Thursday, August 04, 2011

Cyborg Love?

A few nights ago I had a dream about carrying on a long conversation with Darth Vader. In the dream he'd had his life support suit removed for maintenance and could survive for some time without it, given occasional hits from an oxygen mask. Wondering whether Vader ever did function without his advanced armor (given the conversation in RETURN OF THE JEDI when Luke protests that removing the mask would kill him), I checked the STAR WARS Wiki, Wookipedia. I was also wondering whether Darth Vader eats. The answers are here:

Vader's Armor

The details on Vader's suit and the interface between the equipment and what's left of his organic body are fascinating. Anakin Skywalker became a true cyborg, with very little functional human flesh remaining.

Could a man in that condition be used as the hero of a romance? Human-computer love stories have often been written, but the ones I've seen achieve their resolution by having the computer's mind transferred into a lifelike android body, as in Robert Heinlein's TIME ENOUGH FOR LOVE and THE SHIP WHO SEARCHED, by Anne McCaffrey and Mercedes Lackey. (Of course, a ship's brain in McCaffrey's series is organic, not a computer, but functionally she's similar to a cybernetic brain.) A cyborg like Vader has presumably already been given as much of a new body as he's going to get.

The wiki entry on his life support suit highlighted for me how much physical as well as emotional pain he endures. If not completely lost to the Dark Side, a character like that could become an enthralling "wounded hero" for a romance. But what about the physical dimension of love?

It would be fascinating to read a story whose author has taken up this challenge.

Margaret L. Carter
Carter's Crypt

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:05 AM EDT

    Catherine Asaro has written something like this, I think. The Phoenix Code