- "Anyway, that cutie in Bollux's chest cavity is Blue Max; Max because we crammed as much computer capacity into him as we could, and blue for reasons that even you, Solo, can see, I'm sure. Blue Max was a piece of work, even for us. He's puny, but he cost plenty, even though he's immobile and we had to leave out a lot of the usual accessories."
- ―Jessa Vandangante
Blue Max was the name given to a modified B2-X Computer Interface Unit that served for a time as a crewmember of the smuggling freighter Millennium Falcon during the era of the Galactic Civil War. Named for his color and incredible memory and processing power, Blue Max was the result of a covert Imperial Intelligence program before eventually falling into the hands of outlaw tech Klaus Vandangante. Vandangante reprogrammed the diminutive droid and gave him a chipper and youthful personality, while modifying a BLX labor droid called Bollux to carry Blue Max within his chest.
Blue Max and Bollux quickly became an inseparable pair, joining Corellian smuggler Han Solo's crew in 2 BBY, when they were enlisted to aid in a mission to find Vandangante, who had been kidnapped by the Corporate Sector Authority. After finding and liberating the secret Authority prison Stars' End and freeing Vandangante, the two droids signed on with Solo full-time, wanting to adventure and see the galaxy. Over the coming months, they both joined Solo and his Wookiee partner Chewbacca on a number of adventures, including exposing a slaving ring on Ammuud and tracking down the lost treasure of the fabled Queen of Ranroon on Dellalt. After the latter mission, they parted ways with Solo, staying on Dellalt to aid in the archaeological study of the artifacts from the ancient treasure ship.
Signing on with Han Solo
- "That's Blue Max. Max because he's packed to his little eyebrows with computer-probe capacity and Blue for obvious reasons. Some outlaw-techs put these two together like that."
- ―Han Solo
The customized MerenData B2-X Computer Interface Unit later known as "Blue Max" was initially one of only a few hundred such positronic processors produced by MerenData as part of a confidential project for Imperial Intelligence during the era of the Galactic Civil War. The units were packed with enormous amounts of memory and computing power, but started to display behavioral issues as they became bored with their tasks and refused to follow direction. Eventually, with their technicians growing tired of constantly correcting those problems, Imperial authorities quietly shelved the project. Like many other such processors, the unit fell into the hands of the criminal underworld, when it was stolen by a bounty hunter on a job.
Not realizing its true value, the unit's new owner soon sold it to a renowned outlaw tech named Klaus Vandangante, who wanted such a device to help expand his data manipulation capacity. Vandangante discovered that his new purchase was an experimental model outfitted with a large amount of memory and a number of valuable skills, and after extensive reprogramming, he put the newly termed "Blue Max"—named after its blue casing—to work. By then outfitted with a cheery and energetic masculine personality, Blue Max became an intrinsic part of Vandangante's operation. To further facilitate Blue Max's work, the canny outlaw tech modified a labor droid called Bollux to carry the unit within its chest cavity, and the two droids became an inseparable pair. In the coming months, Bollux took it upon himself to teach Blue Max much about interacting with organics, including teaching the smaller probe how to play dejarik.
Leaving the nest
- "That stuff was really interesting."
"Please show a little less enthusiasm. You give me the feeling I'm contributing to the delinquency of a minor."
- ―Blue Max and Rekkon
Blue Max and Bollux worked for Vandangante until 2 BBY, when the outlaw tech suddenly disappeared in mysterious circumstances. Soon afterward, smugglers Han Solo and Chewbacca arrived at Vandangante's Corporate Sector base, seeking repairs on their damaged starship, the Millennium Falcon. As they had little money to offer, Vandangante's daughter, Jessa, instead worked out an alternate arrangement. Jessa had established contact with a covert cell of concerned citizens investigating disappearances similar to Vandagante's throughout the Corporate Sector. The group was led by an academic named Rekkon, who was searching for his vanished nephew, and had slowly infiltrated a Corporate Sector Authority Data Center on the planet Orron III that they believed could point them to the locations of the missing.
Jessa agreed to perform the repairs if Solo and Chewbacca exfiltrated them from Orron III; she made bringing along Bollux and Blue Max, whose immense processing power was required to download the relevant data, a contingent part of the deal. Solo had no choice but to agree, and the group traveled to Orron III together. The group made contact with Rekkon and Blue Max went to work, downloading a huge amount of data from the Authority facility while the rest of Rekkon's band rendezvoused at the datacenter. While in the system, Blue Max noticed that building security had become aware of their presence, forcing them all to flee. Max managed to clear an escape path by setting off alarms all over the facility, and hijacked a large harvester as a getaway vehicle, but Authority Security Police still overcame them in a ground skimmer chase in the fields outside and kidnapped Chewbacca in the process.
Blue Max and the rest of the group—Solo, Bollux, Rekkon, a Human named Torm Dadeferron, and a Trianii mother and cub named Atuarre and Pakka—narrowly made it offworld, but were far from out of the woods. Rekkon had long feared that someone within his cohort was an undercover agent, and almost immediately after the Millennium Falcon made the jump to hyperspace, he turned up dead with a blaster bolt in his back as he examined the readouts from Blue Max's downloads. Solo deduced that Dadeferron was the traitor and spaced him out of the ship's airlock, and found that just before he died, Rekkon had left a message pointing them towards the desolate planet Mytus VII, and a facility called Stars' End.
- "Captain Solo, I'm not doing anything else for you until you take me to Bollux. I can help him."
- ―Blue Max, to Han Solo
The crew arrived to find Stars' End to be a massive prison and bluffed their way in by posing as a fictitious circus troupe named Madame Atuarre's Roving Performers. While the rest of the group distracted warden Mirkovig Hirken with a performance, Blue Max and Solo slipped off on their own, attempting to find the precise location of the captives. Once patched into the prison's systems, Max worked out that the prisoners were being kept in stasis booths deeper within the facility and rerouted the station's power to cause a cascade failure unless Hirken agreed to let the prisoners free.
However, Blue Max was also keeping track of the performance as well, and realized that Bollux was in danger; a bored Hirken, who was a committed gladiator droid enthusiast, had put Blue Max's partner in crime in the ring against his prize fighter, a state-of-the-art Mark X Executioner. Caring about his friend's safety above all else, Blue Max refused to do anything else for Solo until he brought him to Bollux. Solo reluctantly agreed, and they arrived at the arena in time to find Bollux fighting for his life. Max used his considerable technological capabilities to save his friend, quickly analyzing the Executioner and discovering a weakness on the underside of its treads, and using his link to Bollux to instantaneously transmit the information.
That gave Bollux the edge he needed, and the damaged labor droid reached through the only weak spot in the gladiator droid's armor and ripped out a number of vital circuits, effectively destroying its opponent and winning the fight. Bollux's upset victory, however, caused the situation at Stars' End to veer into chaos. A furious Hirken ordered his bodyguard, Uul-Rha-Shan, to attack Solo, and the subsequent firefight caused a massive power plant explosion that blasted Stars' End clear off the surface of Mytus VII.
While Solo and the rest of the crew rushed to save the prisoners before Stars' End crashed back into Mytus VII, Bollux was severely damaged by his fight with the Executioner, and began to struggle badly. Blue Max linked into Bollux's circuits and kept the old droid ambulatory, but not for long as Uul-Rha-Shan tracked Solo down during the evacuation and fired a shot that took most of Bollux's head off. Fortunately for the droids, in a matter of microseconds, Blue Max used his link with Bollux to pull his essential information and basic matrices into his own systems, preserving the droid's personality and most of his memory. In the meantime, Solo and the two Trianii rescued the captives held on Stars' End, including Vandangante, who outfitted Bollux with a new body and freed the droids from their service. Not having had their fill of adventure, Bollux and Blue Max signed on with Solo's crew, joining him on his smuggling adventures across the fringes of the galaxy.
Hunting the slavers
One bad run
- "You don't need a tech for those fluidics, Captain. You need a damn plumber."
"Tell me about it. And watch your language, Max. Just because I talk that way is no sign you should."
- ―Blue Max and Han Solo
Blue Max and Bollux provided Solo with support on a number of jobs to come, serving especially as valuable technical assistance in interfacing with the Millennium Falcon's systems, especially with the ship's volatile and outdated fluidic controls. That led the two droids into several dangerous situations over the course of the coming months. During their time in the Corporate Sector, the Millennium Falcon was hired to transport a secret, lucrative cargo from the icy planet Lur, and the crew arrived to discover that they had, in fact, been enlisted to carry a load of Lurrian slaves.
Solo personally abhorred slavery, but the leader of the slaving ring, a man named Zlarb, attempted to hijack Solo's ship and strong-arm Solo into making the delivery anyway. Zlarb's goons fit Bollux with a restraining bolt to keep the labor droid out of the way, but Blue Max remained active within his emplacement in Bollux's chest cavity. Blue Max linked into Bollux's motor circuitry, and fighting against the bolt's restraints, managed to tip Bollux's body over to where he could activate the ship's fire suppression system and cause a distraction that allowed Solo and Chewbacca to get the upper hand on their captors. Although Max was damaged in the process, his efforts led to Zlarb's death and the dispersal of the slavers.
Fracas on Ammuud
- "Will it blow?"
"It's not a question of blowing out, Spray; they're secure, but they're delicate low-pressure filaments. Going too deep into the planet's atmosphere will implode them."
- ―Spray and Blue Max, during a dicey landing on Ammuud
However, Solo had been counting on the ten thousand credits he had been promised for the job, and furious at having been cheated, he went on a personal vendetta to bring down the slaving ring and get his money. The hunt brought them to the planet Bonadan, where Blue Max was left linked into the Falcon's controls. Twice, while Blue Max remained about the Falcon, outsiders attempted to break into the ship: first, Max prevented a pair of Corporate Sector Authority agents from entering the craft, and later, Chewbacca returned in time to apprehend a skip tracer called "Spray" from collecting on a debt owed on the ship.
Spray wound up accompanying Chewbacca, Bollux, and Blue Max as they continued their investigation on the planet Ammuud, where they intended to look into a local noble family's ties to the slaving ring. During the trip, Blue Max noticed a failure in the fluidic circuitry that led to a hole in the ship's hull, which Bollux was forced to plug with his own body. That bought time for Chewbacca to patch the hole, but the Falcon was still forced into a rough landing in the mountains outside Ammuud's main spaceport. Spray pushed Bollux, with Blue Max within his cavity, into an escape pod on the final approach, ordering the droids to find Solo when he arrived separately with one of his new associates, Authority agent Fiolla.
Bollux and Blue Max set about learning everything they could about the situation on the ground in Ammuud, meeting up with Solo and Fiolla when they arrived. Once Solo concluded his business with the Mor Ewwen Glayyd and the crew of the Millennium Falcon reunited, Blue Max returned to his spot linked into the Falcon's circuitry, soon detecting the slavers' ships moving on them to attack. Solo and Chewbacca ultimately did not need to pilot the Falcon to victory, as they were saved by the arrival of a Security Police Star Destroyer—as it turned out, "Spray" had actually been an undercover Authority Territorial Administrator named Odumin, who had used Solo and his crew to facilitate his own investigation into the slaving ring. Solo in turn used Odumin as a hostage to ensure he received his ten thousand credits from the Corporate Sector Authority, and the crew of the Millennium Falcon left the Corporate Sector behind for good.
Adventure in the Tion
A new contract
- "Tell Maxie he's a good boy. I like you two; you've got a touch of larceny in you."
- ―Han Solo, to Blue Max and Bollux
Ten thousand credits richer after his forays in the Corporate Sector, Solo splurged in the coming months; among his purchases was a compact holoprojector that fit within Blue Max's diminutive body. Their travels took them to the isolated, backwater Tion Hegemony, where the crew of the Millennium Falcon soon found a new score. Solo ran into an old friend from his days in the Academy of Carida, Alexsandr Badure, who, along with his partner, Hasti Troujow, had uncovered the location of a log-recorder that could point them towards the long-lost treasure of the ancient Queen of Ranroon. Badure enlisted the Millennium Falcon to help him and Troujow find the treasure, which was believed to be on the planet of Dellalt, the site of the ancient galactic dictator Xim's treasure vaults.
They were joined by a Ruurian scholar of pre-Republic history and languages named S. V. Skynx, who brought with him a series of Xim-era data tapes and the head of one of Xim's Guardian Corps war droids, which a fascinated Blue Max studied extensively. However, their plans were quickly foiled once they arrived on Dellalt; a local gang leader named J'uoch, also after the treasure, ambushed them as they went for the log-recorder. Although Blue Max used his link into the Falcon's weapons systems to fire on J'uoch's gang, their attackers forced them to retreat and stole the Millennium Falcon.
That forced the crew of the Falcon to make an arduous overland journey through the mountains, through constant rain that pushed the boundaries of Max's moisture-proofing system. Their search for the treasure, and the stolen Falcon, eventually led to their capture by the Survivors, a group of inbred descendants of Xim's honor guard that had lived a reclusive existence deep in the Dellalt mountains. While the organic members of the group were thrown in prison, Bollux—who kept Blue Max safely ensconced in his chest cavity—was studied extensively by the Survivors, who were fascinated with technology.
Having examined Skynx's data tapes, Blue Max recognized their language as a pre-Republic dialect and served as a translator, learning that Solo and the rest were to be made into sacrifices. Using that information, the rest of the crew was able to hatch a desperate escape plan. During the climax of the Survivors' sacrificial ceremony, shortly before the killings were to be carried out, Blue Max used its new holoprojector to display images of Xim and his droids, shocking and captivating the primitive Survivors. That gave the rest of the crew the chance to escape, and the droids caught up as they evaded pursuit by sliding down a mountain on a large gong.
The treasure of legend
- "I know how to stop them. The war-robots, I mean; but we'd have to destroy them all to do it. We needed time to talk it over, Bollux."
"Why didn't you mention this before, when Captain Solo was here?"
"Because I didn't want him to decide! Those robots are doing what they were built to do, just like we are. Is that any reason to obliterate them?"
- ―Blue Max and Bollux
Their escape took them to the foothills beneath J'uoch's camp, where they discovered a stunning sight: one thousand war droids of the Guardian Corps marching to battle for the first time in generations, engaging in a massive firefight with J'uoch's gang that threatened to destroy the captive Millennium Falcon. Having familiarized himself greatly with the Guardian Corps through Skynx's tapes and artifacts, Blue Max devised a plan to stop the droids' onslaught that, if executed properly, would result in the entire brigade's destruction.
Although the probe was conflicted—to him, the war droids were only following their programming like them—when attempts to talk the Guardian Corps down failed, Blue Max and Bollux agreed to proceed. Using signals learned from Skynx's tapes, Blue Max ordered the entire droid army onto an old, rickety bridge at once, causing it to collapse and take the droids with it into a deep crevasse. The day won, Solo interrogated the droids' commander—in truth, the assistant steward of Xim's treasure vault complex, secretly aligned with the Survivors—and learned that the Queen of Ranroon's treasure was hidden deep inside the vaults all along.
After navigating the vaults' labyrinthine tunnels, the crew of the Millennium Falcon finally found the treasure of legend, only to find it to be monetarily almost worthless: the stash consisted not of gold and gems but of war materiel, items such as kiirium ingots that were commonplace in the current day but extremely valuable at the time. However, it had extreme value as an archaeological find, one that would occupy Skynx for years. Skynx offered Blue Max and Bollux jobs on the spot helping him sift through the Queen of Ranroon and the two droids accepted immediately, officially parting ways with Solo and Chewbacca. Solo later found that he missed Blue Max and Bollux, and the two droids sent Solo holocards for several years after their parting, although they later fell out of touch.
- "Blue Max is remarkably resourceful, wouldn't you say, Captain?"
"Bet your anodes. If he had fingers we'd have to start locking up the tableware."
- ―Bollux and Han Solo
In its former existence with the Empire, the unit that became known as Blue Max was marked by a taciturn and unpleasant personality that was typical of Imperial automata. However, after extensive reprogramming by Klaus Vandangante, Blue Max emerged as a chipper, friendly and talkative droid, known for making humorous and obtrusive remarks even in the most dire of situations. Although knowledgeable in a host of subjects, Blue Max frequently came across to Human sensitivities as akin to a precocious child, not quite emotionally mature nor adept at reading social cues. Upgraded with unusually expansive memory—greater than most starship computers—and problem-solving capacity, Blue Max frequently amazed onlookers with his ingenuity and inventiveness. He had plenty of chances to use those qualities during his adventures with Han Solo, who allowed Blue Max to satiate his desire to see the galaxy. In doing so, he earned the respect and admiration of Solo, who was previously disposed to dislike droids.
Blue Max and Bollux were inseparable companions on their travels, beyond the fact that Bollux carried Blue Max in its chassis; the pair were firm friends, and Bollux held what could almost be termed parental feelings for the smaller computer unit. His friend's safety became Blue Max's paramount concern, even when the two were separated, and he was willing to risk anything to help Bollux. In turn, the more experienced Bollux did his best to instruct Blue Max on how to interact with organics, including teaching him the finer points of the popular game dejarik.
For his part, Blue Max had an almost insatiable curiosity, and eagerly absorbed as much information as he could about new topics that interested him. His friendly personality extended toward other droids, and he felt a large amount of affinity for his fellow mechanicals. That even applied to Xim's ancient Guardian Corps war droids, which directly threatened him and his friends; Blue Max felt deeply conflicted at the idea of destroying the mechanical soldiers, reasoning that they were simply following their programmed directives, same as him. Although Blue Max could function autonomously, Blue Max primarily worked by communicating and interfacing with Bollux's systems through a computer socket within the droid's chest, and was outfitted with a number of protrusions and telescoping appendages, with a single red photoreceptor mounted on top. The small computer unit stood at about 0.4 meters tall.
Behind the scenes
Blue Max was created by Brian Daley for The Han Solo Adventures trilogy and first appeared in its first volume, Han Solo at Stars' End, in 1979. The character was later pictured for the first time in the Han Solo at Stars' End comic strip, which ran from October 6, 1980 through February 8, 1981. The comic was illustrated by Alfredo Alcala.
- Han Solo at Stars' End (First appearance)
- Han Solo at Stars' End comic (First pictured)
- Han Solo's Revenge
- Han Solo and the Lost Legacy
- Rebel Dawn (Mentioned only)
- Rebel Dawn audiobook (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse (Indirect mention only)
- The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse audiobook (Indirect mention only)
Notes and references
- Han Solo and the Corporate Sector Sourcebook
- The Essential Guide to Characters
- Han Solo at Stars' End
- Han Solo's Revenge
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 24 (ESP3-4, Espionage Droids)
- The Essential Reader's Companion
- Han Solo and the Lost Legacy
- Rebel Dawn
- The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse
- Han Solo at Stars' End comic