In a routine press release, the local Mos Eisley garrison of the Planetary Security Unit has announced the official end to its longest-running open case: a four-decade search for two droids.
The search was initiated in the days of the old Empire, when the garrison was occupied by stormtroopers. When PSU assumed operations after the Emperor’s death, the law enforcement agency reviewed records from the previous administration and retained those that seemed critical to the safety and security of Tatooine’s citizens and visitors.
Since then, all of the records have been closed, due mostly to lack of actionable information in the original paperwork, death of the subject being sought, or in a few rare cases, capture and prosecution for crimes committed against the Hutts. All, that is, except one.
“Nobody was ever really sure why the droids were considered personalities of interest,” said Lieutenant Jurg Sandstrider, the highest-ranking official at the garrison. “After more than forty standard years, we figured it was time to close out the case. I mean, they’ve probably been decommissioned by now, right? Or at least had their memories wiped several times over, in which case they would be of no use in a prosecutorial matter.”
Although the four-decade search has yielded no official results, the two droids have garnered some small fame in local lore, giving rise to rumors and myths about their purported adventures throughout the universe. Dr. Dirk Chalkwielder, a professor of history and folklore at Mos Eisley Community College, recently published a small volume containing some of the tales he has collected over the years about these two droids, threading them into a loosely connected narrative.
“It’s really quite fascinating to see the sorts of stories that people have come up with for these subjects,” Dr. Chalkwielder said. “In one, they supposedly took part in the Rebellion’s failed attempt to hide on the ice planet Hoth. In another, the protocol droid took on godlike qualities and became the deity of a race of small, furry creatures on a forest moon.”
In a few of the stories, the droids are split up, but for the most part they are companions through a wide variety of unlikely situations and adventures. “If you believe the stories, the blue astromech droid was instrumental in the destruction of not one but both Death Stars, giving rise to his role in the stories as a competent revolutionary fighting for the rights of the people.”
“The protocol droid, on the other hand, is often portrayed as an ignorant and incompetent fool,” Dr. Chalkwielder continued, “though in the end he often achieves moral results through ironic or paradoxical means.”
Dr. Chalkwielder attributes the development of the mythology surrounding the two long-sought-after droids to a loose circumstantial link with Luke Skywalker, the mysterious Jedi Master alleged to have spent his childhood on Tatooine. The search for the droids began about the same time Skywalker is said to have left the planet, which also corresponds roughly with the date of a skirmish in a nearby spacelane.
“Culturally speaking, people tend to connect circumstantial events into a comprehensive chronicle, especially during times of turmoil, such as the Rebellion against the Empire,” Dr. Chalkwielder explained. “This happens even when the connections are extremely tenuous. Sadly, there is no historical evidence of a link between the interdiction of a small diplomatic shuttle, two fugitive droids, and the most powerful living Jedi in the last century. On the face of it, any such connection is absurd – but the stories are fun, nevertheless, and they give people hope for a better future.”
As far as the local PSU garrison goes, Lieutenant Sandstrider and his crew are planning to commemorate the closing of their oldest case with a celebratory drink down at the Mos Eisley Cantina. Members of the public are invited to share a cup of their favorite beverage at tonight’s happy hour.
Image: Darryl Moran on flickr