would your "dream companions" be in BioWare's The Old Republic?