Hemsworth, Evans, Pratt, and Pine, how many Chris’s get to survive?
When Chris Pine hosted Saturday Night Live last May, he started his monologue by trying to clear up any lingering audience confusion about, well, who he is. It didn’t help my mom any - but then, she could play a game of Memory in which all the cards were Reese Witherspoon and still not make any matches.
As Pine’s lesson demonstrated, differentiating between the Chris’s can get tough very fast. Not only are they all leads in popular big-budget sci-fi/superhero franchises, they’re also all tall, blonde-adjacent strongmen of the sort that probably featured in the scary stories of Ancient Roman kids for centuries (”…and then she realized that the Gallic war cry was coming from inside the house!”).
Pine played Steve Trevor, a hero of World War I, while Evans played Steve Rogers, a hero of World War II. Hemsworth played Captain Kirk the elder, and Pine played Captain Kirk the younger, in the same movie.
It gets even more complicated when you look at their character arcs. If your name is Chris and you’re starring in a recent blockbuster epic, you’ve got a pretty good chance (let’s say a “Sean Bean chance”) of ending up alone in a cockpit making peace with your choices as you barrel toward a certain (or mostly certain) end.
Because that’s what these characters tend to do: They make self-sacrifices.
Grand, tragic, gazing-longingly, sighing, self-sacrifices.
There’s a lot of great analysis to be done on the construction and historical parallels of the visual and narrative replication of this particular character, but for now, here’s a meme: