Villain Spotlight: Boba Fett
Today’s villain spotlight is quite an icon, one that I have to admit was a little intimidating for your dear Lilith here to tackle. But it is actually that insane obsession the world seems to have with this villain that inspired me to steal this week’s villain column and discuss him. Boba Fett is a man of few words that all in all does not get a ton of screen time in the original Star Wars movie, yet he is now one of the most popular and marketed characters of the franchise. What is it about Boba Fett that is so alluring and attractive to the masses? Continue on for Lilith’s take on this bounty hunter villain…
We first meet Boba Fett in the second of the original Star Wars movies The Empire Strikes Back. This first glimpse of the man shows him amongst a line up of slimy (literally and figuratively), pissed off, lowly bounty hunters. We never see Fett’s face, and the man is wearing quite a beat up outfit, leaving us to wonder who is the man behind the helmet. We technically don’t even know if he is human! But we know he is destined for greatness when he figures out that Han Solo and their crew detached themselves with the trash from the star cruiser.
Fett successfully tracks Han Solo and the Millenium Falcon to Cloud City, and reports the whereabouts of the ship to Darth Vader so that he can apprehend the crew as bait for Luke. And Boba gets two bounties for the price of one, since once Han Solo is successfully frozen in carbonite he can take that bounty back to Jabba the Hutt to reap his reward again. So I can see why Fett is so important throughout the Star Wars series as he is the one that thwarts our protagonists, but with little actual dialogue coming from the man where does all the obsession come from? I mean, the few lines Fett says in the series sound more like The Princess Bride than a bad-ass bounty hunter, with one liners like “As you wish” being him M.O. in the film. Did you know he only says 28 words total in the entire trilogy?! Crazy.
The last time we see Fett (excluding the prequels that I wish I could forget about) is when he is thrown to his demise in the sarlacc pit. And it was as if he didn’t even give up a fight! All this hub-bub about the best bounty hunter in the galaxy, and a half-blind Solo accidentally knocks him over in to the monster pit. That is the man that has established a cult following more popular than Darth Vader’s! And he pathetically fell in to the pit like I gracefully trip on the stairs on a regular basis!
And if we do delve in to the horrific world of Star Wars prequels, I will have to comment on Boba Fett in Attack of the Clones. Even though it is not the first time we have seen Fett, it is chronologically his first appearance in the series. We learn that Fett was just one of millions of clones created as an army for the Republic, but unlike the other mindless storm troopers he maintained his own personality as he was a gift to Jango Fett, the man whose DNA was used to create the clone army. And while it was likely traumatic for Boba to witness his father decapitated by a Jedi, it doesn’t really explain why he goes in to the career that he did. Remember the scene where we see Boba pick up his father’s head still in its helmet? I know that scene was meant to be moving and a sign of things to come, but all I could think was yuck, that’s meant to be his helmet now and he needs to pry out his father’s decapitated head first! And why didn’t Boba harvest a hatred for the Jedi knights then? Rather than join the Republic and fight the jedis to avenge his father, he goes on to become a bounty hunter?!
Luckily for me there is an endless supply of information from fandoms for Star Wars online. So when I thought about these questions I had, I could do a little more wookipedia research to enlighten myself. And the Star Wars Universe has countless stories that have sprung up to fill in all the gaps. Becoming a bounty hunter seems like it was just something Boba was good at and fell in to when he left the site of his father’s assassination. And did you know that he married and had a child? Yup. Makes you feel a little bad about his pathetic flop in to the sarlacc pit at the end.
But again I come to the question: why is Boba Fett such a popular villain? Turns out the very mysterious nature I mentioned earlier, where we first meet the bounty hunter and can’t even see what he looks like under that beat up helmet, is alluring to many. His body language is also a huge hit, and in hind sight I can see that. The subtle way he tilts his head, moves to the side, or even the adorable little nod he gives to Leia’s character when she arrives in disguise at Jabba’s palace make you wonder what is going on inside this guy’s head, and I will admit make him come off a little bad ass.
And let’s face it, that mask is a little sexy. Everyone secretly wants to be the one who gets him to take it off. And I can see why women are attracted to the man, afterall his career would be as fun as Han Solo’s, traveling throughout the galaxy on strange missions. In some ways it would be like Rose Tyler and Doctor Who, right? Plus guns. Fett is definitely good with the blaster at his side
It was also interesting for me to read that George Lucas now regrets Fett’s wimpy demise. He never anticipated Boba becoming such a huge hit with fans, and if he had foreseen it he would have written something in to the script that allowed Fett to re-emerge from the pit so as to allow him to appear in the highly anticipated J.J. Abrams sequels.
I still find the obsessed fandom a little confusing at times, but figured this was my way of giving a shout out to the amazing Boba Fett, a villain worth getting to know a little better.
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Posted on May 20, 2014, in Features, Geekology, Movies, Villain Spotlight and tagged Boba Fett, bounty hunter, clone, Han Solo, Star Wars, stormtroopers, Villains. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.