Sam Starfall is an alien character in the webcomic Freefall. He is the captain of the Savage Chicken and a freelance con artist. He has aspirations to become as infamous a thief as Bruno the Bandit, although he already has quite a reputation with a wide range of restaurants and other establishments, not to mention all the people whose wallets and wristwatches he's stolen.
Despite his constant trickery and self-serving tendencies, Sam cannot be considered evil. It could be argued that he lacks the mental capacity. In addition, some of his most daring exploits in larceny have been for things he was simply too lazy to buy and did not intend to keep. So on one hand, his clumsiness tends to foil his plots, whereas on the other hand, his twisted logic may serve to get him out of trouble. It is also implied that his behavior is a common characteristic of his species.
Sam has exhibited a Tom Sawyer-like insistence on pulling off crimes the "proper way." During one attempt to escape through the roof of a museum he just robbed, his rope came untied; Sam's response was to leave through the door, climb up to the roof, retie the rope, return through the door, and then climb up the rope — requiring him to pay the admission fee on the way back in. Sam also has a huge ego, which (among other things) makes him oblivious to the fact that his own ship's computer has it in for him.
Since the arrival of his ship's engineer, Florence Ambrose (which he arranged by bribing a shipping clerk), he has at times been foiled by Florence's unerring honesty, although he certainly appreciates her hard work in getting his ship in working order. After receiving the commission for his first honest job, he admitted he was tempted to "go straight". Still, he has also been trying to get Florence to "loosen up" for the entire time she has been working for him.
Sam's true physical form has never actually been seen, with the possible exception of fan art. He claims to be of a race of sapient squid-like beings (who appear to have at least six limbs) and wears a humanoid environmental suit complete with an animatronic face which he controls with his "cute little facial tentacles." By diet he is a scavenger, and he has said that his physical appearance has the tendency to cause people to give up their lunch — which, attractive an offer as it is, is still annoying.
However, despite the trail of chaos (and frayed tempers) he leaves in his wake, Sam's actions have suggested he isn't a bad person (or alien) at heart. He has never been known to have intentionally hurt anyone, and his cheerful demeanor (aided by the happy face permanently manufactured onto his environment suit) has appealed to Freefall's readers, who enjoy watching his successes just as much as the times he ends up being beaten with a stick.
- Freefall guest art, including various depictions of Sam
- A Sam lookalike in The Suburban Jungle