‘Star Wars’ Spotlight: Lobot

By Ryan Rigley

There have been several comparisons drawn between “Star Wars” and the newest “Star Trek” film since its release back in 2009. “I wouldn’t say that the first movie is an absolute Star Wars derivation,” explains director J. J. Abrams. “When ’Star Wars’ came out, people referred to ’Star Trek,’ because it was spaceships. Everything is sort of a derivation of everything else. Just the way ’Star Wars’ was of ’Flash Gordon’ and of dogfight war films in the TIE Fighter sequences. Everything has something it borrows from.”

Fast forward to 2013, where J. J. Abrams is now the man behind both the “Star Trek” and “Star Wars” franchises. Clearly, there are going to be some overlapping themes echoed in both films. But what of the characters that will be making an appearance in the new “Star Wars” trilogy? Not Luke or Leia, I’m talking about minor characters like Lobot, who makes a very brief appearance on Cloud City in “The Empire Strikes Back.”

Born the son of a slaver, Lobot is dragged all across the galaxy as his father raids poor planets looking for slaves. Then, at age 15, Lobot’s father is killed by a dangerous band of space pirates. He’s forced to act as a slave to the pirates for two whole years before escaping to Cloud City on the giant gas planet Bespin. Arriving on the planet without money, food, or shelter, Lobot is soon convicted of stealing by the Bespin Wing Guard.

Seeing potential in the young thief, Baroness Administrator Ellisa Shallence sentences him to fifteen years of involuntary service. Instead of throwing him in prison, the Cloud City techs drill holes in Lobot’s skull and fit him with a Biotech Aj^6 cyborg headband; effectually turning him into the first cyborg computer-liaison officer in Cloud City history. Lobot would eventually become one of the most hardworking and loyal employees on the entire planet.

You may not realize this, but Lobot is actually the reason that Lando Calrissian becomes the new Baron Administrator of Cloud City. When Lando first arrives on Bespin, he challenges the former Baron Administrator, Dominic Raynor, to a winner-takes-all game of sabacc. Because Lobot sees Lando as an opportunity to boost the shaky hierarchy of the city, he decides to inconspicuously help Lando win the game.

Under Lando’s leadership, Lobot would come to fully support his master’s aiding of the Rebellion. When Cloud City was being held by Imperial forces, during the events of “Empire Strikes Back,” Lobot is quick to help Princess Leia, Chewbacca and C-3P0 escape the clutches of the Empire. He’s also saved Lando Calrissian’s life, on more than one occasion, from a rogue droid called EV-9D9.

Eventually, in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, Lobot himself becomes the Baron Administrator of Cloud City. If he were to appear in the new “Star Wars” trilogy, he could certainly be portrayed as such. Alternatively, Lobot is a frequent ally of both Lando Calrissian and Han Solo. That being said, he could potentially appear in the “Han Solo” spinoff film as the tech-savy computer wizard of the group.