Saturday, July 19, 2014

Why I Love Cad Bane - Reasons 12-13

Holy heck, I'm back?! Sorry the blog has seen a lot less action recently. Blame it all on college. College is...insane right now, but I'm on the home stretch so it's just a stage. I will talk more about it on a later post that I will write quickly next free afternoon in a few days. I had some spare time today so I thought I would continue my previous post series "Why I Love Cad Bane", just in case some of you are not yet annoyed by it. Haha.

Reason #12: Mysterious Past/Origins

This reason is a tad awkward to post...why?  Because who knows how valid it will be in the next few years or so.  For that matter, at whatever time you are reading this however many years after I wrote it on my blog, we might already have a full background check on the bounty hunter Cad Bane, and the remaining couple paragraphs you are about to skim over will be completely pointless.  But, until such time, this remains a strong reason I love Cad Bane.

As of now, there are only two things I actually know about Bane's past.  The first is that he grew up in the ghetto of a city called New Tayana on the Duro system...a place which he swore never to return to once he left.  The second is that part of what helped Bane build his reputation in the months/years leading up to the Clone Wars was when he met a Jedi impostor, who used technology and gadgets to make the disguise of being a Jedi.  That is literally all we know.  Until Lucasfilm decides to provide some more backstory on the character, all we can do is imagine up and theorize the rest.

A mysterious past and origins can work wonders for a character.  They provide all sorts of possibilities for fan speculation as to how they became who we know them as now.  This is especially true for villains.  Trying to figure out how a villain became such a sadist or psychopath or murderer is one of the reasons villains are extremely popular in fandoms.

For now, there are only a few deductions I can make about Cad Bane's past.  One, take the fact that he was raised in the ghetto district of a city.  This can only mean that Bane was exposed to urban violence from a young age, which could have cemented both his fighting skills as well as his ruthlessness.  If he was raised in a ghetto, that could also mean Bane lived in poverty during his childhood.  This definitely could explain his love for money to the point where there is no job he wouldn't be willing to take as long as he was paid to do it.  In addition, ghettos are far from pleasant environments to grow up in; a lot of heart-hardening goes on in there, so that may explain why Bane is so...Bane-sih. Finally, the fact that he swore never to come back to New Tayana after he left only means he must have had a solid reason to despise the place.  Would New Tayana bring back traumatic memories, or did too many residents know about things from his past he did not want anyone else to know? Again, I can only speculate at this point. I don't even know how long he lived in this part of the city (darn you, Lucasfilm).

But no matter.  As of now, Cad Bane's origins remain for the most part a mystery, and I have always preferred a villain with mysterious origins over one whose origins are so thoroughly explained it feels like justification for his crimes or a way to force us to sympathize with him (yes, no one is born evil, but sometimes you just need someone who doesn't need a tragic backstory to be an effective villain...Light Yagami, anyone?). Of course, if Bane's past does end up being explained in time, that doesn't mean I'll love him even less.  Who knows, depending on what truly happened to make Bane such a ruthless, cold bounty hunter, his backstory could make my love for him grow even more.  (As if...)

Reason #13: Leadership Skills

As of now, Cad Bane has only been able to prove his leadership skills to us in two occurrences, the first of which I will focus on more.  The first is Bane's first appearance in "The Clone Wars" television show in the Season One finale, when he led a posse of bounty hunters to take the Senate building hostage in order to free Ziro the Hutt from prison.  The second is when Bane led a similar posse to kidnap Chancellor Palpatine in the final episode in the Deception arc from Season Four.  My argument stands firm that both of these, even though they are just two examples, are clear indications that Cad Bane is a strong and capable leader.  He knows how to keep everything under control, use a balance of strategy and improvisation, make quick decisions, and keep everyone well informed and in high morale.

You are probably aware that the latter example - the attempt to kidnap Chancellor Palpatine - was ultimately a failed plan, so, naturally, we'd assume this doesn't prove Bane is a good leader at all.  I would argue the exact opposite.  In this episode, "Crisis on Naboo", Bane's only job was to lead the operation.  He didn't decide to kidnap Palpatine on his own (that was Count Dooku), and neither did he plan the operation (that was Moralo Eval). Bane's only job was to see that the operation was pulled off, and he fulfilled this job with perfect success.  He made no mistakes during the kidnapping and everything went according to the plan.  The only reason the plan failed was because Dooku did not meet them at the rendezvous point (after which Bane quickly came up with a backup plan anyway), and Hardeen revealed himself to be Obi-Wan in disguise.  Although Bane suspected something different about Hardeen, he did "keep his eye on all of them" and in no way could have concluded that Hardeen was really Obi-Wan.  I have proved my point.  Let's move on to the hostage crisis.

During Cad Bane's taking the Senators hostage, he successfully persuades Chancellor Palpatine to go along with his orders and bails Ziro the Hutt out of prison.  In addition, Bane also sent his posse to capture Anakin which they did; they had no way of knowing beforehand that a Jedi would be in the Senate building, but Bane still managed to form a backup plan to apprehend him anyway.  Another point I would like to mention is how prepared Bane was before they even came close to the Senate building; he knew what time the guard changes happened as well as the time the Senators would be meeting in private.  If there is one thing I cannot emphasize enough about what I love about Cad Bane, it is how prepared he is in every situation he enters.

Finally, Bane's leadership skills in the Season One finale "Hostage Crisis" shows in how selective he was in hiring his posse.  The Clone Wars comic "Invitation Only", which is a prequel to "Hostage Crisis", shows how Bane put his posse to the test by doing a smaller job beforehand (fun fact: "Invitation Only" is actually Cad Bane's first appearance ever. Sacred ground here).  Other comics following the episode explain how Bane and his posse successfully delivered Ziro the Hutt back to Nal Hutta.  He understood the specific skills he would need to look for in his hired mercenaries (e.g. a sniper and a computer hacker), and he also knew what sort of test to take them through to find out how many were capable for the job.  Altogether, Cad Bane has proven himself as an efficient leader, and yes, I admire leadership skills in characters.

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