We all have the sidekicks in our lives who aid us, stick with us through thick and thin, provide us with moments of laughter and are willing to risk their lives for us. Ok, maybe not, but don’t you wish you did? Many film heroes had their sidekicks. Some were memorable, some have been cast aside and forgotten, but all were deemed necessary by those who included them in the plot.
Occasionally we have been more impressed by the sidekick than the actual hero. Their loyalty, their willingness to do anything for the hero, their belief in the mission – all supported the hero in ways that many of us are inspired by.
Most of all these sidekicks were the voice of reason to heroes, the harsh voice of truth when the hero refused to listen to the reason of others. Willing to risk friendship by being the best friend they could be, sidekicks deserve as much of a place in the history books as the main character. In fact, too often the hero would receive the awards, the glory, and the fame, whilst the humble sidekick would sit on the sidelines, smiling, joyful for the victory of their dear friend.
Let us take a moment to honor those sidekicks without whom the movie and the heroes quest would have ended abruptly and prematurely.
10: Azeem (Robin Hood Prince Of Thieves)
After Robert of Loxley (aka the soon-to-be Robin Hood) rescues Azeem from a prison in Jerusalem during the Crusades, he pledges to defend Robert until his dying breath. The only caveat is that he chooses when he is to fulfill those vows.
He is willing to follow Robin wherever he goes, which means all the way back to England to Sherwood Forest. There he joins in with the merry men so that they can take on the evil Sheriff of Nottingham and restore moral governance. It could be said that he was one of the stronger characters in the movie, if only because he was played by Morgan Freeman, who seems infallible.
9: Robin (Batman)
When he was first introduced into the Batman Comics in 1940, Robin helped to double the sales of the publications. The comic book creators knew they needed to give Batman his Dr Watson, if only for the fact it meant that he had someone to talk to instead of just showing him thinking by himself.
Dick Grayson was a young acrobat whose parents were killed by a gangster who had been extorting money from the circus that they performed with. After Bruce Wayne took him under his wing, he changed from the boy wonder to the teen wonder, exuding confidence as his alter ego Robin. Without his presence on the TV show, none of us would make comments like: “Holy Remote Control Robot Batman!”
8: Silent Bob (Clerks)
Sometimes the best sidekicks never have to say a word and Silent Bob nails it. With his backwards baseball cap, long brown hair, thick beard, and long black coat, he is easy to spot in a Kevin Smith movie. He would be considered sidekick to Jay, his more talkative and critical friend, who shows little respect to him.
Silent by name, silent by nature, Bob only speaks when he has something profound to share with other characters or the eagerly awaiting audience. Ultimately we rely on Bob, and not Jay, to save the day.
7: James “Rhodey” Rhodes aka The Iron Patriot
It is Tony Stark’s air force pal Rhodey who proves himself in the later parts of the Iron Movie trilogy. In the beginning he had only a small role, but as the franchise proceeded he became more involved and was able to play with some of Stark’s coolest toys. By Iron Man 3 he had established himself as a hero of equal worth.
The US government has him take a suit from Stark’s home and acquire it for them, to use it to help the American people. Stark allows him to do this, an arrangement was made between them behind closed doors. Instead of calling upon Iron Man when danger strikes, the government calls upon Rhodes alter ego, the Iron Patriot. He willingly takes on the role, but at the same time he remains loyal to Stark, the whole while feeding his friend information he needs to know.
6: Goose (Top Gun)
Somebody needed to tame the arrogance of Maverick (Tom Cruise) and Goose (Anthony Edwards) was the best man for the job. As the navigator of the F-14 Tomcat, he was with Maverick when he was most prone to making a bad move.
Audiences around the world were mortified when they saw the F-14 go in to a tailspin and watched helplessly as Goose ejected himself from the aircraft only to break his neck on the canopy as it broke free. His death ultimately brought about the biggest change in Maverick, who felt guilty for his part in it.
5: Short Round (Indiana Jones & The Temple Of Doom)
In the Temple Of Doom, Indiana Jones was helped greatly by the presence of Short Round (real name Wan Li), or Shorty, as Indy called him. Initially appearing to be a burden to Jones by accidentally triggering some secret traps, he is able to get into places that Indy cannot.
He discovers a ritual that involves drinking blood and causes prisoners to enter a trance state that allows them to be manipulated. With this awareness he is able to prevent the same fate falling upon Indy when he is captured.
In these moments Shorty stands out, facing possible death, taking on adversaries, and waking Indy out of his trance. It seems unfortunate that he was unable to join Indy in later adventures, as he stood out in this one.
4: Dr Watson (Sherlock Holmes)
Regardless of the whether you are reading the novels or watching any one of the litany of TV adaptations of Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson gets quite a rough treatment from Sherlock Holmes. The fact is that without Watson, none of Holmes’ stories would have ever come to light, and he would not have achieved the infamy for his intelligence he really wanted.
Accompanying him on all of his misadventures, Watson helps Holmes fill in the gaps with clues, explains the detectives arrogant attitude to those who do not know him, and narrates to the rest of the world everything that leads to the discovery of the culprit in any story.
3: Samwise Gamgee (Lord of the Rings)
Never was there a Hobbit as loyal as Samwise Gamgee, who was always at the side of Frodo Baggins, even when he tried to get rid of him. In the beginning neither of them thought themselves to be heroes, though by the end it was obvious that they both were.
When Frodo was being tempted by the ring it was Samwise who called him on it and brought him back to his senses. It was Samwise who carried him when Frodo did not have the energy or willpower to stumble his way to the top of the mountain.
2: Chewbacca (Star Wars)
Somebody had to keep Han Solo in line, and it would take a 7’1″ hairy wookiee to accomplish the feat in one of the top movie bromances of all time. Unable to speak English, Solo is surprisingly good at interpreting the sounds that come out of his mouth. A “Rawr!” would be translated into a full sentence that would give Solo everything he need to know about what to do next….amazing!
Due to his immense size, Chewbacca is incredibly handy to have around and his intuition kicked in when others were unaware. He knew that Lando Calrissian was leading them to Vader and issued a warning. He could see through Solo’s facade with women. You couldn’t fool this wookiee, and his only issue was making sure that others heard him.
1: Hermione Granger (Harry Potter)
Harry Potter would not have been able to accomplish what he accomplished were it not for the support of Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, for different reasons. We all need that person around us who is book smart and loves to read, especially if we are not in to it much ourselves.
Hermione spent hours in the library looking up myths, legends and spells that would help them in their various quests to discover stones, goblets and phoenixes. Though she did the research, she was not always successful in the administering of spells, notably turning herself into a cat in the second book. Many other times she was successful and showed up just in the nick of time to aid her friends.