Boba Fett
Background information
Feature films
Television programs
Video games
Park attractions
Portrayed by See below
Performance model
Honors and awards
Character information
Full name
Other names
Powers and abilities

Boba Fett is a fictional character in Star Wars. A Mandalorian bounty hunter hired by Darth Vader, he is an antagonist in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones establishes his origin as a clone of bounty hunter Jango Fett, whom Jango raises as his son.

His air of danger and mystery have created a cult following for the character, who has been merchandised across multiple media. The character might be part of the live-action Star Wars series under development.[1]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Original era[edit | edit source]

Fett first appeared at the September 20, 1978, San Anselmo Country Fair parade.[2] The character appeared on television several weeks later, animated by Nelvana Studios for The Star Wars Holiday Special as a mysterious figure who betrays Luke Skywalker after saving him, Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2 from a giant monster, only to be revealed as a bounty hunter working for Darth Vader.[3][2] After his image and identity were revealed in The Star Wars Holiday Special, costumed Fett characters appeared in shopping malls and special events, putting up "Wanted" posters of the character to distinguish him from the franchise's Imperial characters.[4] He also appears in Marvel Comics' Star Wars newspaper strip.[3]

In The Empire Strikes Back, Fett is the "next major villain" after Vader.[5] Fett tracks the Millennium Falcon to Cloud City, where Vader captures its passengers and tortures its captain Han Solo. Wanting to collect a bounty on Solo, Fett confronts Vader about whether Solo will survive carbon freeze. Vader promises that the Empire will compensate Fett if Solo dies; after Solo is determined to be alive, Vader turns him over to Fett.

In Return of the Jedi, Fett is at Jabba the Hutt's palace when Solo's rescuers are captured, and he travels on Jabba's sail barge to the sarlacc pit, where the prisoners are to be executed. He attempts to intervene when the prisoners mount an escape and ends up in a tussle with Luke Skywalker, but Solo accidentally ignites Fett's rocket pack, sending the bounty hunter to a seemingly fatal trip into the sarlacc's mouth.

In the digitally remastered Special Edition version of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Fett briefly appears outside the Millennium Falcon with Jabba,[3] as well as several added and altered scenes.

Prequel era[edit | edit source]

In Attack of the Clones, it is revealed that Boba is a child clone (and "son") of bounty hunter Jango Fett.[3] Boba helps Jango escape from Obi-Wan Kenobi, but later witnesses his "father" decapitated by Mace Windu.[3] Boba also appears in the CGI animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.[6]

Possible film[edit | edit source]

On February 6, 2013, Entertainment Weekly reported that The Walt Disney Company, who bought Lucasfilm and Star Wars in 2012, is developing a stand-alone film featuring Boba Fett, which would take place either between A New Hope and Empire or Empire and Jedi.[7]

Expanded Universe and television[edit | edit source]

Boba Fett appears extensively in the Expanded Universe of novels, comic books, and video games.[3] The young adult Fett book series released after Clones depicts Fett taking his father's ship and armor to begin his own bounty-hunting career.[3] Some Expanded Universe stories released before Attack of the Clones depict other accounts of Fett's origins.[3] These stories include him being a stormtrooper who killed his commanding officer; a leader of the fabled Mandalorian warriors; and Jaster Mereel, a "Journeyman Protector" convicted of treason.[3] Karen Traviss' novel Bloodlines (2006), published four years after Clones, states that Fett seeded some of these "false" backstories himself.[8]

Various video games and books depict Fett's work as a bounty hunter, for which he charges "famously expensive" fees and that he undertakes only when the mission meets "his harsh sense of justice."[9] K. W. Jeter's Bounty Hunter Wars trilogy (1998–1999) depicts Fett as more communicative than in the films because the books' plots require Fett to show "an ability to convince people as well as kill them."[10] Works such as Dark Horse Comics' Dark Empire series (1991–1992) describe Fett escaping from the sarlacc.[3] In the Legacy of the Force series (2006–2008), Jaina Solo asks Fett to train her to help her defeat her corrupted brother and ends up helping fight against Jacen's troops.

Concept and development[edit | edit source]

Boba Fett stems from initial design concepts for Darth Vader, who was originally conceived as a rogue bounty hunter.[3] While Vader became less a mercenary and more of a dark knight, the bounty hunter concept remained, and Fett became "an equally villainous" but "less conspicuous" character.[5] Concept artist Ralph McQuarrie influenced Fett's design, which was finalized by and is credited to Joe Johnston.[11] Fett's armor was originally designed for "super troopers", and was adapted for Fett as the script developed.[12] Screen-tested in all-white, Fett's armor eventually garnered a subdued color scheme intended to visually place him between white-armored "rank-and-file" Imperial stormtroopers and Vader, who wears black.[5] This color scheme had the added bonus of conveying the "gray morality" of his character.[5] The character's armor was designed to appear to have been scavenged from multiple sources, and it is adorned with trophies.[5] A description of the character's armor in the summer 1979 Bantha Tracks newsletter catalyzed "rampant speculation" about the character's mysterious origins.[4]

Despite two years of widespread publicity about Fett's appearance in The Empire Strikes Back, script rewrites significantly reduced the character's presence in the film.[4] Fett's "distinctive" theme, composed by John Williams, is "not music, exactly" ... but "more of a gurgly, viola-and-bassoon thing aurally cross-pollinated with some obscure static sounds."[13] Sound editor Ben Burtt added the sound of jangling spurs, created and performed by the Foley artist team of Robert Rutledge and Edward Steidele, to Fett's appearance in Cloud City, intending to make the character menacing and the scene reminiscent of similar gunfighter appearances in Western films.[14]

Daniel Keys Moran, who wrote several novels featuring Boba Fett, cited Westerns as an influence on his development of the character.[15] Moran said

"The difficult thing with Fett was finding a worldview for him that permitted him to proclaim a Code — given the stark Evil that permeated the Empire, Fett pretty much had to be either 1) Evil, or 2) an incredibly unforgiving, harsh, "greater good" sort of guy. The second approach worked and has resonated with some readers.[15]"

Star Wars creator George Lucas considered adding a shot of Fett escaping the sarlaac in Return of the Jedi, but decided against it because it would have detracted from the story's focus, instead leaving the task of "reviving" Fett to Expanded Universe canon.[16] Lucas also said that, had he known Fett would be so popular, he would have made the character's death "more exciting."[16] Lucas at one point considered depicting Vader and Fett as brothers in the prequel films, but discounted it as too "hokey."[17] In continuing to develop the character in the prequel films, Lucas closed some avenues for expanding the character's story while opening others.[18]

The cancelled video game Star Wars 1313 would have told the story of the character's career as a young bounty hunter.[19]

Film casting and production[edit | edit source]

Boba Fett is primarily played by Jeremy Bulloch in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Bulloch's half-brother alerted him to the role.[20] He was cast as Fett because the costume happened to fit "as if a Savile Row tailor had come out and made it";[20][21] he did not have to do a reading or a screen test,[22] and Bulloch never worked from a script for either film.[23]

Filming the role for Empire lasted three weeks.[24] The actor was pleased with the costume and used it to convey the character's menace.[23] Bulloch based his performance on Clint Eastwood's portrayal of the Man with No Name in A Fistful of Dollars;[24] similar to the Western character, Bulloch cradled the gun prop, made the character seem ready to shoot, slightly tilted his head, and stood a particular way.[22][25] Bulloch did not try to construct a backstory for the character, and said later that "the less you do with Boba Fett, the stronger he becomes".[20] Playing Fett in Empire was both the smallest and most physically uncomfortable role Bulloch has played;[22][26] Bulloch said donning the heavy jetpack was the worst aspect of the role.[27]

Bulloch spent four weeks working on Jedi.[24] He was unaware of Fett's demise before filming began and was "very upset" by the development;[21][23] he would like to have done more with Fett.[23] Still, Bulloch believed killing Fett made the character stronger,[21] and that his "weak" death makes fans want the character to return.[24] Bulloch thinks a scene created for Jedi Special Edition in which Fett flirts with one of Jabba's dancers is not in keeping with the character's nature.[28]

A younger version of the character is played by Daniel Logan in Attack of the Clones. Logan had not seen the Star Wars films prior to being cast as Fett, but he watched the original trilogy at Lucas' request.[29] The actor had to rely on his imagination for the bluescreen filming.[29]

Other portrayals[edit | edit source]

Boba Fett was voiced by Don Franks in The Star Wars Holiday Special and an episode of Star Wars: Droids. Although Bulloch wore Fett's costume in Empire and Jedi, John Fass Morton filled in during one scene for Empire,[23] while Jason Wingreen voiced Fett for Empire and Jedi. His brief appearance in Hope was performed by Industrial Light & Magic creature animator Mark Austin;[23] The character's appearance in the Special Edition footage of Jedi was performed by Don Bies and Nelson Hall. For the 2004 re-releases, Temuera Morrison replaced Wingreen's voice.

The character's voice in National Public Radio's Star Wars radio dramas was provided by Alan Rosenberg in The Empire Strikes Back and Ed Begley, Jr. in Return of the Jedi, Tim Glovatsky in the audio adaptation of Dark Forces: Rebel Agent, Joe Hacker in audio adaptation of the Dark Empire comics, Temuera Morrison for Star Wars: Empire at War, Star Wars Battlefront II and Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron, Dee Bradley Baker in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II and Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, Chris Cox in Star Wars: Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike, Tom Kane in Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, Star Wars: Demolition and Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, and Daniel Logan for Lego Star Wars: The Video Game and Star Wars: The Clone Wars.[6]

Reception[edit | edit source]

Boba Fett is a "cult figure"[17] and one of the most popular Star Wars characters.[30] In 2008, Boba Fett was selected by Empire magazine as the 79th greatest movie character of all time,[31] and he is included on Fandomania's list of The 100 Greatest Fictional Characters.[32] He personifies "danger and mystery",[4] and Susan Mayse calls Fett "the unknowable Star Wars character" who "delivers mythic presence."[33] Although Tom Bissell asserts that no one knows why Boba Fett has become so popular, nor cares why,[13] both Lucas and Bulloch cite Fett's mysterious nature as reasons for his popularity.[17] Bulloch, who has never fully understood the character's popularity, attributes it to the costume and the respect Fett garners from Darth Vader and Jabba the Hutt.[23] The initial Boba Fett toy, more than Fett's actual film appearance, might be responsible for the character's popularity;[34][35] Henry Jenkins suggests children's play helped the character "take on a life of its own."[18] Moran said Vader's admonition specifically to Fett in The Empire Strikes Back — "No disintegrations" — gives Fett credibility; he was interested in Fett because the character is "strong, silent, [and] brutal".[15] Jeter says that even when Fett appears passive, he conveys "capability and ruthlessness".[10] Bissell credits Bulloch for giving Fett "effortless authority" in his first scene in The Empire Strikes Back, using such nuances as "cradling" his blaster and slightly cocking his head.[13] Fett's small role in The Empire Strikes Back may actually have made the character seem more intriguing.[4] Logan, who was a Young Artist Award nominee for his portrayal of Fett,[36] compares Fett to "that boy in school who never talks" and who attracts others' curiosity.[37]

Bissell adds that Boba Fett, along with other minor characters like Darth Maul and Kyle Katarn, appeals to adolescent boys' "images of themselves: essentially bad-ass but ... honorable about it."[13] This tension and the absence of a clear "evil nature" (distinct from evil actions) offer Fett dramatic appeal.[13] Furthermore, Fett "is cool because he was designed to be cool", presenting a "wicked ambiguity" akin to John Milton's portrayal of Satan in Paradise Lost and Iago in William Shakespeare's Othello.[13] Bissell compares Fett to Beowulf, Ahab, and Huckleberry Finn: characters "too big" for their original presentation, and apt for continued development in other stories.[13] Moran finds Fett reminiscent of the Man with No Name.[15]

The San Francisco Chronicle describes Boba Fett fans as "among the most passionate",[11] and the character is important to Star Wars fan culture.[35] Boba Fett's popular following before the character even appeared in The Empire Strikes Back influenced Damon Lindelof's interest in developing Lost across multiple media.[38] Will Brooker calls "superb" a fan's campaign to have Boba Fett unmasked as a woman.[39] Fan parodies include Boba Phat, a cosplay "intergalactic booty hunter" created by David James.[40]

Merchandising[edit | edit source]

Fett is one of the top five best-selling Star Wars action figures,[17] and Boba Fett-related products are "among the most expensive" Star Wars merchandise.[11] Fett was the first new mail-away action figure created for The Empire Strikes Back;[3][13] although advertised as having a rocket-firing backpack, safety concerns led Kenner to sell his rocket attached.[3] Gray called the early toy "a rare and precious commodity",[34] and one of the rocket-firing prototypes sold at auction for $16,000 in 2003.[22] In August 2009, Hasbro released a Fett action figure based on McQuarrie's white-armored concept,[41] and Boba Fett as both a child and bounty hunter have been made into Lego minifigures.[42] Wizards of the Coast's Star Wars Trading Card Game includes several Boba Fett cards.[43] Hallmark Cards created a Boba Fett Christmas tree ornament.[17]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Script error: No such module "citation/CS1".
  2. 2.0 2.1 Vilmur, Pete (2006-10-19). Proto-Fett: The Birth of Boba. Lucasfilm. Retrieved on May 4, 2009.Template:Dead link
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 Fett, Boba. Databank. Lucasfilm. Retrieved on January 13, 2010.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Vilmur, Pete (2006-10-19). Proto-Fett: The Birth of Boba. Lucasfilm. Retrieved on May 4, 2009.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Vilmur, Pete (2006-10-19). Proto-Fett: The Birth of Boba. Lucasfilm. Retrieved on May 4, 2009.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Insider #117: Daniel Logan Interview Excerpt. Lucasfilm (2010-04-22). Retrieved on April 4, 2010.
  7. Breznican, Anthony (2013-02-06). 'Star Wars' spin-offs: A young Han Solo movie, and a Boba Fett film — EXCLUSIVE. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on February 6, 2013.
  8. Traviss, Karen (2006-08-29). Bloodlines. Del Rey Books. ISBN 0-345-47751-0. 
  9. (2006-09-25) Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary — The Ultimate Guide to Characters and Creatures from the Entire Star Wars Saga. DK Children. ISBN 978-0-7566-2238-1. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 The Mystery of Boba Fett: An Interview with Author K.W. Jeter. Lucasfilm (1999-02-19). Retrieved on January 13, 2010.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Hartlaub, Peter (2005-05-14). Forget Anakin – for die-hard 'Star Wars' fans, Boba Fett rules. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved on May 4, 2009.
  12. Template:Cite journal
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 13.7 Bissell, Tom (2002). "Pale Starship, Pale Rider: The Ambiguous Appeal of Boba Fett", in Glenn Kenny: A Galaxy Not So Far Away. Macmillan, 10–40. ISBN 978-0-8050-7074-3. 
  14. The Empire Strikes Back DVD audio commentary
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Exclusive Interview with the Author Behind Boba Fett's Honor (2007-07-10). Retrieved on January 11, 2010.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Return of the Jedi DVD audio commentary
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 Pollock, Dale (1999). Skywalking: The life and films of George Lucas. Da Capo Press, 287. ISBN 978-0-306-80904-0. 
  18. 18.0 18.1 Jenkins, Henry (2006). Convergence culture: where old and new media collide. NYU Press, 115. ISBN 978-0-8147-4281-5. 
  19. Webster, Andrew (April 4, 2013). Cancelled 'Star Wars 1313' video game would have starred Boba Fett. The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved on April 8, 2013.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Woerner, Meredith (2011-08-12). What happened to Boba Fett after the sarlacc pit? The original Fett actor tells all!. io9. Gawker Media. Retrieved on September 5, 2011.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Bentley, David (2008-11-24). Boba Fett says Star Wars' appeal is a fairy tale in space. The Geek Files. Coventry Telegraph. Retrieved on January 15, 2010.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 Lessing, U. J.. Boba Fett in Kansas City: An Interview with Jeremy Bulloch. Retrieved on January 15, 2010.
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 23.5 23.6 Script error: No such module "citation/CS1".
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 Spice, Chris. "Straight Shooting" with Jeremy Bulloch. Retrieved on January 15, 2010.
  25. Rosiak, David (2009-11). Boba Unfettered: The Galaxy's Most Notorious Bounty Hunter Reveals the Mandalorian Behind the Mask. the 11th hour. Retrieved on January 15, 2010.
  26. The Lightsabre Interview: Jeremy Bulloch. Archived from the original on January 12, 2006. Retrieved on January 15, 2010.
  27. Rosiak, David (2009-11). Boba Unfettered: The Galaxy's Most Notorious Bounty Hunter Reveals the Mandalorian Behind the Mask. the 11th hour. Retrieved on January 15, 2010.
  28. Confessions of a Bounty Hunter: An interview with Jeremy Bulloch. (1998-09-10). Retrieved on January 15, 2010.
  29. 29.0 29.1 Cochran, Jay (2010-04-12). Daniel Logan Talks About Boba Fett & Clone Wars Season Finale. Retrieved on October 13, 2010.
  30. Montandon, Mac (2008). Jetpack Dreams: One Man's Up and Down (But Mostly Down) Search for the Greatest Invention That Never Was, 55. ISBN 978-0-306-81528-7. 
  31. 79 Boba Fett. Empire. Retrieved on May 16, 2010.
  32. The 100 Greatest Fictional Characters. Retrieved on May 22, 2010.
  33. Mayse, Susan (2000-06-08). The Tao of Boba Fett. Retrieved on May 4, 2009.
  34. 34.0 34.1 Gray, Jonathan (2010-01-01). Show Sold Separately: Promos, Spoilers, and other Media Paratexts. New York University Press, 183. ISBN 978-0-8147-3195-6. 
  35. 35.0 35.1 Jenkins, Henry (2005-09-23). in Meenakshi Gigi Durham and Douglas Kellner: Quentin Tarantino's Star Wars? Digital Cinema, Media Convergence, and Participatory Culture, Media and Cultural Studies: Keyworks, 567–568. ISBN 978-1-4051-3258-9. Retrieved on 2010-01-14. 
  36. Twenty-Fourth Annual Young Artist Awards NOMINATIONS and AWARDS. Young Artist Award. Retrieved on October 13, 2010.
  37. Ohanesian, Liz (2010-09-20). Daniel Logan Talks Playing Boba Fett in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. LA Weekly. Retrieved on October 13, 2010.
  38. Gray, Jonathan (2010-01-01). Show Sold Separately: Promos, Spoilers, and other Media Paratexts. New York University Press, 187. ISBN 978-0-8147-3195-6. 
  39. Brooker, Will (2002). Using the force: creativity, community, and Star Wars fans. Continuum International Publishing Group, 204. ISBN 978-0-8264-5287-0. 
  40. Zonkel, Phillip (2009-10-02). Heroes welcome at Long Beach Comic Con. Press-Telegram. Los Angeles Newspaper Group. Retrieved on January 14, 2010.
  41. Star Wars McQuarrie Concept Action Figures, Just in Time for Christmas. (2009-08-19). Retrieved on January 11, 2010.
  42. Martell, Nevin (2009). Standing Small: A Celebration of 30 Years of the Lego Minifigure. DK, 65, 69. 
  43. Cargo Bay Collector's Database. Lucasfilm. Retrieved on January 14, 2010.

External links[edit | edit source]

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