Star Wars. The Lord of the Rings. Anything featuring a superhero. Millions of people have flocked to these movie franchises and others like them over the years, and millions more have caught them on DVD or streaming services. These franchises are some of the most popular in history. They’re so popular, in fact, that fans have gone beyond just buying movie tickets. Online, at fan conventions, and in the comfort of their own homes, they debate the pros and cons of each movie in the series. From plot points to casting choices to special effects to costumes, fans have opinions and they’re more than willing to share them.
Often, these opinions are positive, but that isn’t always the case. And fans' most negative opinions frequently extend to the characters in these movie franchises. These are the characters that just don't work for fans. They stick out because they make bad choices, they don’t fit in with the rest of the characters, they’re useless when they should be useful, and sometimes they’re just really annoying. For all those reasons and more, fans despise them. Whether it's unfortunate casting, subpar writing, or questionable direction, fans just can’t get on board with these characters. Even though they appear in some of the most beloved movies in pop culture, these characters have not earned a place in fans’ hearts.
20 EWOKS (STAR WARS: EPISODE VI)
They’re small, fuzzy, and adorable. They worship shiny things (like C-3PO) and think humans are delicious (like Han and Luke). They’re Ewoks, and many Star Wars fans hate them with a red-hot passion. Blatantly cute wasn’t really part of the Star Wars universe until the Ewoks came along — and fans weren’t pleased to welcome them to a galaxy far, far away.
Many fans believe that these primitive teddy bears were a cynical marketing ploy to lure younger viewers. Meanwhile, some rate Return of the Jedi as the worst film in the franchise's original trilogy because of them. Even their victory song at the end of the movie (yub-nub!) is disparaged. Are Ewoks that bad? To Star Wars fans, your answer speaks volumes.
19 EMMA FROST (X-MEN: FIRST CLASS)
When January Jones took on the role of Emma Frost in X-Men: First Class, she certainly looked the part. Unfortunately, the accuracy of the look of the fan-favorite character couldn’t make up for Jones’ lifeless performance. In the comics, Frost has attitude in spades. She’s regal, clever, and manipulative. Jones may have been going for arrogant and assured but it just came off as stiff and listless.
Jones didn’t have a large role in First Class so she wasn’t detrimental to viewers’ enjoyment. However, fans are still waiting to see a movie portrayal of the character that lives up to her comic book depiction. Jones didn’t appear in another X-Men movie after First Class, so perhaps the character will be re-cast in future films.
18 JUSTIN HAMMER (IRON MAN 2)
Sam Rockwell is a talented, Academy Award-winning actor who is best known for playing quirky roles in small, independent films. So, his appearance in the very mainstream blockbuster Iron Man 2 was unexpected. As Justin Hammer, rival defense contractor to Robert Downey, Jr.’s Tony Stark, he desperately wants to be Tony. Yet, his ambition doesn’t make up for his lack of vision and talent.
As a result, he volleys between arrogant denial and sniveling need for approval, all the while fooling no one in the film as to the big nothing he really brings to the table. For many fans, Hammer’s antics become silly, grating, and sad. Rockwell gives a go-for-broke performance with all his signature quirk, but he can’t save the character from himself.
17 PEETA MELLARK (THE HUNGER GAMES MOVIES)
The romantic subplot of The Hunger Games movies has hero Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) choosing between childhood friend Gale or fellow District 12 tribute Peeta. In the movies and books, Peeta and Gale are very different, but it was always Peeta that seemed outmatched.
Throughout the story, Peeta constantly messes up and gets into trouble. Ultimately, he’s the story's damsel in distress. In the books, his presence helps turn a tired trope on its head, but in the movies Peeta comes off as more annoying than sympathetic. Not to mention, Hutcherson and Lawrence lack any real chemistry in the films’ crammed-in romance. It’s hard to understand why Katniss is so loyal to this clumsy character.
16 DENETHOR (THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING)
The Lord of the Rings’ Denethor, as played by John Noble, won’t be winning a father of the year trophy anytime soon. Ruler of Gondor and father to Boromir and Faramir, the man is off his rocker and his sons suffer for it. While in the books Denethor is depicted as a despairing but ultimately capable and wise leader, in Peter Jackson’s film, he is incompetent and driven mad by grief.
In addition, while in the books, Denethor favored his eldest son, Boromir, over his youngest, Faramir, in the movie this preference is turned up to 11. Denethor sends Faramir on a suicide mission, refuses to properly defend Gondor, and finally dies after trying to take an injured Faramir down with him. There are many differences between the book and movie versions of The Lord of the Rings but Denethor’s characterization is one of the most unfortunate.
15 ROSE TICO (STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII)
Much of the hate leveled at The Last Jedi’s Rose Tico is rooted in toxic fandom. With this selection, we have no desire to represent those who leveled sexist and racist abuse at Kelly Marie Tran, the actress who portrayed Tico, online, which eventually drove her off social media. In fact, we’re thrilled to see greater diversity in Star Wars!
The issue we have with the character Tico is rooted in the story of The Last Jedi. Tico appears in a tangential story arc and when she finally does reunite with the rest of the Rebels, she makes bad decisions in the heat of battle that make things harder. Tran, however, did a wonderful job portraying the character and in no way deserved the harassment she received.
14 LEX & TIM (JURASSIC PARK)
Jurassic Park’s Lex and Tim Murphy, played by Ariana Richards and Joseph Mazzello, suffer from the same issues that afflict many movie kids. They don’t listen to adults’ instructions, they scream when they should be quiet, they freeze when they need to move, and move when they need to freeze. In a word, these kids are annoying.
If they were adults, their stupidity might actually get them killed, but since they’re children, the adults around them protect them at all costs. This means no matter how much they mess up, they won’t meet their end, even if it’s deserved. Their actions ratchet up the movie’s tension while having no real impact on what will happen to them — irritating to say the least.
13 CARTER BURKE (ALIENS)
The aliens may be the big bads of the Alien series, but in James Cameron’s Aliens, Carter Burke (Paul Reiser) demonstrates that humans can be far more despicable. Burke is an executive at the Weyland-Yutani Corporation who has grand plans to ensure his promotion and wealth.
He manipulates and lies in order to get an alien back to Earth. He even goes so far as to lock Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) and Newt (Carrie Henn) in a room with facehuggers, anticipating that he can smuggle an alien past any quarantine if it’s in a host’s body. The aliens are simply trying to ensure the survival of their species, but Burke is only looking out for himself, making him the real villain of the movie.
12 MUTT WILLIAMS (KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL)
The return of the beloved character Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) in The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was highly anticipated. Yet, not only did the movie end up being a disappointment, the character billed as a possible Indy successor, Shia LaBeouf’s Mutt Williams, drew the ire of fans.
At the time, LaBeouf was supposed to be Hollywood’s next big thing, so his inclusion in the movie seemed to make sense. But when fans experienced his character, they were not enthusiastic. Mutt was glib and silly where Indy is suave and cool. The idea of Mutt replacing Indiana Jones was laughable. Fortunately, it seems the filmmakers heard fans: screenwriter David Koepp has confirmed that the character won’t appear in an expected fifth Indiana Jones movie.
11 HARRY OSBORN (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2)
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was a rushed and bloated mess, and the inclusion of the story arc in which Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) transforms into the Green Goblin lacked any real emotional weight. Viewers aren’t given an opportunity to get to know and care about Harry, so he just comes across as obnoxious and whiny. In addition, while audiences are told Harry and Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) are friends, the movie never makes their relationship feel real.
As a result, audiences shrugged at Harry’s turn to the dark side when they should have been horrified. The situation wasn’t helped by DeHaan’s over-the-top portrayal of the character, which made it even more difficult to take the character seriously.
10 HAWKEYE (MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE)
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been dominating the box office for a decade now, and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) has appeared in a number of the ever-expanding saga’s films. Despite his prowess with a bow and arrow, though, Hawkeye is often referred to as the most disliked Avenger.
Fans mock him and accuse him of being useless and boring. While Age of Ultron filled in his character a bit by showing he had a secret family, the movies still haven’t developed him much. His backstory remains a mystery and he gets less action than his super-powered colleagues. While Renner brings a lot to the role, Hawkeye has never been given the opportunity to demonstrate once and for all why he’s an invaluable member of the team.
9 SAMWISE GAMGEE (THE LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY)
Fans of The Lord of the Rings know that Samwise is really the true hero of the books and movies. He’s the one who gets Frodo to Mordor after saving him multiple times and supporting him no matter what — even when Frodo is dismissive and ungrateful. Yet, for many fans, Sean Astin’s portrayal of Sam in the movie trilogy is just grating.
The movies dwell on long, emotional scenes between Frodo and Sam that take up time and don’t add anything to what are already very long movies. Plus, Sam comes across as subservient, clingy, and awkward. While some fans felt Sam’s loyalty was endearing, many others found him annoying.
8 BELLA SWAN (THE TWILIGHT SAGA)
The Twilight Saga movies certainly garnered their share of hatred, but they also earned a passionate fan following. Yet it’s hard to get on board with a story when it centers on a protagonist like Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart).
Throughout the books and movies, Bella is overly serious, angsty, and barely registers a personality. Despite all this, she manages to attract two hot supernatural guys. Instead of being excited by the possibilities, though, she becomes so blindly devoted to one, she no longer seems to have any other goals in life beyond being with him. Sure adolescence is a dramatic time, and even more so when you’re in love with a vampire, but Bella’s fraught relationship doesn’t do anything to make her more interesting.
7 MATER (CARS TRILOGY)
Pixar has churned out a slew of amazing computer-animated movies. However, that hasn’t saved it from some missteps, and the character of Mater may be the worst offender. Mater is fine in small doses. He’s bearable in Cars where he’s simply a sidekick to Lightning McQueen and doesn’t stick around long enough to get excessively irritating.
Yet when he takes center stage in Cars 2, things go downhill quickly. Mater moves through a series of misunderstandings and mishaps with oblivious good nature. But instead of charming, he’s just annoying, testing all but the youngest viewers’ patience for his antics. It's no wonder that putting Mater in a starring role caused Cars 2 to be the worst reviewed Pixar movie to date.
6 ANAKIN SKYWALKER (STAR WARS: EPISODES I – III)
Fans were stoked when the Star Wars prequel trilogy was announced. Finally, the story of how Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader — one of the most charismatically fearsome characters in movie history — would get the big-screen treatment. But fans’ high hopes were disappointed when, over three movies, Anakin whined, sulked, and generally acted like a brat. His turn to the dark side came across more like a temper tantrum than a true revelation.
First, as the younger Anakin, Jake Lloyd was awkward and stilted. Then as the slightly older version, Hayden Christensen went emo and embarked on a cringe-inducing romance with Natalie Portman’s Padme. Of course, it wasn’t all the actors’ fault — the prequels’ dialogue wouldn’t be acceptable in a community college screenwriting class, so it was hard to take seriously in one of the most anticipated movie trilogies of all time.
5 SKIDS & MUDFLAP (TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN)
The first Transformers movie wasn’t exactly a critical triumph but it was a fun, breezy diversion. Fans loved it and made it a box office blockbuster. So, it was only a matter of time before a sequel was made. When it was released, though, Revenge of the Fallen not only didn’t measure up to the original, it featured two Autobots -- Skids and Mudflap -- who are characterized by racist stereotypes.
The filmmakers seemed to believe the characters were comic relief, but with their “street” accents, offensive dialogue, and inability to read, they instead came across as wildly offensive.
4 LEX LUTHOR (BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE)
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice featured two of the biggest superheroes of all time, and in Lex Luthor, one of the biggest supervillains. It should have been amazing, but instead fans came away confused and disappointed. The characterizations were off and that was especially true of Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex.
The character's strange tics and nervous disposition made him come across as an eccentric, megalomaniacal nerd, not the menacing criminal mastermind fans were used to in the comics and other media. Not to mention, his motivations are all over the place, making it nearly impossible to figure out what he’s really after and why. All this resulted in Lex being irritating, instead of threatening.
3 DOLORES UMBRIDGE (HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX)
Dolores Umbridge has the distinction of being one of the most reviled characters in the Harry Potter franchise and that extends to Imelda Staunton's movie portrayal. Although there are other villains in the series who are far deadlier than she is, it’s the familiarity of Umbridge that makes her especially loathsome.
Who hasn’t had a negative experience with someone who thought they were always right or whose actions were completely unfair or who enjoyed using the little bit of power they had to make life more difficult for others? From her incessant throat clearing to her aggressively pink clothes, Umbridge made fans recoil in frustration and disgust.
2 WILLIE SCOTT (INDIANA JONES AND TEMPLE OF DOOM)
In the history of motion pictures, there may never have been a more grating character than Kate Capshaw’s Willie Scott. Throughout Temple of Doom she incessantly cries and complains. And the screaming, oh the screaming. Watching her is unbearable, and while Temple of Doom may not have been the best Indiana Jones movie regardless, her character brings the movie down even further.
On top of everything else, the romance between Willie and Indy is inexplicable. What would Indy see in such a bumbling, blubbering mess? Willie is an example of everything that can go wrong with the portrayal of women in action movies. A depiction we thankfully don’t see much of these days.
1 JAR JAR BINKS (STAR WARS: EPISODES I – III)
You knew this one was coming. A list of despised movie characters without Jar Jar Binks just wouldn’t be complete. Fans so passionately hated Jar Jar when he initially appeared in the first Star Wars prequel film that the backlash is now the stuff of legend.
Jar Jar was supposedly there for comic relief, but his aggravating, inept presence only served to confuse and anger fans. Plus, the character’s speech pattern came across as a racist caricature of a Jamaican accent. Fans everywhere still wonder what George Lucas was thinking when he came up with this terrible, offensively bad character.