The Empire Strikes Back, and I have a question

I wish I could quit you, Lord Vader.

So, Darth Vader is looking for Luke Skywalker. He doesn’t have a chance of finding him (in spite of being able to sense his presence a galaxy away when the plot demands it), but he can, theoretically, find Luke’s friends Han and Leia (and Chewbacca, of course). Han, Leia, Chewbacca (and C-3PO, you know, the robot that Darth Vader built when he was 9 years old) are in Han’s ship the Millenium Falcon. The Millenium Falcon is a fast ship with many tricks up its proverbial sleeves, so it’s very difficult to catch. To catch the Millenium Falcon, Darth Vader can’t rely on his ill-informed, bumbling Imperial forces — he must turn to bounty hunters. "We don’t need that scum," mutters Imperial Guy under his breath when he sees the dregs of the universe cluttering up his Star Destroyer.

So, the official Imperial stance on bounty hunters is: we don’t like you. So it seems that Vader has taken it upon himself to hire the bounty hunters himself, in spite of his officers’ disapproval. Who knows, maybe the bounty he’s offering is out of his own pocket.  Point is, Vader has a much different opinion of bounty hunters than the Empire does.

Many bounty hunters apply for the job; only one can catch the wily Han Solo and friends. Scaly reptile in yellow flight-suit Bossk can’t hack it, half-droid-half-insect 4-LOM is a failure, stubby whatsit Zuckuss hasn’t a clue, renegade assassin droid IG-88 couldn’t find his ass with both hands, a map and a flashlight. Only master bounty hunter Boba Fett has what it takes to track down and capture Han Solo in his super-wily Millenium Falcon.

Here’s my question — what’s up with Darth Vader and Boba Fett?

But wait, we need to go back in time a little bit. In Episode II (Attack of the Clones), Jango Fett, Boba’s father (or, rather, his genetic donor) tries to kill Anakin Skywalker’s girlfriend Senator Padme Amidala. Obi-Wan Kenobi tracks Jango Fett across the galaxy, past the Rishii Maze, to Kamino, where he has a dramatic showdown with Jango Fett and his young son Boba. Later on, Jango and Boba show up to see Anakin, Padme and Obi-Wan be eaten by animals in the Geonosian Execution Arena. The execution is interrupted by the arrival of Mace Windu and a hundred Jedis, who proceed to kick ass.

Bedlam ensues. In the fracas, Jango Fett tries to kill Mace Windu, but Mace Windu turns the tables on Jango Fett and beheads him. Boba Fett squats on the battle field, holding his father’s severed head, plans for revenge (or something) bubbling in his 9-year-old brain.

So. Here we have Boba Fett in the same arena as Anakin Skywalker, holding his dead father’s head, said head still being enclosed in its distinctive helmet. Boba Fett will one day wear that helmet, and the rest of Jango Fett’s armor, and also drive his father’s ship (the Slave I). So apparently Boba Fett wants very much to follow in his father’s footsteps. Okay, he paints the armor green — maybe he likes green, maybe that’s his big personal statement, maybe he and Jango argued for years about what color Boba’s armor was going to be ("Damn it son, we Fetts have always worn blue armor, it was good enough for my grandfather, it was good enough for my father, it’s good enough for me AND IT’S GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU!" "I hate you, father! And one day I’ll have my OWN armor! You’ll see!") Anakin Skywalker must know that Jango Fett is the guy who tried to kill his girlfriend — if he doesn’t figure it out on his own, Obi-Wan must tell him at some point in his Jedi training.

So. Anakin Skywalker turns into Darth Vader, and twenty years or so later he requires the services of a bounty hunter. He puts out a call and a handful of bounty hunters show up at his Star Destroyer. Boba Fett is among them. This gets no reaction from Darth Vader. He doesn’t say "Okay, guys, go find me the Millenium Falcon, except for you, Boba Fett, we’ve got unfinished business," rather he goes the opposite way — he singles him out of the crowd as worthy of attention. Now, Boba Fett may or may not know that Darth Vader is Anakin Skywalker, but Vader must know that this is the kid who’s father tried to kill Padme and who was beheaded by Mace Windu at the Jedi Battle of Geonosis.

Is this the first time Vader has seen Boba Fett since that fateful day in the dusty, droid-filled arena? What is going on in his mind? Is he thinking "holy shit, that’s that Boba Fett kid, I hope he doesn’t recognize my voice" or "poor kid, I got his father killed, I hope he doesn’t hold it against me," or "Well, even though his dad tried to kill my girlfriend, the past is past and I need him now" or "well, my boss killed his dad, but his dad tried to kill my girlfriend, so I guess we’re kind of even," or what?

I ask this because once everybody meets up in Bespin, Darth Vader treats Boba Fett with extraordinary respect. Lando Calrissian he double-crosses and back-stabs, his own officers he strangles to death for the slightest mistakes, but Boba Fett he gives every measure of dignity and thoughtfulness. "He’s no good to me dead," snarls Boba Fett as Han Solo is lowered into the carbonite. Vader could, at that point, turn to Fett and bark "Hey, how ’bout I throw you in there instead, asshole? How dare you talk to me in that tone? Do you even know who I am?!" But no, Vader gives him stern, calm assurances that the bounty hunter’s prize will not be affected by the freezing process and gives him deferential clearance to leave Bespin unharmed.

Why? What does Darth Vader owe Boba Fett? What concern is it of his that Han Solo be delivered safely to Jabba the Hutt? Is he worried that Jabba is going to come after him? Surely a Sith Lord with a freaking fleet of Star Destroyers can defend himself against a fat slug who lives in a basement (hey, that’s not an insult, that’s just what the guy is). Is the connection between Vader and Fett a "guys who don’t take off their helmets" thing, some secret bond that only guys who don’t take off their helmets share? Does Vader have a crush on Fett, one that Fett won’t acknowledge but will exploit to his advantage if he can? Does Vader have a sentimental streak for bounty hunters, a romantic ideal, does he think of them as kinds of intergalactic pirates? Did young Anakin Skywalker dream of one day becoming a bounty hunter, did he lie awake at night reading tales of brave, reckless bounty hunters, with a flashlight under his covers after his mother Shmi turned out the lights? On the bridge of his Star Destroyer, under his glossy black helmet, is he secretly thinking "Bounty hunters! Holy freaking shit, I’m in the same room as bounty hunters!" his scarred, deformed heart pounding like a triphammer within its cybernetic ribcage.

Because there’s something going on there.  Listen to the way Vader speaks to him: "He’s all yours — bounty hunter," there’s a world of hurt weighted into those words, and what Vader obviously means is "He’s all yours, Boba Fett, don’t think I don’t know who you are because I do, and remember this day for the rest of your life because this is the day I didn’t kill you for being the son of the guy who tried to kill my girlfriend."   Or maybe he means "He’s all yours — and if you get back before morning we can have hot ‘guy in helmet’ sex."

Come to think of it, if Vader paid the bounty on Han Solo, why is he allowing Boba Fett to take him away? Wait, are all the bounty hunters on Vader’s Star Destroyer working for Jabba the Hutt? Is Vader working with Jabba? When he couldn’t find Solo, did he call up Jabba and say "So, J-Slug, I need to find this Solo character, you know any good bounty hunters?" and Jabba said "That Solo asshole is mine, Vader," and Vader said "Well, I know he’s near where I am, if you want to send me your best guys I think we can work something out," and that way he can get Han, the Princess and Luke (and his robot C-3PO, of course) and have Jabba pay for it? Smart move, Vader, save the Empire a few credits.

(C-3PO gets blasted by a stormtrooper shortly after arriving on Bespin. I’d love to see the scene where the stormtrooper brings the shattered corpse of C-3PO to Vader and he says "Hey, where did you get this? I built this robot when I was 9 years old!"  And then he sits down and cries until dinner.  "What’s the matter with Lord Vader?" says a stormtrooper to his friend.  "I don’t know," is the reply. "I just showed him this crate of junk and now he’s bawling like a homesick 9-year-old."  "Give it to me, I’ll throw it away." " Good idea, thanks.")



Vader sits meditating in his big black globe thing.  BOBA FETT enters.

FETT. You wanted to see me, Lord Vader?
VADER. Yes.  Did you, did you get to the Hutt’s place all right?
FETT. Yes, Lord Vader.
VADER. Good.  And the bounty, you’re all taken care of?
FETT. All squared away, yes sir.  Was there anything else?
VADER. You know, I, I recognized you.
FETT. Recognized me, Lord Vader?
VADER. Yes, earlier, I — I couldn’t say anything, not with the other bounty hunters there, but — I know you.  We’ve met before.
FETT.  We have?
VADER.  Yes.  Your armor used to be — blue, right?
FETT.  Why, yes, yes, as a matter of fact — how did you know that?
VADER. It was your father’s.
FETT.  Jango, yes, a good man he was, a simple man, just trying to make his way in the universe.  Tsk —
VADER. Tell me, Mr. Fett —
FETT.  Please, Lord Vader, you can call me Boba.
VADER. Boba.  Boba.  How many times I’ve dreamed of this moment.
FETT. Pardon?
VADER. Tell me — when you’re out there in your ship, hunting bounties — is it not terribly — lonely, Boba?
FETT. Well, I suppose so, I —
VADER. Do you not miss the company of others, Boba, do you not miss your, your father?
FETT.  You — you knew my father?
VADER. Let me put it this way — I’m the only man in the Empire who knows what you look like under that helmet.
FETT. You saw my father’s face?
VADER. Oh, more often than you can possibly imagine.  Would you — like to stay here, with me, tonight?
FETT. Well I — you mean, here?  In this room?  Are you saying what I think you’re saying?
VADER. What do you think I’m saying?
FETT.  I think we both know what you’re saying.
VADER.  Does that — shock you?
FETT.  I — no, no, but I, I just like to know.
VADER.  There’s a, let’s say, "bounty" in it for you.  Interested?
FETT. Should I get undressed?
VADER. Yes.  Yes.  But — leave the helmet on.
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61 Responses to “The Empire Strikes Back, and I have a question”
  1. medox says:

    This is always going to be in my head when I watch Empire from now on… and no one will know why I am giggling like crazy. Awesome.

  2. black13 says:

    On a practical note…

    I figure that Jabba gave Vader the info on Calrissian, and sent him the bounty hunters. And I don’t think that Vader paid for the bounty out of his own pocket. He’s smarter than that, he either used his expense account or made a deal with Jabba.

    “You will tell me where I can find Ham Yoyo, and you will send me bounty hunters to help catch him. After my plan has worked, the bounty hunter will deliver Ham Yoyo to you, and you will pay him the bounty.”

    “Why should I agree to that?”

    “Listen, Jabba, just because you’re the best source for industrial-stength aspirin in this sector doesn’t mean you’re the only one.”

    “Okay, okay.”

    Later, at the Star Destroyer:

    (Here, I’m working from Boba Backstory as established in the novels.)

    Darth looks at the bounty hunters. He sees Boba. He recognizes the armor. He doesn’t hold the father’s actions against the son. After all, they are all professionals here.

    But he thinks, “That Bobby Fat, he’s one cool cat. He’s as screwed up inside that armor as I am. Only he did it to himself, on purpose. Man, that guy’s even more psycho than I am. Maybe I should tread a bit softly here. There’s no knowing what this freak will do.”

  3. planettom says:

    Could it be that Vader is thinking, this is the unique clone-son of a man whom the Emperor felt important enough to use as the template for his entire clone-army?
    Here’s the part I have trouble reconciling between the original trilogy and the new trilogy.

    In STAR WARS (or, as everyone younger than myself calls it, EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE),

    Lord Vader comes onto Grand Moff Tarkin’s Death Star.

    He enters a conference room. Tarkin is having a status report meeting, and some underling officer starts talking trash.

    Sure, Darth eventually gives him The Big Force Choke….

    But Darth is a guy who, for 20 years, has basically been Second In Command of the entire galaxy.

    How is it the guys in the Imperial Starfleet don’t seem to know he’s a bigwig?

    I would think every Imperial Starfleet cadet would have a book that on page 1 says Our Glorious Emperor, and on page 2 says, Oh yeah, also, defer to This Guy (Picture of Darth Vader).

    Now, my real-world assumption is, at this point George Lucas didn’t really have it all figured out.

    Because in STAR WARS, Darth doesn’t seem to be right-hand-man-of-The-Big-Cheese.

    He seems to be one of about 50 Dark Lords of The Sith who run around the galaxy on Imperial business.

    He’s probably memorable for being the only one who’s garbed in a walking iron lung.

    He’s scary, but he’s not Vice-Emperor, as it’s later revealed.

    Then there’s the problem that 20 years doesn’t really seem to be enough time for the entire galaxy to have virtually forgotten the existence of Jedi.

    In fact, it would really work better if Luke was the grandson of Anakin/Darth, rather than the son, because Obi Wan seems to have been waiting around about 40 years even though only 20 years have passed.

    Then I have to wonder, since Sith are scarce as hen’s teeth (it’s been a thousand years since one has been seen, and even when they are around, there’s only two at a time), who is it that these Jedi are training all the time to have swordfights with?

    • Todd says:

      Could it be that Vader is thinking, this is the unique clone-son of a man whom the Emperor felt important enough to use as the template for his entire clone-army?

      I would hope so, but no one brings that up either. When the Imperial Officer calls him scum, I want Vader to say “Hey, asshole, show some respect to the son of the guy who makes up our entire army. Of course, the stormtroopers are a bunch of clumsy fuckups, so maybe that wouldn’t really be a selling point.

      How is it the guys in the Imperial Starfleet don’t seem to know he’s a bigwig?

      Oh, I totally buy that. Look at our own president’s administration. Emperor Rove and Darth Cheney may have vengeful memories that go all the way back to the Johnson administration, but they’ve gone out of their way to hire bonehead amateurs who don’t ask questions and have no sense of history whatsoever. My guess is that, like Joseph Stalin, Emperor Palpatine had everyone killed who was smarter than he is. Trash-Talking Officer would have been a teenager when the Emperor took power, what the hell would he know about the Sith? He probably thinks the Emperor is a perfectly nice guy who was disfigured by that horrible Jedi Mace Windu and thinks that all this Force stuff is a bunch of smoke and mirrors.

      since Sith are scarce as hen’s teeth, who is it that these Jedi are training all the time to have swordfights with?

      Well, but they address this — Jedis, at the beginning of Episode I, are fearsome emissaries, a force (sorry) to be reckoned with, scary and unpredictable. As they would be, in a galaxy otherwise devoid of magic. So when Darth Maul shows up, it’s news even to Jedi — they’re caught completely off-guard. Even Yoda and Mace Windu can’t sense a Sith Lord when he’s the Chancellor of the Galaxy! Clearly, most of their training went toward settling disputes and being marshals for Republic business. Like the Templars. And like the Templars, there is the suggestion that the Jedis have become corrupt, comfortable and lax in their vigilance against evil.

      Yoda, clearly, is making it up as he goes along. In Episode V he says “If you leave now, you will undo all which you have done.” This makes Luke feel really bad, but when he races back to Dagobah in Episode VI to “finish what I started,” Yoda waves him off and says “nah, it’s okay, your training is finished, you just have to confront Vader.” So obviously at least one of these statements is just Yoda screwing with Luke’s mind. But that seems to go on a lot in Force-world.

      • greyaenigma says:

        I got the impression that Tarkin technically out-ranked (or nearly so) Vader. I definitely got the impression that everyone in that room knew Vader was a bigwig, but that one stupid officer (who may have assumed Tarkin would defend him) learned respect a little late.

        • Todd says:

          I think Tarkin does outrank Vader — on the Death Star. I think it’s his baby, even though he had nothing to do with designing it, I think it’s indicated that he was in charge of building it and staffing it. He’s like the captain of an aircraft carrier hosting a visit from the vice president.

      • Yes, I always assumed that Yoda was working behind the scenes to cover up Palpatine’s plans and make sure everything went to hell for the Jedi. I mean, how could anyone have thought that “restoring balance to the force” would be a good thing for the Jedi, when they were a respected, galaxy-spanning military order, and the Sith were all but obliterated? Yoda must have been mind-tricking the council like crazy to keep them from busting Palpatine, or later from intervening in Anakin’s downward spiral. He wanted everything to fall apart, so that the order could be recreated based on intuition and passion, rather than being the cruel, staid bureaucracy it had become.

        Or maybe he was just yearning to get back to thrashing around the swamps of Dagoba, instead of spending all day sitting in a big floating chair.

        • Todd says:

          So Yoda is like Trotsky to Palpatine’s Lenin. Once Palpatine didn’t need Yoda anymore, Yoda became a liability and had to be destroyed. That’s why he’s such a wuss in Episode III, where he turns tail and runs for exile instead of standing up to Palpatine.

          Yoda’s a big fat fake.

    • mikeyed says:

      Well, there are vibro-swords, oh, you didn’t know? Well vibro-swords are made of metal that (yes) vibrate at the same frequency as lightsabers, so they cannot be cut in half by lightsabers or something… I forget the exact reasoning behind this, i believe it’s described in one of the books. This means that even though lightsabers can burn their way through a door thicker than a lightsaber is long, they cannot necessarily destroy every in it’s past with a vacant swing.

      • mikeyed says:

        they cannot necessarily destroy every in it’s past with a vacant swing.

        they cannot necessarily destroy everything in its way with a vacant swing. I seriously should edit myself better.

  4. craigjclark says:

    I’ve long maintained that Lucas’s mucking about in the series’ backstory (Anakin building C-3P0, Boba Fett’s father being cloned to make the Stormtroopers, etc.) was akin to traveling back in time and becoming your own grandfather. It may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but once you’re back in your own time the next time you’re over your grandmother’s house for Christmas or whatever all you’re going to be thinking is, “My God, I’ve actually seen this woman naked.”

    This Vader/Fett example of yours is one of those things that I’m sure Lucas never even considered while he was plotting out the prequels. Full points for ferreting it out.

    • Todd says:

      But, but that would mean that — wait — that would mean that the prequels were made for primarily financial reasons and have little artistic merit to them, and that would destroy my brain.

  5. mcbrennan says:

    The Force is strong in this one…

    As an orphaned child himself, perhaps something about young Boba Fett’s plight (witnessing the gruesome end of his rugged Aussie father) touched Vader’s black little heart, and, confronted with Boba decades later, stirred some kind of protective, benevolent feeling, some kindred-spirit thing. Then again, maybe Vader simply recalls with homoerotic admiration how Boba Fett thwarted Wookie Life Day and disco-danced with Bea Arthur and a gay Harvey Korman droid at the Mos Eisley Cantina.

    Or perhaps Vader is a kind of Michael Jackson type, a pasty, deformed intergalactic superstar with a big elaborate Sith Neverland and no one to play with because despite his legend, most people think he’s “creepy”. Perhaps Boba Fett represents a kind of armored Macauley Caulkin, an outer space Webster, someone to play pillow-fight pirates and buff each others’ helmets and cackle over having used an old Jedi mind trick to get Paul McCartney to reveal the arcane secrets of Music Catalog Acquisition.

    Maybe what Vader really seeks is not a lover but a best friend, someone to break the crushing loneliness and share long late-night conversations about what it all means. They could sit up all night and kid about how they should kick their respective “men” to the curb, but then a teary Vader would swear that despite Palpatine’s temper, he really loves Vader and would never hurt him, and that all of his many horrible injuries and missing limbs are not from abuse, but from accidentally falling down the stairs. Into a pit of lava.

    Jedi Dr. Phil’s never around when he’s needed.

    • Todd says:

      Re: The Force is strong in this one…

      As an orphaned child himself, perhaps something about young Boba Fett’s plight (witnessing the gruesome end of his rugged Aussie father) touched Vader’s black little heart, and, confronted with Boba decades later, stirred some kind of protective, benevolent feeling, some kindred-spirit thing.

      Well, Boba’s father was a rugged Kiwi, not a rugged Aussie, but I take your meaning. More important, maybe it was Vader’s dealings with Boba Fett in Episode V, the memories of orphanhood and the sense of loss and failure evoked that prompted Vader to go ahead and tell Luke that he’s his father (oops! spoiler alert, sorry). Like Michael Corleone, Vader is trying to stop this brutal cycle of filial ugliness, not perpetuate it. But I forgot, you haven’t seen that movie.

    • greyaenigma says:

      Re: The Force is strong in this one…

      it’s worth noting that Vader never has a peer throughout the entire series. He’s always calling someone master or forcing others to fall before him.

  6. tamburlaine says:

    I was going to launch into serious Star Wars geeky behavior full-throttle, correcting your assumptions and clearing up the ret-conning Lucas molested us with in the Prequels.

    But then I realized that you’ve produced a work of art.

    • Todd says:

      If you have serious Star Wars geek-cred, maybe you can tell me — what is the nature of the relationship between Vader and Jabba?

      I ask this because if Vader cheerfully works alongside Jabba to capture Han, that implies that Vader does business with gangsters. Which makes perfect sense, but

      Han Solo has a bounty on his head from Jabba because he dumped a cargo he was smuggling for him. He dumped the cargo because he was boarded by an Imperial patrol. If Vader is doing business with Jabba, why aren’t Jabba’s smugglers given that information, or a piece of paper to show to Imperial patrols so that they’re doing business with Jabba? Politicians do business with gangsters all the time and turn a blind eye to their illegal operations, what was Han afraid of? Or didn’t he know? What was Han smuggling, anyway, when he was stopped by the Imperial patrol?

      • tamburlaine says:

        There’s a book that was published that has to do with the time between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi called Shadows of the Empire.

        I don’t think Vader was working with Jabba. Boba Fett was a freelance bounty hunter (the best in the Galaxy!) who works for both Jabba and the Empire when it suits him. Turns out both guys had a bounty on Han Solo, so Fett arranged with Vader to keep Solo alive so that Part II of The Great Solo Bounty Hunt (AKA: Jabba’s end of the deal) could be secured. Vader’s real aim of catching Han and Leia was to lure Luke Skywalker to Cloud City anyway; Vader was seeking to use Han as bait.

        There’s no business being done between the two individuals who retained Boba Fett’s services.

      • adam_0oo says:

        Han dumped a cargo of spice when boarded by an Imperial patrol.

        And any dealings with Jabba might have been because, and my memory might be off on this, I read this in the book sequels like 5 years ago, Jabba was the most powerful gangster in the galaxy, with access to huge amounts of resources and material. So instead of needlessly creating a crafty, devious and very powerful enemy, Vader doesn’t directly attack Jabba, even working with him occasionally. Contracting out to him for the really dirty jobs, ala the CIA and the Mafia, as was just revealed by the released Family Jewels.

        • Todd says:

          So Han being boarded by the Imperial Navy would be like one of Pablo Escobar’s cocaine runners getting stopped by a Coast Guard ship between South America and Miami — ordinarily, Escobar would have the wheels sufficiently greased, but he still can’t afford the public relations disaster of getting caught. In the face of an unexpectedly honest patrol officer, Solo dumped his cargo and lost Jabba millions of dollars, something like that?

          • adam_0oo says:

            Actually, I take a different look at it. You have pointed out somewhere on your journal, that we don’t actually know what was so great about the Republic, or what life was like in the Empire. Like, we know Vader and the Emperor were dicks, but the whole basis of an empire can’t be killin ur doodz. I think that they wanted to be in control, and to do this they had to enforce laws and keep some order. Running an intergalactic empire isn’t like dusting crops.

            Much in the way a person might have a problem with a theoretically corrupt and bloodthirsty ruler of a theoretical three letter acronymed country, but you wouldn’t assume the cops and firefighters were all corrupt. The people at the bottom aren’t caught up in all of the machinations that make an interesting space opera, they just want to live their lives and keep some order. To do this, sometimes you have to board the ships of some witty and charismatic smugglers.

  7. curt_holman says:

    “if he doesn’t figure it out on his own, Obi-Wan must tell him at some point in his Jedi training.”

    Then again, Obi-Wan lied outrageously to Luke Skywalker, so…

    • Todd says:

      Yeah, both Obi-Wan and Yoda are mindfuckers of the first order. If I was Luke Skywalker, the next time I ran into Obi-Wan’s ghost I’d say “Hey Obi-Wan, did you know I screwed your mother?” And when Obi-Wan looks all shocked I would say “Because I did, from a certain point of view, asshole.”

  8. schwa242 says:

    A side note to your side note…

    (C-3PO gets blasted by a stormtrooper shortly after arriving on Bespin. I’d love to see the scene where the stormtrooper brings the shattered corpse of C-3PO to Vader and he says “Hey, where did you get this? I built this robot when I was 9 years old!” And then he sits down and cries until dinner. “What’s the matter with Lord Vader?” says a stormtrooper to his friend. “I don’t know,” is the reply. “I just showed him this crate of junk and now he’s bawling like a homesick 9-year-old.” “Give it to me, I’ll throw it away.” ” Good idea, thanks.”)

    Whenever I see Star Wars: A New Hope, during the scene where the tractor beam is pulling in the Millenium Falcon and Darth Vader says “I sense a presence, one I haven’t felt since…” and then he storms off, I like to think he’s sensing he’s long-lost robot buddy he built, and is going to his helmet-free chamber to cry.

    • Todd says:

      Re: A side note to your side note…

      That would be all the more heartbreaking since C-3PO wouldn’t even remember him.

      • adam_0oo says:

        Re: A side note to your side note…

        There are alot of metallic humanoid protocol droids around, it is its own class of droids. C3PO even sees one on Bespin. Maybe Vader just didn’t recognise him, or assumed C3PO was one of the millions of similiar droids spread throughout the galaxy.

        • sanspoof says:

          Re: A side note to your side note…

          Yeah, did Vader just make C3PO with a standard casing?
          Actually, do droids in the Star Wars universe have enough of a personality, or sentience, or what have you, to be sense-able by force-conversant people? They’re clearly treated like slaves, but seem to be awfully intelligent and have feelings and such. Being played for laughs is Their Noble Purpose!

          • adam_0oo says:

            Re: A side note to your side note…

            According to the Cartoon Network Clone Wars (which is so awesome, we need a review of them on here), 3PO changed his own plating from the metallic gray to golden, but Anakin was privy to this. However, you could take the queue of the recent Mini Cooper commercial and think that these droids are endlessly upgradeable.

            As far as sensing the droids with the Force, even though they don’t have any Midichlorians (stupid retcon), the Force can sense all kinds of things, like laser beams and rocks and things. Though maybe that is more of a radar type issue, and less of a knowing the Force imprint of a specific piece of machinery.

            • Todd says:

              Re: A side note to your side note…

              Vader’s ability to sense C-3PO wouldn’t need to have anything to do with the Force — he’s a gearhead who built a robot from scratch — of course he’d be able to recognize it if he saw it again. It would be like if a kid built a Studebaker from parts, there would be all sorts of details and shortcuts that others might not notice but which would stick out from a mile away to him. Gearheads are the masters of the universe in Star Wars land.

              • jsarek says:

                Re: A side note to your side note…

                Next time you’re in a bookstore, head over to the comics section and see if you can find Star Wars Tales, Volume 2. There’s a story in it called “Thank the Maker.” It’s short enough (10 pages) to be read while standing there. Not only does it address the issue of Vader and C-3PO on Bespin, but it’s a genuinely good read, as well.

                Or, if you don’t feel like reading it, you can read a summary of it here. Warning: This summary is dry and not terribly well written, and it’s a disservice to read it if you do plan on trying to track down the actual comic at some point.

                • Todd says:

                  Re: A side note to your side note…

                  Thanks for the link — that sounds like a good story, although it seems obvious enough to me that Vader’s plan from the botched invasion of Hoth onward was to capture Han and Leia and torture them, bringing Luke on the run. Boba Fett wouldn’t need to suggest it.

                  • jsarek says:

                    Re: A side note to your side note…

                    Boba was only suggesting that Vader spread the word of their capture and torture through normal channels. Vader tells him that it’s unnecessary, because Luke already knows they were in danger through the Force.

              • adam_0oo says:

                Re: A side note to your side note…

                Yes, as the coolest, most charming, most awesomest character in the whole sextology, Chewbacca, was a gearhead.

                • Todd says:

                  Re: A side note to your side note…

                  All the real heroes are gearheads. Luke, Han, Chewie, Anakin and especially R2-D2, all gearheads, all would rather take an engine apart and put it back together than get married, settle down and raise a family.

  9. As the Number Two guy in the Empire, whiling away the months at sea on a Star Destroyer, his disfigurement hampering his ladykilling abilities even on the off chance they pull into a friendly port, you have to figure Darth goes to bed each night ‘neath a blanket of compliant, obedient young stormtroopers. Stormtroopers who all look like Boba Fett underneath their masks, because they’re all clones of the same guy. But he’s bored with them; their constant subservience, their workman-like blow jobs, and the awful sterility of their starched plastic uniforms. He’s even tired of himself when he’s with them–the same awkward, hammy lightsabre joke to “break the ice,” the choking trick, that constant, rhythmic breathing. It’s all become so damned predictable, so…so…clinical. Even the shudder of fear in the eyes of the younger ones the first time he takes off his helmet no longer holds the same thrill for him. But here comes Boba Fett–he’s fierce, he’s dirty, he wears green armor instead of white. He has no master, he goes where he pleases. In short, he’s exciting. But he looks like the others, so it won’t be awkward–the transition will be easy. Can you blame Vader for being attracted? Probably it won’t work out. At some point Vader will grow to resent Boba’s recalcitrance. There’ll be an argument, and Vader will compare Boba to the stormtroopers, or mention his dad in bed or something, and that’ll send Boba packing. But it was an important step for Vader, he’ll come to realize eventually, in breaking his relationship patterns. He’ll look back fondly on his time with Boba, and kick himself for not giving it another chance or appreciating that it was his differences that made him so special. And he’ll take that hard-learned lesson into his next relationship; hopefully with someone more on his level, like a Grand Moff or perhaps a Hutt. Our Vader, he’s going to be okay.

    • teamwak says:

      Ha! Your all warped. 🙂

      Although there is shades of Sargent Hatred in there.

      • mikeyed says:

        I think this paragraph brings about a greater understanding of all that went on behind the making of Underbheit, Sgt. Hatred, Col. Gentleman (well, he’s on a different level, but it still stands), etc.. Their psychology revealed so deeply, with such a poetic touch, that it will go unrivaled (besides by his infamous partner, of course) by any mere fan of The Venture Brothers. We’ve witnessed something great, and I don’t mean the lurid inner-workings of the little boy from Tatooine either, I mean the revelation that fans will be mulling over for generations to come…

        …but wait, why in commentary did Doc and Jackson so openly dismiss Underbheit, who obviously has the most in common with Vader? Are they afraid to pry into Underbheit’s eriely close relaionship with his man-servant? What new ass shall underbheit tap in future episodes? What were the Eunuchs doing when they weren’t primping up their master’s new bride-to-be? Or is it possible that Underbheit is a dead-end character with no real direction? “He’s no use to me dead.” Is he really dead, though? Is Underbheit really dead?

    • calamityjon says:

      their workman-like blow jobs,

      *klik* “Helmet on or off, sir?”

      “… On.”

    • Todd says:

      or mention his dad in bed

      An ill-timed “head” joke would be all it takes.

  10. revfish says:

    Along those lines, my brain has been, for years, combining Empire with Princess Bride.

    VADER: No Disintegrations!

    BOBA FETT: As you wish.

    PETER FALK NARRATOR: But when he said “As you wish” what he really meant was “I love you.”

    Now try not to think about that when you watch Empire again.

  11. mikeyed says:

    Umm, Mr Alcott, aren’t *we* treading dangerously close to the metaphorical ledge that is fan-fic? (Either way, I always thought of Vader as more of *ahem* bottom *cough* than a Lord, as we say, not that i would know too much about that kind of stuff)

    Anyway, a lot of this is addressed in the novels, but unfortunately for those, the new movies have kind of taken the steam out of them.

    • Todd says:

      I have a six-year-old boy who spends every waking moment thinking about Star Wars — my whole life is fan fic right now.

      • ghostgecko says:

        I write fanfic quote a bit (not as much recently, but oh well) and yeah, it helps to have the mentality of a six year old.

        I’m glad my childhood bad fanfic phase passed long before the internet, since I would surely never live down my stories about Manimal, Werewolf and Speed Racer existing for all eternity in the ether.

        BTW, that’s pretty damn good fic. Todd Alcott, fellow slasher!

  12. gdh says:

    I thought it was pretty clear in Empire that Darth and Boba had done business before. There’s that “No disintegrations!” line, with the strongly implied “…not like last time, numbskull.”

    Whatever issues they had, they worked ’em out way before TESB.

    • Todd says:

      Based on Mr. Publick’s comment above, it seems Vader’s “No disintegrations!” line refers to something Boba Fett did to his penis.

      Or maybe his heart.

  13. LOL! Found the link here via Cynical-C blog. Couldn’t resist using the icon here.
    And of course after seeing Robot Chicken’s Star Wars shorts:


  14. Oh Jesus, I’m stuck in a house with my roommate’s grandma and her friends and I canNOT stop giggling. I pray to god they don’t ask, “What’s so funny deary?” because I don’t think I can stop myself from saying, “Space buttsecks!”

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  16. were_lemur says:

    Maybe Vader just feels bad because, by killing Mace, he deprived Fett of his revenge? Ever since, he’s been sure to give Boba all the good jobs, to try and make up for it.

  17. thebitterguy says:

    Fascinating contemplation of their relationship.

    One thing, though. Jango’s head fell out of the helmet, so Boba was only holding the helmet.

    Sure, that doesn’t make it a LOT less creepy, but still. I’m pedantic.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    See here:

    Boba Fett is part of a larger group of ‘warrior people’ called Mandalorians. They all wear very similar armor, and commit various ‘deeds’ across the galaxy. Vader had no idea that Boba was Jango’s son, and Boba did not know Vader’s back story.

    However, Boba was a well know to be a top shelf bounty hunter, so it totally makes sense that we would be on Vader’s list of goons to hire.