Idiot's Array

Season 1, Episode 9

Path of the Jedi | Idiot's Array | Vision of Hope
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Episode Overview

After Zeb bets -- and loses -- Chopper in a game of sabacc, the Ghost crew find themselves caught in the middle of a smooth-talking smuggler's scheme.



Rebels Recon: Inside "Idiot's Array"

Star Wars Rebels: "Introducing Azmorigan"


Historical Connections

Gambling


Zeb makes his wager against Lando.

In Idiot’s Array, Zeb finds himself losing his credits in a game of sabacc to an unknown stranger who turns out to be the smooth talking smuggler, Lando Calrissian. In a bold move, Zeb bets again, this time waging Chopper. Lando wins the droid, but agrees to hand over Chopper and the winnings if the Ghost crew takes him and his cargo past Lothal’s Imperial blockade. With no other choice, they agree to help Lando.

Gambling occurs when someone wagers money or something of value on an event of uncertain outcome with the intention of winning more money or goods. Today, gambling is most commonly thought of as card games and lotteries. However, there are many more forms of gambling than just these. Friends may risk money over golf matches, while others wager money on sporting events like horse racing, professional football, soccer, and baseball. Of course, many Americans create their brackets for March Madness (Star Wars fans participate in their beloved “This is Madness” tournament). Gambling is such a common part of our daily lives, we often say things like, “Wanna bet?” whether or not we are truly instigating a wager.

Legal gambling can be a profitable business. In 2009, The Economist reported that the gambling market earned an estimated $335 billion! Of course, that is legal gambling. Illegal gambling is wide spread and exists so that winners and sponsors won’t have to report earnings for taxation.


Roman frescoe depicting gambling.

Today, gambling is still popular in casinos or a neighbor’s dining room where players gather around a table for a high stakes round of poker or blackjack (similar to sabacc in Star Wars). Technology, however, has changed the way many people gamble. Online gaming has proven to be a viable alternative to expensive trips to places like Las Vegas or Atlantic City.

Waging money on a bet dates back thousands of years. Some historians believe that gambling originated as part of divination or the attempt to gain insight from a god. Ancient priests or practitioners would cast marked sticks or dice and then interpret the outcome for the person seeking guidance about their life or future. Betting on the outcomes of the throws was just one small step away.

Many ancient cultures developed different types of games. In some cases, these games are still with us today in various forms. For example, keno, a popular casino lottery game, was originally developed by the Chinese at least 2,000 years ago. Legends indicate that, due to depleting municipal funds, keno was established as a means to raise money for the construction of China’s Great Wall. Whether this story is true or not, gambling will continue to be a part of human nature. For many, the possibility of gaining a lot for waging little is too good to pass up.


Idiot's Array


Sabacc cards displaying the Idiot's Array.

The episode's title refers to the rare and "unbeatable hand" in the card game of sabacc. The Idiot's Array consists of the cards 2, 3 and the Idiot. In our world, this best compares to poker where a royal flush is considered unbeatable. This hand is comprised of the ace, king, queen, jack, and a 10 from the same suit. Many contemporary games have a rare outcome that is considered unbeatable.

More on:

Zeb Orrelios, Chopper, Ezra Bridger, Lando Calrissian, Sabacc, Azmorigan

Resources


Path of the Jedi | Idiot's Array | Vision of Hope

First posted on: December 30, 2014