Babu Frik was one of the funniest new characters introduced in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Audiences laughed like crazy whenever he was onscreen, and fans can’t wait to see more of the eccentric droid technician in future Star Wars stories. A member of the diminutive Anzellan species, Frik survived the destruction of Kijimi, where his workshop was located, before participating in the final space battle against the First Order. With his funny voice and his larger than life personality, moviegoers clearly took a liking to this oddball new character, with some even viewing him as one of the highlights of the film.
Interestingly, conceptual artist Ivan Manzella revealed that Babu Frik was actually inspired by a character in John Carpenter’s Big Trouble in Little China. Speaking on the Force Material podcast (thanks to ComicBook.com for the heads up), Manzella was quoted as saying the following:
“When I was designing him, I did the maquette, and I did a series of eight or nine heads in different expressions, and then I was basing it on Victor Wong from Big Trouble in Little China, Egg Shen, and that’s who I saw in my head all the time. So, in my mind, it was always Victor Wong. That’s sort of how it evolved in my head. I never imagined him with that voice, but it worked so well and that’s a big part of his charm, as well. I think those two things came together just really, really well.”
Egg Shen was played by the late actor Victor Wong in John Carpenter’s 1986 supernatural classic. While the character worked as a San Francisco tour bus driver, he was actually a powerful magician who opposed the evil sorcerer David Lo Pan. Although Wong sadly died in 2001, fans will be pleased to see his legacy being honoured in a film as notable as Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. And given the huge popularity of John Carpenter among the horror community, we imagine the influence of Big Trouble in Little China on the Star Wars franchise will come as a welcome surprise to most of our readers.