Willrow Hood was a Human male miner who lived and worked on Cloud City, a floating station located above the gas giant Bespin. He worked for A'roFilter, a mining company sympathetic to the Alliance to Restore the Republic, as the head of the department responsible for dealing with the Rebel Alliance, supplying discounted Tibanna gas. Eventually, though, the Galactic Empire invaded and conquered the planet; in order to protect the Rebellion contacts Hood was responsible for, the miner took A'roFilter's main computer's memory core, as it contained the encrypted information on Rebel contacts. After finding the nearest disposal unit, Hood dumped the entire core, rather than risk it falling into the wrong hands; thus, Willrow Hood was able to save the Alliance's interests. Hood remained on Cloud City throughout the Imperial occupation, suffering imprisonment and torture but revealing nothing.
Eventually, he joined together with Tian Chyler, a former Imperial Security Bureau agent disenfranchised with the Empire who had defected, transmitting information on Cloud City's Imperial-run defense systems. Utilizing this information, the Alliance was able to liberate the planet from the Empire's control. After the Rebels' victory, Hood decided to take it easy.
At some point in his life, Willrow Hood, a Human male miner, moved to Bespin, once his homeworld. He began working for A'roFilter, a mining company based on the gas giant. Hood was a longstanding resident of Bespin's primary Tibanna gas facility, Cloud City, and, as of 3 ABY, had been working with A'roFilter for quite some time. The mining company he was employed by was sympathetic to the cause of the Alliance to Restore the Republic, and, as such, sold much-needed Tibanna gas at discounted prices to the fledgling Rebellion. Hood headed the department responsible for the deals and monitored the company's main computer. All transaction data was stored, heavily encrypted, on the main computer; this data included such things as Alliance codenames and locations of Rebel agents.
Hood's job was made difficult by the presence of spies working for the Galactic Empire; Hood knew such individuals existed, but had firm suspicions about only one individual: Tian Chyler. Chyler was posing as a Corellian mining official, who was forced to relocate to Bespin after the Imperials occupied her former station on Ando. Unbeknownst to the population of Cloud City, Chyler was actually an Imperial Security Bureau agent, recruited to monitor questionable Tibanna gas transactions. Hood was unable to gather any solid proof of her complicity, but nonetheless his suspicions persisted.
Shortly after her transfer, Chyler discovered the underground Tibanna gas market. She contacted Darth Vader, who was visiting Cloud City to trap a group of Rebels fleeing from a recent battle on Hoth. Vader used the information to blackmail Baron Administrator Lando Calrissian, so that the Baron Administrator would have to aid the Dark Lord in trapping Han Solo, Princess Leia Organa, and their companions, in an effort to eventually force Luke Skywalker into confronting the Dark Lord. Eventually, parts of Vader's plan fell into place; Solo, Organa, and company were captured, and Skywalker was on his way to rescue them.
An Imperial occupation force began to invade Cloud City, per Chyler's instructions. Hood knew that the discovery of A'roFilter's main computer would lead to the discovery of the contacts kept within and so he retrieved the computer's memory core and dumped it in a nearby waste disposal unit. The core was never found by the Empire, and the Rebellion contacts remained hidden.
Hood, however, stayed behind on Bespin during the course of the invasion. He did so not because it was his desire, but rather to aid his fellow miners. While he tried to stay out of the spotlight, he was arrested under the charges of possible sedition. The Imperial authority subjected Hood to information gathering techniques, including scan grid interrogation; however, Hood managed to resist the interrogation and withheld his information. He was eventually released for not knowing anything relevant to his arrest.
Taking back Cloud City
During the occupation of the City, Tian Chyler became disenfranchised from the Empire after an incident with Aqualish miners. When word of the Rebellion's successes in the Galactic Civil War eventually reached Bespin and Cloud City, she defected to the Alliance. She possessed knowledge pertaining to the defense of Cloud City, and sought to contact Willrow Hood. She, like Hood, had suspected the other knew more than what appeared, and had further deduced that Hood had contacts within the Rebel Alliance.
While Hood at first distrusted the former ISB agent, he watched to see what she was willing to do. Eventually, the former A'roFilter employee agreed to aid her, and began to trust her and her motives. Chyler came through on her end and presented Hood with the defense information, which he in turn sent to the Rebellion, who used the plans to retake both the city and the planet. After the liberation of Cloud City, Hood decided he had had enough action, and planned to settle down.
Personality and traits
Willrow Hood was very loyal to both his employers and those with whom he sympathized. When given the opportunity to escape Cloud City before the Imperial invasion, he instead stayed behind to aid his fellow miners who would have been stranded on the planet. He was willing to risk his own life and well-being to ensure Alliance agents were not compromised. Because of his devotion, he was later in a position to facilitate the recapture of Cloud City by supplying the Rebel Alliance with critical information regarding the planet's security and defenses.
Furthermore, even when subjected to torture, Hood retained his loyalties, and revealed nothing of use. Hood was a good judge of character, correctly suspecting at least one undercover Imperial agent. Still, he was adaptable enough to trust those he had suspected, once they revealed a true change of heart. Even with all of his contacts and abilities, Hood preferred a simple life without action, and, once he was able to, took the opportunity to take it easy.
Behind the scenes
- "I know that a lot of fans have an affection for Willrow Hood because of his cult status as the Ice Cream Maker Guy. Even before I knew of the legend of ICMG I was somewhat fascinated by the chap. Lando tells everyone to leg it and the one item he takes with him is a big white thing. So he was an interesting character and when the opportunity to write about him for What's the Story? came up it was quite exciting."
- ―Captain Yosarrian's blog
Willrow Hood first appeared in the film Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back as an unidentified Cloud City extra. His identity was first touched upon in the Star Wars Customizable Card Game, where it was explained that he was a miner employed by a company with Rebellion contacts and contracts. His story was further elaborated upon by Benjamin Christopher Norton Dawe, under the name "Captain Yosarrian," through Hyperspace's What's The Story? feature. Dawe explains in his blog that Hood's involvement with the Rebel Alliance was established to explain the existence of the large, unknown, white object Hood was carrying as the Imperials began to take over. Dawe also tied Tian Chyler's story into Hood's, as Chyler's "What's the Story?" entry was published just before Hood's, by explaining that Hood was Chyler's Alliance contact. Hood later received an entry in The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia.
Star Wars Insider 49 published an amusing take on Willrow Hood as part of its Ultimate Empire Strikes Back Insider's Guide. Written by Daniel Wallace, the article notes Hood as "the infamous Ice Cream Guy," and wishes him luck in finding a more appreciative planet to sell his ice cream. However, as the article was written as a parody and Hood's story has since been explained in another manner, this alternate story is non-canon.
He is often nicknamed "Ice Cream Guy," "Ice Cream Maker Guy," or "Ice Cream Man," since the prop his actor holds looks similar to an ice cream maker. The What's The Story? entry finally revealed that the unknown object was a computer's memory core.
An action figure depicting Willrow Hood was to be released by Hasbro as part of a The Empire Strikes Back-themed wave in the fall of 2009, despite four years of opposition from Hasbro Design Director Brian Wilk. The figure was eventually released by Hasbro as part of "The Legacy Collection" of action figures.
- Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back (First appearance)
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Cloud City Limited (Card: Tibanna Gas Miner) (First identified as Willrow Hood)
- "The Ultimate Empire Strikes Back Insider's Guide"—Star Wars Insider 49
- "50 Factoids about the Original Star Wars Trilogy"—Star Wars Insider 78
- "Toy Wars"—Star Wars Insider 107
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- "The Empire Strikes Fact!"—Star Wars Insider 119
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Action Figure Collection
Notes and references
- ↑ 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
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
- ↑ The Databank entry for Hood indicates he moved to Bespin for work, yet also lists Bespin as his homeworld.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Star Wars Customizable Card Game
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Captain Yosarrian's blog on Starwars.com
- ↑ The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Entry on Willrow Hood
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 "The Ultimate Empire Strikes Back Insider's Guide"—Star Wars Insider 49
- ↑ "Toy Wars"—Star Wars Insider 107
- ↑ Questions for Hasbro? - Session 47 on JediDefender.com
- ↑ Star Wars: The Legacy Collection: Willrow Hood (Ice Cream Maker Guy) (HTML). Retrieved on January 23, 2010.