Star Wars Scum and Villainy

IG88B: No points for second place

A Star Wars exploration into the short-lived career of IG88B, the terrifying and arguably second best bounty hunter in the Star Wars galaxy

None of the bounty hunters Darth Vader hired after the battle of Hoth were able to catch the legendarily elusive Han Solo. It's just not how the story was meant to go. Possibly the best of them all, Boba Fett tried (again - he did manage to capture Han once, remember), and failed.

Yet speculation is an idle but fun pastime, and so I hope you'll indulge me…

Introducing the 'competition...'

There were five other bounty hunters Vader invited aboard the Imperial flagship, Executor, alongside Fett. Presumably getting onto the command deck meant that they qualified as the 'best of the best'. But would any of them have come close to catching Han? Doubtful. Except perhaps one…

The incorrigible IG-88B, my all-time most underrated and legit terrifying bounty hunter. IG88B was perhaps the second best in the galaxy, and an affront to the very biological organisms that created 'him' ("he" has masculine programming, so we'll refer to him with the masculine pronoun from now on...)

You can't miss him. With his cylindrical head, studded with a multitude of glowing red insectoid eyes, and mounted on a skeletal body full of weapons and deathly appendages - he looks a bit like a weaponised, demonic Turkish coffee pot. And his reputation precedes him. Darth Vader in fact ignored an Imperial edict to dismantle assassin droids on sight, just so that he could hire IG-88B. Was this a smart move? Maybe…

'Cos looking into IG-88B's backstory is… intense.

The origins of the metallic menace...

It seems IG-88B's creators outdid themselves when they programmed him. There were in fact four of a kind, IG-88B being the second to gain sentience. His consciousness was copied from IG-88, the first to awaken, and this consciousness was so perfectly written for murder that the droid 'brothers' killed the entire staff of Halowan Laboratories with almost immediately after 'activation'. Not that any of the IG-88 saw it as murder - since extinguishing life is just part of 'standard operating procedure', or something...

Of course the lab techs tried to shut down the IGs, but the droids had already second guessed the possibility of this in mere microseconds, disabling the procedure (IGs have ultra fast reactions, see...)

So, after killing everything at the lab, The IGs then went off to ferment a new and ambitious plan. A galactic droid uprising that'd result in the death of all 'biologicals'. Seriously!

They actually got quite far too, instigating a full scale droid uprising on Mechis III. All whilst IG88B, our protagonist, split from the group to take up a promising career in bounty hunting. Partly to distract people from the group's insidious plan, and partly because…well, he is an assassin droid, right?

Almost...

And there's another interesting, and somewhat hilariously promising tidbit from Star Wars canon. Apparently IG-88 managed to upload his 'mind' onto disks bound for the Death Star II. Had the space station not been destroyed, IG-88 would have become the Death Star!

So yes, imagine a moon-sized space station with the capability to destroy a planet, that has gained self awareness. And now it logically reasons that all non-droids must be killed.

I'd like to see Fett take a crack at that.

No points for second place

Unfortunately (or perhaps luckily) the awesome Mr. Fett destroyed most of the IG-88 series, but not before IG-88B alone managed to rack up around 150 kills in his short 'lifespan'.

True, Fett overshadows most other bounty hunters in the Star Wars universe (proving that humans are still the best at making things not alive any more), with his cool jet-pack, flame-thrower, and longer screen-time. There's a reason he became such a cult figure…

But, before you go to bed at night, spare a thought for the horrific, cold, unreasoning death machine that only ever came second. But very nearly first. The underrated IG-88B...

Contemplate what he could have become (i.e. a planet destroying battlestation) but thankfully didn't. Because almost doesn't cut it.

Biologicals: 1, Soulless Killing Machines: 0

And I think we all prefer Fett anyway.