Hey losers, C1-10P here. If that’s too complicated for your spongy flesh brain, don’t strain yourself on my account—just call me “Chopper”. I’m told that today is the day Earth humans celebrate their own cluelessness (just one day a year? Pretty charitable if you ask me), and because there’s nothing I love more than clueless humans, the fine people at Eleven-ThirtyEight asked me to share my reflections on the first season of Chopper and Friends—huh? What Wars? Who the **** said—okay, I’m being told that’s not what the show is called. Let’s just move on.
I guess I should start at the beginning—no, not when the kid showed up, the real beginning. I’m doing a deep-cover op on Nar Shaddaa, right? Deep cover’s my specialty, because us astromechs are reeeaal patient, and no one pays much attention to us. So I spend three months as a server in this crappy dive just shy of dirtside, waiting for a runaway moff to amble his way in, when word comes from the big guy that he’s got a new job for me. Says there’s a wayward Jedi padawan hooked up with an equally-wayward rebel agent. The reb’s a real piece of work—intel said her father was some anti-Republic big shot on Ryloth back in the Clone Wars—but she’s not my job, the paddie is.
Turns out he’s not just any ol’ paddie; he was the apprentice to this Jedi Council hotshot called Billaba. Guy was all of fourteen when the **** went down, and naturally the whole thing hits him pretty hard. One crap rimkin job after another starts to take its toll, and eventually he turns to the ol’ liquid courage. Anyway, boss man is looking for a new apprentice his own self on account of the current guy’s more hydrospanner than man—not that there’s anything wrong with that—and he thinks this guy’s got potential. Wants me to get my orange keister on their ship and make sure the Twi’lek goodie-goodie doesn’t rub off on him before the time comes to bring him over to the winning side.
Me, I’d have snatched him up right then and there, but you know how these Sith characters are—all “foreseen” this and “my design” that. I’m not paid to argue. Things go alright for a while, the paddie—Kanan is his name—and I start to get a solid rapport going, and then the brat shows up and all but ruins everything. I guess that’s where you people came in.
Spark of Rebellion
So our crew is running a snatch-and-grab on some weapons and foodstuffs in Capital City. (I should mention at this point that this pissant troublemaking stuff is way below my boss’ concern; I’ve got pretty expansive leeway when it comes to breaking laws and so forth in the pursuit of my missions) The kid goes for a couple crates himself, and manages to give Kanan the slip long enough for a local TIE patrol to catch up to them. Rather than leave the goods behind, the bonehead brings the kid on board all but attached to said goods—if I’d known then what I know now I’d have knocked his **** off the ship right then and saved myself a world of trouble. And wouldn’t you know it, he’s not on the ship five minutes before he sneaks into Kanan’s room and finds his damn lightsaber!
I catch the kid in there and let Kanan know what’s up, but he and Hera are weirdly cool with it. Meanwhile, we hand the goods off to Vizago, who gives us a location on this batch of Wookiee slaves we’ve been chasing. We go in after them, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s a trap. While the gang is running around the Imperial ship like womp rats with their heads cut off, I slice in and give the friendly neighborhood ISB agent—guy named Kallus; we’ll bump into him a lot—let’s say, amended orders: do what you gotta do, but if you find a kid running around, grabbing him is priority one. I don’t know much about this Force business, but I know Kanan well enough to see how he looks at the kid and know that’s no good for my long-term goals.
Sure enough, the little punk gets himself snatched and the rest of us are free and clear. But then it hits me: this kid gives Kanan hope. I gotta admit, I hadn’t been making much progress before he got there, and while a shiny new apprentice wasn’t about to push Kanan down the dark path, a dead apprentice means the death of that hope—and that’s right up my alley. But it was too soon; I had to let them get to know each other first. So when they vote on whether to go back for him, I do what I have to do, and the kid’s back in the crew. Lucky for me droids don’t get ulcers.
Droids in Distress
So we’re on a mission to steal these disruptors for Vizago, and we need to distract Minister Tua’s translator droid so Sabine can work out where they’re being held. I suggest starting a fight with the kid so I—and the other droids—get sent to the back of our transport. Works like a charm, and as an added bonus I get to give the kid a few jabs. It’s the little things that really make the job rewarding, you know?
So I head to the back, and there’s this other astromech back there—an R2 unit. I get one look at this character, and I know he’s no good. Just something about him. Course, if I’m honest with myself, other astromechs just tend to push my buttons, so to speak. Maybe I’m sensitive about my height, so sue me. As the saying goes, I’ve got it where it counts, and I’m certainly not gonna lose any sleep over some gussied-up Artoo with a fussbudget protocol droid for a sidekick.
Oh, and get this—we cross paths with these two a little later, and the sidekick calls the Imperials on us! From our ship! I’d have taken his chintzy **** apart right then and there if we weren’t already gonna ransom them back to their owner.
Yeah, I didn’t have much going on in this one. Modus operandi at this point is just to bide my time while the whole apprentice thing picks up steam, but I can’t help but mess with the kid once in a while—he makes it so damn easy. As my masterwork, I take out a couple bolts on his bed so he crashes down on the Lasat while he’s sleeping. I figure there’s half a chance Zeb kills him for me right then and there, but no such luck.
Rise of the Old Masters
So get this—Zeb and the kid are actually starting to get along. Well, as much as Zeb ever gets along with anyone, which isn’t much. Next thing I know he and Kanan have got him up on top of the ship mid-flight doing lightsaber exercises. I get projectile duty, and what can I say—it was like they were begging me to do it. We’re having so much fun taking potshots that even Zeb gets a little carried away, which I figure gives me all the cover I need to really go after him. Ten or twenty blue milk jugs later, boom! Off the ship he goes.
Of course, things are never that simple. Kanan grabs him with the Force and moves him back on board—though I take one more shot at him for good measure. Hey, I’m nothing if not tenacious.
Anyway, the gang gets word from Gall Trayvis that a Jedi Master is being held in the Imperial prison on Stygian. I don’t know much about this Trayvis guy, but a more obvious trap I can scarcely imagine. Of course, we’d been in plenty of traps before; call it instinct, but something just felt funny about this one. I tried to get in on the op, but Hera wasn’t having it. Sure enough, it turns out there was an Inquisitor waiting for them. SOP for these guys is elimination, not conversion, which is a big problem for me—bumping off the kid is no good if Kanan goes down with him. I’m gonna have to play this very carefully from now on.
Hera has her sights on a shipment of kyber crystals, and she sends the kid into the Lothal academy undercover so he can get his hands on the transit data. Perfect chance to get him out of the picture, right? Not so much. Getting cut down by the Inquisitor in mid-battle is one thing; being caught by Kallus is another—sure, he’d get tortured, which is always fun, but I can’t risk him giving up the whole crew. I have no choice but to play this one straight, and he makes it out just as the Inquisitor starts sniffing around.
Out of Darkness
Alas, not much to report here. Hera almost gets shot down in the Phantom with Sabine and the kid aboard; man, Kanan losing her and the kid in one fell swoop would’ve been so perfect. I got nothing against the Mando girl (though that might change if I saw color the way humans do), but I’d take this whole crew out in a heartbeat if it got my op done; I’m starting to smell like Lasat. Later on I take out my frustration by venting the life support filters in the kid’s stupid face. Like I said before—it’s the little things.
This is where things start getting real complicated. Kanan picks up this Rodian defector named Tseebo, who in addition to running off with a ****load of sensitive data apparently knew the kid’s parents back in their firebrand days. Hera puts me on the rear guns while she extracts the others off the highway—and it’s a good thing, ’cause who shows up on our tail but a flight of TIEs led by the Inquisitor himself in his fancy-pants curvy-wing job. I hold my own for a minute but Inqy gets a lucky shot right up my **** and I’m down for the count.
Next thing I know Hera and Sabine are patching me up and we’re safely hyperspaced out of there. Turns out we’re being tracked, though, and Kanan the big-shot hero gets the bright idea to cut the Phantom loose in mid-jump and draw the Imperials away—which is crazy enough already, and then he says they’ll deliver them right to the pack of beasties at Fort Anaxes that almost had Hera and Sabine for lunch!
Look, I’m proud of the job I do, but we all have out moments, ya know? Letting Kanan go off like that was a damned stupid move on my part, but between my circuits getting scrambled by that laser blast and my righteous ****ing fury at the Inquisitor, I let it happen. I had bigger priorities just then—the second the Ghost gets out of hyperspace I send a secure transmission to the Inquisitor to stay out of my way or else. By some crazy Force miracle, Kanan and the kid make it back in one piece, and Inqy must’ve gotten the hint because that’s the last we see of him for a while.
Path of the Jedi
Things start getting serious for Kanan and the kid, as well, and they head off on some Jedi errand I won’t pretend to understand. All I know is that the kid comes back with a crystal and is all geared up to make his own lightsaber. He makes the rounds looking for spare parts donations, so I give him a shoddy old power cell I’d been meaning to throw out—thought maybe it’d blow his arm off, but since when am I that fortunate?
Man, Calrissian. Where do I start with this guy?
Yeah, Zeb lost me to him on a ****** hand of sabacc—not my finest hour. I consider just shivving Calrissian myself when his back is turned, but I’m still pretty sore at Kanan over the Fort Anaxes thing so I figure I’ll rub it in his face for a while. I dial up the ol’ charm processors for a while, show them all what a servile little astromech I can be, and as soon as he’s distracted fighting off that Azmorigan clown I grab a fuel canister from Calrissian’s homestead. Lemme tell you, those things are heavier than they look.
Vision of Hope
Remember that guy Trayvis? He’s supposed to be this rogue senator, going around meeting with rebel cells to, I dunno, inspire them or some ****. We get word that he’ll be in the old Capital City senate complex one night, and in they go through the sewers, because our crew is classy like that. It’s my job to secure the egress point, which means I get to waste another know-it-all Imperial astromech; this one a lanky R4 model. R4s really chap my hide for some reason—and they look like ****ing Cereans with those pointy tops; what’s up with that? Compensating for something, if you ask me.
Anyway, down the ****hole goes into the sewers, and I stand watch while they go meet with Trayvis, who turns out—surprise surprise!—to be a double-agent. I’m not there to see it, but I guess Hera sees through his act and they leave him and Kallus in the dust. I know what you’re thinking—why’d I warn the Inquisitor off but not Agent Sideburns? Hera’s why. Guy’s a joke compared to her. Besides, it’s in my interest to keep these guys at least a bit on edge.
Call to Action
The nice thing about my position is that I’m never hurting for information. The boss man keeps me furnished with all the top-level Imperial access codes so I can keep on top of local troop movements and such. It also means that I knew Tarkin was coming to Lothal almost as soon as Kallus did. The good news is, I’m treated to some truly spectacular security footage of two of the local muckety-mucks losing a few inches off the top (a few pounds, too). The bad news is, Grand Moff Pointy-Cheeks isn’t messing around—we implant a spike into the main communication tower just in time for him to blow the ****ing thing up, and Kanan gets himself captured like a ****ing moron. And who do I see taking him into custody as we’re flying off but the Inquisitor himself. Some guys just can’t take a hint.
It’s personal now for Inqy and I. Take a shot at me, no big deal—it’s a tough job, and I can take the damage. But grabbing Kanan messes up my op, and far as I’m concerned not even Tarkin himself gets that option. I don’t expect Kanan to talk (not that I’d really care if he did), but the chances of them getting fed up and putting him down are too strong to ignore, so I go full-steam-ahead on the retrieval. After an aborted try at hacking the Imperial networks from an AT-DP, the kid surprises me by going against Hera’s orders and coming up with a plan to find Kanan. Well, not so much a plan as a half-****ed shot in the dark, but I gotta admit, I admire his *****.
According to intel from Vizago, the Imperials are using astromech couriers to ferry data around the old-fashioned way in lieu of their comm tower. The last time Sabine wanted to paint me up like a no-account grunt droid I didn’t take too kindly to it, but this time I’m not ****ing around. I get on board a shuttle, and next thing I know I’m digging through their network. Scrolling through the passenger list I make a personal note to see what I can do about getting the Wookiee Jam Crew out of lockup later on—those guys are the ****—and eventually I find out Kanan’s headed to the Mustafar system aboard the Sovereign. I rocket out of there, and in return for my bravery I find they’ve picked up another R4 for me to murder. ****ing R4s, man.
Fire Across the Galaxy
We steal a Gozanti transport so we can make it into Mustafar’s orbit without getting blown to bits, but the damn thing’s too big to actually dock with the Star Destroyer and get us on board. The kid surprises me again—he and Zeb have a stolen TIE fighter stashed off in the boonies on Lothal, so we grab it and head off. Sabine uses the TIE to smuggle in a major EMP payload, and once the Sovereign‘s power goes down, they cut their way in and leave me to bide my time until pickup. That’s when everything changes.
A transmission comes in for Hera, going by the name Fulcrum. I knew they were some kind of rebel contact but Hera doesn’t exactly run her mouth about that kind of stuff and I had no reason to pry. Once Fulcrum realizes what’s up, she tells me to take the Gozanti and meet her nearby to pick up reinforcements. Working on the Ghost is one thing, but I don’t need to get involved with this rebel alliance nonsense; I’m about to tell Fulcrum to go **** herself when I get a finally get a good look at her holoimage.
Part of my legwork—so to speak—on this op was to acquaint myself with the latest files on surviving Jedi. Sure, Kanan may have seemed like a ripe choice for a Sith apprentice right at the start, but these hero types tend to attract each other, and you never know who might turn up. So when my facial recognition software pegs Fulcrum as none other than Ahsoka Tano, former paddie to old Ironsides himself, well, even a by-the-book operator like me knows when to change things up. At this point Kanan and the crew can crash into that ****hole planet for all I care, but I need to get on Tano’s good side, so I play along. We rendezvous with a few other ships, I give her access to the Ghost (couldn’t wait to see the look on Hera’s face), and we retrieve the others. I’ll admit to a twinge of disappointment when I saw that the kid made it back alive—and when I found out later that Kanan had deprived me of the chance to gut that ****ing Inquisitor myself—but the prospect of delivering Ahsoka Tano to the Emperor is so delicious that all these months on the Ghost suddenly seem like child’s play. His apprentice’s apprentice—Palpatine loves that poetic ****. He might even pay me enough for some upgrades after this; I’m thinking a whole new body—two meters tall at least this time. Maybe even a new designation…how does “IG-88” sound?