An Imagined Conversation Aboard the Rebel Flagship, Briefing Room

Setting: The Rebel Flasghip, Briefing room a short time after Princess Leia, Lando Calrissian, Chewbacca, Luke and the Droids have returned from Bespin having lost their friend Han to the Bounty Hunter Boba Fett. Also in attendance are fleet officers including Red Squadron Leader, Higgs Bothkey.

Um, yes. I have a comment. Over here. Higgs Bothkey. It’s funny I was just dressing down the pilots a couple of days ago for questioning the orders of superiors. However believe it would amount to a serious dereliction of my duty if I didn’t point out that this plan to save General Solo from Jabba the Hutt seems massively overcomplicated.

Don’t get me wrong, no one wants General Solo back more than I do. He’s a great pilot and an inspiration to the men. I mean, the things he can do with that near derelict ship of his. I’m always telling them, “You guys are supposedly fighter pilots, but look at what he is capable of doing in a freighter. That thing has a kitchenette and he can still fly rings around you!” and then I encourage them to be as bold and aggressive in their maneuvers as he is. Tremendous pilot, General Solo.

And he can microwave snacks for post-battle munchies

And he can microwave snacks for post-battle munchies

We all want him back and it’s an emotional time since the retreat from Hoth, we need solid leadership, but this is no time to go flitting off on some half-baked rescue attempt. We need discipline now more than ever.

My primary issue (maybe I’m missing something?) is I’m just not sure if I get how the rescue is supposed to work as described. There seem to be a lot of moving parts. I’m going back through my notes on the presentation, tell me if I have this right: Two droids are supposed infiltrate the compound by surrendering themselves to this Jabba character. That’s a good idea actually, it’s smart to have some eyes on the ground and it removes the need to risk actual lives. I like that part.

Next we have Mr. Calrissian who will already be inside impersonating a guard. Ok, I’m not sure how that happened, but if you have that figured out then fine. Seems like we’re overdoing it on the infiltrating if we already have the droids there, just some feedback.

The next part is where I get concerned. Princess Leia, disguised as a bounty hunter (again with the infiltrating) is supposed to surrender Chewbacca to Jabba. This provides her access to the palace, and she then locates General Solo and unfreezes him from the carbonite.

This seems absurdly dangerous and frankly unnecessary.  First, Princess Leia is our commander and a member of the Royal Family. Sending her into a palace full of armed criminals alone is absurdly risky and if she were to be captured…well if the holobriefing on this Hutt is correct around how he treats the female members of his entourage, it could lead to a humiliating situation at best. As a member of the Officer’s Council I can’t support this under any circumstances. Second, releasing Solo at this point will leave him weakened and likely blind. This seems absurd considering there will be scant support for the infiltrators at this time. Best to leave him in the carbonite, where he will be safest and the least impediment to rescuers.

Carbonite offers advantages over our previous methods, you must admit

Carbonite offers advantages over our previous methods, you must admit

But that’s not the worst of it. I am even more concerned at the description of the next step: “Commander Skywalker enters the palace using Jedi mind powers.” Look I don’t even know what that means. The Jedi have been gone for a generation and even so, we all remember how badly their thing turned out. Best leave the extinct space wizards out of this.

And is this part out of sequence? Isn’t Commander Skywalker supposed to be bargaining for General Solo’s life? Isn’t this Hutt a businessman? Attempting to bargain after Her Majesty has unfrozen Solo risks having to broker a deal for Solo AND Chewbacca AND Her Majesty if they are captured, correct? Does this not put Commander Skywalker in a much less advantageous position?

Why not have Commander Skywalker go in first, attempt to bargain just for Solo and if Hutt agrees then take him out still in carbonite hibernation? If that fails, then we move to a further stage of the plan.

Speaking of which, I’m sorry, but I graduated first in my Strategic Military Tactical Planning level at the Academy and I still simply can’t make out how this next part as described is supposed to work, exactly. A giant monster gets killed? Something about a slave barge and a “Pit of Sarlacc” if I’m reading that right? The plan is supposed to be that the R2 unit throws Commander Skywalker a lightsaber and….it really seems to trail off from there.

I simply can’t support any of this, honestly. I will of course follow my orders, but please, I’m begging you to reconsider this “plan,” if you can even call it that.

Alternative? An alternative? Yes, I have an alternative: Bombs. Bomb the palace from orbit. Bombard the wampa piss out of it, forgive my language Your Highness. It’s out in the middle of nowhere, there is no risk of collateral damage on that near-deserted sand and gravel pit they have mislabeled as a habitable planet.  After the bombs we then sift through the rubble, find General Solo, toss him up the loading ramp of a shuttle and hit the hyperdrive. Later we unfreeze him on the medical ship under ideal conditions. Bam, boom, done.

They're armed with axes. Yes, axes.

They’re armed with axes. Yes, axes.

There is little risk to injuring General Solo, encased as he is he’s perfectly protected. Alternatively we could combine a targeted aerial strike with a raid, the guards there seem particularly undisciplined. Some combination of aerial bombardment and a decisive commando operation should make short work out of this Jabba, his henchmen and the entire Tatooine criminal syndicate, and good riddance as far as I can tell. I hate to say it, but if the Rebellion every gets our own Death Star we should vaporize that whole bloody system for all the trouble it’s caused…uh…no offense Commander Skywalker.

I know that to many in this briefing we’re talking about Han, your friend with whom you’ve been through many scrapes and adventures. But to us it’s General Solo, a key leader and a vital comrade. We must act rationally, and his current capture and imprisonment is a problem befitting a surgical military operation, not a haphazard swashbuckle with oddly comical undertones.

I bet we could fit a dozen thermal detonators in the R2 unit alone

I bet we could fit a dozen thermal detonators in the R2 unit alone

You know what? We could combine your plan and mine! We could put the bombs inside the droids before they infiltrate! They could then detonate right next to Jabba and then the strike teams could…what? Why are you looking at me like that?

 

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