The molehill that became a mountain ...
March 30, 2024 4:49 AM   Subscribe

He wasn't always a minor character, a glorified extra. Earlier today, on another forum, I made a (lame) joke about Lobot, the silent assistant to Lando Calrissian. I always thought he was a just an extra, but instead he was a proto-meme, before there was internet. Also, there's a huge backstory in his bio. The list of things Lobot did in his lifetime is quite impressive.

The actor was John Hollis and he was hired to do about a day's worth of dialog. Then they kept his on set for 10 weeks. Then, the producers ... well, read the entry - I haven't the heart to repeat it. But, he kinda wound up like the door-gunner in Full Metal Jacket.

According to IMDB, John had a long career playing side-men and minor characters. There isn't much more in his Wikipedia entry except to note that he did work for BBC.Radio, which I'm guessing was his primary job.

I will never be able to joke about him again. But I can joke about this guy ... well, don't that shave the wookie's ass ... he's got a name and a backstory, too.
posted by JustSayNoDawg (22 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Relatedly and from a different franchise: Figwit.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:04 AM on March 30 [2 favorites]


"the only person who could say no to Calrissian"

Not a bad way to be remembered.
posted by Flight Hardware, do not touch at 5:44 AM on March 30


I'm a fan of the GNK droid - same thing happened to them.

The little Power droid that keeps on, keeping on.

Elevated to stardom for those who know :)
posted by Faintdreams at 6:04 AM on March 30 [2 favorites]


So, lobot is actually a human shell that’s now run by the cybernetic implants, as a sort of fleshy robot? That’s unexpectedly nightmarish. I guess they don’t have ethics committees in Star Wars.
posted by The River Ivel at 6:26 AM on March 30 [2 favorites]


I guess they don’t have ethics committees in Star Wars.

They have sentient robots which they enslave with restraining bolts. That (space)ship has sailed.
posted by notoriety public at 8:10 AM on March 30 [3 favorites]


There's not a lot of daylight between "It's okay if it's a robot", and "It's okay if they don't look like me."
posted by notoriety public at 8:12 AM on March 30 [1 favorite]


So immoral, working on the thing can drive you mad. That's what happened to this friend of mine. So he had a lobotomy. Now he's well again.
posted by Nelson at 8:21 AM on March 30 [3 favorites]


This is fascinating, I never knew his name, but found him intriguing. Now how about some love for Max Rebo?
posted by Rash at 9:12 AM on March 30 [1 favorite]


So, lobot is actually a human shell that’s now run by the cybernetic implants, as a sort of fleshy robot? That’s unexpectedly nightmarish.

Wait until you learn about the Decraniated.
posted by leotrotsky at 9:17 AM on March 30 [4 favorites]




Sometimes I am reminded of those antlions that trap ants in a funnel of sand. That Lobot backstory is a whole book, and each link on wookiepedia is like another grain of sand adding to the sand slide down into the antlion’s trap. I have laundry to do!

Which is to say, with all the lore and fan servicing, Star Wars in 2024 feels like falling into a Sarlacc.
posted by zenon at 10:16 AM on March 30


Don't forget that they also built their sentient robot slaves with the ability to feel pain.

I mean, how much morality can we expect from a culture where the good guys kidnap children and train them to be emotionless warriors.
posted by Saxon Kane at 11:03 AM on March 30 [1 favorite]


I mean, how much morality can we expect from a culture where the good guys kidnap children and train them to be emotionless warriors.

It was the midichlorians, man. They told me to do it. They tell me things, you know.

OK, seriously, it sounds like the entire Star Wars universe had a bad case of weird toxoplasmosis.
posted by JustSayNoDawg at 11:15 AM on March 30 [2 favorites]


Someday fandom.com is going to forget to leave me that 1-cm tall strip of actual article and just give me a gallery of ads.
posted by The Monster at the End of this Thread at 11:52 AM on March 30 [9 favorites]


I will ALWAYS argue that Lobot is the real hero of Empire Strikes Back. My friends all tell me it isn't true, but it's a hill I will die on.
posted by rikschell at 12:25 PM on March 30


They have sentient robots which they enslave with restraining bolts.

Pop Culture Detective has a great video on this:

The Tragedy of Droids in Star Wars
posted by AlSweigart at 12:42 PM on March 30


I don't buy the backstory. During ESB Lando is clearly issuing orders to Lobot, sacrificing him to secure the escape. Not something you'd do to a close friend.

In my head-canon Lobot was thoroughly interrogated and then promptly executed by the Empire.
posted by donio at 1:21 PM on March 30


I am reminded of two things:
  1. Back in 2015, when John Stewart announced his (apparently 9-year-long) retirement from The Daily Show, Patton Oswalt tweeted, "Somewhere, Craig Kilborn's eyes just snapped open like Lobot."
  2. Lobot is known for mobilizing Bespin's defenses, but he can also mobilize people on the dance floor.
posted by HeroZero at 2:18 PM on March 30 [4 favorites]


Seeing a picture of him without the implants is… disarming. And also I’d never recognize him without them.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 7:55 PM on March 31


I recently heard someone point out that every Starwars character has a name (and particularly one that doesn't exist anywhere else in fiction or nonfiction) because some evil genius figured out how to maximize his licensing rights potential.
posted by es_de_bah at 3:49 PM on April 1


The original run of action figures had alien characters with descriptive names like "Walrus Man" and "Hammerhead." I'm sure those characters were given names and backstories later on.
posted by rikschell at 4:19 PM on April 1


I'm sure those characters were given names and backstories later on.

More's the pity. All the backstory Hammerhead needed was that his action figure head was fun to chew on.
posted by mittens at 4:28 PM on April 1


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