- "Nothing compares to the Witch."
- ―Thall Joben
The White Witch was a Mobquet C/L-82 landspeeder that was heavily modified by the popular racing team of Thall Joben and Jord Dusat during the early years of the Galactic Empire. After Dusat was kidnapped by the Fromm Gang, the White Witch made its debut as Joben and R2-D2 used it to rescue the young mechanic. The team eventually made their way to Boonta, where they planned to enter the White Witch in the Boonta Speeder Race in 15 BBY. However, the race was jeopardized when Tig Fromm, seeking revenge, planted a thermal detonator in the White Witch. Fortunately for Joben, the detonator was dislodged by Boba Fett's Silver Speeder, which was pursuing the White Witch throughout the race, and Joben and R2-D2 went on to win. The victory was enough to earn both racers jobs with the Zebulon Dak Speeder Corporation.
The Mobquet C/L-82 landspeeder had been a popular model in the Core Worlds shortly before the Clone Wars. Although the popularity of the C/L-82 had declined by 18 BBY, it was still popular with Outer Rim teens due to its reliability and ease of maintenance. This made it an ideal choice for the young racing team of Thall Joben and Jord Dusat. The two overhauled most of the landspeeder's systems and installed several modifications to improve its performance.
The finished White Witch, painted white to match its name, was 3.5 meters in length and capable of traveling at 380 kilometers per hour. As a result of the joyhopper system installed by Dusat, the speeder could, for a short period of time, ride noticeably higher than an average speeder and had a maximum altitude of four meters. The speeder could also bank to allow it to negotiate tight corners.
The speeder's cockpit had space for two, allowing a single passenger to ride in the vehicle, behind the pilot. Both driver and passenger seats were equipped with seatbelts. A socket, situated by the engines to the rear of the cockpit, was designed for an astromech droid to assist with controlling the vehicle, while the pilot maintained control with a stick in the cockpit. A dashboard hosted a variety of other controls, mounted around a monitor that could be used to display data from the astromech droid. Another monitor and some controls were situated behind the pilot for use from the rear passenger seat. The speeder also had limited cargo space, allowing it to carry 15 kilograms.
- "We're gonna blow them right off the track."
- ―Jord Dusat
In the early years of the Galactic Empire, the speeder racers Thall Joben and Jord Dusat came into possession of a C/L-82 landspeeder. Naming it the White Witch, the two began modifying the speeder in their speeder shop on Ingo, with a view to entering it into the Boonta Speeder Race, for what would be their first major competition. Over the course of three years Dusat worked as mechanic, implementing Joben's designs into the speeder as they sought to create a superior racing landspeeder.
By 15 BBY, the White Witch was nearing completion, but there was one major component missing—an astromech droid to assist the driver. Fortunately for them, as Joben and Dusat raced their speeders through the Vaj Desert on Ingo, they encountered the droids R2-D2 and C-3PO, who had just been dumped by their previous owner, the smuggler Zevel Hortine, along with his cargo as he attempted to evade the authorities. R2-D2 was ideal for the role, so the two racers became the droids' new masters.
The Fromm GangEdit
As Joben and Dusat attempted to return to the speeder shop, they accidentally entered the restricted zone around the secret base of Tig Fromm, son of Sise Fromm and prominent member of the Fromm Gang. Pursued by sentry droids, they were able to escape with the aid of Kea Moll, a member of the Annoo resistance who was investigating reports that Fromm was developing a powerful weapons satellite called the Trigon One. However, the racers had made enemies of the Fromms, who feared that they might leak details of the secret base to rival gangs.
Returning to the speeder shop, the racers planned to test R2-D2 with the White Witch the following morning. However, shortly after Joben and the droids left for the night, muscle droids sent by Tig Fromm captured Dusat. Upon returning to the shop, Joben was told by Moll what had happened to Dusat. They soon came under attack from more muscle droids who had sabotaged Joben's speeder to prevent his escape. Acting quickly, Moll and R2-D2 activated the White Witch, allowing the group to escape.
Taking the White Witch, Joben, Moll and the droids were able to gain entry to Fromm's base. While Moll and C-3PO guided them, Joben and R2-D2 flew the White Witch through the base's network of service tubes and elevator shafts and rescued Dusat, picking up the others as they headed for the exit. Fromm tried to stop their escape, ordering his droid cruisers outside to await them after first disabling his sentry droids to prevent them attacking the cruisers. However, C-3PO was able to use the security system to reactivate the sentry droids. As the two groups of droids opened fire on each other, the White Witch evaded pursuing repulsor balls and escaped.
The incident had an unexpected bonus—Joben and Dusat had been looking for a way to transport the White Witch to Boonta for the race and now found a solution when Moll agreed to transport them on her ship, the Sand Sloth, with the White Witch secured to the hull.
The journey would not run smoothly, however, and a hyperdrive malfunction caused them to head to Annoo for repairs. The Fromm Gang's spies reported the group's presence on Annoo to Sise, who vowed to deal with them himself. An attempt to capture them at the spaceport failed when R2-D2 created a distraction, allowing them to once again escape in the White Witch. Heading for the farm owned by Moll's mother, Demma, they stored the White Witch there for the duration of their stay.
Arrival at BoontaEdit
The trip to Boonta was, however, put on hold when the young racers agreed to help Kea and Demma in their fight against the Fromms.
At some point, as Tig Fromm prepared for the launch of the Trigon One, Dusat and R2-D2 took the White Witch, accompanied by Joben and C-3PO in another landspeeder, to where the weapons satellite was hidden among the desert mountains. While Joben created a distraction, Dusat and R2-D2 boarded the ship and disabled it before the group made their escape.
After destroying both the Trigon One and Sise Fromm's stronghold on Annoo, the group resumed their journey to Boonta. As C-3PO and R2-D2 secured the White Witch for the jump to hyperspace, the Fromms attempted to get revenge by attacking Moll's ship with their one remaining vessel. They succeeded in damaging the engine on the Sand Sloth but a weapons malfunction on the Fromm's rundown shuttle, the Voor Viper, allowed the speeder racers to escape before the gangsters could destroy them. However, upon arrival at Boonta the damage the ship had taken caught up with them, forcing a crash landing. Though the White Witch broke free of its restraints during the crash, it survived with only minimal damage. However, Dusat, who was supposed to drive in the upcoming race, injured his arm, forcing Joben to take over.
The racers also required somewhere to repair the White Witch before the race. C-3PO found a solution when a droid called BL-17 offered the use of his master's garage. Unknown to the racers, BL-17 was the property of the bounty hunter Boba Fett, who had been hired by Sise Fromm to extract his revenge. While Moll worked on repairing the White Witch, BL-17 attempted to gas her, making it look like an accident. She escaped with the help of R2-D2.
BL-17 suggested moving the White Witch to a processing plant where it would be safe until the race. However, this proved to be a trap, and Fett soon attacked Joben and Moll. During the ensuing confusion, Tig Fromm and his bodyguard, Vlix Oncard, planted a thermal detonator on the speeder, which was set to go off after the tenth and final lap of the race. Joben used the White Witch to lead Fett away from the others, heading straight to the race with Fett pursuing in his own Silver Speeder. However, Proto One, a droid the racers had met on Boonta, saw Fromm plant the device and warned Moll.
Boonta Speeder RaceEdit
- "That was a fine race you won…and that is a fine speeder."
- ―Zebulon Dak after the Boonta Speeder Race
Fromm headed straight to the Boonta Speeder Race where his family had requisitioned a private box off its unwitting owners. By the time Moll reached the race track the White Witch was already participating in the race. With no way to warn Joben it appeared that Fromm's plan was set to work. However, Fett had followed Joben into the race and attacked him throughout, unaware of the thermal detonator.
Fett fired cables to attach his speeder to the White Witch in an effort to slow it down, but R2-D2 was able to cut the cables and free the speeder. Fett then fired a blaster at the White Witch, inflicting damage and causing smoke to pour from the speeder, but R2-D2 was able to patch up the damage and keep it in the race. As Joben continued to pull ahead of the competition, Fett stayed with him attacking again with a magnetic beam. Fett's attack loosened the thermal detonator, which fell off and attached to Fett's pursuing speeder. Fett ejected in time, though his speeder was destroyed. Joben went on to win the race.
As Joben celebrated with his friends after the race, they were approached by Zebulon Dak, owner of Zebulon Dak Speeder Corporation. Dak was so impressed with the White Witch that he offered Joben and Dusat full-time jobs designing and engineering speeders, an offer the two racers accepted without hesitation.
Owners and operatorsEdit
- "Thall spent three years working this baby, right down to the last bolt."
- ―Jord Dusat
A native of the planet Beheboth, Thall Joben wanted to become a speeder racer from an early age, but was forbidden by his father, who feared that his son would come to harm. In defiance of his father, Joben traveled to Boonta in the hopes of entering the Boonta Speeder Race. Joben met Jord Dusat on Boonta and the two became friends and business partners, running a speeder shop on Ingo. Joben designed the White Witch with the Boonta Speeder Race in mind and worked together with Joben to construct the landspeeder. When Dusat was injured upon their arrival on Boonta, Joben took over piloting duties and secured victory.
- "Thall's the brains behind her. I just do the heavy work."
- ―Jord Dusat
Jord Dusat was an orphan living on Boonta when he first met Thall Joben. Dusat challenged Joben to a race and was impressed when Joben defeated him by more than five seconds. After establishing their speeder shop on Ingo, Dusat worked to construct the White Witch and was supposed to pilot the landspeeder in the Boonta Speeder Race in 15 BBY. Although an injury left Dusat unable to enter the race, Joben's victory secured both men jobs designing speeders with the Zebulon Dak Speeder Corporation.
- "Well, blast my burners, an R2 unit. Just what we've been looking for!"
- ―Jord Dusat
R2-D2 was an Industrial Automaton R2-series astromech droid. R2-D2 was discovered by Joben and Dusat after he and his counterpart, C-3PO, were abandoned by their owner, the smuggler Zevel Hortine, in the Vaj Desert on Ingo. With the two speeder racers in search of an astromech unit to operate the White Witch, they recruited R2-D2 to their cause. The astromech proved his worth by assisting Joben to operate the White Witch during the rescue of Dusat from Tig Fromm's base and later the victory on Boonta.
Behind the scenesEdit
The White Witch was created for the Nelvana animated series Star Wars: Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO, lending its name to the episode in which it made its first appearance, "The White Witch," written by Peter Sauder and first broadcast on September 7, 1985. The Star Wars: Droids opening credits depicted a scene in which the White Witch, flown by a white-helmeted pilot and with both C-3PO and R2-D2 aboard, attempts to evade capture by a pursuing droid. This scene is not taken from any episode of the series.
Further information on the White Witch was later given in the 2004 Rich Handley and Abel G. Peña article Star Wars Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO, which appeared in Polyhedron 170. The article was illustrated by Jeff Carlisle, who had shown a sketch of the White Witch to Erik Mona of Paizo Publishing at a convention the previous year. Carlisle later included the White Witch, along with Joben, Dusat and Mungo Baobab, in the background of the official artwork for Celebration Anaheim in 2015.
A toy of the White Witch was intended to be released as part of Kenner's Droids action figure range. The company produced prototypes of the vehicle but, due to declining interest in Star Wars at the time, the line was canceled before the finished toy entered production.
In 1986, Spanish publisher Editorial Gepsa released a comic series called MyComyc featuring characters from popular cartoon series, including Star Wars: Droids and Ewoks, in a number of two-page short adventures. The comics were unknown in the United States until 2013, when Dark Horse Comics Vice President of Publishing Randy Stradley explored the possibility of republishing them. However, Lucasfilm staff were unable to find proof that the comics were officially licensed and they are considered ambiguously canon. The White Witch was featured in the MyComyc story Neutralizing Trigon I. The comic depicts events which are not shown in the television series and its chronological placement is unclear. Abel G. Peña, who translated the comics to English, has commented that the story may be an alternate retelling of events in the Droids cartoon.
- Star Wars: Droids—"The White Witch" (First appearance)
- The White Witch: A Droid Adventure
- The White Witch
- Star Wars: Droids—"Escape Into Terror"
- Neutralizing Trigon I
- Star Wars: Droids—"A Race to the Finish"
- A Race to the Finish
- "A Star Wars CELibration"—Star Wars Insider 27
- "Scouting the Galaxy: Droids, Ewoks and the Mysterious Vlix (And the Truth about 4-LOM and Zuckuss!)"—Star Wars Insider 27
- The Essential Guide to Characters
- "Star Wars Stuff: Rescued from the Trash Heap of History"—Star Wars Galaxy Collector 2
- "Star Wars Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO"—Polyhedron 170
- "A State of Nelvana"—Star Wars Insider 73
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 "Star Wars Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO"—Polyhedron 170
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 Star Wars: Droids—"The White Witch"
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Star Wars: Droids opening credits
- ↑ Droids
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Star Wars: Droids—"Escape Into Terror"
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Neutralizing Trigon I
- ↑ Star Wars: Droids—"The Trigon Unleashed"
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 9.9 Star Wars: Droids—"A Race to the Finish"
- ↑ The New Essential Guide to Characters
- ↑ "A Star Wars CELibration"—Star Wars Insider 27
- ↑ Jeffery Carlisle. Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015 "Mission: Mos Eisley". JeffCarlisle.com. Archived from the original on August 11, 2015. Retrieved on September 24, 2017.