The Elite 8 comments on the great complementary characters to those remaining and their relationship.
4. Patrick Star vs 2. Shrek
The show is not named Patrick Star. It’s named after his best friend, SpongeBob SquarePants. SpongeBob didn’t make the list primarily for the fact that his character deteriorated so much after the show shifted after the movie (I wrote all about this in my article “Contemplating Nickelodeon”). However, during the show’s prime, SpongeBob was the character that made everything work. Patrick probably left us with the most laughs, but SpongeBob’s tireless kindness and enthusiasm gave each episode energy and a way to make any situation a quality, humorous cartoon. Together, SpongeBob and Patrick are a great team and the truest of buddies. SpongeBob had more depth than Patrick, and we got to see different sides of him in episodes like “Can You Spare a Dime?” For the pre-movie years, SpongeBob more than earned his place among the great television characters.
Normally this paragraph would be about Donkey, but he was already in this competition, so we’ll talk about Fiona. To be cliche, Shrek and Fiona are perfect for each other because there is more to each of them than meets the eye. The Shrek movies and the central love story work because Shrek and Fiona’s relationship feel real. Their courtship is sweet yet awkward. Their love is true, yet not untroubled. Fiona’s parents don’t like Shrek at first, and there are others who wish to see Shrek out of the picture. Yet through all four movies, there is no doubt that they really, truly love each other. Not high school drama love, not you’re hot I’m hot love, but real I-can’t-live-without-you love.
9. Walt Kowalski vs 5. Benjamin Martin
Gran Torino is basically about the relationship between Walt and his teenage neighbor, Tao. When we first meet Tao, he is doing “women’s work” as some of his female relatives share disparaging words about him. Later on, a car-load of Mexican hoodlums heckle him. And then he gets caught up with his gang-member cousins. He’s a shy young man who wants to prove himself and wants to get out of a poor neighborhood. His relationship with the gruff, xenophobic, elderly Walt changes both of them. At first, Tao is just another nuisance to him. By the end of the film…. well, you just have to watch this movie.
Benjamin Martin gets involved in war again because of his sons. One of his sons is killed when the British destroy Martin’s farm, and his other son, Gabriel, is determined to return to his company. So The Ghost joins the war, leading a group of militia while making sure Gabriel stays safe. He fights side by side with his son to disrupt the forces of Cornwallis and stands by at Gabriel’s wedding. They form a unique relationship not only as father and son but as brothers in arms. Gabriel is a good man who understands what he’s fighting for.
8. Qui-Gon Jinn vs 2. Aslan
We learn much about Qui-Gon after he is…. gone. We find that he was actually trained by Count Dooku, who was trained by Yoda. That’s pretty good tutelage, and Dooku’s departure from the Order gives some insight into Qui-Gon’s rebellious nature and maverick tendencies. Dooku is the type of character that would have benefited from a Star Wars miniseries (and actually, much of what we know of Dooku in the canon comes from the two underrated animated series), as his role in two films hardly gives us a true look into a great Jedi (one of the most skilled with a lightsaber) who ultimately fell away and led the Separatist forces as the apprentice of Darth Sideous. Qui-Gon only appears in one film, but understanding Dooku can help us understand him. In fact, he tells Obi-Wan that he wishes Qui-Gon was still alive because he wants his help.
Reepicheep is a mouse. A mouse warrior. He is descended from the mice who gnawed through the ropes that bound Aslan to the Stone Table, and were rewarded for their kindness by receiving the ability to speak and by growing in size. He is fearless, noble, and very attuned to protecting his honor. In recognition of the services of his people, Aslan restores the tail he loses in battle, and as a reward for a life well-lived, Reepicheep passes into Aslan’s Country without dying by paddling to the farthest eastern shore.
1. Walter White vs 2. Jack Bauer
Walter White’s relationships are a big part of what makes Breaking Bad work. The one that moves the show along is his partnership with Jesse Pinkman, his former student who helps him get into the meth business. Throughout the series, Jesse makes a transformation, as he moves from the immature junkie who acts as a hindrance to Walt’s schemes due to his careless foolishness and slowly spirals into the darkness that Walt’s actions take all the characters. His relationship with Walt ranges far and wide, as they can never really get away from each other as much as they may sometimes want to. Jesse’s unclear morality and his continuous string of traumatic experiences make him as compelling as any character in the series. And it makes us sad that Aaron Paul is going to be in Need for Speed rather than a real movie.
Jack Bauer’s most trusted colleague is Chloe O’Brian, the brilliant and fiery nerd working for CTU. Through all sorts of perilous situations, she remains faithful to Jack, going against the orders of her superiors more than once in order to help him. She does terrific work to help save the world, rolling her eyes and condescending the entire time. Jack wouldn’t have gotten far without Chloe.