Even though I find the new Star Wars films awful, I grew up with the original trilogy. It has a special place in my heart and I consider it a formative text for my generation. Part of me thinks that’s sad, since Lucas’ silly fantasies aren’t really that great upon retrospection, but as a child I was mesmerized by the films. I guess it’s better than being raised by video games.
I’ve been watching a Back to the Future marathon on television this afternoon. Actually it’s on in the background and I glance up here and there from my book. The original is still my favorite, but part two is a great sequel. In fact, I think it rivals the original – its fun, action packed, funny, and expands on the story in a positive way. Unfortunately, Back to the Future III doesn’t really compare to the first two.
Back to my original point: I’m watching Back to the Future and Mr. Strickland, the principal of Marty’s high school, looks like the bald guy from The Empire Strikes Back. I looked him up online and his name is Lobot; a bastardization of the term lobotomy. It isn’t the same actor – James Tolkan portrays Mr. Strickland – but the similarity is uncanny. I always thought Lobot was a little silly, with that giant piece of machinery on his head, but I never knew anything about him. The Empire Strikes Back doesn’t really say anything about him, treating him as a secondary character. He’s Lando’s right hand man, but he doesn’t say anything or have a personality of any kind. In essence, he’s a living prop.
However, because Star Wars is such a phenomenon, many of these background characters now have lives. I typed Lobot into Google and here’s what I found. Apparently, he has a whole story in the Star Wars novels, a story which seems irrelevant and insipid.
From the Movies
Never far from Baron Administrator Lando Calrissian’s side was Lobot, Calrissian’s aide and Cloud City’s computer liaison officer. Lobot is a human male with a shiny, brain-enhancing device wrapped around the back of his skull that allowed him to contact directly with the city’s central computer.
From the Expanded Universe
Lobot was born a slaver’s son, and he traveled the galaxy as a boy, aiding his father in raids on primitive worlds. Around his 15th birthday, his father’s ship was besieged by a competing group of pirates. Lobot’s father was killed, and the ship was scuttled. The youngster’s escape led him to Cloud City.
On Cloud City, Lobot was caught thieving by the Wing Guard. He asked that the Baroness-Administrator preside over his case. The Administrator, Ellisa Shallence, decreed that Lobot repay his debt to Cloud City by becoming an indentured servant to the community, and undergoing cyborg augmentation. The end result was one of the most loyal employees Cloud City has ever had. He served Cloud City for a period of 15 years, and when his sentence was over, Lobot voluntarily continued serving as the computer liaison officer. Lobot’s loyalty to Cloud City even led him to betray the draconian Baron Raynor to newcomer Lando Calrissian, who followed as Administrator.
Lobot stayed with Cloud City even during the Imperial occupation. He reported to Captain Treece, the new Imperial governor. When Treece’s despotic rule caused an Ugnaught insurrection, the Ugnaughts sabotaged Lobot in an effort to access the city’s central computer. Lobot’s malfunctioning borg implant caused him to attack Calrissian, who had returned to Cloud City. Calrissian repaired Lobot, and the aide used his cybernetic abilities to repair the sabotage the Ugnaughts had inflicted on the city.
Lobot has weathered so many administrators throughout his long career that most look to him as the city’s de-facto leader. He has kept things running despite incredible challenges, from the stewardship of the despicable Zorba the Hutt, to the return of the Imperial garrison during Grand Admiral Thrawn’s campaign to retake the Core. Lobot has become synonymous with dependability.
This is why Lando Calrissian recruited Lobot to help solve the mystery of the Teljkon vagabond that had been plaguing the New Republic fleet 16 years after the Battle of Yavin. It was Lobot’s advanced brain, in part, that helped discover that the mysterious ship was the last remnant of the alien species known as the Qella.
Calrissian again called upon his friend to help in the establishment of GemDiver Station, a mining colony that harvested precious stones from the atmosphere of Yavin. A short time later, Lobot returned to Cloud City, where he remains during the Yuuzhan Vong crisis.
My challenge to anybody reading this is to come up with a back story for this character more inane than this. Feel free to be as outlandish as you desire. I await your labors.