The Junk Drawer: Iconic Robots

BY: KYLE VAN DEN HEUVEL, COLIN HERZOG, CHRISTOPHER HEIM, ANASTASIA MONTAVON and ALEX GRUBER

Kyle: Mega Man

When I try to think of iconic robots, one of the first ones to come to mind is the super fighting robot, Mega Man. First appearing in the eponymous 1987 NES game, Mega Man fascinated players with his ability to copy powers from robots he defeated. His legacy spawned several games and various franchises that still go on to this day. His popularity also got him into the newest “Super Smash Bros.” game, which only has a few high profile non-Nintendo characters such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Pac-Man.

Colin: Cyborg

This may be a bit of a cop-out, but Cyborg from the 2003 TV series “Teen Titans” is probably my favorite. He’s just the whole package: hilarious, a confident leader, a great friend and his unbelievable strength of character. For those that don’t know, Cyborg was once a young man who was injured during one of his father’s experiments. Out of desperation, his father turned him into a cyborg to save his life. Ever since, Cyborg overcomes his struggles with identity as both a human and machine, and, unlike his teammates, he can’t hide his “disability.” He is constantly exposed as being “different,” but he has the self-confidence to keep on just being himself. His experience also gives him the wise perspective of not judging by appearances. Throughout the series, he continues being an inspiration to both the “disabled” of Jump City and the viewers. Unfortunately, Cyborg’s portrayal in the recent “Teen Titans Go!” doesn’t really capture this side of him, but still, at least we have the original.

Christopher: Mechagodzilla

Making his 1974 debut in “Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla,” the menacing alien death-machine has since become the Big G’s ultimate adversary. Best described as a Terminator Godzilla (he even initially wore a pseudo-Godzilla skin as a disguise), Mechagodzilla is a powerful opponent that sports an interestingly wide array of weapons, including finger missiles, toe missiles, a chest laser and a rainbow energy beam that comes out of its mouth. Oh, and it can also spin its head like an owl in order to create a protective force-field (yeah, 70s Godzilla films tend to be silly like that and I love it). Mecha G has gone on to appear in a total of 5 Godzilla films. Later G-films have re-interpreted the character as a mecha designed by humans to defend Japan from Godzilla and other giant monster attacks.

Anastasia: The Robot Devil from “Futurama”

Anyone who’s seen even one episode of “Futurama” knows that this show has quite the diverse cast of robots. But the Robot Devil is hands-down my favorite. Voiced by Dan Castellaneta (who is also the voice of Homer Simpson), this robot rules over Robot Hell, which happens to be the same place his band rehearses. No matter what your sin might be, you can rest assured he has an ironic punishment and corresponding song prepared.

Alex: C3PO

My favorite robot is rather cliché, but he’s a longtime crowd-pleaser. C3PO made his first appearance in “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope,” and, along with the equally iconic R2D2, is the only character to appear in all six Star Wars films (as well as the upcoming sequel). As a protocol droid, C3PO knows over six million forms of communication, various cultures’ rules of etiquette and innumerable ways of landing himself in trouble. Paired with his stuffy demeanor (complete with British accent) yet unswerving loyalty to his friends, C3PO definitely earns a place among the best sentient robots ever.

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