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Monday, April 2, 2007

Jek "Piggy" Porkins

Many of you may not remember the most important person in the Rebel attack on the Death Star, this person's name was Porkins, Jek Porkins. Without Jek Porkins heroics, the Death Star would still be intact today. Thank you Porkins!

Since his death in "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope", Porkins has become a cult favorite among Star Wars fans across the world. Action figures, trading cards, games, drawings and videos have been created to keep the legend of Porkins alive.

Porkins: The Character

Pilot Red Six in Red Squadron in the Battle of Yavin, Jek Porkins was the first Rebel pilot shown to die in the battle. He earned the nickname "Piggy," a name passed on to the Gamorrean pilot Voort SaBinring of Wraith Squadron. Jek, like so many others, gained experience flying in the cockpit of a T-16 Skyhopper.

He was a member of the Y-wing Squadron Tierfon Yellow Aces with Wes Janson. When Janson was down with a seemingly ill-timed case of Hesken Fever, Jek took his place in Red Squadron and transferred to Yavin 4, where he died when his ship malfunctioned while he and Biggs were attacking the gun towers. One of the towers exploded, and Porkins' fighter was hit by an EM pulse from the explosion, knocking out several of his instruments. Porkins refused to pull out of the fight. A laser cannon battery that he missed (owing to his tracking instruments not working) soon locked onto him and shot his fighter down. Porkins was the only Rebel to fall to the Death Star's fixed guns, which were unable to keep up with the other, fully-functioning Rebel ships. Should he have heeded the warning of the more experienced pilots, he might have lived; however, due to his courage and kamikaze mentality, he would rather kill two stormtroopers standing on the outside of the Death Star than move his X-Wing anywhere but towards a giant moon-sized battle station. The odds of surviving, had he pulled out of the fight, a simple operation, were 6 to 1 (there were a number of TIE fighters in front of Porkins that may have given chase and downed his damaged craft.)

William Hootkins: The Man

William Hootkins (July 5, 1948 – October 23, 2005) was an American actor probably best known on film for his roles as the cult favorite Red Six (Porkins) in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977) and as the crooked Lt. Max Eckhardt in Batman (1989).

Hootkins was born in Dallas, Texas, but made his home in London, England, from the early 1970s until 2002, when he moved to Los Angeles. Having studied at Princeton University where he became fluent in Mandarin Chinese and was a mainstay of the Theatre Intime, making a particular impact with his performance in Orson Welles's Moby-Dick Rehearsed, he trained as an actor at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA).

William Michael "Bill" Hootkins died of pancreatic cancer in Santa Monica, California on 23 October 2005.

Jek Porkins and William Hootkins information taken from Wikipedia.


Jeff said...

Porkins is teh r0xx0r!1111

Simon said...

Heh. Very fitting for my next post :-)