Sad news today, my friends. Actor William Hootkins, affectionately known to the Star Wars community as Porkins, passed away this weekend after a battle with pancreatic cancer. In Star Wars, Jek Porkins was the pilot of X-Wing Red Six, one of the many fighters to die in the attack on the first Death Star. I don’t know about you, but Porkins’ “I can’t shake him!” line was one that I used frequently as a youth when I hopped on my X-Wing (bicycle) and went dog fighting with some Tie Fighters (neighbors).
In real life, actor William Hootkins went on from Star Wars to have a long and busy (if not particularly famous) career. He rarely landed starring roles, but built a career on small parts in numerous films. His most famous geek role is certainly Jek Porkins, but true geeks may remember him from small parts in Flash Gordon,Tim Burton’sBatman, Raiders of the Lost Ark, andTV’s Blackadder. Hootkins also provided many voices for the popular computer game Everquest 2.
Jek Porkins is well known by Star Wars fans; despite the small part he played in the movie something about his character and line delivery just sticks in your mind. And because of the legendary and timeless appeal of Star Wars, Jek will no doubt be known to many future generations as well.
Goodbye and Godspeed, William. You will be fondly remembered.