709: I Am
Title text: Great, LO-M. Do you speak Bocce? I'm supposed to find one that speaks Bocce.
In the Book of Exodus in the Hebrew Bible, God announces his presence to Moses by way of a burning bush. The quotation in this comic is a combination of Exodus 3:14 - "I am that I am", and Exodus 3:16 - "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob."
The punchline comes when God introduces his "counterpart, R2-D2", implying that the "god" in this case is not actually the God of the Jews as expected, but rather C-3PO, a droid from the Star Wars universe; theoretically, in the mind of the reader, God's voice might humorously go from booming and sepulchral in the first frame, to snooty and British in the second frame. It could be a reference to a plot point from Return of the Jedi, in which the Ewoks believe C-3PO is a god. (In the movie, C-3PO states that it's against his programming to "impersonate a deity", but he does so anyway; whether it's actually a violation of his programming is debatable.)
The joke is that "I AM", the name of God in the Bible, is represented in Hebrew by the Tetragrammaton, YHWH. This abbreviation coincidentally follows the 4-character naming convention of Star Wars droid characters such as C-3PO and R2-D2 and, like the latter, contains identical characters in the 2nd and 4th positions. (In English translations of the text, this is the part rendered as "LORD" in capitals.)
In the title text, "LO-M" refers to the LOM, a model of protocol droid in the Star Wars universe similar to the 3PO model; "L-O-M" sounds like "Elohim", a Hebrew word for "God". Bocce refers to a language that Owen Lars wanted his protocol droid to be able to speak; C-3PO claimed that it was "like a second language to me".
- [The Burning Bush of Exodus fame speaks to Moses, who is shielding himself with his arm, as if a great gust of wind is overtaking him.]
- Bush: I AM THAT I AM, THE LORD YOUR GOD AND THE GOD OF YOUR FATHERS, OF ABRAHAM, OF ISAAC, AND OF JACOB.
- [A droid comes into frame, Moses looks down at it.]
- Bush: AND THIS IS MY COUNTERPART, R2-D2.
- BLEEP BLOOP