Monday, February 4, 2013

32 BBY: Reputation

I’m a Cad Bane fanboy.  Ever since he first appeared in Hostage Crisis from the first season of The Clone Wars I’ve been totally taken with his awesomeness.  He is, by far, the coolest bounty hunter in all of Star Wars.  
Like all well drawn villains, we miss his presence when he is not on screen.  Cad Bane’s hat, pistols, and Peter Lorre inspired Hungarian-tinged Old West infused accent (as voiced by Cory Burton) all add to the "quintessentially cold, cruel and calculating" aspects of his character.  The Angel-Eyes of the Star Wars universe, Cad Bane is not a Duros to be trifled with. 

Before I give my thoughts on Reputation, a short story written by Ari Marmell, I want to share with you one of my favorite Cad Bane moments. In Hunt for Ziro, from season 3 of The Clone Wars, when Obi-Wan declares that Bane is under arrest, the hunter counters the Jedi’s intentions with his own:

“Well now that you mention it, the Separatists are paying a million credits a head for a Jedi”.
It’s a line filled with such bravado I can’t help but root for the lone gun-slinger facing off against the two Jedi Masters.  Though he ultimately falls short of collecting his bounty, he gives the two Jedi all they can handle.

In Reputation we meet Cad Bane many years before his emergence as the pre-eminent bounty hunter of his day, which brings me to my first point regarding this piece. I think there is a little confusion on the dating of this story, as Wookieepedia has it listed at circa 24 BBY, which I think is mistaken.  I’m listing it at 32 BBY because of the following:

“War’s coming.  Most people don’t like to think about it, didn’t want to admit it.  They pretended the Trade Federation’s recent embargoes were flukes; ignored the growing whispers of separation and secession from the Outer Rim systems; placed and almost religious faith in the new chancellor’s ability to reunite a fractious senate” (69).
I think a dating of 32 BBY is fairly obvious – we’re dealing with Bane’s past as the events of The Phantom Menace are unfolding.  What is more, in this story no one has heard of Cad Bane.  24 BBY doesn’t fit if we’re dealing with “recent embargoes” by the Trade Federation, and calling Palpatine a “new chancellor” 8 years after his election seems nonsensical as well.

As it is, as the name of this short story indicates, Bane is a new hunter trying to establish his reputation.  In this particular story he does so by taking a job  protecting a Bothan crime boss from a Jedi gone rouge, but as the hunter quickly learns, his target is no Jedi at all.
Hired by Akris Ur’etu, the crime boss in question, Bane was tasked with protecting the syndicate leader from a “Jedi” that picked a fight with his operation.  As it turns out, the nameless “Jedi” is simply another mercenary hired by the Hutts to shut down Ur’etu’s dealings.  While watching the mercenary take down Ur’etu and his men, Bane was able to see through the man’s disguise, and realized that the “Jedi” was just another dog of war in in disguise touting a bag of neat tricks.  The story ends with Bane decimating the imposter Jedi, and allowing him to live so that he may give Bane the secrets of his equipment.

What Reputation is, really, is the origin story of how Cad Bane came about his own bag of neat tricks.  Watching and learning from the Jedi imposter, Bane exchanged the man’s life for information on how to obtain his equipment.  It is from this interaction that Bane, presumably, gets his rocket boots, his wrist cable, and possibly the gas emitter the Jedi used to “force choke” people.
In regards to the writer of this piece; I’ve never heard of Ari Marmell before, but his prose was enjoyable and he did well sketching out the character of Cad Bane.  He seemed to have Bane’s speech patterns down pat.  At least, when I read Bane’s words I could hear his voice in my head. In short, I liked Marmell’s work.  A quick look at Wikipedia tells us he’s been writing in the RPG field for a while, even contributing to some Wizards of the Coast material.  I look forward to coming across Marmell’s work again.

Thomas Hodges’ art was fantastic.  I’m not really much of an art critic so sometimes I’m really not sure what to say when I appreciate an artist’s work.  I really liked Hodge’s stuff here.  It reminded me of John Bryne’s art from The Uncanny X-Men and Wolverine from the 90s- those thick dark lines.  The best piece was Bane standing in front of the blown-open door with his hat tipped and hand on his blaster. 
Marmell and Hodges is a good combo here.

For my next post I’m going to give my reactions to The Phantom Menace PS1 video game.  I’m currently playing my way the Mos Espa level so I still have some content to go.  Until then my friends, may the Force be with you.


  1. You gotta read Dawn of the Jedi Force Storm. It's now the earliest chronological point of the star wars universe.

  2. Yeah, I've got the TBP sitting on my bookshelf and I've leafed through it. I'm going to get to it once I finish all of the material in 32 BBY. There are a few sources I'm going to have to backtrack through before I get to 31 BBY. I've completed The Phantom Menace video game but I have yet to get to writing up my thoughts on it. So, stay tuned for that post soon.

  3. Cad Bane really is an incredible Clone Wars character. I wonder what will happen to him now that the series is ending. I'm hoping it's included in the final episodes that will be put out.

  4. I hope an epic showdown between Bane and Boba Fett is in the works. There can only be one "greatest hunter in the galaxy". This fight is right up there with the inevitable Vader/Maul showdown that is hopefully in store for us in Star Wars: Rebels.