I’m tired, someone has torpedoed my night and I don’t feel like writing so much as turning on the XBox and virtually shooting things.
I’m also working on something that will tie thematically into this blog, so I’m moving it here now as a part of my massive reclamation effort from the original kessel korner. I’m not so much phoning it in then, as providing a prelude to the symphony.
It’s got everything that’s a hallmark of my style. Love for the prequels, hate for the fanboys and just a sprinkling of disdain for what those fanboys do to the collective playground.
I’ll be in a better mood tomorrow. Enjoy this for now.
How I Grew to Love Boba Fett thanks to the Prequels
Originally published Oct. 10, 2005 at the original kessel korner.
I’m about to get inundated with hate mail, and possibly burned as a heretic, but here goes. Boba Fett was a minor character, whose entire mystique – “I’m so evil even Darth Vader respects me” – was destroyed by his legion of psychotic fans.
He received so much love that I grew to hate him. When The Empire Strikes Back was re-released in its “Special Edition” format in 1997, I had to tell the smelly morons next to me (who were also eating popcorn very loudly with their mouths open – and likely wondered why no dates were with them) to quiet down when he first appeared onscreen. Their reaction was so obnoxious that it spoiled what was otherwise an incredibly sinister and enjoyable moment.
There were a few books that came out with Boba Fett stories, that made him a mercenary with a skewed but understandable lapse in morality. They wanted us to sympathize with him, because though he worked for Jabba the Hutt as a gun-for-hire, he wasn’t all that bad, was he?
That made me hate him even more, because the idea removed any of his bad guy credibility. And once I had read it, it was impossible to un-read it. The Boba Fett Love Club had gotten out of control.
For God’s sake, he took two shots at Luke from behind and MISSED. How much of a demi-god could he be?
I admitted, even in my frenzy of Fett hatred, that Boba Fett’s armor is truly cool, and he was a great minor character. The jangle of spurs that Ben Burtt added to his walk just made him seem like the biggest bad ol’ gunslinger since Sam Peckinpah made The Wild Bunch.
But thanks to his overly-adoring fans, I could barely stand to watch him. And when the Return of the Jedi Special Edition came out – I was in a group of people who cheered when he died (Bad Guy Dead=Good). I’m not kidding when I say that a group of his worshippers then threw things and hurled insults – even threats. Did we know that we’d get that reaction?
Yep. We knew we likely would.
So I went through a long period heartily disliking Boba Fett, and that negative view of his character grew and fed on itself – it went wild. I baited Fett fans into arguments just so I could see their reaction when I told them their idol was a minor character who was barely integral to the story who had bad aim.
And then Episode II happened. And the one man, the only being in the universe, who could rehab my love for Fett – did. (Goerge Lucas, in case you couldn’t guess.)
Jango Fett was such an explosion of attitude, swagger and general skill that I had to respect him. He wasn’t onscreen for long, but Temeura Morrison (and Lucas’ writing) made Jango Fett so cool that I loved every moment he was there. He didn’t beat just a smuggler and a Wookiee (albeit the two coolest ever known), he beat Obi-Wan Freakin’ Kenobi. Too bad about the Mace thing.
Since Boba was therefore established as a clone of Jango, my love for Jango transferred to Boba. He’s not just fake swagger and “Expanded Universe” talk-up. He’s the direct descendant of the baddest cat to face off against a Jedi without a lightsaber, or the Force.
Cool. One more reason to love the Prequels – they rehabbed what had become frustrating.