A hero’s imperfections can make them a more relatable and endearing character, no matter how impervious they seem to be to all physical and emotional pain. Vulnerability from a fictional hero can work to bring down the psychological barriers of moviegoers, as they bond with their favorite character, facing their on-screen struggles.
This need for connection and relatability is common for most people, and it was represented very accurately in Captain Kirk’s heartbreaking eulogy for the deceased Spock in Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan. The quote goes, “Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most human…”
That word, “human” was meant to evoke an “illogical” emotion, as Spock would put it, but the desire for kinship is an intrinsic trait of human beings. Thus, Kirk was right on the money with his statement about his Vulcan friend.
Even Stan Lee had voiced his thoughts on the Silver Surfer’s wish to understand the human race, trying to know their plights, and his desire to understand why they don’t appreciate their world.
No matter how alien a character may seem on the outside, audience members can lock on to a well-written and personable hero (or even a cleverly nuanced villain) and support them throughout their on-screen journey.