I watched the original Star Wars trilogy all the way through last weekend for the first time in probably a decade. I’m a big ol’ Star Wars nerd, but what I’m not, these days anyways, is a big rewatcher of movies. I spent the ages of 8-14 with episodes four through six pretty much on a constant loop, anyway, so it’s not like I don’t have them memorized.
Truth be told, I was a little worried as A New Hope’s opening crawl came up that I wouldn’t like the movies as much as I did when I was a kid. (The prequels fucked up me up bad.) I needn’t have worried: The magic was still there, and there were a ton of little things that I appreciated in a different way than I did when I was a kid. Little me: Han’s so sarcastic, I love it! Adult me: LOLOL, Han’s such a tryhard dork. You’re like 23, asshole. God love ya. Little me: Ew, kissing stuff! Adult me: That Han/Leia “I’m a nice man” scene is pretty hot. Little me: Lando’s mean, he betrayed Han and Chewie! Adult me: Give me all your space capes.
Another thing that didn’t register when I was young and dumb:
Boba Fett fucking sucks, right?
Mr. Badass Bounty Hunter does nothing throughout the entire trilogy. Nothing. OK, OK, he tracks the Millennium Falcon to Cloud City and takes Han, frozen in carbonite, to Jabba the Hutt. But what does he actually do? He stands around! That’s it! Darth Vader does all the heavy lifting, leaving Boba Fett as a glorified extra. He has five lines, and one of them is “AIIIIEEEEGGGHHHH.” At least Wedge Antilles fights in three battles!
Sometimes the anonymity of the Clint Eastwood “Man with No Name” archetype hides great reserves of chill… but sometimes it wallpapers over a vast, gaping void like, oh, the one Boba Fett falls into in Return of the Jedi. This great, dangerous bounty hunter’s death—so scary, Han Solo’s nemesis!—comes on a fucking comedy beat, when a blind Han Solo turns around and accidentally bumps him into the Great Pit of Carkoon, after which the Sarlacc burps.
I’m sorry, but legendary badasses in my universe don’t die to set up a burp joke. I have standards.
And let’s not even go into the prequels, because they’re the fucking prequels, and no. And sure, Boba Fett earns his rep in the expanded universe, where he—among other things—explodes a hole in the Sarlacc from the inside, enabling his escape. But he earns that status retroactively, after the fandom already decided he was the oh-so-dangerous, oh-so-cool bounty hunter he demonstratively isn’t, based on the evidence. Why did people start liking Boba Fett so much in the first place? Because a Boba Fett action figure (the one with the famous missile firing jet pack) came out a year before Empire did, and people thought he looked cool. You know who else looks cool? Max Rebo. And there are no rumors about him being in the Han Solo origin movie.
There is one exception to the “Boba Fett is boring and stupid and we’ve all been incepted by Big Toy into thinking he’s not” rule. The Holiday Special. He did some shit in the Holiday Special, where he was first introduced in animated segment.
He was introduced.
IN THE HOLIDAY SPECIAL.