I’ve been a Star Wars fan since 1977, but I suppose you’d call me a casual fan. Until this morning, I had no idea there was a character named Jek Porkins. Who?
In the most critical sequence of one of the most popular movies of all time, George Lucas cast William Hootkins, a portly, bearded actor, as Jek Porkins (also known as X-Wing pilot Red Six), who dies on a mission to destroy the Death Star (The Battle of Yavin) in Star Wars. Despite being on screen for only a handful of seconds, he created a lasting impression as the first pilot to die on that mission.
Oh, that guy! I had no idea Red Six had such a following (or even a name). There are action figures, t-shirts, and animations of Porkins. He was even featured in a video game -and a song! Personally, I think it sad that any filmmaker would name an overweight character Porkins, but Lucas has a habit of naming characters in a kind of shorthand that will jog his memory. See the various tributes to Jek Porkins all in one post at Gunaxin.