WikiProject Fictional characters aims to improve articles on the English Wikipedia pertaining to fictional characters, such as Mario, Harry Potter, Prince Hamlet, Superman, Archie Bunker, and Luke Skywalker, be it from literature, film, television, video games, or other sources.
Featured film character
Palpatine is a fictional character in George Lucas' science fiction saga Star Wars. The character, portrayed by actor Ian McDiarmid in the feature films, is the main antagonist of the saga; introduced in the original trilogy as the Emperor of the Galactic Empire, an aged, cowled and pale-faced figure, who rises to power in the prequel trilogy through deception and treachery as a middle-aged politician of the Republic. In reality, he is Darth Sidious, a Dark Lord of the Sith who initiates and manipulates the Clone Wars to destroy the Jedi and usher in the totalitarian Galactic Empire. Briefly mentioned by Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977), Lucas' original scripts of Star Wars characterize the Emperor as a cunning but weak politician under the control of powerful bureaucrats. However, in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, the prequels, and Star Wars literature, the character is depicted as the personification of evil and heavy-handed authoritarianism. Palpatine was incorporated into the Star Wars merchandising campaigns that corresponded with the theatrical release of Return of the Jedi and the prequel films. The character has since become a symbol of evil and sinister deception in popular culture, particularly in the United States. (read more...)
Featured television character
Bartholomew JoJo "Bart" Simpson is a fictional main character in the animated television series The Simpsons and part of the eponymous family. He is voiced by actress Nancy Cartwright and first appeared on television in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Bart was created and designed by cartoonist Matt Groening while he was waiting in the lobby of James L. Brooks' office. Groening had been called to pitch a series of shorts based on Life in Hell but instead decided to create a new set of characters. While the rest of the characters were named after Groening's family members, Bart's name was an anagram of the word brat. After appearing on The Tracey Ullman Show for three years, the Simpson family received their own series on Fox, which debuted December 17, 1989.
At ten years old, Bart is the eldest child and only son of Homer and Marge, and the brother of Lisa and Maggie. Bart's most prominent character traits are his mischievousness, rebelliousness and disrespect for authority. He has appeared in other media relating to The Simpsons, including video games, The Simpsons Movie, The Simpsons Ride, commercials, and comic books; he has also inspired an entire line of merchandise.
In casting, Nancy Cartwright originally planned to audition for the role of Lisa, while Yeardley Smith tried out for Bart. Smith's voice was too high for a boy, so she was given the role of Lisa. Cartwright found that Lisa was not interesting at the time, so instead auditioned for Bart, which she thought was a better role. Hallmarks of the character include his chalkboard gags in the opening sequence; his prank calls to Moe the bartender; and his catchphrases "Eat my shorts", "¡Ay, caramba!", and "Don't have a cow, man!"
During the first two seasons of The Simpsons (1989–1991), Bart was the show's breakout character and "Bartmania" ensued. Bart Simpson T-shirts sporting various slogans and catchphrases became popular, selling at a rate of a million per day at their peak. The song "Do the Bartman" became a number one charting single and the seventh best-selling song of 1991 in the United Kingdom. Bart's rebellious attitude and pride at underachieving caused many parents and educators to cast him as a bad role model for children. A T-shirt reading "I'm Bart Simpson. Who the hell are you?" was banned in several public schools. Around the third season, the series started to focus more on the family as a group, although Bart remains one of the most prominent characters on the series. Time named Bart one of the 100 most important people of the 20th century, and he was named "entertainer of the year" in 1990 by Entertainment Weekly. Nancy Cartwright has won several awards for voicing Bart, including a Primetime Emmy Award in 1992 and an Annie Award in 1995. In 2000, Bart, along with the rest of his family, was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (read more...)
Featured literature character
Nancy Drew is a fictional young amateur detective in various mystery series for all ages. She was created by Edward Stratemeyer, founder of the Stratemeyer Syndicate book packaging firm. The character first appeared in 1930. The books have been ghostwritten by a number of authors and are published under the collective pseudonym Carolyn Keene.
Over the decades the character has evolved in response to changes in American culture and tastes. The books were extensively revised, beginning in 1959, largely to eliminate racist stereotypes, with arguable success. Many scholars agree that in the revision process, the heroine's original, outspoken character was toned down and made more docile, conventional, and demure. In the 1980s a new series was created, the Nancy Drew Files, which featured an older and more professional Nancy as well as romantic plots. In 2004 the original Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series, begun in 1930, was ended and a new series, Girl Detective, was launched, with an updated version of the character who drives a hybrid electric vehicle and uses a cell phone. Illustrations of the character have also evolved over time, from portrayals of a fearless, active young woman to a fearful or passive one.
Through all these changes, the character has proved continuously popular worldwide: at least 80 million copies of the books have been sold, and the books have been translated into over 45 languages. Nancy Drew has featured in five films, two television shows, and a number of popular computer games; she also appears in a variety of merchandise sold over the world.
A cultural icon, Nancy Drew has been cited as a formative influence by a number of prominent women, from Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Sonia Sotomayor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former First Lady Laura Bush. Feminist literary critics have analyzed the character's enduring appeal, arguing variously that Nancy Drew is a mythic hero, an expression of wish fulfillment, or an embodiment of contradictory ideas about femininity. (read more...)
Featured video game character
Master Chief Petty Officer John-117 is a fictional character and protagonist of the Halo universe, created by video game developer Bungie. Master Chief is a playable character in the trilogy of science fiction first-person shooter video games Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, and Halo 3 and will appear in the upcoming Halo 4. Outside of video games, the character appears in the novels Halo: The Fall of Reach, Halo: The Flood, Halo: First Strike, and Halo: Uprising, and has cameos in Halo media including Halo: Reach, Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, The Halo Graphic Novel and Halo Legends. He is voiced by Chicago disc jockey Steve Downes in the video games in which he appears.
The Master Chief is one of the most visible symbols of the Halo series. Originally designed by Bungie artists including Marcus Lehto, Rob McLees, and Shi Kai Wang, the character is a towering and faceless cybernetically enhanced supersoldier; he is never seen without his green-colored armor or helmet. Downes built his personification of the Chief off a character description which called for a Clint Eastwood-type character of few words.
The Master Chief has been called a video game icon, a relative newcomer among more established franchise characters, such as Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Lara Croft. The character has received mixed reception. Reviewers such as Kotaku have pointed to the Chief's silent and faceless nature as a weakness to the character, while other publications said this attribute allows players to better assume the role of the Master Chief. Gaming magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly named the Master Chief as the eighth greatest video game character ever. (read more...)
Featured comics character
Anarky is a fictional character appearing in books published by DC Comics. Co-created by Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle, he first appeared in Detective Comics #608 (November 1989), as an adversary of Batman. Introduced as Lonnie Machin, a child prodigy with knowledge of radical philosophy and driven to overthrow governments to improve social conditions, stories revolving around Anarky often focus on political and philosophical themes. The character, who is named after the philosophy of anarchism, primarily espouses anti-statism. Multiple social issues have been addressed whenever the character has appeared in print, including environmentalism, antimilitarism, economic exploitation, and political corruption. Inspired by multiple sources, early stories featuring the character often included homages to political and philosophical books, and referenced anarchist philosophers and theorists. The inspiration for the creation of the character and its early development was based in Grant's personal interest in anti-authoritarian philosophy and politics. However, when Grant himself transitioned to the philosophy of Neo-Tech, he shifted the focus of Anarky from a vehicle for socialist and populist philosophy, to rationalist, atheist, and free market-based thought.
Originally intended to only be used in the debut story in which he appeared, Grant decided to continue using Anarky as a sporadically recurring character throughout the early 90s, following positive reception by readers and Dennis O'Neil. The character experienced a brief surge in media exposure during the late '90s, beginning when Norm Breyfogle convinced Grant to produce a limited series based on the character. The 1997 spin-off series, Anarky, was received with positive reviews and sales, and later declared by Grant to be among his "career highlights". Batman: Anarky, a trade paperback collection of stories featuring the character, soon followed. This popular acclaim culminated, however, in a financially and critically unsuccessful ongoing solo series. The 1999 Anarky series, in which even Grant has expressed his distaste, was quickly canceled after eight issues, but not before sparking a minor controversy by suggesting Anarky was the biological son of the Joker.
Following the cancellation of the Anarky series, and Grant's departure from DC Comics, Anarky experienced a prolonged period of absence from DC publications, despite professional and fan interest in his return. This period of obscurity lasted approximately ten years, with three brief interruptions for minor cameo appearances in 2000, 2001, and 2005. In December 2008, Anarky reappeared in an issue of Robin authored by Fabian Nicieza, with the intention of ending this period of obscurity. The storyline drastically altered the character's presentation, prompting a series of responses by Nicieza to concerned readers. The character has since become a recurring character in issues of Red Robin, authored by Nicieza. (read more...)
This is a list of characters of Konami's action-adventure games Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow and Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, part of Konami's Castlevania video game series. The games take place in 2035 and 2036 respectively, and each game deals with the effects that the death of Dracula, the primary antagonist of the Castlevania series, has had on the world. Aria of Sorrow features the coming of a prophecy that Dracula's reincarnation will inherit all of his powers, and the paths of the game's characters are led to Dracula's castle by this event. Dawn of Sorrow takes place one year later, with the antagonists seeking to revive the dark lord when he did not surface in Aria of Sorrow.
The primary playable character and protagonist of the two games is Soma Cruz, a reclusive transfer student who has a mysterious power connected with Dracula's death. The major supporting characters include Mina Hakuba, Soma's close childhood friend and the miko of the Hakuba shrine; Genya Arikado, a withdrawn and enigmatic government agent specializing in supernatural events; Julius Belmont, the latest member of the Belmont clan featured in the series; Yoko Belnades, an energetic and forward witch in the service of the Roman Catholic Church; and Hammer, a member of the United States Military with aspirations of becoming a vendor of military material. In Aria of Sorrow, the antagonist is Graham Jones, a deranged missionary who believes himself to be the reincarnation of Lord Dracula and seeks to inherit his powers. In Dawn of Sorrow, the antagonists are Celia Fortner, Dmitrii Blinov, and Dario Bossi, members of a cult who wish to create a new dark lord in Dracula's absence.
In Aria of Sorrow, the character designs were done by Ayami Kojima as part of producer Koji Igarashi's desire to take a "different route" with the series in Aria of Sorrow. In Dawn of Sorrow, however, Ayami Kojima was not part of the production team, and the characters were recast in an anime style, which was heavily criticized by several video game publications. Despite this, the characters were the subject of praise from many video game publications. Although many reviewers derided the stereotypical roles that the characters fell into, other reviewers noted that the new plot Aria of Sorrow and Dawn of Sorrow featured provided a better context for these characters. The storyline of the two games also received praise, and was compared to the plot of the widely acclaimed Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. (read more...)