When you’re a small rebel alliance taking on an entire empire I guess you can’t afford to be choosy about who you let into your ranks. It would be great if all your new recruits were young, fit, skilled pilots with instincts enhanced by an ancient mythical force allowing them to hit targets no bigger than a womp rat; but sometimes you just get guys like Porkins. There are some pretty sad looking characters walking around that galaxy far, far away but none seem quite as pathetic as Jek Porkins. Jek appears at the end of episode IV when the rebels attack the first death star. The battle ends with a big win for the rebels as Luke manages to destroy the death star. Sadly Jek does not get to participate in the award ceremony that follows. No, Jek Porkins was blown to smithereens on the surface of the death star very unceremoniously. He’s only on screen for a few moments, like other rebel pilots Biggs and Wedge, but Porkins did manage to leave an impression on me. And while he may not have lived to realize it, he did his part in helping to bring about the end of the evil empire. A moment of silence for our fat fallen hero…
Back when these movies first came out Lucas didn’t bother to give crazy alien names to every character that appeared on screen. Most were given silly nicknames based on their appearance. That’s why when the toys came out in the early 80s the aliens had names like Squid-head, Walrus-Man, and Hammerhead. I’m sure if Lak Sivrak had a toy in the original line his name would’ve been Wolf-face or something to that effect. It’s this simple manner of naming things that I imagine resulted in the chubby rebel pilot being named Porkins. I’m curious if they had the name Porkins written in the original script and then sought out a fat guy or did they happen to cast a fat guy and then decide to name the character Porkins based on his weight. Whatever the case it’s unfortunate that his fellow pilots actually refer to him as Porkins on screen thus solidifying the name for all time. Those other characters I mentioned, whose names were never actually mentioned in the movies, have since been given cool alien names. Now whenever they appear in the expanded universe of novels and comic books they have those cool names. However Porkins will forever be Porkins.
The figure is actually pretty great and I think it’s rather generous to the actor who portrayed ol’ Porky here. The actor was pretty gross looking, all unshaven with rolls of chins under his chin strap. I’m pretty sure he had Cheeto crumbs on his belly in those cockpit scenes. Speaking of the cockpit, I’m sure Porkins had a hell of a time squeezing his way into that narrow seat of his X-Wing. The figure, while chubby isn’t nearly as unkempt looking as the real guy. His face is unshaven but at least it’s a nice even 5 o’clock shadow on the figure version. His hair looks pretty flat and greasy but it suits him and he’s been wearing a big clunky helmet all day so I can forgive the hair. The fact that the helmet is removable is pretty awesome anyway. Porkins looks good displayed with the other rebel pilots and I’m glad he was finally immortalized in plastic with this late 90s release. 7 out of 10.