Sidekicks, ladies and gentlemen, are the true heroes. Oh sure, the heroes and heroines of genre fiction stride across our lives like the titans they are but it’s the sidekicks that keep them level, keep them grounded. It’s the sidekicks that remind them that they fight to defend real people, that they need to explain their actions and sometimes, it’s the sidekicks who pay the ultimate price for them, and pay it gladly. Sidekicks rule, and here are my Top 10 (ish, just go with it) best ones in genre fiction history.
Words by: Alasdair Stuart
Who knew, when Babylon 5 first started, that one of the best elements of the show would be Vir? The perpetually terrified, cringing Centauri aide started out as little more than comic relief, but over the course of even the first season you could see the writers starting to realise what comedy gold they had in Stephen Furst.
Vir is such an inherently cuddly figure, such an innocent, that when we see Londo make his Faustian bargain with Mr Morden we’re as afraid of the effects it’ll have on Vir as anything else. In fact, Londo expresses his guilt at his actions by sending Vir away, trying to shield his aide as much as possible.
Despite this, Vir not only continues to stand by his boss but does everything he can to make up for Londo’s actions and is instrumental in rebuilding the Centauri people. He also has the single best moment in the entire series, involving nothing more than a smile and a wave. Mr Cotto, we salute you.