4

So, not be insensitive, but in A New Hope there's an (aptly named?) X-Wing pilot named Porkins.

enter image description here

What's the story here? Possibilities:

  • complete coincidence
  • the character was named in the script and it influenced the casting director
  • the character's name and appearance were mentioned in the script
  • the character's appearance was mentioned in the script and the name was ad libbed or scripted later
  • etc...

What information is available on how this all played out?

7
  • 2
    In-universe, it's just coincidence that his name is Porkins and he's overweight. His in-universe nickname of "Piggy", however... Jan 20 '20 at 20:56
  • 1
    i.stack.imgur.com/ZPm1O.png - Star Wars Insider #32.
    – Valorum
    Jan 20 '20 at 21:28
  • 1
    My avatar takes offence from this question (notice my pic). Really tempted to downvote (but didn't).
    – Hans Olo
    Jan 20 '20 at 21:35
  • 2
    There's also the fact that the fat guy named "Porkins" is the worst of the X-Wing pilots. (He's the only one shot down by fire from the fixed turbo-laser turrets; the others have to be destroyed ship-to-ship.)
    – Buzz
    Jan 20 '20 at 22:45
1

All signs point to the character of Porkins being created before William "Bill" Hootkins was cast for the role, then his being assigned the role once he'd agreed to play a pilot.


William "Bill" Hootkins was originally offered the role of Jabba the Hutt but declined it in favour of another role that he had auditioned for (that of Mr. Fatty in Valentino), returning to the set of Star Wars and filming his scenes between June 29th and July 16th, 1976.

According to The Making of Star Wars, in late April 1976 it became apparent to Lucas that they were short of X-wing pilots and calls went out to actors who'd successfully auditioned but declined roles, including Hootkins. When he arrived on set he was bemused to learn that his character's name was Porkins, initially thinking that he was going to be given a pig-like makeover.

The character of Porkins appears in the Fourth Draft script (dated March 1976), written before he had agreed to play an X-wing pilot. Lucas and his casters would undoubtedly have been aware of Bill Hootkins' size and stature, making him an obvious choice for Porkins, described in the script as having the nickname "Blue Pig".

Based on the timelines, it's clear that the role of "Porkins" wasn't specifically written for Hootkins, nor was Hootkins specifically cast for the role of Porkins, as he was simply one of several actors called in to do fill-in shots as pilots, however, once he'd agreed to play a role, he was the obvious choice for the overweight pilot envisioned by Lucas in his script.

3
  • 1
    I feel like the answer to the question we are looking for is "Yes, Porkins was supposed to be fat."
    – J Doe
    Dec 25 '20 at 0:38
  • @JDoe - I suspect that the answer was more, Casting Guy #1: Who's next?, Casting Guy #2 *Well, we've got a fat guy who can play Porkins. Cross him off the casting list
    – Valorum
    Dec 25 '20 at 0:40
  • Good choice; Jabba got cut anyway.
    – Mazura
    Dec 25 '20 at 2:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.