49. C-3PO vs. Merri and Pippin
Who Was C-3PO? Protocol droid, mild comedic relief
Who Were Merry and Pippin? Frodo’s fellow hobbits, mild comedic relief
Verdict: This is genuinely tough. These are all characters with mostly superficial relevance who spend most of the time getting in the way or slowing things down.
Now, the obvious caveats: C-3PO was one half of the duo of droids that ferried the First Death Star plans to the Rebel Alliance. Merry and Pippin recruited the Ents to take out Isengard. Those were big and important things in both respective trilogies!
Does it excuse the fact that they spent the rest of their screen time as mildly irritating background characters? C-3PO was, if anything, an incumbrance on the Rebel Alliance. He helped with some translations, yes, but he also got blown apart or captured by the enemy on multiple occasions and thereby put some actual heroes lives at risk.
Merry and Pippin are more important, but it’s nevertheless kind of perplexing how the Fellowship benefits from having two more tiny members with effectively nil combat experience. It’s a wonder that Aragorn and Legolas didn’t insist that they stay behind in Riverrun.
In the end, though, it’s got to go to Threepio though. For all his faults, he at least has the good sense to recognize his limitations and not actively inset himself into the adventures.
Star Wars wins
Next: R2-D2 vs. Sam