Maybe this bounty hunter should have stayed in the Sarlaac Pit where he belonged.
Even though The Book of Boba Fett was as disappointing as the titular character’s original demise in the Sarlaac Pit, nobody can deny the character has been a favorite among fans for many decades. Getting his own spinoff is evidence of that popularity, but we’ve got a hard truth as ugly as Greedo’s corpse.
Here it is: Boba Fett owes almost all of his early popularity to a promotional toy campaign that most Star Wars fans have never heard of.
Before his live-action debut in The Empire Strikes Back, Boba Fett first appeared in the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special. While his Heavy Metal-esque animated sequence was a highlight, nothing outside of his iconic design really made Boba Fett stand out.
Many audiences at the time never saw the awful special, but by the time Empire Strikes Back hit theaters, fans had nonetheless spent the preceding months dreaming up galactic adventures of this new character alongside familiar faces such as Luke Skywalker.
Why were kids so excited to see Boba Fett in Empire when his Holiday Special debut failed to make a splash? Simple: toy giant Kenner ran a special promotion where kids could get their own Boba Fett figure for free if they mailed in a proof of purchase from four other Star Wars figures.
Here it is, the only reason Boba Fett exists…
Notably, the promotional figure came out in 1978 and Empire Strikes Back premiered in 1980, so children excited about this free figure had a very long time to get hyped for Boba Fett’s live-action debut.
The Fett of the original movies was basically an overhyped extra who people only pretended to care about due to excitement over an action figure that similarly failed to live up to its own hype.
If we’re being honest, that debut was even more disappointing than the fact that the first Boba Fett figure didn’t have the rocket-firing feature Kenner originally advertised. He only had four lines of dialogue, half of which was comprised of basic statements like “As you wish” and “Put Captain Solo in the cargo hold.” Speaking of Han Solo, the other half of Fett’s dialogue involves the bounty hunter fretting over the possibility that his big payday will get spoiled by the smuggler’s untimely death… not exactly the kinds of intimidating or swaggering dialogue fans had imagined.
There were no dramatic shootouts with our heroes; audiences would have to wait until Attack of the Clones to see what the outcome of “rocket vs. Jedi” would be. That’s another hard truth that Star Wars fans need to acknowledge: most of the cool Jango Fett stuff from the prequels was obviously meant to show fans what Boba Fett was capable of in the Original Trilogy.
And while the Jango stuff really was cool, it only serves to highlight how much Boba Fett just stood around, said boring lines, and fell into an immobile monster’s mouth like a huge chump in the earlier films.
Before you decide to disintegrate us for our opinion, you should know that we really do love Boba Fett… at least, we love the character that decades of writers and artists transformed him into.
The Fett of the original movies, though, was basically an overhyped extra who people only pretended to care about due to excitement over an action figure that similarly failed to live up to its own hype. If the poor quality of The Book of Boba Fett is any indication, maybe this bounty hunter should have stayed in the Sarlaac Pit where he belonged.