That’s right, I wrote it and I’m glad I wrote. No, it isn’t some hate-causing clickbait title. Boba Fett is, in my opinion, highly overrated when you stick to his canon appearances.
I’m sure someone will point to this book or that comic or whatever but I don’t think that counts. First of all the books were never really canon, even if DisneyFilm ignoring them completely wasn’t the best move. Second of all the only reason Boba Fett became a badass in those stories, and I don’t know if he showed up in the Marvel Star Wars comics from around that time outside of the actual movie adaptations, was because fans were so smitten with him that the novels and comics built on that, the novels even retconning his death in the third movie.
Yes, I’ve read about Craig Miller, former fan relation director at Lucasfilm at the time, talking about how the third movie would have been about chasing Boba Fett until George Lucas decided he planned out too far for his own good (and given how the only good thing that came from the sequels was the money and getting his Skywalker Ranch…while his wife ran off with the designer), but that doesn’t matter either because it’s not what we got. What matters is what we actually saw of him in the official productions at the time…which isn’t much.
Boba Fett made his debut in the only watchable segment of The Star Wars Holiday Special and was actually first seen by more than a handful of people in The Empire Strikes Back, where what little personality we saw in his animated appearance wasn’t showcased in the actual movie. He would later die in Return Of The Jedi, the last film of the original trilogy, but thanks to fans loving the character to death he managed to avoid his own death. The question is…what was it about Boba Fett that immediately caused such love? When you actually watch what he does…he doesn’t do anything.
Now you never have to watch the full version of The Star Wars Holiday Special. You’re welcome.
Yes, that is the actual movie cast voicing their counterparts (though maybe not Fett) since they were also in the live-action segments, and Han Solo does indeed look like how the UK puppet parody group Spitting Image would make a Harrison Ford puppet. (Seriously, who thought that was a good character model?) This is also the most Boba Fett ever does in a single story until his other animated appearance. Also, none of this personality really shows up in his movie appearances. He does make a second animated appearance in the first story arc for Star Wars: Droids, one of two animated series Nelvana produced thanks to producing this segment.
Granted this isn’t the entirety of what he does in the single episode of the “White Witch” story arc he appears in but unless you want to convince me so many Star Wars fans saw these two animated stories and decided Boba Fett was awesome that they had to bring him back, note that Droids came out after Return Of The Jedi while taking place before the first movie. That means he was only here because he was supposedly such an awesome character. However, someone on YouTube fit all of Boba’s scenes in the movies into just under seven minutes…and that includes him being shoved into the special edition of the original Star Wars.
So all he does while Jabba talks to Han in this restored and altered footage he wasn’t part of originally is stand around, and of course look at the camera to make sure you know it’s him. Then in The Empire Strikes Back Boba Fett stands around, complains about potentially losing a huge bounty, and takes a few pop shots at Luke so he doesn’t follow them carrying a man in hibernation metal someone else shoved him into with his stormtroopers. So badass.
Oh wait, in Return Of The Jedi he…stands around again. I hope that armor has great heel and arc support plus some serious padding because I used to work at a grocery store and I’ve covered conventions on multiple occasions so I know what standing all day does to your feet if you don’t have the right footwear. Oh, but he gets to finally use his jetpack…has his gun barrel sliced off before he fires a single shot, gets defeated by a tied up half-trained Jedi–that Boba only managed to tie up because Luke was standing there in just the right pose for some reason–and a sent into a Sarlacc Pit by a blind man who gets a lucky hit on that same jetpack in just the right spot. He fired more shots in the second movie and had more action in both his animated appearances than he would ever have in his death in the first act.
And yet for some reason fans loved him, which meant a novel retcons it so he escapes the Pit and goes on to have other adventures, presumably not the revenge minded type unless it involved his dad’s beheading (though if he now hates all Jedi why not pursue Luke as the last one he knows of?) and out of work with his big meal ticket dead. This appears to be one of those stories that DisneyFilm kept, at least in some form. Now he appears in The Mandalorian and gets his own Disney+ series, The Book Of Boba Fett, but what is it about this character that told fans he was awesome?
The action figure. This is my theory.
Boba Fett’s armor is admittedly cool, and as someone who loves him some armored heroes and to lesser extent villains (if the armor doesn’t suck) I will at least admit that. There’s a reason that the armor was turned into the official armor of a race of former warriors, the Mandalorians that supposedly Jango Fett and son/possible clone Boba Fett come from. However, whatever might have been taken from Lucas’ notes on Fett’s origins this is information fans only got through the novels in that wilderness period between trilogies and in later series, also animated in the form of The Clone Wars and Rebels, which all came out after years after both trilogies. Later we’d see Jango wear the armor and we’re shown how Boba would wear it to honor him and seek his revenge and all that nonsense, but again this was all long after Boba Fett gave the Sarlacc all gassy. No, it was that the action figure looked cool to the kids at the time and they saw it on screen…even if it wasn’t really used all that much except to look imposing and cool. Then you have the rumors (which turned out to be true) of an attempt to make the rocket fire from his back but not being able to pass safety standards, and also not something he’s used in any appearance I’ve ever seen, and he gets an extra veil of mystery points.
So much love and praise for a dude with cool armor and a neat ship he can’t even call Slave-1 anymore because the usual suspects don’t know how villainy works. A dude who stands around. Boba Fett is the best at standing around and aiming his gun. That’s a great testament to character design because it certainly doesn’t say anything about how he’s written.