It’s one of the greatest tropes in Sci-Fi. During the 70’s and 80’s it was difficult to find any science fiction story that didn’t involve a robot in one way or another. Now its become a necessity for any space-parody. It has become the dream of young children for generations to have your very own robo-bestie or atomic dog. There have been countless interpretations spanning media from T.V., movies, or video games to comics, anime, or literature. The lesson is, if you’re planning on going on a space adventure, you should probably bring along a robot pal for the ride. Putting together a list of the ten best robot sidekicks was hard work, there are literally hundreds of choices. But, I narrowed my list down to my 10 personal favourites, and we are ready to go…
The faithful assistant of time travelling Justice League member Booster Gold, is a flying, intelligent robot from 25th-century. Often used for his historical records, Skeets more often keeps his companion out of severe danger. ADroidspoint Skeets became the armour for Booster Gold, having more control of his body than the hero did. Skeets would be a handy robot friend for anybody, I mean he does carry the winning lottery numbers for hundreds of years in his data banks.
9. Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot
Absolutely, if I was lost in space, and forced to watch terrible movie, after terrible movie, I would want a couple sarcastic robots to hang out with too. Mystery Science Theatre 3000 has recently seen a return, with a revamped Netflix series. Thankfully, Tom and Crow have kept their charm, humour, and often bad attitudes. Making horrible movies a little more tolerable through bad puns, and unnecessary commentary makes these robot sidekicks worth bringing on board your space vessel.
Who doesn’t want a robot dog companion? Well Doctor Who sure did, at least a couple of them. K-9 has appeared in many Dr. Who versions and at points has been a loyal partner. The robo-dog was so popular he has gained his own spin-offs and been the feature of many classic episodes. More than just a pup, K-9 can sense danger, fly and also shoot lasers. Like a good robo-dog should.
No, not the love bug. The robotic member of the Fantastic Four. Originally created for the ’78 animated superhero series, due to Human Torch’s rights being tied up. Humanoid Experimental Robot B-type Integrated Electronics was later adapted into the comics, becoming part nanny, part best friend to the young Franklin Richards. Multiple H.E.R.B.I.E.’s have been constructed and can be seen across the Marvel Universe, as security guards, or even to help Deadpool in his misadventures. Turns out a character nobody liked, is pretty lovable in-universe.
6. 80’s Robot
The ‘011 Muppets reboot was one of the greatest things to happen to our felt friends in a very long time. The feature introduced us to a couple new Muppets, none more memorable than Kermit’s faithful assistant. 80’s Robot is not only designed to look like he came from the retro decade, he also seems to be stuck there. Offering drinks like Tab, or New Coke, and of course loudly connecting to dial-up internet. Still, a decent robo-sidekick, at least for nostalgia sake.
I can vouch for just how handy having a nurse around can be. Never mind the amazing feats that Baymax can accomplish. Having a friend there for you in the grieving process is one thing, having a super powered robot friend there for you is another. Instead of the other robo-friends on the list, Baymax is a friend first. A buddy-robo.
Either the best robot buddy, or the worst, so, I stuck him somewhere in the middle. Bender is an exact replica of that one alcoholic friend, who just kinda does what he does. He often seems more of a burden on most missions, but sometimes you just need to remind your alcoholic-robo-best friend that you love him. Despite the many times that Bender has reminded his friends that he is absolutely out for himself.
The attention deficient, hyper-active, not-so-loyal robot pal of Invader Zim, is one of the most lovable robots in all of pop culture. Made of mismatched, leftover parts, and given the brain of what ever was left in the inventors pockets, Gir has proven to be less than helpful when it comes to Zim’s missions. On one more than one occasion Gir has shown his worth, even if it helps Zim’s enemies. Either way, Gir is lovable to the core, and a wonderful robo-bud.
2. Marvin the Paranoid Android
When it comes to the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy its easy to think of the namesake book as the largest comedy relief of the story. But, honestly, who can forget this depressed robot. When it came to the 2005 live action film Alan Rickman absolutely killed it on his voice over of the android. Bringing Marvin from a fun element to a hilarious story, to one of the biggest draws to the galaxy.
1. Star Wars Droids
How could they not be #1. The difficult part was how quickly these robots filled up my list. Easily half this list would have ended up with the respective sidekicks. R2-D2, along with his less loved brother, C-3P0 are probably the most recognizable robots in the world. In modern Star Wars cannon, the tradition has been carried forward with scene stealing heroes like BB-8, and the unforgettable K-2SO. In fact in any Star Wars media available droids play a valuable part. To the point that it wouldn’t be Star Wars without them.
Thanks booknerds, beep-boop.