29. Jabba the Hutt vs. Wormtongue
Who Was Jabba the Hutt? Secondary Star Wars villain featuring in brief interlude
Who Was Wormtongue? Secondary Lord of the Rings villain featuring in brief interlude
Verdict: Every epic story needs at least one B-story villain. Someone or something that will briefly get into our heroes way before being summarily dispatched and almost immediately forgotten about.
In Star Wars, that villain is Jabba the Hutt. Yes, he’s always in the background, trying to track down Han for repayment of some serious debts. The Empire was a bigger deal, though, so viewers would be forgiven if they let the reason why Greedo fired first slip their mind.
Our heroes’ conflict with Jabba takes up the first act of Jedi and that’s it. It’s a miniature life-or-death struggle briefly interrupting the bigger life-or-death struggle with much more disastrous implications. Jabba is dealt with and the main plot picks up where it lets off.
Wormtongue serves the same function in Two Towers. He provides Aragorn, et al with some busy work as they pass through Rohan before getting back to the main taste of making it to Mordor.
What separates them though for our purposes?
Wormtongue is about as appealing as his name, and is cowardly to boot. He is easily dealt with by the representatives of the Fellowship and not mentioned again.
Jabba is without doubt less appealing and disgusting, but there’s a more substantial story set around him. Luke and our heroes adventure in Jabba’s palace and later on his sail barge are one-ninth of the entire originally trilogy basically. It might be a tangent from the main story, but at least it’s not treated like that.
Star Wars wins
Next: 28. Sarlaac vs. Balrog