The Dream Team: Fictional Squad Goals
By: Biz Hyzy
At least once a year, I’ll visit my parents with the sole purpose of watching Lord of the Rings trilogy in its entire glory. Inevitably, Legolas will whip out a cool move (like riding a shield down stone steps while shooting arrows at orcs), and my dad will point to the screen and say, “I want him on my team.” Thus, the “Dream Team” concept was born.
The basic premise is this: if you had to confront a great evil, who would you assemble from various fictional universes to take him/her/it down with you? First, you must decide where you’d fit into the Dream Team. (I am most comfortable as second in command because you reap the benefits of leadership without the burdens. Ideally, I’d be a Jedi.) Second, you must sort out which of your favorite characters would be easy to work with versus those that’d be too much trouble. (Sorry, Sherlock. You’re ingenious and awesome, but I don’t think I’d like to work with you.) Third, try not to double-dip into fandoms if you can help it. Lastly, make sure your characters don’t overlap roles. Most nerdy fandoms feature awesome fighters, but what about doctors? Or pilots? Think of it in terms of a well-rounded D&D campaign.
The coolest part about this mental exercise is how different everyone’s dream team looks! Who would you want on yours? What would be your role among them? Share your favorite ragtag gang in the comments!
Leader: Hermione Granger
Many of my friends would bristle at the idea of an appointed leader, but I like the idea of one person holding the rest of us accountable. And who better than the bookworm turned BossWitch, Hermione Granger? Hermione strikes that perfect balance of logic and morals. Her knowledge and ability to think creatively helped her deduce that a Basilisk was slithering through Hogwarts’ pipes when she was only 13! Her fourth year, through S.P.E.W., she showed us that she’s eager to fight for the equality of all creatures. She can formulate a plan and execute it – all in the name of good. On top of all that, she’s a witch! Brilliant, bold, and with a firm moral compass, it’s no wonder she becomes Minister of Magic.
Bodyguard: Sarah Connor
From Terminator 2: Judgment Day, not Terminator, obviously. Have you seen her arms? Sarah might not protect me – or, more likely, Hermione – with the same ferocity she does for her son, but as long as she believes in our cause, you know she’d do anything to defend those most important to it. Time and again, she’s proven she can think on her feet – such as when she uses a simple paperclip to escape from the psych ward – and that physical barriers are no match for her resolve, like when she repeatedly reloads a shotgun with one arm. Most enemies would probably flee seeing her in action. The ultimate protector.
Combat, Distance: Legolas
Although I’m usually Team Aragon in the Aragorn vs. Legolas debate (Aragorn’s passion, convictions, and leadership > Legolas dramatically staring into the sunset, uttering Captain Obvious lines like, “A diversion…”), I’d rather have Legolas’s archery skills on the battlefield. He walks atop soft snow! He swings himself onto horses! He slays an Oliphant and then skates down its trunk! You’ve seen the movies. I don’t need to go on.
Combat, Hand-to-Hand: Fa Mulan
Although Mulan starts out as the weakest member of the Chinese army, her determination and quick thinking transform her into one of the strongest. She synthesizes the advantages of femininity and masculinity to create a new, effective fighting style, best exemplified when she disarms Shan Yu with a fan. Long story short, she saves China! We want Mulan’s combat skills, as well as her intuition.
Diplomat: T’Challa/Black Panther
I haven’t read the comics, I just really liked him in Captain America: Civil War, okay? T’Challa doubles as a fighter, but more importantly, his diplomatic skills would allow us to avoid unnecessary conflict. As prince and, later, king of Wakanda, T’Challa understands politics – even if he wishes he didn’t. Although he spends most of Civil War hunting down the Winter Soldier in a quest for vengeance, by the time he finds the real man who killed his father, he learns to forgive. His political training along with his confidence and empathy make him a natural liaison for negotiating with potential adversaries for a viable, peaceful solution.
Assassin: Sayid Jarrah
Another person my dad points to and goes, “Ohhh, he’s on my team!” Basically, this Lost character is the guy you want around when there’s dirty work to be done and everyone else feels too guilty to do it. He’s not ruthless, just able to compartmentalize due to his past with the Republican Guard. Your inhaler’s missing? Don’t worry: Sayid will torture someone if that means it will help you find it! All that perceived coldness aside, Sayid embodies an acute sense of fairness and honor and will only follow through on a tough decision if he believes it’s right in the long run. To him, the end justifies the means. Thanks for hurting people so that we don’t have to, Sayid!
Tech & Analytics: Data
On a team of smarties, Data still stands out as the brainiest, despite (or because of?) his artificial neural network. As an android, Data computes 60 trillion operations per second and possesses superhuman strength, not to mention childish curiosity. Other than missing some social cues, he’s good at…everything? Most of the time, he could number crunch, cite stats, and fix computers as Hermione formulates our plan of action, but he can also fill in anywhere else when need be.
Pilot: Poe Dameron
Poe can step onto a new ship and figure out how to pilot it within minutes. His ability to perform acrobatic maneuvers and fire with deadly accuracy makes him one of the Resistance’s best fliers. He did, after all, deliver the final shot to Starkiller Base. Besides, he just a guy you’d want to hang out with! Charming, straightforward, and loyal, he naturally inspires the people around them to do their best. (In a perfect world, he’d also double as a romantic interest.)
Doctor: Claire Fraser
When you’ve time traveled as much as Claire has, you learn how to adapt. Starting as a nurse in World War II and then surviving the dangerous climate of 18th century Scotland, she eventually graduates from medical school when she returns to her own time. She can set bones in 1743 or perform surgery in 1965 or treat wounds with medicinal herbs on the fly. Claire’s blunt yet sympathetic demeanor means people inherently trust her, often revealing their secrets. And, if necessary, she won’t hesitate to scold us, her allies, when we bicker, snapping us back into seeing the big picture.
Comedy Relief: Gonzo
Every team needs one. Gonzo jubilates when he’s in danger, mainly because he doesn’t perceive danger as danger – just fun! He’s also one of those guys (aliens?) that accidentally smacks a villain in the face in the midst of performing an elaborate trick. His puns and infections energy will encourage morale on our darkest days. Definitely a keeper.