If SF and F have taught us anything, it's that any gung-ho
moisture farmer or vertically-challenged sprite can come to
learn they posses powerful talents, and through personal growth,
good friends, proton torpedoes, and mysterious mentors triumph
over nigh-impossible odds.
However, I've not come to praise the hero with a thousand
faces, but to peer behind him to find the man behind the legend
— the hard-workin' men and women who keep the horses shod,
the X-wings juiced, and the larder stocked; those who shoulder
the awesome responsibility of command and try to keep morale
as high as possible given the circumstances. Join me as I take
a look at, and give props to, the leaders of our rebellions.
Friendly (Denis Leary)
Led rebellion in Demolition Man
Mr. Friendly is the first
of several rebel leaders to be played by famous non-actor celebrities
(at the time of filming, Denis Leary was a stand-up comic and
walk-on guest on MTV's Remote Control). Dennis plays
the character pretty much as himself but in the future.
Motivation: To make the world of the future safe for
Leadership skills: Cursing, smoking.
Ackbar Calamari (Timothy Rose)
Led rebel attack fleet in Return of the
Ackbar's few lines have been memorized by geeks the world
over. The living definition of the haggard-yet-focused-yet-nerdy-yet-competent
leader, he stands up to Sith lords and their fully armed and
operational battle stations without the benefit of any hokey
Little-known fact: Although Palpatine took great pleasure
in knowing that he allowed the rebellion to gain crucial information
about the location and defenses of the new Death Star, he would
have been mortified to learn that Akbar's captain's chair was
totally better than his own.
Leadership skills: Cold-blooded metabolism keeps him
cool under pressure. Steely, unblinking gaze.
Implement used to stick it to the Man: Super Star Destroyer.
After Rebellion he: Spawned for 36 hours straight.
Tom Petty (Tom Petty)
Organized aspects of rebellion in The
We are given no clue as to why the residents of Bridge City
elected Mr. Petty, another celebrity turned man-of-the-people,
as their leader. He was a late-comer into the rebellion game,
and some argue that his contributions to stopping General Bethlehem
were incidental at best. Those people can write their own damn
Gumption: General Bethlehem forgot that Mr. Petty won't
. . . back . . . down. He won't be turned around. In a world
that keeps on pushin' him around, he won't . . . back . . .
Leadership style: Acoustic.
Networking Bonus: The other towns in the rebellion
were run by the rest of the Traveling Wilburys.
Led rebellion of Martian mutants in Total
Cunning opponents in the cat-and-mouse game of colonial rebellion,
as well as unappetizing to behold, George/Kuato hold a special
place in my heart as one of the last times I looked up a movie
screen and realized that I honestly did not expect to see what
I was seeing. Nor could I finish my popcorn.
Why he (they?) is (are?) the leader: Psychic powers.
Running gag: George: "S'okay?" Kauto: "S'alright."
Secret Weapon: You should see what they've got in the
of Rohan (Karl Urban)
Organized riders of Rohan against uruk-hai
despite King Theoden's wishes in The Two Towers
He was leading rebellions when rebellions weren't cool. Eomer's
stubborn defiance in the face of tradition and treaty saved
the free peoples from a tremendous ass-handing by the forces
of Isendgard and Mordor. Also, he got through that whole shitstorm
without even so much as a scratch!
Philosophical viewpoint: Think mead, drink mead.
Quote: "Really, you don't want to make my sister mad."
Secret to his success: Leaving none alive.
(Carol Christine Hilaria Pounder)
Led rebellion of dispossessed in
I want all of you to note how far down I had to go to find
a female rebellion leader. Robocop III, for pity's sake!
Man stuck to: Rip Torn as CEO of the 'Company'.
Leadership style: Strong independent black woman.
Making the hurting stop: Her acting in the "heart
transplant" scene is almost worth the rest of the movie.
Goodboy Tyler (Barry Pepper)
Led rebellious man-animals in lopsided
battle against Psychlo invaders in Battlefield Earth
The truth is that when this movie came out I had a
lot of trouble finding anyone to go see it. In fact, the only
people free that evening were my pal Jack Daniels and his heterosexual
life-partner Jimmy Beam. The entire affair was a blur of hair,
jets, and boots. Boots that would make Gene Simmons blush!
Lesson learned: When I drink alone, I prefer to be by
Thaughbaer (Gavin O'Herlihy)
Led rebellious force of Dykene against
evil sorceress in Willow
Yeah, yeah, General Bethlehem was a real bastard and
Palpatine could shoot lighting out of his fingertips. Cry me
a river, you pansies! Queen Bavmorda turned the population of
a castle to stone and then turned an entire army into pigs.
INTO PIGS! And who led that doomed army? Airk freaking Thaughbaer,
Secret fear: "That Eomer kid is totally bogarting my
look, isn't he?"
After the Rebellion he: Swore off pork.
Voice and presumed leader of the runners
in Logan's Run
As far as management of underground railroads goes, this guy's
ability to squirrel "runners" to the "sanctuary" was so keen
that the super-computer finally had to send Logan Five out to
take care of business. And since Logan's life-crystal had to
be prematurely aged to black, he was not only taking care of
business, but he was working, quite literally, overtime.
How good of a leader was he: Dude, he doesn't even
make an appearance in the movie. He's got the whole thing automated.
A few recordings, some ankh-readers, a murderous doctor and
his hottie henchwoman and he's hammered out a system that efficiently
takes runners from the domed city to an encounter with a psychopathic
robot so they can have the pleasure of dying of shock and exposure
in a world they are totally ignorant of and unprepared for.
Leadership style: Distant.
Fleetwood (Mick Fleetwood)
Led the revolution in The Running Man
If you've ever seen that wild-eyed look Mick Fleetwood gets
when he's beating the skins, you can see how he'd stick it to
the Man for banning his music.
Little-known fact: Stevie Nicks helped by making top
hats full of plastique for the rebels.
Leadership style: First on the scene during a hit,
last to leave.
Ace in the hole: Fortunately, the totalitarian government
of Running Man hinges on the entertainment industry.
They were practically begging Mick to take them down.
Leader of disenfranchised, technologically-impaired
misfits in Johnny Mnemonic
Man, remember Johnny Mnemonic? That takes me back.
Takes me back low-Tek style.
Implements used in Man-sticking: Knives, guns, and
at one point a Volvo.
Leadership style: Coool.
Point of fact: Hardcore rapper Ice-T co-starred with
hardcore punk rocker Henry Rollins.
Friends in low places: You gotta admit, the dolphin
was a nice touch. But you also have to admit that the dolphin
itself was not particularly nice, what with the frying people
with microwaves and all. Not many people know that the dolphin
fronted the hardcore metal group Dölfyn at Seaworld before breaking