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?

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