Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Fett

Many of my friends can tell you, I'm a huge fan of Boba Fett, the bounty hunter from Star Wars 2: The Empire Strikes Back. So much so I have the logo from his Mandalorian armor tattooed on my arm.

I've been a fan of Boba Fett since his original, animated appearance in the Star Wars Christmas Special. Now that I think of it, what retard decided to set this on the Wookie homeworld, where everyone howls at each other? Some TV executive probably said "Chewbacca is popular, so let's have a Chewbacca family Christmas" when what made Chewie so popular was the possibility he could rip your arms out of your sockets. Really, I think it would have been a much better TV special to show the murderous, nine-foot tall carpet of rage tear someone's head of and use it as a Christmas tree ornament. But that's probably why I'm not a TV exec.

Anyway, the story goes that Lucas wanted to add a bit of back-story to the upcoming Empire sequel, so you'd know to be scared of the guy with the garbage pail on his head, and they crafted the short animated sequence. (I believe Chewie's nephew sits down to watch a bit of TV, since there would apparently be no Wookie-related family drama; no Grandma Wookie gets drunk on blue milk egg nog and tells Chewie he was an "accident", and much growling and arm-ripping ensues.) Reportedly, Lucas was completely taken aback by all the popularity and speculation this five minute cartoon engendered for what was to be a tiny role.

We all expected Boba Fett to be totally bad ass. But let's face it, as I look back on Empire, what does Fett do? I mean really do? First, he tracks the Milennium Falcon to Bespin. Does he then kick in Leia's and Han's hotel room door, and hose them down with flaming blaster death? Does he whip out the handcuffs and hog tie them like a rancor? No, he calls Vader to do his dirty work. He basically places a phone call.

Sure, he stands behind Vader and looks all menacing at the dinner party Vader's arranged, but the dude can deflect blaster fire with his hands for chrissakes! It's not like Vader really needed Fett to get his back. If Han got all uppity, Vader had about a million ways to deal with it, from choke the living shit out of him from a distance to using his glowing laser sword of doom.

The next time we see Fett, he's whining to Vader about losing his bounty. I suppose the point of bounty hunting is to capture your prey and collect the fee, but this just seems like so much sour grapes. Even after he's captured Han, frozen in carbonite -- which Vader did for him, which means Vader could collect the bounty if he bothered -- all Fett does is put him in the cargo hold of his ship. Big Fucking Deal.

To add insult to injury, in Return of the Jedi, Fett tries to turn the bad ass meter up to 11, since he was a major pussy in the previous movie. After prancing around Jabba the Hutt's palace (apparently, Lucas thinks the double "t" in a name makes it all alien and shit), he gets his moment to shine during Luke's escape and rescue. He even gets to use his jet pack and little rocket grapple, but ends up getting eaten by a giant sand vagina. An ignominious end for the galaxy's greatest bounty hunter.

You might try to redeem the early badassness promised us by that original animated short by going to the prequel movies and his father, Jango Fett. After all, Jango was the root stock of badassness for the clone troopers. But they turned out to be functional retards with blasters, who didn't know the meaning of "setting up a perimeter" or how to stack up for a standard room entry. And these are all clones of Jango Fett, which means someone should ask for their money back. Nope, no redemption here for Boba.

Which begs the question: Why do I love him so? Because he's still so fucking cool.

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