The Mandalorian: Boba Fett was higher than Star Wars’ tragic Doofus
Boba Fett’s short, unforgettable story in the original war of stars Trilogy is an absolutely wild ride and should be celebrated at all times. The character made his debut in an animated section of the Star Wars vacation special, that notoriously terrible production that also includes a hologram performance by Jefferson Starship and Chewbacca’s father for whom everything is fine Diahann Carroll. His first live-action appearance is in The Empire Strikes Backwith Darth Vader sticking a finger in his face and saying “no disintegrations”, wildly fascinating shit to say to another person out of context when Star Wars didn’t feel the need to explain every little bit of itself. Then, probably most notably, Boba met his death in Return of the Jediwhen a blind Han Solo hits his jetpack with a stick, spins it off the side of Jabba’s ship like a wet tennis ball, and then plunges into the mouth of the Sarlacc. It’s one of the most indecent deaths in film history. My guy might as well have slipped on a banana peel and ran into a waiter carrying a stack of cakes.
And yet! Boba Fett lived in the hearts, minds and imaginations of fans – not to mention countless EU books and comics – as an ice-cold ass that was almost entirely based on how cool his original costume looks. Although Boba Fett went out with a bucket on his head like one of the Marx brothers, he remained an icon, and I always found that strangely endearing. It is evidence of the imperfection of these three original films; George Lucas‘Work done by directors Irvin Kershner and Richard Marquandis not a flawless, holy text. It’s playful. It’s fucking stupid. It’s a nice, raw homage to the sheer imagination where the guy in the bad, cool armor turns out to be a big, tragic fool at times.
To The Mandalorian, This is.
Image via Disney +
The Mandalorian season 2, episode 6 makes it clear that Boba Fett is not only alive, but also an untouchable ice-cold badass who under no circumstances looks at the explosions behind him. “The Tragedy”, written by Jon Favreau and directed by Robert Rodriguezfinds the wayward bounty hunter played by Temuera Morrison, who also portrayed the character’s father, Jango Fett, in the prequels. (Where he also died with a hilarious anti-climactic whoomph, as is family tradition.) With the recently revived sniper Fennec Shand (Ming-na Wen) at his side, Boba follows the main command of the show (Pedro Pascal) to the planet Tython, where the sudden arrival of Imperial forces forces Boba to put on his old armor and kick an unholy ass-kick on a squadron of striking stormtroopers.
And it rules! I don’t expect to be in a majority on that, because it’s undeniably cool to watch Temuera Morrison completely destroy fools with a stick and then blow up two spaceships with a rocket launcher. I accept my place as Ebenezer Scrooge in this situation by insulting the objectively whipping position of Boba Fett who, in our Lord’s year 2020, plants an explosive in the center of a stormtrooper’s chest. Nobody can deny Robert Rodriguez’s pedigree as an action director too, and he admirably increases the stakes while shooting, even if he has trouble explaining where the hell all these two-ship stormtroopers came from.
Image via Disney +
But I can’t help but already miss out on Boba Fett’s legacy of Bonehead Sarlacc lunch. It was one of the last pure acts of filmic amusement in this world. One of my biggest problems with The Mandalorian is how hard it is to smooth out every rough edge on Star Wars, that childish claim that everything is bad and nothing hurts. It’s less of a TV show than an attempt to give every Star Wars fan everything they’ve always wanted. The end result is a passive, bowless main character who does a favor from one “OMG” cameo to the next. It’s hard to imagine The Mandalorian having as powerful an impact as the Star Wars films themselves – or even the two of Dave Filoni– because it is so uniquely designed to reference and redefine these things. It’s hell of fun again! Ahsoka Tano! Bo-katan! The Mandalorian is a weekly jolt of good times. But they’re empty calories. It’s less than a notch away from fan fiction. It reminds me so much Patton Oswalt‘s endless fantasy playing field continues Parks & Recreation, a joke about how often recognizable references replace actual storytelling.
So, yeah, it’s cool that Boba Fett is alive and I’d probably still enjoy seeing a show that is 100% dedicated to Temuera Morrison Stack stormtroopers in the dirt. But it’s just not interesting. If your main goal is to erase every possible rough edge on a franchise, you’re left with a boring round ball, much like the eggs Grogu just needs to devour. Put them in your mouth one after the other, delicious at the moment, but never really satisfying.
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About the author
(1520 articles published)
Vinnie Mancuso is Senior Editor at Collider, where he is responsible, among other things, for all things related to the 2018 film ‘Aquaman’. You can also find his pop culture opinions on Twitter (@ VinnieMancuso1) or be called out of a Jersey City window between 4am and 6am
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