Lobot Character Corner

Lobot the CyborgStar Wars is full of interesting characters. As the series grew, so did the opportunity for alien creatures, odd beasts, and robotic companions. A classic example is Lobot, Lando Calrissian’s cyborg companion on Cloud City from The Empire Strikes Back. His bald head, skull-mounted computer, and silent presence made him an interesting and enigmatic figure for many. What’s his story?

The Galactic Empire hired Lobot—originally from Bespin—to run battlefield calculations, and implanted an “AJ^6 cyborg construct” in his brain. The implant removed part of his personality, but increased his productivity and calculation skills. He eventually left the Empire and became friends with smuggler Lando Calrissian and Chanath Cha, a bounty hunter. Calrissian had the Millennium Falcon at this time, though Han Solo won it from him at a card game.

An Easy Job

Calrissian and Lobot became in debt to a crime boss, Papa Torren. Torren offered them a chance to get back in his good graces, so Calrissian went off to steal a trinket from a ruling Moff. Calrissian ended up tricking her into giving it to him, which Lobot’s cybernetics calculated at a one in ten thousand odds. Torren demanded a simple further job from them: steal a pleasure yacht from an Imperial shipyard.

The theft itself went swimmingly. However, when three Imperial-class Star Destroyers emerged from hyperspace and began pursuit, Lobot became irate with Calrissian. Calrissian argued such pursuit was surely a good thing, since it meant the yacht must be very valuable. In fact, not only was the owner none other than Emperor Palpatine himself, but Korin Pers, a member of the team hired to help with the heist, said the central chamber contained treasure. After escaping, Lobot used his cybernetics to open the sealed door. When it opened, the two imperial guards within attacked, impaling Lobot through the chest.

As other members of the team fought the Imperial Guards, Calrissian rushed Lobot to a bacta tank. Aleksin and Pavol, clones, defeated the Guards, but an item imbued with the dark side within the chamber brainwashed Aleksin. He picked up a double-bladed lightsaber and attacked Pavol. Pers tried to get Calrissian to leave via the escape pods, but Calrissian refused to leave either Lobot or the ship. In the meantime, Chanath Cha, working for the Empire, snuck aboard and disabled the ship with orders to kill those responsible for its theft.

A Choice to Make

When she discovered Lobot and Calrissian, she agreed to help them escape, though she was unable to reverse her own sabotage to the ship’s escape pods. Aleksin and Pavol, now both under the control of the Dark side, appeared and killed Korin Pers. Calrissian and Cha escaped, removing Lobot from the bacta and explaining the situation to the dazed cyborg. Now discovering themselves trapped on the self-destruction Imperialis, Lobot explained the cybernetic implants were taking over his mind thanks to his weakened state. Making the decision to allow them full control, Lobot reactivated the escape pods on the ship.

Lando, Lobot, and Chanath Cha escaped, leaving the yacht to explode. Lando discussed finding a cure for Lobot’s new robotic status, which triggered a recorded message. It said Lobot is at peace, since he acted to save his friends and do the right thing. He also told Lando to trust himself, believing him a talented leader. Shortly after, Lando became the administrator of Cloud City, and Lobot acted as his top aide and computer liaison, leading up to the events of The Empire Strikes Back. Lobot was unable to escape the Imperial takeover of the facility. After the Rebels defeated the Empire at the battle of Endor, Lobot remained in the Imperial-controlled Cloud City, able to relay messages to Lando and carry out missions for the rebels. The rebels liberated the planet soon after.

Lobot Behind the Scenes
Original design for Lobot
Original design for Lobot

Lobot placed trust in his friends yet also held himself accountable. After his cybernetics took over he was left without a personality or the ability to speak, becoming the perfect match for Lando’s over-the-top personality.

The cybernetics acted as designed. Built to keep Lobot focused on whatever task he chose (as well as grant him powerful calculatory skills), the cybernetics would take over whenever he lost focus. His near-death experience the ultimate conclusion to such an upgrade.

First appearing in the second Star Wars movie, actor John Hollis portrayed Lobot. he was originally going to be a tall, regal, dark-skinned woman, still a cyborg of some manner. The implant was battery-powered and connected to a spring clip, and was quite heavy for the actor. Hollis was originally only hired for a week but remained on-set for ten.

The credits refer to the character as “Lando’s aide.” He was going to have dialogue with Lando before the filmmakers decided the implants would mute the character. His name is a bastardization of the word “lobotomy,” a procedure which removes brain functions.

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