Monday, April 02, 2012

A to Z in April: Bib Fortuna

Continuing our alphabetical trek through the highways and byways and Fantasy and Science Fiction, here's a very minor character from Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Bib Fortuna is the chief servant of Jabba the Hutt, to whom falls the duty of being Jabba's main assistant and, I suppose, major domo.

Now, Return of the Jedi strongly implies that Jabba is an angry sort who tends to go through menial servants at a high rate. The only reason C-3PO is able to fill a job opportunity for Personal Interpreter to Jabba the Hutt is that Jabba reacted angrily to something his last interpreter had told him, and killed him. Bummer. Jabba is also given to torturing his droids in medieval ways, which seems kind of extreme, but what are you gonna do, right? Good help is hard to find.

However, in the Pod Race sequence in The Phantom Menace, we clearly see Bib Fortuna at Jabba's side, which means that by the time of ROTJ, Fortuna has been serving Jabba for at least 23 years or so. This implies several possibilities:

One: Bib Fortuna is really good at his job.

Two: Bib Fortuna is OK at his job, but really good at not pissing off Jabba.

Three: Jabba isn't as quick to murderous rage as he's made out to be.

Now, the third seems the least likely. Not only are we told that he's disintegrating his interpreter because he doesn't like what he was told, he also tosses poor Oola into the Rancor pit when she resists his 'charms'. And he does seem to keep a rather extensive catalog of Ways To Kill Individuals Horribly around, doesn't he? He's got a medieval torture chamber for droids, a Rancor, and for a really special execution, he's willing to whisk his entire court off to the Dune Sea for a game of Feed-the-Sarlacc.

We can probably also rule out Number Two, because of the sheer length of time involved. Jabba really does seem to have a fairly short fuse, and he seems to view death as the proper punishment for all transgressions (unless carbon freezing happens to be involved, but remember, that wasn't his idea). So I have to conclude that Number One is the case, and that Bib Fortuna may be the greatest single major domo in the history of science fiction. Too bad, then, that he died on Jabba's Sail Barge...

...or did he? Hmmmmm!

(Actually, according to Bib Fortuna's entry in Wookieepedia, it's a combination of One and Two, and he did get off the Sail Barge and go on to live a long life of crime! Check it out, it's interesting reading, if you're in any way interested in 'Expanded Universe' stuff.)

1 comment:

csmith2884 said...

I think maybe he was family. You know like a sister's cousin that you can't fire.