The Rise of Skywalker may be the worst-reviewed Star Wars movie since The Phantom Menace, but there is one new character in the film who has drawn universal acclaim: Babu Frik. Voiced by Shirley Henderson, who also played Moaning Myrtle in the Harry Potter movies, Babu is a wrinkled, bewhiskered little fellow with a knack for reprogramming droids and a penchant for yelling “hey heyyyyy” at key moments. On Wednesday, the savvy marketing folks at Disney seized on Babu’s mass appeal by releasing a clip from the movie that features the gang meeting the Anzellan alien for the first time on Kijimi.
The scene also features C-3PO contemplating his mortality and choosing to sacrifice himself to save the galaxy, blah blah blah, who cares? We want Babu! When he’s on screen, we can forget about how suddenly everyone in the galaxy knows about the Sith somehow, and about secret relations coming out of nowhere, and about what the heck that ending is supposed to mean. As alien comic relief in Star Wars goes, Babu is right in the sweet spot: smarter than a porg, cuter than a Jar Jar Binks, weirder than an Ewok.
Disney and Lucasfilm are bound to ruin Babu in some special edition of the movie released in 2030 in which the puppet is replaced with CGI and dubbed over with a posh English accent, so let’s just enjoy this while it lasts, OK?