I Don’t Believe in Sidekicks

No, seriously – I tried sidekicks.  I tried the kid who runs along behind the hero, taking notes while the hero kicks butt. I tried the boy/girl who is quirky and has weird hair and is madly in love with the protagonist. I tried the best friend who wishes he/she could be in the spotlight too, but never will.

But I don’t believe in sidekicks. I don’t believe in those characters that want to be the hero but never will be. I believe every character saves the world, in his or her own way. Even if that character isn’t pulling the trigger on the gun, they are doing their part to make the set-up just what it needs to be in the end.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is, I  believe in ensembles. Yes, there’s usually a main character – one through whom all the other characters know one another, one whose destiny is just an eensy bit more grand than the others.  Sure, I’ll admit that that’s usually the setup.

But look at Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Okay, yes, I’m obsessed and always will be. But think about that cast – it’s called Buffy,  but what would the show be without the others? How many times did Xander, Willow, and Giles have an equal share of the world-saving? Remember that one season (ahem it’s six!) when Buffy didn’t save the world at all? Xander did. They were each heroes – each of them had a power that made them an essential part of the team.  Sidekicks are people the hero can do without. But no one can save the world by themselves (except Superman, maybe).

What I’m trying to say is, yes there are expendable characters. There are those characters that you name “the mailman” or the “police officer”. But characters you’ve taken the time to name, characters who follow the hero on his/her journey – don’t you think it’s worth getting to them a bit better? What if they have heroic qualities too? They might just surprise you.

They just might end up saving the world.

What about you? How do you feel about the whole side kick thing?

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