Wednesday, June 25, 2014

101 Star Wars Variations 24: Skywalker Hates Kenobi

Owen Lars never understood it.  Every time Luke snuck out to go bother the old hermit, he'd had to fight the urge to chase after him hollering.  He'd done that so many times already.  He was hardly proud of that.

Luke spread some pretty wild rumors about Old Ben, mocking a legacy that barely existed on Tatooine.  What was the point?  Everyone had at least heard about the Jedi, the Empire, but on a world dominated by the Hutts and basic survival in a landscape that didn't want inhabitants, such stories only served to remind Owen of something he'd just as soon forgot.

The last time he saw Luke's father, the wild adventurer Anakin had been friends with Old Ben.  For all Owen knew, that was the only time the Skywalkers and the Kenobis ever got along.

Stories about the feud between those families were far more common.  Anyone who knew Luke knew he was always eager to share them.  Some of the people Owen knew thought the whole thing had sprung entirely from the young Skywalker's eager imagination.  Every time Beru cautioned Owen to give Luke a little slack, he could only picture the time the boy had plastered their entire home in fake lightsabers, none of which, of course, functioned, which was what Luke claimed was exactly the case with Old Ben's.

The longer this went on the more exasperated Owen became.  When Luke's pal Biggs Darklighter entered the Imperial Academy, Owen had to put his foot down, mostly because Luke was already making a mockery of the whole application process, putting Old Ben down as his sponsor, when everyone knew that the hermit was a terrible public speaker, couldn't hold a conversation, and it was probably only partly due to the constant stream of torment he received at Luke's hands.

The worst of it was that it was Luke himself who told Owen that it was a tradition between the families that he was only continuing, to the point where Owen questioned whether his own memories were an accurate portrait of the past.

When the Empire finally came to Tatooine, news quickly spread about the two most immediate results: that Owen Lars had been murdered by Stormtroopers and that Luke had gone off with a couple of droids in the direction of Old Ben's desert hut, the action that led directly to Owen's death.  It came as no surprise when the hermit was also reported as dead, lost in the grand space adventure Luke had spent all the time he wasn't mocking Old Ben talking about.  Some speculated that the droids had led Luke to recruit the hermit, validating all the old stories.  Others pretty much assumed they knew what had really happened.

Luke, as always, was just being a punk.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

101 Star Wars Variations 23: The Qui-Gon Job

Ben Kenobi had lived in the outskirts of civilization for so long, he could hardly remember how he'd gotten there.  One day his father had brought the both of them to Tatooine, to the notorious spaceport of Mos Eisley, intending only to fuel up and leave again, but then a disagreement had occurred at the local cantina, his father was dead in a flash, Ben was an orphan, and he was trapped on the desert world forever.

Perhaps he didn't want to remember.

Living by himself had been so much easier.  When he was younger, the anger had always threatened to consume him.  He only survived thanks to all the old tales he'd gather from the holorecordings he'd discovered in the hut he found, after wandering the dunes on his own for what seemed like weeks but could only have been hours, traveling in an old land speeder and avoiding the Sand People as best he could.  The tales told him all about the Jedi, mighty warriors who protected the galaxy from the forces of evil.  Had they ever been to Tatooine?  It was easy for the younger Ben to believe they hadn't, but as he grew older, he hoped otherwise.

One day, during one of his rare but necessary excursions into town, Ben came across a few of the local podracer pilots in one of their endless disputes.  This occasion was different, however.  The boy wasn't alone, for the first time Ben could remember.  With him was a noble-looking man, a girl, a droid, and a funny-looking amphibian of questionable intelligence.  "Pathetic life-form," is how Ben would have described the last of this curious group.

Sometime later, he found the noble-looking man wandering the dunes on his own, muttering to himself about the injustices of the galaxy, something Ben knew all about.  He wondered what that would mean for this man in particular.  As a rule, Ben kept to himself, but he decided to make an exception.

"I don't seem to recall your kind ever visiting Tatooine before."

"No, I suppose not," the man said.  "Qui-Gon Jinn."

"Ben Kenobi," he replied.  "You're a Jedi, aren't you?"

"Very perceptive," Qui-Gon said.  "That can be dangerous here, I imagine."

"You have no idea," Ben said, fighting the urge to laugh.  He couldn't remember the last time he'd laughed.

"I won't cause you any trouble," Qui-Gon assured him.  "I'm only looking for parts, same as anyone else.  I wish to be gone from this world as soon as possible.  No offense."

"None taken," Ben said.  In another lifetime, he thought they could have been friends.  "Listen, I can take you as far as Anchorhead, in my speeder, but I'm afraid I can't offer you much more.  That's this world speaking.  It doesn't want any of us here."

"I'm beginning to sense that," Qui-Gon said.  He flinched, as if sensing something else.  Ben could almost feel it, too.  They took a look around for a moment, didn't see anything, but the Jedi did not appear to relax at all.  "There is a Sith here.  I didn't come here to find you, but now I wonder...Take this."

Ben took the strange object into his hands.  He'd seen something like it in the holorecordings: a lightsaber.  He wanted to give it back right away, not because he wasn't grateful, but that it felt more like a sacrifice than a gift.

"I foresaw what would happen to me," Qui-Gon said, as if reading Ben's mind.

Before either could say anything else, he became aware of another presence, a demon with a head of horns, one who moved with lightning speed and precision, holding a lightsaber of its own.  Two blades, red as blood, emerged from either end, and sliced through the Jedi as Ben watched, helpless.  The assassin was gone before he could do anything.

Qui-Gon was gasping for breath on the ground.  "Don't...don't go after him.  This...doesn't matter.  My friends will get away.  Forget...ever having met me."

Except Ben couldn't.  As the years progressed, and he tried, and nothing happened, he continued living as he had, but everything had changed.  One day, he met the boy's son, and knew in an instant that everything would change again.  If...if either of them was ever going to leave this world behind, it would be this one.

Ben started laughing again.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

101 Star Wars Variations 22: A Kenobi Job

Old Ben is speaking.  At first, Luke's confused.  A moment ago, as far as he knew, and he thought it'd been with absolutely certainty, Obi-Wan Kenobi was dead, murdered by Darth Vader...a long time ago.  Yet there he is, just as Luke remembers him.  Not as a ghost.  The man himself.  In the flesh.  Just like Luke knew him, for all those years, the man everyone else always called the crazy old hermit, his Uncle Own included.

He tries to concentrate.  Old Ben has the same weary expression Luke remembers so well.  For all that time, he never even considered what his friend had experienced in his life to become this man.  Old Ben stops speaking.  He smiles at Luke.  As usual, he seems to know exactly what Luke has been thinking.

"You're wondering what I've been going on about," he says.  "It's funny.  I never imagined myself to be a storyteller.  At least, not a very good one."

Except Luke's not thinking of any stories.  Memories.  He's convinced he's just woken up from memories.  Of Old Ben dying.  Of meeting Han Solo and Chewbacca.  Of rescuing Princess Leia.  Of learning the truth about his father, of Darth Vader.  Of helping to bring about the end of the Galactic Empire.  Of helping to restore the Republic.

All these things happened.  Right?

Except now, he isn't so sure.  He and Old Ben are silent.  They are contemplating the same thing.  Luke knows that with certainty now.  It's as if scales are dropping from his eyes.  He looks around.  He sees Old Ben's familiar cave dwelling.  He sees what he knows from Old Ben's stories to be an old lightsaber, the weapon of a Jedi.  There was a time he'd forgotten all about that.  The Jedi meant nothing to him.  He hadn't taken the idea of the Force anymore seriously than Han.

Except...Han?  He's the ghost flickering before Luke's eyes now, an illusion, like the many Luke has seen over the years, across the vast stretches of the Dune Sea, scrounging for parts from reluctant and far-off neighbors, also scrambling to make a living on a desert world, miserable as Luke, desperate for the same miracle...

That was a long time ago.  That was another lifetime ago.  Wasn't it?

Old Ben speaks again.  "You're wondering if everything I've just told you was true.  You lost yourself in the story.  It was true.  From a certain point of view."

His friend is grinning.  Luke can't stand it.  Why must he be so maddening?  Why can't he be straightforward?  That's exactly how he always was.  Luke simply forgot.  He stopped thinking of the man he'd known the moment Old Ben told him about the bright center he'd always dreamed of, the destiny he'd always secretly believed waited for him.  And all that had happened.

Except it hadn't.  Old Ben was right.  As usual.  He rubs his eyes with the palms of his hands.  Dust, like it always does, had gotten everywhere.  His eyes are stinging.  But it wasn't the dust.  He's been crying.  Why has he been crying?

"I never met him," Old Ben continues.  "I'm sorry about that now.  You always spoke so proudly of him, even when I expressed dismay about his dreams, your dreams.  You were always so dreamy, didn't understand why the distinction between the Empire and the Rebellion was so important."

Luke is remembering now.  His eyes are stinging for a reason.  Because the tears are starting to flow again.  His friend, his brother.  Biggs.  He's dead.  He was executed by Vader, dead in a moment, without ceremony, exposed as a Rebel spy, before his life could mean anything.

"This doesn't change anything," Old Ben is saying.  "You can still make something of your life.  You don't have to let your uncle define you forever.  Maybe nothing like what you always wished is true.  Maybe this lightsaber belonged to someone else, a cunning warrior who once came to this world and befriended someone else who needed an escape.  Maybe your father was just scum who showed up in Mos Eisley one day and left the next.  It doesn't matter.  What matters..."

Luke isn't listening anymore.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

101 Star Wars Variations 21: Sympathy for Jabba

A long time ago, the Hutts became gangsters.  There's no getting around that.  They were bullies of the classic order, and they threw their authority and ample weight around with impunity.  They made the rules and broke the rules, and didn't care who got hurt in the process.  They were also the masters of autonomy.  The Republic didn't bother them.  The Empire didn't bother them.  As far as anyone who lived in their star system was concerned, neither even existed.

One day Jabba, one of the local barons who controlled the desert world of Tatooine, was murdered by a conspiracy of enemies.  One such enemy was Han Solo, who had once worked as a smuggler under Jabba.  Another was Luke Skywalker, last son of a family that had once served in slavery under Jabba's command.  The third was Leia Organa, princess of Alderaan, who secretly supported the Rebellion that sought to expand Republic control over more worlds while pretending it was to end the tyranny of the Empire.  

Again, the Hutts were hardly the good guys, and frequently turned to violence to solve their own problems, but are heroes really those who execute their enemies in cold blood?

At the time of the assassination, all three of these conspirators were prisoner of Jabba.  Han had abandoned his responsibilities and was serving time (duration at his former boss's discretion) in carbon freeze.  Leia had come seeking to break Han free.  Luke came later to get the job done.  All three were miserable failures.  Jabba had no reason to take them seriously.  Luke was the most delusional of them, having believed his status as a Jedi, if even true, gave him special powers, which it didn't, at least over Jabba.  

Leia, famously, had been struggling in her quest to support the Rebellion all her life, although only in the last few years had done so openly.  It was a cause she'd adopted from her father, probably why she had proved so ineffective.

They were a dysfunctional trio by all accounts.  It was only when they came together to assassinate Jabba that they finally proved effective.  Later, spurious accounts of destroying not even one but two so-called Death Stars, the "ultimate weapon" of the Empire, began to surface, as if to justify the significant void they'd left in their wake on Tatooine.  Jabba's death left a power vacuum.  He'd been the only one capable of unifying the desert world's various factions, keeping everyone happy.  Without him it was chaos.  

Other Hutts mulled what to do about the situation for years.  None of them wanted responsibility for Tatooine.  Too high maintenance, not enough reward.  Only Jabba had ever truly cared about it, for reasons that've eluded those he left behind.  The once-great space port of Mos Eisley lost most of its traffic, and with it starship pilots lost a significant release valve for the pressures of their work.

It leaves a lot of questions.  At the moment I'm at a loss about them myself.  I'll leave it to you.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

101 Star Wars Variations 20: Solo and the Wookiee

A long time ago, a son asked his father what sons have always asked their fathers: "What did you want to become when you grew up?"

And the father answered, "I wasn't given that choice, and neither will you."

The son was Han Solo.  He was born on a spaceship, on a cargo run between Tatooine and Corellia, didn't know what living on a planet was like until he ran away for the first time.  But he was always brought back.  The Hutts made sure of it.  The Hutts made sure of many things, such as what the Solos were allowed to make of themselves.  The Solos weren't slaves, but they might as well have been.

"But why, dad?  Why do we have to do what they tell us?"

"That's the way of the galaxy, son.  There is no magic formula that gives us what we want.  We've just got to do what life presents us."

"And that's whatever the Hutts want?"

"For us, yes.  For a lot of people, actually.  They control a lot of things.  Always have.  They're worse than the Empire.  Long after the Empire's gone, the Hutts will still control this system, and our family will still work under them."

Han didn't like hearing any of this.  It just didn't make sense.  His childhood friend Greedo didn't give him any more hope than his father, and in fact was frequently the one responsible for Han's current whereabouts being reported to the Hutts, so that he would have to go back to his life in their service all over again.

The longest he ever spent completely out of their grasp was on Kashyyyk.  He had gone there with his father.  One of their competitors had wanted that job more, and shot them down.  That time, he wasn't deserting so much as surviving.  As he crawled from the wreckage, unsure of whether or not his father was still alive but so crazed with the instinct of self-preservation, Han was already on his feet and wobbling away before he realized that he was being followed.  Not by his father, but one of the natives, a Wookiee.  He'd never met one before.  Wookiees tended to keep to themselves, and were rarely seen in less than whole packs.  This one was alone.  What's more, he was carrying a body.  Han's father.  The Wookiee was wailing aloud, mourning a soul it had never even known.

Han didn't want to stop.  He was crying, wiping his grimy sleeve across his face, realizing too late that his arm was broken.  The Wookiee kept following.  They continued on like this for several kilometers.

"Go away," Han sobbed.  He couldn't face any of this.  He was scared, and he'd never been scared before.  His father had always taught him to be strong, out of necessity.  "What do you want?  I don't have anything!  Put my father down!"

What if the Wookiee did so?  Han hadn't thought nearly that far ahead.  He stopped, and so did the Wookiee.  They stared at each other for several moments.  The Wookiee let out another ear-piercing howl.

Han looked at his father's corpse.  All those years, all the stories he'd heard about how his family always died in the service of the Hutts, and he'd never thought he'd see it for himself.  He thought his father would live forever.  He looked peaceful, in the Wookiee's arms, and so small.  Han walked up to the Wookiee, and placed a hand on its forearm.  The Wookiee knelt, and gently placed Han's father on the ground.  There was silence all around them, as if all of Kashyyyk were holding its breath.

"I know, pal," Han said.  He didn't even know what he was thinking, but suddenly he was aware that the Wookiee meant him no harm.

"I have to go," he continued.  "Do you understand?  There are things I need to do.  It'll be difficult.  I have no idea if I'll succeed.  But I can't have let him die in vain.  I can't have let him die for nothing.  You want to help, don't you?"

The Wookiee was nodding its head enthusiastically.  Then it got up, took Han's father back in its arms, and beckoned Han to follow, where it went deep into the heart of the jungle.  When it finally stopped, Han was aware that they were standing in front of a ship.  The Wookiee nodded for him to get in, and then climbed in after, placing the dead body behind them, draped with a blanket that seemed to have been waiting for them.  There would be a funeral.  And many other events besides.  The Solos were soon to break away from the Hutts forever.  Was Han betraying his father or honoring him?  He thought about that the whole ride.  Where were they going?  Looking at the Wookiee calmly pilot the craft, he knew things were going to change.  Everything was going to change.  For the better, for the first time in untold generations.  Finally.

That was how Han Solo met Chewbacca.

Friday, June 6, 2014

101 Star Wars Variations 19: Solo and Hutt

Boss and employee.  Oldest story in the book?  Hopefully not, but I'm sure you've heard your fair share.  A long time ago, there was such a pair, and neither had any idea how important their labor disagreement would become.

Jabba the Hutt, the czar of Tatooine, had an extensive network of smugglers working on his behalf to move goods around the galaxy.  One such was Han Solo, who was one of the few to operate out of his own starship, the Millennium Falcon.  Jabba already didn't like that much about Han.  A good employee is one that owes as much as possible of his livelihood to his boss.  Han had also handpicked his own partner, the Wookiee named Chewbacca.  There was a brief time where Jabba had been able to convince Han to work with Greedo.  Instead of lasting more than a few hours, Han and Greedo became rivals.  Jabba liked that a great deal, until he remembered that it still meant Han enjoyed relative autonomy.

He spent a lot of time cultivating the perfect excuse to remove Han from his list of problems.  One day Han provided it himself when he dumped a cargo load while being pursued by an Imperial Star Destroyer.  Under any other circumstances Jabba would have written off the merchandise as a necessary loss in his bid to stay clear of the Empire.  Since it was Han, he immediately severed all ties between them, and placed a bounty on his former best employee's head.  Good allies make better enemies.  You know enough to be able to make the problem go away much more easily.

When he heard that Han fried Greedo, Jabba was a little annoyed.  That was not exactly what he'd been hoping to see happen.  Greedo was known for his trigger finger.  Normally Han showed a lot more restraint, but a burn notice seemed to change him, in ways Jabba was only beginning to find out.

Soon Han was making different allies entirely.  He'd never been the type to sympathize with the scum he'd risen from before, but now he sided with the Rebellion.  Jabba didn't care, at first.  He knew Han pretty well.  He wouldn't make a strong enough commitment.  He'd walk away.  He was a rogue through and through.  Except six months, a year, two years later and he had maintained the association.  Finally Jabba turned to Boba Fett.

Fett was deployed cunningly.  Jabba had realized that Han wouldn't go so easily after all.  He gave the bounty hunter free reign.  He didn't count on Fett making a side deal with the Empire.  He didn't count on Fett leading a Jedi into the picture.  He'd never even taken the concept of the Force seriously.  Why should he?  He was immune to their tricks.

Things quickly spiraled out of hand, just as soon as it looked as if he'd finally won.  He had Han in carbon freeze, as decoration in his main audience chamber.  The ultimate humiliation!  Getting his friend back, however, spurred the Jedi to lengths Jabba had never once considered.

He was choking on his own tongue.  He couldn't see Han, but he could hear the old smuggler laughing.  Employee beats the boss.  His last thought was, This time...A pity he wouldn't live to see his revenge unfold.  But the boss always wins, because the boss can be replaced, too.  Fools like Han never even considered that.  His successor?  Ha!  That was the biggest joke of them all in this whole sorry affair.  Han himself...Employee becomes the boss.  Everything changes.  Second oldest story?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

101 Star Wars Variations 18: A Pair of Rogues

In a game of cards, Lando Calrissian lost the Millennium Falcon to Han Solo.  Do I need to say that again?  They were good friends at the time, a regular pair of rogues.  And then it ended.

They didn't even speak again for years.  Lando never acknowledged it, but anyone who knew him in Cloud City, when the dark mood hit him, it was always after he'd lost another game of cards, every time.  He was the picture of genial authority otherwise, so it was obvious, but no one ever asked him about it.  There were rumors he'd once had a ship, one he'd flown in the Kessel Run, famously completing its complicated maneuvers in less than twelve parsecs, but the ship was as much legend as anything else.  He was far too busy as an administrator, putting out bureaucratic brush fires, for the kind of nonsense such associations suggested.

One day, his aide Lobot asked him about it.  Normally Lobot was as discreet a man as could be.  On this day, however, he was the one who'd won the game, and seeing Lando's mood sour on him personally was perhaps more than he could handle.

"Sir?  Pardon me, but I have to ask."

"About what?"

"The ship," Lobot said.  "I wish I knew its name, but I don't.  I hope you know what I'm talking about."

Lando was silent for a moment, for so long Lobot wasn't even sure his boss had heard him.  Perhaps he'd been thinking of one of a thousand different responsibilities Lobot himself knew about but wasn't nearly qualified to handle personally.  That was a large part of the reason he admired Lando so much, why he would never have dared bring up such an apparently personal subject, if he hadn't felt such a sudden, urgent need.

"You know about that," Lando replied, almost as a question.

"There has been talk," Lobot said.

"A long time ago I had a friend," Lando said.  Again he went silent, and again Lobot wondered if that was all his boss was going to say.  But then he continued.  "I thought he was my friend, anyway.  I trusted him with everything I was.  I know this may be difficult to believe, my friend, but I wasn't always completely defined by Bespin.  I had a different life, a good one.  It was full of risks, and I shared them all with my friend.  Then I played a game of cards with him.  I think you and everyone else you've apparently been talking with guessed that much.  At one point, he wanted to raise the stakes.  He asked for me to put up my ship.  I didn't think anything of it.  I was feeling good.  I was winning.  I didn't think I had any real shot at losing.  I loved that ship.  Long story short, he cheated.  End of everything."

Lobot wasn't sure if he should believe what he'd just heard.  Lando had a habit for bluffing.  Maybe part of it was true.  Maybe the look his eyes had after card games had something to do with the ship, this friend of his, this prior life, and maybe it was entirely unrelated.  Was his boss really the type of man to take any of that so seriously?  He made a thousand far more important decisions every day.  It seemed impossible that he could be so petty.  Could he?

"Of course, sir," Lobot said.  He didn't say another word about it.  Some time later, this friend of Lando's showed up, in the very ship of all the talk.  The legendary ship.  The practically mythical ship.  Lobot didn't find it so impressive, but that might have had something to do with the fact that the current owner had clearly made a lot of modifications to it.  This was around the time the Empire had finally come to Cloud City.  Until then Lando had managed to keep his operation completely autonomous, which was just one of the many ways he managed to impress his staff, the whole population of Bespin, on a daily basis.  It was as if the rest of the galaxy didn't even exist.

Things happened.  Lando lost everything, apparently for the second time in his life.  This appeared to be all the motivation he needed to return to what he'd told Lobot his life had been before.  He joined the side of his friend again, this time as part of the Rebel Alliance.  His reputation gave him the rank of general, no questions asked.  He took all his most recent experience and whipped the Rebels into shape.  Made them respectable, just as Lobot thought he would.  Without Lando, the war could never have been won.  And apparently, without this friend of his.  It was a relationship Lobot would never understand.  But in the end, he could reconcile all the apparent contradictions in his boss.

He wondered if he could have a ride in that ship.

Monday, June 2, 2014

101 Star Wars Variations 17: The Ballad of the Fetts

Once upon a time, there was a man named Jango.  He was an honest man just trying to make his way in the world.  Or something like that.

He wore a suit of Mandalorian armor and he took on assignments from anyone who would pay his fee.  One day such an assignment led him to Kamino, where he was paid to be cloned into a whole army.  He requested only that one clone be left to age naturally, and he named this one Boba.  Jango became a father that day.

Years passed, and he continued to take assignments, until one day the clone army was discovered.  Very soon it was deployed for the first time, too, but none of that concerned him anymore.  He was forced on the run, and he had to take Boba with him.  This was something Jango had never wanted to do.  He didn't shield his son from what he did for a living, but he'd never wanted Boba to know just how...dangerous it really was.  It was only in his son that Jango had rediscovered the notion of innocence.  Something he'd lost long ago.

The galaxy spun all around him.  Jango tried not to pay attention.  That was how he'd always led his life.  And yet now with Boba in danger, he couldn't afford to hide from the rest of the galaxy anymore.  He was aware of how the clone army was supposed to be used.  He didn't much care, but at least he knew.  He always thought he was prepared for anything, even fighting Jedi.  Turns out he was wrong.

In his dying moment, before the killing blow had even been struck, Jango saw not his own life but his son's flash before his eyes.  Somehow he'd always had a kind of clairvoyance.  It was how he'd always been so good at what he did.  If he wasn't about to die, however, he would never have been able to process what he saw in his last vision.

Boba wore the Mandalorian armor.  In fact, he seemed to have become a near-exact replica of his father.  Jango had no idea how that could happen, except from extreme grief.  He'd never wanted this life for his son.  Given enough time, he would have put the armor aside and they could have gone off to lead quiet, unassuming lives on some distant world, maybe something completely unlike anything he'd known on all those assignments.  Except that one planet, the vast desert controlled by the Hutts.  He'd liked it in Mos Eisley, but he liked the dunes more.  Something...peaceful there.  He hoped his son would get to see them.

He didn't see a lot of peace in Boba's future.  He saw nothing of his own dreams.  He saw a warped version of himself.  He was horrified.  Was that truly how Boba saw him?  Was that the sum total of his existence, a remorseless monster, a killer?

He wanted to take Boba in his arms.  He wanted everything else to go away.  He wanted...forgiveness.  And to forgive.

Nothing else mattered.  For him, in an instant, nothing would.  For his son, for Boba Fett, Jango grieved. He cared nothing for what was about to happen to himself.  It was what was going to happen to his son that mattered.  And he could do nothing about it.  A lifetime, wasted.  Thrown away.  Not his but his son's.  Maybe that's what Jango's life amounted to.  The son becomes the father, the father becomes the son.  An old Mandalorian curse.  Perhaps what he deserved after stealing the armor in the first place.  Perhaps the bounty that had been placed on his head.

Beneath the helmet, Jango was crying, when the Jedi's blade fell on it.