What is the appeal of Boba Fett? He appeared in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi in the original Star Wars trilogy. He doesn’t have much dialogue in Empire and none in Return unless you include screaming.
Reportedly, the character first appeared at the San Anselmo County Fair on Sept. 24, 1978, about two months before he appeared in animated form in the notorious The Star Wars Holiday Special. He was already known by some fans by the time Empire came out in 1980, and when Darth Vader pointed a finger at him specifically and said, “No disintegration,” it left the audience with a feeling he was going to be the new bad guy to carry on into the next movie.
But he only appears in the first quarter of the movie, dying supposedly in a Wile E. Coyote manner as his the jet propelled engine strapped to his back malfunctions when Han Solo accidentally hits it with a metal staff. He goes flying into the Jabba’s sail barge and then falls down into the Great Pit of Carkoon and grabbed by one of the tentacles of the Sarlaac. In the Special Edition, Sarlaac has a Audrey II style of beak. But in both the original and Special Edition, the end of Boba Fett is followed by a belch meaning he was basically lunch.
Boba Fett became famous as an Kenner action figure over the years and like many minor characters, he has a huge backstory connected to him. In the Star Wars universe, you have to have a huge backstory even if you only appear for two seconds in a briefing scene before a battle or during the Mos Eisley cantina scene. Some reports indicate the original figurine had a rocket that would fire off Fett’s back when kids pressed a button but these were immediately discontinued because of choking hazards and other safety concerns.
Whatever the reasons, Fett’s popularity grew that by the time George Lucas had him appear in a cameo in the Special Edition of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, as Star Wars fans were already saying Fett had survived. Remember, C-3PO said the Sarlaac has a very slow digestive period of 1,000 years.
And this is where The Book of Boba Fett picks up as Fett is slowing being digested but not dead as he comes to in the Sarlaac. He has a flamethrower built into his arm and burns his way out and digs himself out of the pit. He might be alive but he’s weakened and passes out again. The Jawas come by and take his armor. This was referenced in the second season of The Mandalorian (where it was revealed Boba was alive), so none of this is really spoilers.
Temuera Morrison plays Boba this time around. Jeremy Bollock played the character in the original series. But Morrison originated the man behind the mask in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones when it was revealed Boba was a clone of his father, Jango Fett (also Morrison). Morrison was always many of the clones in that movie as well as Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith.
While it’s a nice origin, part of the mystery for the 1980s and 1990s was wondering who was the man behind the mask. A friend of mine who is as big of a Star Wars fan as I am would have theories on who it was. We both came to the determination that Boba Fett was actually Kitster, who was a childhood friend of Anakin Skywalker, featured in The Phantom Menace. Kitster was played by Dhruv ChanChani and according to Imdb.com hasn’t appeared in much of anything else. We just presumed that Boba and Darth Vader would have a history.
I hadn’t seen the Holiday Special yet and I don’t know if he had, yet we had heard about it vaguely from people. That’s not saying Lucas’ origin story of Fett wasn’t good. Played by Daniel Logan as a child, there was something menacing about Boba that foretold what he would be like as an adult. At the end of Clones, Jango dies by decapitation by Jedi Master Mace Windu as young Boba witnesses it. And thus a villain origin story was born.
Logan continued the role of Boba on The Clone Wars, but Morrison seems to be the best fit for the role, with all due respect to the late Bulloch. A New Zealander just like Logan, Morrison spent many years appearing in independent movies that got rave reviews like Once Were Warriors and smaller roles in bigger movies, like Speed 2.
You may also remember him as Thomas Curry, the human father of Arthur Curry in Aquaman. In The Book of Boba Fett, he seems appropriately aged. The first episode which dropped on Disney-Plus on Dec. 29 has Boba taken over Jabba’s palace as the new crime boss of Jabba’s territory after killing Bib Fortuna in an episode of The Mandalorian.
Because of his time in the Sarlaac, Boba has become weakened and must spend time in a rehab tank to rest. We learn that after being left to die by the Jawas, Boba was captured by the Tusken Raiders, nearly escaped, captured again and forced to do manual labor. After defeating a sand creature awakened by digging for water, Boba saved a young Tusken, thus earning some respect from the leader.
At Jabba’s palace, he is trying to assume control while ignoring the flamboyancy that Jabba exhibited, but its obvious there’s trouble as Boba and his lieutenant Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) are ambushed while in Mos Espa. What’s going on? Well, we have to turn into the rest of the series.
It does seem intriguing. The first episode is directed by Robert Rodriguez and written by Jon Favreau, who helped create The Mandalorian. I’m just hope Book follows a more coherent storyline as Mandalorian has been more episodic. Part of my issues with that show after two seasons, every episode seems to follow the same plot line. Mandalorian goes to a planet or on an assignment, finds characters who needs help, so he helps them in exchange for some payment or service and then works with them to complete a difficult and dangerous task.
Who knows what’s next in store of Boba Fett but I’m hoping to see where the series is heading. Will Boba take a more friendlier approach since he was almost Sarlaac feces or will he resort back to his villainous ways. While Din Djarin was a bounty hunter with a soft spot, I would hope the writers and producers don’t take that route. Boba is still a pretty bad guy and there’s a lot for them to explore.
What do you think? Please comment.