- The Chopped-Off Hands of Star Wars -

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Web site and content © Adam Bertocci. Star Wars © Lucasfilm Ltd. This site and the content therein are fan works only. No ownership of the properties is assumed; no infringement is intended.

 

 

 

NEW EXPANDED UNIVERSE

(This page documents hand-chops in the Expanded Universe still considered canon after the sale to Disney. Prior Expanded Universe projects are documented in the Legends section. You know, I bet Voltron fans don’t need to deal with this shit.)

References may be incomplete, misfiled, out of order or simply wrong. I am not much for the EU and many of these come strictly by hearsay. Feel free to contact me to suggest new relevant information, correct a problem on these pages or explain the sixty-eight layers of canonicity.

 

CLONE WARS (TV)

I could never get into this show for some reason. The animation style just bugs me. Oh well.

In Season 1 Episode 7 (“Duel of the Droids”) Ashoka Tano cuts off one of Grievous’s hands, neatly presaging Obi-Wan doing so in Episode III. This is appropriate. Grievous, as we all know, is supposed to foreshadow Vader, so it makes sense that the EU provides multiple instances of chopping off the same darn hand.

In Season 2 Episode 9 (“Grievous Intrigue”) Anakin chops a droid commander’s arm off and physical comedy apparently ensues but it doesn’t come through very well in text. Come to think of it, from what I hear it doesn’t come through very well on television, either.

One episode later (“Lair of Grievous”, and apparently Grievous gets a whole lair) Kit Fisto takes off both the good General’s legs. I mention this only on a technicality since Grievous has been known to hold lightsabers in his foot from time to time, making his feet an instrument of manipulation rather than propulsion. (Recognize that reference? That’s right, I’ve read Animal Farm. I read real classy stuff when I’m not trying to sift through the Star Wars branded spinoffs.)

Either way, somehow what Grevious goes through in this pair of episodes doesn’t make Palpatine think, “You know what, this guy is more vulnerable than I thought, I'd better figure out how to fix this problem on him before the next movie.” Anyway, also involved in this fight is a Mon Calamari Jedi, which is funny.

 

DARTH MAUL: SON OF DATHOMIR

I keep forgetting that the EU resurrected Darth Maul, which was surely an artistic and story-driven decision and had nothing to do with bringing back the most popular new character.

A whole bunch of highly-marketable bad guys are fighting each other for some reason, in some sort of Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny. In issue 2, Dooku takes both arms off a Dathomir Nightbrother.

The Dathomir Nightbrothers, incidentally, were my favorite gang in The Warriors. I think this comic explains why Dooku has that stunned-but-ultimately-resigned expression when both his hands get cut off in Episode III. He knows how it works. What goes around comes around.

 

STAR WARS (MARVEL 2015)

Marvel chose to relaunch Star Wars comics with a bang by having Luke chop off some dude’s hand in literally the first issue. Way to keep things on brand, guys. All this and they make sure to get in Luke’s hideous jacket from the end of the first movie.

This comes from the Skywalker Strikes arc. The dude in question is a guard at an Imperial weapons factory / slave sweatshop. Luke tries to do the Jedi mind trick on him first, but fails. You have to remember that this all happens just after the Battle of Yavin, so Luke has only seen a Jedi do, like, three things. He hasn’t even learned the innovative Force power of being able to sit on a log.

In issue 5, Boba Fett (!) gets his turn. Okay, remember that scene in Watchmen where Rorschach shows up in the bar, breaks a dude's finger and says “I’ve just broken this gentleman’s little finger. Who killed Edward Blake?” It’s that. Apparently Fett is looking for a boy, either Luke or the kid who lost an eye playing with the 1983 rocket-launcher Boba Fett figure so nobody else could get one.

(See, I haven’t read this comic so I am not always clear on the details. I got all this information and these great scans from a longtime supplier of information to this site named Ricky. You should be as grateful for his efforts as I am. I don’t read as much as I used to ever since 1983, when I lost an eye playing with a rocket-launcher Boba Fett figure.)

My concern with this scene is that we never actually see what Boba Fett does, so I don’t know if we should count it as a chop or not. He doesn’t really strike me as a chopping kind of guy. I suppose we will never know. Boba Fett is a mysterious character indeed.

By the time we reach lucky issue 13 in the Vader Down arc, things have taken a kooky turn with an evil protocol droid named (numbered?) 0-0-0. Chewbacca takes one arm (guess how) and then beats him with it, which I freely admit is kind of wonderful. Luke takes the other, via the traditional method.

The ethical programming range on a protocol droid in the Star Wars universe has always baffled me. So they have the capacity for evil, but it’s against their programming to impersonate a deity? Are these factory-original settings or third-party software? And when will anyone point out that Artoo and Threepio meeting evil robot counterparts of themselves (BT-1 and 0-0-0) is a crib from Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey?

But I can only get so mad at Triple-Zero, since he seems to have noticed the same trend I noticed as in the honest-to-God nineties.

I hear ya, my evil droid buddy. I feel your pain.

One issue later (that’s 14) Darth Vader cuts one Commander Karbin’s arm off in a lightsaber duel because that stuff is cool.

Look, sometimes you just gotta get back to basics. I went to film school and learned about artsy French cinema and stuff, but I was on the edge of my seat in Rogue One when Darth Vader showed up and straight-up killed a bunch of dudes.

I can’t repeat my snide remark about a Mon Calamari Jedi being funny because Karbin is not a Jedi. He’s a commander who gets rebuilt with a General-Grievous-style body and four lightsabers; the plan is to train him as Vader’s replacement, which I guess never quite comes to pass.

In issue 25 from The Last Flight of the Harbinger we get what I believe is the first instance in Star Wars media of the TV Tropes page entitled Life-or-Limb Decision. Sergeant Kreel, an elite stormtrooper, gets into a scrap with Luke on board the aforementioned Harbinger. Luke Force-pushes him into some boxes, which pin his arm, and the ship is about to blow up. Fortunately, he has a lightsaber on him (long story). So he does what he has to.

I can’t even make one of my yuks at the expense of this moment, that’s a bad-ass line. Interesting and unexpected situation, nifty character moment—dang. Nice job, comic book. I really need to move on before I become less jaded.

 

LANDO

You have to like a comic series whose stated purpose is to prove that Lando Calrissian is the coolest character in all of Star Wars. Anyway, in issue 4, there's an alien clone called Aleksin, whose clone, Pavol, is also his lover. Aleksin is probably the most relatable character in the franchise because most Star Wars fans will never experience sexual contact with anybody but themselves. Oh, and they’re also cats.

Anyway, Lando sends Aleksin and Pavol on a mission and they end up on Palpatine’s personal yacht. Here they find a treasure trove of dark side artifacts. They are enough to corrupt Aleksin. I guess it works sort of like how Kylo Ren gets such a kick out of seeing the burned-up Vader helmet.

Whilst all dark-sidey, Aleksin cuts off Pavol’s hand. (Paw?)

You have to give all this some credit for creativity. When I first launched this site, I didn’t realize it was all going to extend to the quarrels of quasi-autoerotic space cats. In hindsight we should have seen this coming once Avatar beat The Phantom Menace.

At least the clone wasn’t named Aleksiin or something like that.

 

C-3PO

Can I just say how gleefully happy I am that we live in a world where an entire comic book is written and illustrated to relate the fascinating tale of how C-3PO ended up with a red arm?

I have not read this comic yet.