The Indispensible Assistant

Diana, Mace Vindaloo, Diasala

A young man is accused of a crime on Cloud City, Bespin ... but the owner and administrator of the tibanna gas mining operations has a need. He had heard that this young man is uncommonly mentally gifted in some way. Could his sentence not be commuted ... in return for services as his personal business assistant? The young man, upon hearing the conditions of his new employment, agrees, though not without some trepidation — along with hope ... and exhilaration.

His identity will be stripped. His mind will be opened to receive and permanently record all the administrator requires. He will be fitted with a thought enhancer and communicator which will be integral to his living condition. He will never leave Cloud City.

Even in his dreams, the young man will dream information; data will be scanned, digitized, and bits and packets will be fed directly into his brain, the very cells and elements turning into binary code. He will never be free, breathing bytes through his mind like his lungs breath oxygen. Why did he agree to such a sentence?

Because the young man suffered from autism ... a condition where his brain functioned superbly but was separated from reality and everything around him — which caused him to react in ways which were not socially acceptable. He had no means of support, and he turned to crime but his lack of socialization prevented him from joining up with any of the many gangs and syndicates. He was totally alone, his thoughts running around and around in his mind, never touching someone else!

And modified thus, he was Lobot — a sentient, organic robot computer, respected and recognized. The enhancements allow him to communicate as never before, and to become useful and needed. And so the dreams of data entering his brain from many, many sources — old and new, real and imagined — become his savior. The dreams of his time as a peripatic sub-human grow dim as the data packets flow and saturate through his entire brain.

And for this, the living, breathing, organic computer called Lobot promises undying loyalty to Lando Calrissian.

Photographs taken at Boston's Museum of Science — Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination exhibition.

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