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.

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