I fucking love Kit Fisto

Kit Fisto Star Wars

Though I cannot deny the indelible cultural impact the Star Wars franchise has had on humanity for several decades, I’ve only ever treated it with a casual interest. I consider the movies to range from mediocre to enjoyable, and the extended universe more for fan edification. The most iconic characters? Certainly, they deserve that distinction, but I would be less excited for a shock Darth Vader cameo than I would for, say, Chigiri Hyoma from BLUELOCK. Put Chigiri in SoulCalibur, you cowards.

…That claim isn’t entirely true, actually, as there is one lone hero in the galaxy far, far away that has transcended his origins to inexplicably work his way into my heart. It isn’t Luke Skywalker or Han Solo. It isn’t Lando Calrissian, or the incomparable Jar Jar Binks. You’ve already read the damned headline, so I don’t know why I’m beating around the bush.

My favourite Star Wars character is Kit Fisto, aka the dude who kind of looks like a happy fish monster.

Pared down to strictly the mainline film series, the Nautolan Jedi Master never achieved much of note. His major purpose was likely to fill the Council with cool-looking extras who could listen on in interest as the actually important people spoke their piece. On that front, he is less significant to this franchise than Jake fucking Lloyd.

If you dabble for a spell in that aforementioned extended universe, however, you can sometimes take away little nuggets that pay surprising dividends. For me, it was a chance viewing of a single episode of 2003’s Clone Wars animated series. The Genndy Tartakovsky-helmed spinoff presented each adventure in bite-sized samples, capable of grabbing your attention with its action without overstaying the welcome of a full-length program.

Kit Fisto Star Wars
Lucasfilms/Disney

This particular episode was centred around Kit Fisto doing watery things, and it really stuck with me. It’s unclear even to me why, exactly, this was the case. It’s spectacularly presented and very exciting, obviously, and yet I didn’t return to watch any more Clone Wars afterwards. It was as if I had gotten my fill, and that fill was Fisto.

It could have something to do with his visual appearance in the animated version; whereas live-action Fisto is a little unnerving, reminiscent of Abe Sapien after ingesting some particularly strong edibles, the Tartakovsky edition feels buff and appealing. I’m somewhat preconditioned to gravitate towards dreadlocked designs, likely a byproduct of a childhood fascination with Knuckles the Echidna.

In any event, I had finally found a Star Wars cast member to call my own. Were I to have overheard a discussion on the franchise, I could have interjected with my fondness for the tentacle frog guy. Odds are, people would have assumed I was referring to Boss Nass, or told me to please stop talking to them. Perhaps it’s for the best this theoretical interaction never took place.

There was just one last opportunity for Fisto to make his mark in the mainline series before the original trilogy would retcon his creation, and that was 2005’s Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. I didn’t really expect for him to do much, but you’d best believe I watched his eventual appearance with great enthusiasm.

Flanking Mace Windu as the Jedi Council made a beeline towards Palpatine’s quarters, it looked to me as though Fisto was being treated as just a smidgen more relevant than his contemporaries; as though he was a second-in-command or something. He had put in one featured scene of work in the preceding Attack of the Clones (aka the worst one), but this upcoming sequence was a big moment in Star Wars lore. For him to be highlighted, even if just to my eye, was a bold step forward for my fave fish boi.

Lucasfilms/Disney/20th Century Fox

Then, it happened. Palpatine began his assault, easily dispatching of his Jedi foes without much effort. Two would fall before they could even react, and next, he turned his aggression towards Fisto. What did he do? He blocked the first strike. That’s right — he wasn’t just a warm body to be sacrificed to the narrative, he stood equal to only Windu himself by launching a defensive manouvre.

I was absolutely thrilled in this moment. Had they taken note of the Clone Wars template? Could it be that a character who was really only there to fill space was now being treated as a tangible threat? Were we about to see him sway the tide of battle, singlehandedly apprehending Palpatine and preventing the rise of the Empire?

…Alas, no. He was struck down within the following three seconds, the only sound escaping his lips a pathetic whimper as he crumpled to the floor. The dream was dead, and so was he, incidentally.

His demise, temporarily delayed as it may have been, was only slightly less ignoble than his comrades, condemning his existence in the Star Wars canon to obscurity forevermore. If you think I was discouraged, you’d be dead wrong: the fact that I’m still hung up on those few seconds of competent duelling is indication that he was considered, at the very least, a tiny bit worthwhile.

As someone whose favourite characters throughout history have included similar underdogs such as Krillin or Bulbasaur, this modest pedestal is very much home to me. For his cursory attempt, Kit Fisto resides amongst some true luminaries inside my heart and atop my desk.

Marcus Mariota, Fit Fisto and Flashing Gremlin Pop Vinyls
Pictured: Marcus Mariota, Kit Fisto and the Gremlin Flasher

Legends, each and every one of them.

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