5 Characters With Stupid Origin Stories Nobody Talks About
Not every character needs a gritty origin story. Han Solo is a roguish smuggler, and learning that he started skirting the law by stealing space drugs to save his space mom from space cancer isn't going to teach us anything new about him. Most movies know this, and thus provide the bare minimum of exposition we need to understand someone. But some famous characters have secret backstories that are as ridiculous as they are horrifying. For example ...
Greedo Only Wanted To Kill Han Solo Because Of A Dumb Love Triangle
Greedo is a lesson in screenwriting efficiency. In the span of one minute, he establishes that Han Solo is the sort of person who gets into debts with gangsters and makes enemies of killers, and that he can shoot his way out of trouble. It doesn't matter why Greedo hates Han, only that Han has sketchy enemies and no qualms about blasting them away.
But Star Wars has never met a plot that it couldn't overtell, so an official short story called "The Luckless Rodian" gives Greedo all the backstory you never wanted. In it, we learn that Greedo was obsessed with a woman named Uncelta, who was everything he "cherished" in a partner. But she was into Han Solo, and they hooked up before Han eventually broke her heart. So Greedo wanted to kill Han to avenge the feelings of a woman who never liked him, which is a pathetic love triangle more befitting a rambling Reddit post than a space opera. Oh, and Greedo got drunk before he confronted Han, just to add an extra layer of sadness to the scene.
Now, we know what you're thinking: Was Uncelta a human woman, or a member of Greedo's species? We do not know, and the matter is probably best not dwelt on.
Mark Hamill's Personal Backstory For Old Luke Skywalker Is Heartbreaking
Luke Skywalker has some rough golden years. His attempt to restore the Jedi Order ended with his nephew killing most of his acolytes and running off to be a Space Nazi, and ever since, he's moped around in isolation and self-pity, like the fantasy equivalent of your uncle who went through a tough divorce. Luke eventually does redeem himself and go out on a high note, but his road to redemption was even tougher than we thought. Mark Hamill invented his own backstory to motivate his world-weary portrayal of Luke that would make child cancer patients consider him unlucky.
If you thought Luke Skywalker died a virgin like an austere space priest, take heart in knowing that before he started the world's worst boarding school, he married and even had a child. But then tragedy struck when his youngling got ahold of his lightsaber and accidentally killed himself with it. Because if there's one thing that everyone in the sometimes bitterly divided Star Wars fandom can agree on, it's that they'd love for the movies to have more depressing real-world parallels to American gun safety issues.
Bane Went To Jail As A Baby And Lost His Beloved Teddy Bear To A Shark
In The Dark Knight Rises, Bane shows up as a villain already so infamous that he's wanted by the CIA. It's explained that he's part of the League of Shadows, and that's a good enough reason for Batman to punch him. The movie gives him a backstory about being born and raised in the world's worst prison (which he eventually managed to climb out of, because it was also the world's worst-designed prison), but the exact circumstances as to how and why his pregnant mom went to super-jail are a vague myth. And that's probably because the more detailed version from the comics is very, very silly.
See, Bane's dad tried to overthrow the government of the small and fictional Santa Prisca, then fled because it went about as well as America's attempts to overthrow Castro. So the government threw his newborn son in prison instead. We're sure the guards loved the diaper years.
Bane and his teddy bear best friend grew up in a brutal jail full of violent criminals, like the inevitable sequel to Boss Baby -- Baby Jail. One day, young Bane got knocked unconscious in a fight, and had a coma-induced vision of his bear taking him to meet his future self ...
The Ghost of Comic Books Future reveals that kid Bane will become a total badass, because comic books aren't always subtle.
So when he recovers from his coma, he puts Osoito the bear away and gets himself a cuddly knife instead, which he immediately uses to kill a prisoner who was implicitly trying to molest him. Then, when he grows into an adult, he kills the prison warden (while naked) and escapes, ditching Osoito in the process. Luckily, there's a loving shark nearby who can give Osoito a good home.
So try to imagine a scene in Dark Knight Rises wherein a naked Tom Hardy, having survived childhood sexual trauma, clutches a teddy bear while killing a man in a country with the world's dumbest legal system, and you'll quickly understand why they glossed over his origins.
Jared From Silicon Valley Had A Childhood Full Of Unimaginable Horror
Silicon Valley's Jared is weird, but in a sweet way. He's the closest thing the show has to a morally minded adult in the room. He also drops a lot of hints that imply he had a childhood to rival a Bosnian War orphan. Fans have combined them with interviews and supplementary material to assemble a jigsaw puzzle of sadness.
In an interview with actor Zach Woods, he explains that he thinks of Jared as someone who achieved success by overcoming monumental trauma. Woods has written up a past for Jared that includes his parents dying in a seaplane crash, a series of terrible foster homes, and having to fight his stepdad's dogs to earn respect. That crash must have been after his biological father abandoned his family to join an Ozark militia, as Jared mentions on the show.
He also mentions that CPS could never find his birth certificate, and multiple blog entries allude to his extensive familiarity with the foster care system. There is just a nonstop parade of heartbreaking neglect and abuse, all from a childhood spent in attics "paid for with endless, backbreaking chores and things no child should see."
Perhaps that's why, when Jared can't sleep, he busts out aggressive German rants that fans that have translated as Nazi slogans, as well as talk of locking people in cages and slitting someone's throat. Woods says it isn't a Boys From Brazil situation, but don't be surprised if Jared is eventually revealed to be an abused Hitler clone.
Slimer Was A Dead Gangster Posthumously Mutilated By The Ghostbusters
The Ghostbusters movies are set in a world in which humanity has definitive proof of the afterlife and treats it like an angry raccoon they have to flush out from under the porch. In the first Ghostbusters, we're introduced to Slimer, a ghost who likes eating and not prompting anyone to question their fundamental understanding of the Universe. He exists solely to introduce us to the wacky ways ghosts operate, and he doesn't need a backstory because anyone old enough to form memories about Halloween knows what a ghost is. Dan Aykroyd dubbed him the "Ghost of John Belushi" as an in-joke tribute, and that alone is more than enough.
But because we now live in a world where no minor character can exist without fans demanding to know their complete biography, Slimer was given a detailed origin for his appearance in the Ghostbusters remake -- a movie everyone loves to have calm, rational discussions about.
Slimer was written as a gangster who killed a waiter for messing up his order, only to then be executed himself. He started as a regular old ghost, but when the Ghostbusters first tried to capture him with untested equipment, they accidentally blew off his legs, turned him green, and distorted him into the ravenous mutant potato that we all know and love. Because everyone knows that good comedy is murder and spectral disfigurement plus time.
Shockingly, the part where our fun heroines horrifically mutilate the ghost of a violent gangster somehow ended up getting cut, presumably along with a scene in which the gang has to bust the ghost of an elderly concentration camp survivor who died alone and unloved in her cold and empty apartment.
Get to writing better origin stories yourself with a beginner's guide to Celtx.
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