My fangirl friends and I spend a good deal of time talking about our favorite ships, or how much we love the father-son relationship between Tony Stark and Peter Parker, but today I’m here to talk about a different kind of relationship: the best friend kind. I feel like this kind of awesome relationship can get a little overlooked in the middle of all the other kinds of relationships. Not that I don’t love talking about the other kinds of dynamics, but friendships are really important and deserve more attention. In a way, any healthy relationship could be considered a BrOTP (the fandom term for a best-friend pairing,) in that they all involve teamwork and loving another person. And whether characters were immediately kindred spirits or unlikely comrades, every friendship requires hard work, but every friendship is worth it.
Samwise Gamgee and Frodo Baggins
“I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you.”
This is probably the fictional friendship I would want to base my friendships off of the most in real life. Of course, because of Sam’s loyalty and dedication, but also because of Frodo’s generosity and gratefulness. When Frodo became discouraged on his quest, Sam was there to encourage him. When Gollum tried to attack Frodo, Sam was there to protect him. Sam was willing to die with Frodo if he had to; that kind of pure loyalty should be something everyone has for their friends. Frodo, even though he was carrying the burden of the Ring and fighting so many evils, didn’t take Sam for granted. He didn’t forget to tell him how glad he was to have him by his side. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget to appreciate our friends, to thank them for sticking by us, but despite everything else going on, Frodo didn’t. In the end, Frodo didn’t get to enjoy the Shire he had saved, but Sam did because of his sacrifice. If Frodo had ended up with any other gardener, or if Sam had not happened to be eavesdropping at the window of Bag End that fateful night, Frodo would not have been able to fulfill his quest. Together, these friends accomplished the impossible and saved all of Middle-earth.
Ahsoka Tano and Captain Rex
“You got old.”
“Had to happen sometime, Rex.”
When they first met, Ahsoka and Rex fell more under the mentor-student type relationship. But when they are reunited again in Rebels, they’re on a more equal footing. It’s neat to see how their friendship has evolved over the years yet still remained strong. The battles they fought side-by-side during the Clone Wars and all the crazy missions they’ve gone on together over the years has forged an unbreakable trust between them. Not even the galaxy-shattering turmoil at the end of the first war or years of separation with no contact could change that. When the Rebels needed help, Ahsoka didn’t even have to wonder if she could trust Rex – she knew without a doubt that she could. Rex left his peaceful retirement of sorts to help Ahsoka when she needed him, and in turn, ended up being a great asset to the Rebellion. He even stayed around to keep helping when he believed his friend was dead. It has recently occurred to me that, as far as we know, Ezra never told Rex of his discovery that Ahsoka is still alive, and Mr. Filoni needs to fix that! I feel like Rex will probably tease her about how old she has gotten again when they reunite.
Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes
“I’m with you until the end of the line.”
The Marvel Cinematic Universe isn’t area that we tend to focus on a lot here on The Elven Padawan, but anyone who knows anything about these two knows they need to be on this list. Friends since they were kids, they fought together in World War II and are still fighting side-by-side 70+ years later. They never gave up on each other. Bucky would follow Steve anywhere, his belief in and respect for him in boundless. And Steve never gave up on Bucky, not even when it seemed impossible that Bucky could ever come back to his side after being brainwashed and rewired as a mindless killer. After Bucky remembered who he was, Steve did his best to defend him and protect him, similar to how Bucky probably had to get between Steve and the bullies he used to fight when they were young. I love that since their friendship goes so far back, we get to hear about past memories they have, like Bucky making Steve ride a roller coaster or the time Bucky spent way too much money on a carnival game. These two have been through so much together, and the strength they draw from each other helps them keep going in both the good times and the awful ones.
Legolas and Gimli
“Never thought I’d die side-by-side with an Elf.”
“What about side by side with a friend?”
“Aye. I could do that.”.
There’s a rule in Middle-earth that no one questions: Dwarves and Elves are not friends. So naturally, Legolas and Gimli were not best buds right off. But as they journeyed together, they learned to respect each other, and began playing friendly games of “who can fall the most orcs.” To me, they’re a great example of how sometimes people you disagree with at first, or you seem to have nothing in common with, can become some of your best friends. They often tease each other, but stand up for each other when they need to. After the destruction of the Ring of Power, they remained friends, often visiting each other’s homes, until they both sailed over the Sea together. Gimli was even named Elf-friend, and in the Appendix of Lord of the Rings it says that their friendship was greater than any other that had ever existed between an Elf and a Dwarf.
Cassian Andor and K-2SO
“Sorry about the slap, Cassian.”
I stand firmly by the idea that droid-human friendships really aren’t that much different from any other ones. Cassian met Kay-Too while trying to retrieve information that would help the Rebels, and eventually reprogrammed him. You would think that Cassian, a tough intelligence officer, wouldn’t get along very well with this snarky, brutally honest droid. This leads me back to something I’ve mentioned before, about how Cassian probably didn’t have many friends in the Rebellion, and how he carried a heavy weight due to the work he did. I imagine that maybe sometimes when he was really discouraged, Kay would make a sarcastic comment about something and for just a second Cassian would smile a little bit. Another thing I think would connect them a little, at least for Cassian, is that they’ve both done things they regret. K-2SO used to be an Imperial but is now reprogrammed. Cassian is still doing the things he doesn’t always feel right about, and Kay might help him remember that what you do isn’t always who you are. Kay got to show the greatest kind of love, giving up his life for his friend in the end. If Kay hadn’t been a part of the Rogue One crew, things would have been even harder than they already were.
Sabine Wren and Ketsu Onyo
“Must be nice to have people backing you up. I had that once, when we were friends.”
The majority of the history we’ve been given so far on Sabine and Ketsu is pretty vague. We know that they were in the Mandalorian Imperial Academy together, broke out and became bounty hunters, and then had a falling out, which eventually led to Sabine joining the Ghost crew. Beyond that, not much more is known. But what is clear is that these two were close friends, even considering themselves sisters. While they did eventually part on bad terms, they were able to reconcile upon their reunion, albeit after some trouble, and Sabine was even able to recruit Ketsu. Their personalities are fairly similar, and Kestu seems to have a little bit of artist in her, even if it’s not as much as Sabine. I’d love to see them planning for a mission with Sabine talking about everything she’s going to blow up, while Ketsu rolls her eyes. These two show that you can have a disagreement with your friend, even a really, really bad one, but in the end, you can still forgive people for their rash decisions. While they were trying to get the droid from each other, they were suddenly forced to work together against the real enemy, reminding both of them how much they really had appreciated each other and their respective talents.
Han Solo and Chewbacca
“Chewbacca? I am not saying that every time. You’re gonna need a nickname.”
Han and Chewie certainly have one of the most adventurous friendships. From Imperial prisoners to smugglers, to Rebels, and then back to smugglers again, they’ve hardly been separated. The only major times they separated were while Han was frozen in carbonite, and for a period of time in between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. I’ve heard that Chewie hung around with Han for a while because he owed him a debt for freeing him, but even if that was how it started, he certainly did not stick with Han for the rest of Han’s life because he owed a debt. The skills of these two not only make them great friends, but they are also able to help each other in their day-to-day life. Chewie is a mechanic and a co-pilot for Han, while Han can speak basic and pilot. From the moment these two fly together, you can tell that they work fantastically with each other. In the smuggler world, there may be people betraying each other, or those who wouldn’t risk a hair for another in need, but Han and Chewie risk their lives for each other multiple times. This odd duo of a Wookiee and former street rat make one of the best teams in the galaxy, and two of the greatest heroes of the Rebellion.
(I would have definitely included Padmé Amidala and Satine Kryze on this list, but I haven’t yet seen The Clone Wars, and don’t know enough to write about them. But I do know they went on at least one mission together, and I bet they bonded over the struggles of leadership and their pacifist ideals. And how they deal with their crazy Jedi.)
What’s your favorite fictional duo? What have they shown you about friendship?