Deadpool 2’s best character is a regular Joe-type character named Peter. He doesn’t have a last name, and he doesn’t really have a backstory: He’s simply there for comic relief. We know it, and Peter knows it deep down inside, too.
Peter is also the movie’s show-stealer. Like Thor: Ragnarok’s buddy supporting character, Korg, and Solo: A Star Wars Story’s hilarious droid, L3-37, Peter isn’t the main player. He is, however, the character that I can’t stop thinking about one week after seeing Deadpool 2.
The key to a good supporting character is ensuring they make a lasting impact. Shakespeare knew this well: The way Mercutio is written is why we can recall him from Romeo and Juliet, even though he’s just the comic relief.
Not all supporting characters are memorable, but those who are often stand out for a reason. For me, that’s always been their ability to make me laugh and quote their lines down the road. Marvin in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy or Happy Hogan in the Iron Man movies are good examples. Over the past few months, however, it seems like films have had more standout supporting characters than usual — people that I want to learn more about even after the movie wraps.
[Warning: Slight spoilers for Deadpool 2, Solo: A Star Wars Story and Thor: Ragnarok below.]
Thor: Ragnarok’s Korg is a perfect example. Korg is an optimistic, happy-go-lucky rock creature who helps Thor fight against the evil Hela’s army during Thor’s return to Asgard. He’s not particularly useful, or even that well-equipped to help fight against the goddess of death, but he’s charming. He’s a pure-hearted burst of light in a universe that is so often clouded by death and destruction. Korg’s steadfast desire to remain this beacon of good, when everything around him is pushing the character to become a power of evil, is why we root for him to succeed.
Again, like Mercutio, Korg didn’t do anything to find himself in this predicament, but instead of complaining and stomping his metaphorical boots in anger, he goes with the flow. He reminds us how silly the entire situation is, and makes us laugh when no one else can. He’s not stupid; he’s fighting for what he believes is right, but he’s also not overtly serious. Korg is a big part of Thor: Ragnarok’s success — even Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige thinks so.
L3-37 from Solo: A Star Wars Story is another supporting character that’s about to become a memorable fan favorite that we won’t stop quoting for years. L3-37, simply referred to as L3 by her partner-in-crime Lando Calrissian, is a droid on a mission. She wants to free all enslaved droids and start a revolution, fighting to finally be free from human enslavement. She’s an astounding character — a droid made up of other droids — who delivers one of the most emotional scenes in the movie.
But, like Korg and Peter, she’s also the much-needed comic relief during stressful scenes. Solo: A Star Wars Story is a movie that I quite enjoyed, a summer blockbuster that fits comfortably between Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp. L3 is a big part of why. L3 is the only character the seems to matter the second she steps on screen, and that’s rare for a supporting character to do.
All of the characters have found their own place in my heart — but they’ll likely never get their own movies. These appearances are it. They might make another appearance in a sequel or a digital short, but we’ll never be spending $15 to see a stand-alone Korg movie. That’s okay. I don’t think we need to watch those movies. These characters’ limited time on screen makes them feel that much more unique and special.
Korg, L3 and Peter did their jobs with the small window of opportunity they had, and managed to make the greatest impact on me regardless. So let’s cheers to them, the smaller characters we adore, and who continue to make these giant genre films entertaining at their core.