‘Rise of Skywalker’ Set to Be Most Diverse Star Wars Casting Ever. Here Is A Roster of Black Star Wars Characters

The Episode IX trailer for the latest Star Wars movie was just released. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be the space series’ most diverse casting since the first movie premiered in 1977. People of color including leading man John Boyega, Kelly Marie Tran, Naomi Ackie, and the return of Billy Dee Williams in the iconic role of Lando Calrissian, are front and center in the latest episode.

And while there was controversy over the casting of John Boyega, a black British actor as a Stormtrooper in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie, there have been iconic black actors and characters throughout the Star Wars universe. Here are seven of the best known.

Black Characters Star Wars Characters

Mace Windu

Played by: Samuel L. Jackson

Film: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, 1999

 

black star wars characters

(Image: Facebook)

 

2. Lando Calrissian

Played by: Billy Dee Williams

Films: The Empire Strikes Back; Return of the Jedi

 

black star wars characters

(Image: Facebook)

 

3. Maz Kanata

Played by: Lupita Nyong’o

Film: The Force Awakens

 

black star wars characters

(Image: Facebook)

 

 

4. Voice of Darth Vader

Played by: James Earl Jones

Films: Star WarsThe Empire Strikes Back; Return of the Jedi

 

black star wars characters

(Image: iStock/tihomir_todorov)

 

 

5. Jabba the Hutt’s Twi’lek slave dancer Oola

Played by:  Femi Taylor

Film: Return of the Jedi

 

 

black star wars characters

(Image: Facebook)

 

 

6. Finn 

Played by: John Boyega

Film: The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi 

 

black star wars characters

(Image: Wikimedia)

 

7. Rachel

Played by:  Crystal Clarke

Film: The Force Awakens

 

 

black star wars characters

(Image: Instagram)

 

Check out the trailer to Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker:



 

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Editors’ Note: This article has been updated from its original publish date in 2017. 

The post ‘Rise of Skywalker’ Set to Be Most Diverse Star Wars Casting Ever. Here Is A Roster of Black Star Wars Characters appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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‘Good Omens’ Characters You Should Get To Know Before Watching

There’s a lot of new TV to look forward to in 2019, from returning shows like Big Little Lies and Game of Thrones to reboots such as Veronica Mars and The Twilight Zone. Then there are the newbies, the series that we’ve never seen before… one of which is Good Omens, an upcoming fantasy comedy based on the novel of the same name by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.

With no official release date yet, Amazon Prime Video has only unveiled one short teaser trailer to whet fans’ appetites since production wrapped back in March 2018. Because it takes its story from a book though, we know a fair bit about the characters — of which there are many — already.

While Good Omens looks to be heavily centred on the complicated friendship between Aziraphale and Crowley (more on those guys later), there’s plenty of other supporting players to meet. So let’s get on with the introductions…

Aziraphale


Welsh actor Michael Sheen takes on the role of angel Aziraphale.

Played by: Michael Sheen

Aziraphale is an angel, who has seemingly been on Earth since the beginning of time. He has lived during many eras from Ancient Rome to Victorian England, all the way through to present day. Heck, he was even around when Eden existed. Despite being studious and highly intelligent, Aziraphale is a pretty nervous, fussy character who’s very proper, dresses smartly and doesn’t enjoy meddling in things that are bigger than himself. He’s not into things that are over-the-top, either — which isn’t great considering he thinks most things in 2018 are — and runs a bookshop in Paris.

Despite angels being described as sexless in the book, it is mentioned that whenever someone meets Aziraphale, they conclude to themselves that he’s “gayer than a tree full of monkeys on nitrous oxide.” While that line is full of implications, it could just as easily relate to his relentless cheeriness as opposed to anything else.

Crowley


David Tennant seems the perfect fit for super-cool demon, Crowley.

Played by: David Tennant

Anthony Crowley, in almost every sense, is Aziraphale’s counterpart. He’s a demon. However, it is said that he’s not so much an angel that ‘Fell from Heaven’ but rather ‘Sauntered Vaguely Downwards’, and the pair came together after making an ‘Arrangement’ to occasionally work together. He was also the snake who offered Eve the apple in Eden and still to this day, has yellow eyes with slitted pupils.

He loves sleeping — so much so that he once snoozed through a whole century — and he’s also fond of music, from soul to classical. His most prized possession is his 1926 Bentley, which can actually be seen in the show’s first trailer. If a tape is left in his car for longer than two weeks, it turns into a ‘Best of Queen’ cassette; something that’s also touched upon in the teaser as it’s set to the band’s track, “You’re My Best Friend”.

In Good Omens, old ‘friends’ Crowley and Aziraphale come together once more to try and put an end to a world-ending event that would destroy the planet they’ve both come to love in the millions of years they’ve been living on it. Talking to Bustle about their characters’ relationship, Tennant described their bond as marriage-like, in the sense “it’s almost deeper than a friendship, because they’ve known each other for such a long time. For all of history. They’re two halves of the same being by the end of the story.”

Adam Young


Up-and-coming actor Sam Taylor Buck will bring Adam Young AKA the Antichrist to life.

Played by: Sam Taylor Buck

So what’s the thing that Aziraphale and Crowley are attempting to stop? A villainous entity? Satan? Aliens? Well, no, none of those scary-sounding things… The twosome are actually trying to prevent an eleven-year-old boy named Adam Young from becoming the Antichrist and bringing about the end of days. You know, the usual Tuesday tasks!

Due to a mistake made by a clumsy nun called Sister Mary Loquacious at the hospital when he was a baby, Young — who was actually intended to be the son of a prominent American diplomat stationed in Britain — went on to live with a family in Lower Tadfield, Oxfordshire. Meanwhile, Warlock Dowling, the child believed to be the Antichrist (as he went on to live with the diplomat), is just an average boy.

Young is described in the book as charismatic and otherworldly. He’s a member of a gang called ‘the Them’ along with his three friends Brian, Wensleydale and Pepper and he’s largely unaware of his supernatural powers. That is, until one day, when he naively tinkers with his abilities and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse rise and threaten Earth. Uh oh!

Archangel Gabriel

Played by: Jon Hamm

In Good Omens: The Novel, the Archangel Gabriel was merely mentioned, but in Good Omens: The TV Show, writer Gaiman — who has been developing the television series solo since Pratchett sadly passed away in March 2015 — decided to include him in the action because he wanted to play around with portraying Good and Evil outside of Aziraphale and Crowley’s polarised representation.

Speaking at a Q&A during Amazon’s European showcase in London a few months ago, Gaiman explained: “There aren’t any other angels in the book, but Terry [Pratchett] and I had this whole idea of what Heaven was like and what Hell was like and I thought – Gabriel.

“And in order for Gabriel to be Gabriel, he needed to be the best-looking, coolest, the most irritating angel that you could possibly imagine, and I thought, ‘I just need somebody who can do humour’. And I thought, obviously the good-looking bit is going to be a stretch for Jon – but he can do the other bits!”

In one scene that was screened during the event, Gabriel attempts to buy a pornography book. Something tells us, he’s not your typical angel.

Anathema Device


Adria Arjona is no stranger to the fantasy genre having previously appeared in Wizard of Oz spin-off Emerald City.

Played by: Adria Arjona

When it was published, the full title of the book on which the show is based was Good Omens: The Nice And Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch. Nutter was a prophet, who lived in the 17th Century and used her future-seeing skills to help prevent sickness and cure those who were ill.

Despite her good intentions, it is believed that she was burned at the stake by her local townspeople; not before she shoved a ton of gunpowder and roofing nails into her petticoat and blew up the pyre and injured everyone near it though. Anathema Device is a descendant of Nutter.

Having pored over her distant relative’s book of predictions since she was a child, Anathema travels to Tadfield and seeks out Adam Young in the hope of thwarting the end of the world.

Shadwell


Michael McKean plays witch hunter Shadwell in Good Omens.

Played by: Michael McKean

Sergeant Shadwell is many things: a drinker of condensed milk, a lover of Sunday lunches and, frankly, a bit of a pig. But above all else, he’s a member of the Witchfinder Army, an organisation that hunts down beings who practice dark magic — he often chooses to ignore supernatural occurrences that might be described as ‘good’ — and offs them.

Shadwell’s right-hand man is Newton Pulsifer, a young man who had a brief romantic relationship with Anathema Device. He will be brought to life by comedian-turned-actor Jack Whitehall in the show.

Hastur and Ligur


Ned Dennehy (left) and Ariyon Bakare (right) bring demonic duo Hastur and Ligur to the small screen.

Played by: Ned Dennehy and Ariyon Bakare

Hastur and Ligur are the demons that deliver Warlock AKA The Child Who Isn’t The Antichrist to Crowley when he is just a baby. According to their descriptions in the book, Hastur and Ligur always had a taste for evil, even when they were angels, as Crowley includes them among those who take “such dark delight in unpleasantness you might even have mistaken them for human[s].”

When they discover that Warlock isn’t the bringer of the Apocalypse, the duo are sent for Crowley by the Infernal Authorities which ends disastrously for someone involved in the “collection.”

Harmony and Glozier


The League of Gentlemen AKA Reece Shearsmith, Steve Pemberton and Mark Gatiss (pictured) will unite in Good Omens.

Played by: Mark Gatiss and Steve Pemberton

Lastly, we have Harmony and Glozier, two book-buyers who aren’t very nice guys so we’ve heard. Gaiman was said to have written the roles just for them.

“Glozier and Harmony are a small piece of the jigsaw but hopefully one which will fit nicely into place,” Pemberton told Digital Spy back in February. During the same interview, Sherlock actor Gatiss added: “”I’m delighted to be working with David and Michael again and of course with Steve – bringing a little film noir menace to such an exciting project. Being bad never felt so good!”

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5 Obscure Aquaman Characters Who Deserve Screen Time

Aquaman’s solo movie will hit U.S. theaters soon, and fans can’t wait to see high-profile supporting characters like Mera and Vulko in action. But there are still quite a few Aquaman-adjacent and lesser-known characters who seems to be missing in action. So, here are five obscure comic book characters we would like to see in Aquaman, a future Worlds of DC film, or a DC animated movie.

Deep Blue


Deep Blue Aquaman

Deborah Perkins, better known as Deep Blue, is Aquaman’s half-sister. Though the siblings weren’t close for many years, Deep Blue eventually became a longtime ally to him after he asked all of the underwater kingdoms to unite against the Hunter/Gatherers. She stuck around for a while after that, assisting in various fights.

Because of her close family ties to Aquaman and the rest of the rest of the Aquaman Family, Deep Blue would be a good candidate to appear in a future Worlds of DC film. Her unique powerset — she can enlarge and control sea life, in particular — and long history would create interesting subplots in an Aquaman-centric film. Also, her connection to the next character would add much more drama to Arthur’s supporting cast.

Neptune Perkins


Neptune Perkins Aquaman

Another close ally to Aquaman, Neptune Perkins also happens to be the stepfather of Deep Blue. He was born with extraordinary powers, such as superhuman durability and animal empathy similar to Aquaman, due to his exposure to a powerful energy known as the Vril. He became an ally to the All-Star Squadron and ended up joining the Young All-Stars, where he met his future wife, Tsunami. Later, he joined his daughter when Aquaman called the underwater kingdoms together. Unfortunately, he was killed during Infinite Crisis.

In the comics, he eventually became a U.S. Senator for Hawaii and used his influence to monitor various superheroes. Since government involvement in superhero activities has been a major theme in recent films, it’s possible that we could see him as a politician playing a slightly antagonistic role towards the hero community in a future Worlds of DC movie.

Tula


Tula Aquaman

Tula, known as Aquagirl in New Earth, the dominant reality before DC’s 2011 reboot, is a fairly obscure character in the Aquaman comics. In New Earth, she was an honorary member of the Teen Titans and had many adventures with them. She also had a short-lived relationship with Tempest, but it didn’t last very long. Sadly, she was killed by Chemo during Crisis on Infinite Earths. However, in Prime Earth, the current continuity, Tula is alive and well and living in Atlantis and was the regent of Atlantis during Aquaman’s absence.

Tula would be a perfect candidate to appear in the upcoming film, as her Prime Earth version is more of a military and political figure than an adventurer. In the Worlds of DC, she could play a role similar to that of Okoye in this year’s Black Panther. Even if she doesn’t make a live-action appearance any time soon, she’d still make a great addition to an animated film due to her long and fun history in the comics.

Koryak


Koryak Aquaman

Koryak, Aquaman’s illegitimate son, is the result of a relationship between Aquaman and an Alaskan woman named Kako. Koryak didn’t meet his father until he was well into his teens, and the two got off to a rocky start. Eventually, their relationship improved, and Koryak took up residence in Poseidonis, Atlantis’ capital city.

Unfortunately, Koryak (and much of the rest of Atlantis) were killed during the Spectre’s rampage at the beginning of Infinite Crisis. It’s thought that he later came back from the dead as Narwhal, but this has yet to be confirmed. He and Deep Blue were also romantically involved, but, of course, this ended at his death. Either way though, it’d be great to see his complicated and somewhat scandalous past on the big screen. Plus, in the event that both Koryak and Deep Blue appear, we’re sure to see more romance in the Worlds of DC.

Lagoon Boy


Lagoon Boy Aquaman

Lagoon Boy — one of the many outsiders let into Atlantis shortly before Aquaman and Mera’s wedding — is a fairly unknown character. He has been a member of both Landlubbers/Landlovers and Titans East, but not much else is known about him. Sadly, toward the end of New Earth, Lagoon Boy was left in a coma after a mission with Titans East went wrong. Plus, he was just killed off in the first issue of Heroes in Crisis in Prime Earth without receiving much backstory.

Though the original comic iteration of Lagoon Boy hasn’t been expanded upon as much as his Young Justice version, it would still be great to see him on the big screen because of his interesting powers, including being able to blow up like a pufferfish and controlling water like Mera. But, if the upcoming season of YJ features Lagoon Boy prominently, we’re almost sure to see him in a movie, as he plays a sort of comedic relief in the comics, which is something that has been sorely lacking in previous Worlds of DC.

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The Tough Female Characters of ‘Welcome to Marwen’

The Tough Female Characters of 'Welcome to Marwen'

"Behind every great man, there's a great woman," and that's especially true of 'Welcome to Marwen,' a tale of Mark Hogencamp's (Steve Carell) journey to healing following a vicious attack by immersing himself in a WWII fantasy world of his own creation. Creating the Belgium village of "Marwen" in his backyard, he populated it with all the tough women who guided him through his darkest hour. This is a tribute to them, the finest platoon of the greatest…

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‘Arrow’ Season 7: 6 Characters We Think Could Be the New Green Arrow

Arrow‘s seventh season has brought many changes to the show, and chief among them is Oliver’s incarceration. With Oliver behind bars for the foreseeable future and his team in various states of retirement or moving on, Star City lacked a true vigilante. The season premiere revealed, however, that someone has stepped in to fill the void by taking on the Green Arrow mantle. We don’t yet know who is under the hood, but that won’t stop us from speculating. Here are the characters we think could be the new Green Arrow.

Roy Harper


Roy Harper
Roy Harper is back in the future, but could he be in the present as well?

Roy has been with the show since Season 1, and even though he left for a happy ending with Thea last year, he’s returned in the show’s flash forwards as an older, grittier Roy, found on Lian Yu by William. Thanks to his training as Arsenal, he comes prepackaged with Green Arrow-like skills, and this wouldn’t be the first time he has put on Oliver’s suit.

That said, in the future, we see he’s still wearing the red Arsenal suit. But the flash forwards of him as a mentor seem more like red herrings than legitimate hints about the new Green Arrow’s true identity.

William Clayton


William Clayton
Could the flash forwards be showing us William’s origin as the new Green Arrow?

This may sound a bit far-fetched, but it’s possible the fast forwards are meant to reveal William’s origin story as the Green Arrow. He could’ve learned his father’s skills in order to go back in time and become the Green Arrow during Oliver’s prison stint.

But if this is the case, William’s endgame is unclear. Perhaps he’s looking to alter his own timeline, or maybe he’s trying to help his family somehow. This theory sounds more like something out of The Flash than the more street-level focused seventh season of Arrow. But it’s the easiest way to explain the fast forwards, and has gained a decent amount of speculation.

Katherine McNamara’s Mystery Character


Katherine McNamara
Who is Katherine McNamara playing in Season 7?

We don’t know much about who Katherine McNamara will portray on this season of Arrow, but we do know it’s a significant recurring role. From what little we’ve seen of the new Green Arrow, the vigilante seems to have a slightly smaller build than Oliver.

While that certainly doesn’t mean they are a woman, this Green Arrow has taken extra care to cover their face, preventing audiences from getting any sense of who this is. We might know more once we’ve seen Katherine McNamara’s character onscreen, especially when we discover who she’s really playing.

Emiko Queen


Emiko Queen
Emiko Queen could be coming this season.

In the comics, Emiko Queen is Oliver Queen’s half-sister and the daughter of Shado and Robert Queen. While it’s unlikely she’d be the daughter of the Arrowverse’s Shado, it’s plausible that Robert had another daughter who is now following in her half-brother’s footsteps.

If Emiko does come to Arrow this season, as an upcoming episode title suggests, she could be Katherine McNamara’s character or another one of the new recurring characters we don’t know much about. We might not even know it’s her at first. So, keep an eye on the next kickass female character to show up on Arrow — she just might turn out to be Emiko.

One of the Longbow Hunters… or Their Prey


Longbow Hunters
We don’t yet know the Longbow Hunters’ ultimate goal.

Also new to Arrow this season is the Longbow Hunters. We don’t know much about them either, beyond the fact that even the League of Assassins feared them. But we’ve seen them in action a few times, and it’s clear they’ve got skills (and the name to prove it). What isn’t so clear is their agenda. They’ve allied themselves with Ricardo Diaz for now, but there could be a greater plan at work.

One of them could be the new Green Arrow, or whoever is under the hood could have some history with the Longbow Hunters. Maybe they’ve come to Star City to hunt down this new vigilante, or, conversely, the new Green Arrow might have come in response to them. Only time will tell if these two new plot lines have even more in common.

A Former Team Arrow Member


Ragman
Ragman, Artemis, or any other former member of Team Arrow could be hiding under the new hood.

We know Rene and Dinah probably aren’t the new Green Arrow since they’ve been in the same room as the vigilante, and John Diggle has denied it. But there are plenty of members of now inactive Team Arrow who could’ve taken up the mantle.

Former members Evelyn Sharp and Rory Regan‘s current status is unknown. Either of them could’ve taken the time to develop their skills, for redemption, revenge, or any number of other reasons. With so many former vigilantes in the cards, there’s no shortage of potential identities for the new Green Arrow.

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‘King Kong’: Spectacular giant puppet can’t make up for lack of complex characters and cohesive music

Stare hard into the gorgeous eyes of that gigantic gorilla, people: they’re deep emotional pools, transfixing in their moist, needy intensity. If they gave out Tony Awards for peepers on puppets, King Kong would already be monkeying with his acceptance speech.

But a great popular musical needs…

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Ranking the 6 Best PlayStation Characters in History

When you’re dealing with a packed roster of great characters like PlayStation’s, picking the best of the bunch is no simple task. You need to limit yourself with some harsh criteria, or else you’ll end up with a top 30 list. The six iconic characters on this list have memorable personalities and great games that have secured their immortality. When you hear the word “PlayStation,” you think of these guys.

6. Jak and Daxter (Jak and Daxter Series)


Jak and Daxter with a gun.
Jak and Daxter are packing heat.

This man and ottsel duo reinvented the platforming genre with a perfect blend of snarky humor and dark drama. The strong silent type and the obnoxious loudmouth may not be the most original pairing, but there’s a childhood bond at the core of Jak and Daxter’s contrasting personalities that sets them apart from most buddy teams.

While the Jak and Daxter franchise boasts great shooting mechanics and epic storylines, the titular pair gave it legs. These guys survived the major tonal shift from their simple, childish debut game to the more serious, GTA-like Jak II, and the decision to upgrade Jak from laid-back mute protagonist to angry loose cannon strengthened his relationship with Daxter. Naughty Dog dropped the ball by letting this series fizzle out, but if they were to put out a reboot, gamers would leap at the opportunity to see these guys back in action.

5. Ratchet and Clank (Ratchet & Clank Series)


Ratchet and Clank looking through a broken wall.
The ultimate repair team.

If Jak and Daxter made the list, it only makes sense that their Insomniac counterparts would pop up at some point. The Ratchet & Clank franchise’s innovative blend of platforming and third-person shooting may be its claim to fame, but it’s the lombax and robot’s well-drawn personalities and witty banter that sell the games.

The two are a great comedic duo thanks to the combination of Ratchet’s headstrong attitude and Clank’s polite intelligence, but it’s their complementary abilities as mechanic and machine, respectively, that makes them a natural pairing. The games have also done a great job of building their relationship. By having Ratchet and Clank meet in the first game, the series has allowed the fan base to grow with their friendship.

4. Nathan Drake (Uncharted Series)


Nathan Drake in cave in Uncharted 4
He may often be out of his element, but he belongs on this list.

The most recent addition to the gaming world to make this list is Nathan Drake — a testament to his strong personality. With the skills of Indiana Jones and the charisma of Firefly‘s Malcolm Reynolds, Nathan has carved out his place in the PlayStation pantheon.

This charming smart-ass may be an incredible treasure hunter who can climb like it’s nobody’s business, but it’s his everyman spirit that makes him so relatable. He feels out of his depth in the dangerous situations he gets into throughout the Uncharted series. Nathan may be famous for his quippy lines and devil-may-care attitude, but it’s his genuine feelings for love interest Elena Fisher and partner in crime Victor “Sully” Sullivan that show off his best side.

3. Crash Bandicoot (Crash Bandicoot Series)


Crash Bandicoot and Aku Aku
The face of PlayStation.

For the longest time, Crash Bandicoot was as popular as Mario and Sonic. In other words, he was the PlayStation mascot. Kids and adults have been crazy about this furry dope since his debut in the first Crash Bandicoot, and despite the declining quality of the later games, his fanbase is just as vocal and energetic as ever.

Even though he barely speaks, Crash’s personality is iconic in the gaming world. He’s more than just a silly face; his goofy demeanor and slapstick fighting moves are inseparable from his image. While it was nice to see him spin back into the limelight with the recent N. Sane Trilogy remake, Crash deserves a brand new game that will make young gamers fall in love with him in the same way everyone else did back in the ’90s.

2. Kratos (God of War Series)


Kratos staring angrily.
Kratos finally grew the grief beard.

By far the most hardcore character in this lineup, Kratos is the embodiment of pure, unadulterated rage. In a series of games about slaughtering the entire pantheon of the Greek gods, the only qualified protagonist for God of War is a violent, unlikable antihero. But despite having an excess of innocent blood on his hands, the vengeful Spartan is one of the most famous faces of PlayStation.

Kratos may be the furthest thing from a good role model, but it’s his relentless thirst for vengeance that allows players to relate to him. Whether it’s Ares manipulating him into killing his own family, or betrayal at the hands of his father Zeus, the demigod always has a motive to plow through any bodies that get in the way of his bloodlust.

1. Snake (Metal Gear Solid Series)


Snake smoking a cigar.
We got a badass here.

Kept you waiting, huh? This pick may spark debate in the gaming community, but you can make a strong case for Snake being the ultimate PlayStation mascot. He’s been around longer than anyone on this list, and the Metal Gear series has maintained a consistent level of quality since his introduction in the ’80s.

Snake may possess the badass skills, gruff voice, and quotable lines of an action movie hero, but it’s his humanity that makes him such a classic character. He’s never found glory in violence, and his willingness to sacrifice himself for his comrades and the greater good speaks volumes about his selfless nature. Whether it’s the original Naked Snake from the Cold War era or his clone Solid Snake, who started it all in the first Metal Gear, the man leaves a lasting impression that eclipses most video game protagonists.

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Classic Cartoon Characters and Their Real-Life Inspirations

Voiced by Jean Vander Pyl, the Jetsons’ robot maid was based on Shirley Booth’s performance of a wise-cracking maid on the 1960s sitcom Hazel. Hazel called her boss “Mr. B,” so Rosie called George Jetson “Mr. J.”

The post Classic Cartoon Characters and Their Real-Life Inspirations appeared first on Reader's Digest.

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Smart Horror Movie Characters Who Died Anyway

Horror movies are filled with characters who died because of their own dumb decisions: heading toward the strange noise, taunting the monster, choosing the flashlight over the baseball bat. Those who survive usually do so through a combination of luck and intelligence. Sometimes, though, even making smart decisions isn’t enough to ensure survival, as these savvy but decidedly dead horror victims show.

Ellen Ripley, Alien 3


Ellen Ripley with shaved head in Alien 3
Ellen Ripley: the Xenomorphs’ scary monster.

From the start, Ellen Ripley has proven herself smarter than her horror movie peers, refusing early in Alien to let shipmate Kane aboard while attached to a facehugger. With her decision overridden, the alien is unleashed on the Nostromo and picks off the crew one by one. Only Ripley survives. In the sequel, Ripley again shows her smarts, surviving an entire colony of Xenomorphs, saving a young girl, and killing the alien queen.

Then Alien 3 came along. Before the end of the opening credits, a stowaway facehugger implants an embryo inside Ripley during cryo-sleep. She discovers this halfway through and does everything in her power to eliminate the alien threatening the prison colony she crash-landed on. She kills the last alien — the one inside her — by throwing herself into a furnace. In the end, it doesn’t matter how badass you are when you’re effectively killed off before the film even starts.

Dana Polk and Marty Mikalski, The Cabin in the Woods


Dana Polk and Marty Mikalski in The Cabin in the Woods
That moment you realize you’re in a horror movie.

When Dana and Marty join their friends for a weekend at a secluded cabin, they can’t imagine exactly what’s in store. Alarm bells go off as they slowly encounter classic horror tropes: the creepy gas station attendant, the mysterious cellar, and the sudden strange behavior of their friends. Only after the deaths of their friends do they discover the true scope of their situation.

Marty finds a hidden elevator, and the pair travel downward, having nowhere else to go. They realize they are sacrificial pawns in some larger game. Instead of rolling over, they turn the tables on their tormentors, releasing a horde of supernatural terrors on the underground complex. When they finally realize that the whole set up is an elaborate sacrifice to stave off the wrath of giant gods, they ultimately decide to sacrifice themselves (and presumably the world) to stop the cycle.

Randy Meeks, Scream 2


Randy Meeks from Scream 2
“Do as I say, not as I do.”

When a masked killer targets students at Woodsboro High School, resident film geek Randy Meeks wastes no time schooling his friends on the rules of surviving a horror movie. Granted, he doesn’t always heed his own advice, nearly dying in the first film after the killer had snuck up behind him. After high school, Randy follows Sidney Prescott to college and is quick with the rules for a sequel when the second killing spree begins.

He even makes a video for his friends laying out the rules for a third killing spree in case he doesn’t survive. On the phone with the current killer, Randy mocks the original Ghostface, Billy Loomis. The killer — who turns out to be Billy’s mother — pops out of the van Randy is standing next to, pulls him inside, and stabs him to death. Even Randy, the horror movie expert, couldn’t have anticipated the killer hiding in a van in the middle of the day.

Ben, Night of the Living Dead


Duane Jones as Ben in Night of the Living Dead
Ben even made sure other people’s stupidity wouldn’t get him killed.

When the zombie apocalypse begins, Ben finds shelter in an old farmhouse after running out of gas. From the start, Ben is all about surviving. Where the other characters panic and fight amongst themselves, Ben sees the bigger picture and focuses on staying alive. Ben makes every smart decision imaginable, from using fire to ward off a zombie hoard to boarding up the windows. He even comments on not wanting the others’ stupidity to get him killed.

He knows the right things to say to calm the freaked-out Barbara, but he is also willing to forcibly subdue her when her panic threatens to get them killed. When fellow survivor Harry locks him out of the farmhouse, Ben fights his way back in. When the power goes out and the zombies break through, Ben survives the night by holing up in the cellar. The following morning, however, he’s mistaken for a zombie and shot and killed by a posse hunting down the dead.

Lee Abbot, A Quiet Place


“We’re going to play the marathon version of ‘who-can-be-quiet-the-longest’.”

When alien creatures with super-acute hearing invade earth and begin killing off the human population, Lee Abbott wastes no time protecting his family. He studies the creatures, learning their strengths, weaknesses, and habits. He builds a life for his wife and children completely devoid of sound. With a deaf daughter, the family already knows sign language, and Lee supplements this with a soundless communication system involving lights. With patience and perseverance, Lee and his wife Evelyn build a (relatively) safe and even pleasant life for his family.

Lee also works unsuccessfully on repairing his daughter Regan’s cochlear implant. When a handful of aliens make it onto the property, Lee sacrifices himself to save his children. After his death, Regan and Evelyn realize that the enhancements Lee made to Regan’s implant can actually disrupt and even incapacitate the creatures. Evelyn and Regan take this new weapon and turn it on the unsuspecting creatures. In attempting to keep his family safe, Lee may have helped save the world.

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