It struck me not long ago that B-list comics villains, especially those with roots in the DC mythos, have enjoyed a renaissance since the advent of The CW’s Arrowverse. Their presence has been particularly notable on The Flash, where not only have we been treated to a revival of Mark Hamill’s Trickster and the cerebrally enhanced Gorilla Grodd, but a storyline that made King Shark, of all characters, relevant again.
B-list heroes, however, haven’t gotten quite the same bump, and I can think of a few who deserve a little love and air time. Now that we’ve covered a few of my favorite underrated Jedi, I thought y’all might want to meet learn a little more about one of the galaxy’s most mysterious characters:
Affiliations: Galactic Empire, Cloud City Administration, Rebel Alliance
Many of us first met Lobot as Lando Calrissian’s stoic, silent right hand in The Empire Strikes Back but hey, turns out he has a backstory! Whether or not Lucas had it sketched out beforehand or Charles Soule had free rein in the Star Wars: Lando series we may never know but, either way, Lobot is a far more interesting character than John Hollis’s carefully neutral countenance lets on.
Lobot’s cybernetic implants were a gift from the Empire: one he was given to make him more efficient at running battlefield calculations, and one he accepted knowing he was sacrificing parts of his personality for enhanced functionality. There was also a risk that, should he lose his ability to focus on the separation between man and machine, the former would be subsumed by the later, leaving him trapped in his own mind.
Lobot ultimately defected from the Empire, joining up with one Lando Calrissian and assisting the caped one in his smuggling enterprises about the Millennium Falcon.
Until that fateful game of sabacc.
After the Battle of Yavin, Lando and Lobot found themselves in debt to a particularly nasty crime boss and decided that, in order to pay him off, they would steal a valuable item from a particularly nasty Moff. Never one to do things halfway, Lando decided he would charm said Moff in to giving him the prize rather than simply absconding with it. Lobot calculated the odds of success and found them wanting. He was not shy about informing his partner.
Those are the odds, Lando. Don’t say he didn’t warn you.
Despite Lobot’s warning, Lando traded their prize for a 10% debt cancellation and the a chance at the “score of a lifetime” (the space equivalent of magic beans if you will, and I just did). He did so without speaking to his cerebrally enhanced BFF whose implant was specifically designed to analyze strategy and statistics, but hey, Lando didn’t get that whole cape closet by playing it safe. The first part of the mission went shockingly well which of course meant, something terrible was about to happen.
Three Star Destroyers emerged from hyperspace right near the team’s stolen ship, which Lando optimistically pointed out was amazing because it meant whatever they had acquired was worth at least as much as the crime boss had promised. Lando’s team managed to escape after some quick course calculations by Lobot, but when they went to survey their prize, they found two Imperial guards who stabbed Lobot through the chest.
For most people, such an injury would mean a little bit of time in the bacta and good as new. Not so for Lobot: legit unconscious and unable to focus on his cerebral partition, the implants began to push more and more of Lobot aside.
Reunited with an old friend on a ship rigged to self-destruct, Lando tried to save Lobot, pulling him out of the bacta, but when the trio realized they were trapped, Lobot requested a computer interface and hooked in to turn sabotaged escape pods back in, knowing that the effort would destroy the last modicum of his ability to express his “self.”
Lobot remained with Calrissian when the latter become the Baron Administrator of Cloud City, and assisted first with the capture and then the release of Han, Leia, and Chewbacca. He remained in Cloud City after Lando fled, helping civilians evacuate, and was ultimately captured by the Empire. After Palpatine’s death, he assisted the New Republic forces by relaying messages through Bespin to Lando, and around the time of the Battle of Jakku he helped Lando retake Cloud City, where the Baron Administrator restaffed his mining operator with refugees who needed work.
Who shall we take on next? Stay in the galaxy or travel to whole different universe? Stay tuned!