“The promotion for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has made one thing clear about the second outing for James Gunn’s space superheroes: this time out, the cuteness factor has been upped considerably. As if a grouchy raccoon that sounds like Bradley Cooper wasn’t enough, now fans get to see talking tree Groot turned into a little shrub, with anime eyes and high-pitched voice to boot.
The new and improved Groot is just the latest example of a long-standing tradition in science fiction movies: In case of emergency, wheel out the adorable sidekick. After all, no matter how dangerous things might seem, if there’s an alien or robot that makes your heart melt somewhere in the frame, things can’t be all bad, can they? Here are the best of Baby Groot’s predecessors in the role of Cutest Distraction In A Sci-Fi Motion Picture. […]
Perhaps the most obvious cute sidekick in all of science fiction, Star Wars‘ R2-D2 sets the gold standard for what we expect from the adorable best friend genre: he’s tiny, unintelligible and surprisingly useful when it comes to getting out of a tough scrape. In fact, R2 is so on top of the cute sidekick game, he’s got a sidekick all of his own — but whether or not anyone would call C-3PO cute depends on their patience with anxiety-ridden know-it-alls. Now Return of the Jedi‘s Wicket, on the other hand… […]
Mesa knows that plenty of people hate the sidekick from the Star Wars prequels, but if you can overlook the offensive patois — Ahmed Best certainly tried to — then there’s almost something charming about this particular incarnation of the bumbling idiot with the heart of gold. He’s goofy, enthusiastic and, thanks to his impassioned speech to the Senate in Attack of the Clones, responsible for the rise of the Empire and slaughter of the Jedi Order. If nothing else, that surely means you have to reconsider that opinion that he never amounted to anything. […]
The next generation of Star Wars movies brings a next generation of cute sidekicks, with BB-8 rolling its way into our hearts as soon as it appeared onscreen. With a design so simple that even R2-D2 seemed overly complicated by comparison, BB-8 showed that all that was needed to win the hearts and minds of fans was a mix of cute beeps, a name that sounds like “baby,” and a blowtorch to threaten other good guys in case of emergency. The formula is surprisingly simple, if you think about it. Quick: someone give Groot a lighter, just in case.”
Read the whole article at The Hollywood Reporter.