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In the Space Pilot 3000 the Professor hires Leela, Fry and Bender as he somehow got the career chips of his old crew:

Contents of Space Wasp's stomach

In the episode The Sting, we see where his previous crew ended:

Old PlanEx ship

Trying to collect Space Honey from the Space Bees. It is not clear how a Space Wasp would be involved here, but there are some theories.

Anyhow, regardless which Space Insect ended up with the career chips in its "stomach", how did Farnsworth get his hands on the chips?

5

Since it isn't explained in the episode, I think we can extrapolate from the space bees' and wasps' real-life equivalents - there are species of wasps that prey on bees, called beewolves.

We're shown the remains of the previous Planet Express crew still in the hive, so obviously their bodies weren't completely consumed but presumably as the bodies rotted the chips came loose. They could then have adhered themselves to a bee given all the space honey around.

That bee, when leaving the hive to collect space pollen, was attacked and consumed by the space wasp, including the chips that were attached to it. When the space wasp is killed, the chips were found in its stomach and sent to the Professor labelled as such.

As for the chips being sent to the Professor, there isn't much information on what is contained in career chips. We can assume employer isn't part of it, as we see Fry having his inserted as "delivery boy" even prior to Fry obtaining a job. If we suppose that the implantees' names are part of the information, it becomes fairly simple - a bit of research on names can yield their employer, and from that point it is merely a delivery issue.

If that assumption is not made as to the contents of the chips, the most likely explanation is that whoever "obtained" the space wasp's stomach contents was aware of the Planet Express ship entering the hive and reasonably assumed that the chips belonged to them. That could have been someone in the locality of the hive at the time or someone the Professor hired to recover the chips.

Either way this is all supposition as I do not believe a canon answer has been provided.

  • "and sent to the Professor" <- these are the only words that have anything to do with the question and they don't answer it. The question wasn't how the chips ended up in the Space Wasp's stomach (this is discussed in the linked infosphere page) but how Farnsworth got hold of them. – bitmask Jul 2 '12 at 3:57
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    Given they're in an envelope, are you looking for an answer of "they were mailed"? I'm not sure what you're asking if you're not looking for how they got from inside the space bee hive to in the Professor's hands. – dlanod Jul 2 '12 at 4:02
  • Well, lets say some space insect (with a stomach) ate the chips. Somehow the chips travelled from that stomach into Hubert's possession. If they were mailed, then by whom and why? Did he hire a bounty hunter to recover the chips? How did he know the chips were eaten by some (or "the", if there is only one) space wasp? Why did he want to recover the chips in the first place? He couldn't have expected he would later need them to hire some random refugees as permanent crew. – bitmask Jul 2 '12 at 4:25
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It could be two different teams, chips and ships ^^

One team was sent to collect honey from the space BEES and were killed on duty and Fansworth never get the ship nor their chips back
And after or before that, one team was sent somewhere where they were eaten by a space WASP that was then killed and the chips were found...

Seeing how reckless Fansworth is with his delivery team, he could have send a dozen of them to death before leela and fry were hired

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Backup chips? If I remember correctly, the chips were only used to tell people's jobs and even if they were some sort of universal IDs, I think it'd still be easily modifiable.

  • That's wrong. See above, he clearly recovered the original chips somehow. They're the very same chips that were implanted in his previous employees. – bitmask Jul 2 '12 at 1:44
  • Backup chips don't make any sense, because those chips was on the envelope labeled with clearly contents. – user62486 Feb 25 '16 at 8:14

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