One phenomenon that continues to elude me within the Star Wars franchise is Boba Fett. Never being able to clearly grasp why such a massive cult following has crowded around a character that, not only has minimal significance to the plot of the story, but also has such slight screen time; approximately 32 second between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Yea, yea I get it, he’s mysterious, collected, and nearly inaudible. Added to the list, he wears a helmet that every fanatical Star Wars enthusiast covets. And we shan’t forget the jetpack, that also becomes the root of his untimely demise. But other than this what is his appeal? He is ultimately expendable to the whole franchise. Now, before we all heist our pitch forks and torches, banding together to run me out-of-town, hear me out, I am not slighting the creators of this pop culture icon. I am simply stating that his screen portrayal and importance is inconsistent with his fandom.
There’s actually not much to say about this characters creation. Joseph Johnston and artist Ralph McQuarrie are the men responsible for the design and appearance of Boba Fett, widely basing his helmet and armor off of Darth Vader. He was originally voiced by Don Francks a Canadian actor, vocalist, and jazz musician. This character was never meant to make it past a segment of a Star Wars televised special. The big screen was never his destination, until gaining such affection from the audience in his animated debut. Along with this response there was high demand to own the mail order Boba Fett action figure released by Kenner in 1979. Making it near impossible for Lucas to exclude him from the cast of characters. Give the people what the want!
Boba Fett was first revealed to fans on television in 1978 in The Star Wars Holiday Special, which only aired once for the sake of all human kind. Some things you can never un-watch. He was part of an animated short within the episode, giving us a break from ceaseless wookie growling; without subtitles! This may explain the affection from fans, being that this 9 minute animation was the only fragment of the special that didn’t seem to sear your eyes and ears, making it the most bearable portion of the special to view.
So it all comes down to this.
“Will Mr.Fett please take the witness stand? The prosecution may now begin questioning.”
With no law degree, I stand most confidently, ironically, but above all mockingly, as I take a sip out of my Boba Fett helmet coffee mug as I pace back and forth strategically…delaying.
Maybe I’m being a tad dramatic. Let’s just take a look at Boba Fetts on-screen rendering and expose some facts. Then I’ll slam the gavel! My judgment is unwavering and finale! Sorry, got out of hand again. This is obviously just my opinion and I have been suppressing it since my adolescence as I argued my buddies in a fit of rage defending Solo and all they kept bringing up was Fetts freakin’ jetpack!
In the prequels we learn that Jango Fett requested an unaltered clone of himself to be manufactured. The clone was Boba Fett. To me this is weak. Boba is merely a clone of his predecessor! The copy is never better than the original. Another thing, Boba was exceptionally young while he witnessed Jangos beheading at the hands of a Jedi. How much training did he actually receive? Blasters 101? This, I believe, correlates directly to his performance as a bounty hunter in the future.
The Empire Strikes Back, also referred to as the greatest Star Wars film, is the first time we encounter Boba Fett in the trilogy. I have to confess that through Empire, Boba radiates nothing less then cool. His quick one-liners, shoot from the hip, and nonchalant head bobs make him the standard of every bounty hunter in the galaxy, by appearance. Now lets take a look at his track record as an actual bounty hunter. Even within in the Holiday Special (why can I not say that without shuttering?) he fails. His fatal mistake you ask? He accidentally broadcasts his conversation with Darth Vader to C3PO and R2D2 on the Millennium Falcon! Ironically in that dialog Vader calls Boba “the best bounty hunter in the galaxy”, really? I have to start questioning your judgment Anni! He then soils his reputation even further in the films. Consider this; he is hired on by Jabba the Hutt to collect from Han Solo and then he is called on by Darth Vader, lord over the Galactic Empire, to track down The Millennium Falcon and its highly sought after crew. To succeed at these two captures he has to recruit help, not much, just the whole freaking Empire! He called Vader in! I really hope Vader received a refund. In the end Han, Leia, C3PO, R2D2, and Chewy all escape at the expense of Jabba’s life! If he’s the best bounty hunter in the galaxy I don’t want to encounter the worst one.
“He’s no good to me dead.”
The death of Boba Fett remains the most unforgivable offense. He never even puts up a worthy fight. He is rocketed to his demise, after Han confusedly and accidentally collides with his jetpack! He is thrown into the air, hits the barge, and falls into the sarlacc pit. Then to top it off the sarlacc pit burps, comically! The greatest bounty hunter is taken down in an accidental altercation. No one, not even our main characters, even seems to acknowledge his death.
With all the evidence stacked up, I can only come to one conclusion. Boba Fett is an overrated character who has been place upon the peak of a pedestal by his fan following. The books, comics, and video games since have depicted him as more of a treat then he ever was originally.
This would actually explain a whole lot!