Bubba Fett was a Little B*tch

April 13th, 2009 § 1 comment

Or: Why Star Wars should have been left in the 70’s

Yes, I know the second two came out in the early 80’s.  But the early 80’s were still the 70’s.  Just like the early 70’s were still the 60’s.  And, Yes, I do know his name is Boba Fett.  If you have a problem with me purposely mis-spelling a Star Wars character name, then I would advise you to stop reading right about now.

So, to begin with, until I redifine it as otherwise, when I say “Star Wars” I am referring to the original trilogy: A New Hope (’77), The Empire Strikes Back (’80), and Return of the Jedi (’83). And I am referring to the cuts that I am familiar with, which is to say, VHS tapes in the late 80’s.  Han shot first, and you can see a little bit through the speeder vehicle cockpits with the POV shots on Hoth. 

Boba Fett was a screw-up.  Let’s just get that out in the air right now.  Screw.  Up.  Whether or not he was the pinnacle of his professional competition or not is not the point.  The point is, he sucked ass before he got sucked into the Sarlaac Pit.

Exhibit A:  Out of all of the bounty hunters that ended up on Vader’s ship, Vader picked out him specifically with the “No disintegrations!” line.  Why would he need to tell him that, if the boyo didn’t already have a history of screwing up?  Also, just because they were on Lord Vader’s ship, doesn’t mean those bounty hunters were particularly good.  It just means they showed up.  They were nearby, is all.

Exhibit B:  Fett didn’t even make the catch!  He called it in and let a crapload of stormtroopers make the collar.  He just showed up.  Again.  And his prize got handed to him on ice.

Exhibit C:  Someone shows up near your boss.  They have a deadman’s switch activated on a small nuclear device.  What do you do?  Well, WWBFD?  He would point he gun at them.

That’s right.  Get ready to shoot them.  That’s brilliant.

Exhibit D:  Things to turn your back on while on a small, crowded airship:  Jawas.  Thirteen-year-old girls.  Bitter old ladies.  Things not to turn your back on while on a small, crowded airship:  Former bounties.  Brawls.  MUTHAFUGGIN WOOKIES.

Look.  If there is a brawl, and there is a Wookie involed, you do one of two things: A) be somewhere else, or B) Shoot the Wookie.  It was already established in casual conversation that Wookies are known to pull people’s arms out of their sockets for winning in strategy tabletop games.

Hmmn.  I would pay money to see a Wookie at a Magic: The Gathering tournament.  But I digress.

This leads us directly into Exhibit E: Boba Fett got taken out by a blind dude.  On accident.  Because he was too busy lining up a shot at a target that has already shown that they can deflect blaster bolts.

And so he died.  Or rather, he fell into a pit were he will endure excruciating agony…until he dies.

“But no!” cries out the nerd!  “He escapes!”

Yes, yes he does.  In the Expanded Universe.  Ooooh, sounds fancy.  For those of you unfamiliar with the term, EU in this case does not refer to the European Union.  No, its the comics by Dark Horse Comics and the now vast collection of science fiction novels that after many many issues and books released and about a generation’s worth of in-character time still has seen only one of the main cast from the movies die.  Maybe there’s been more by now; I stopped reading when I realized that I didn’t feel any suspense for characters that were licensed and thus not allowed to die.  I was reading authorized fan fiction.

But the nerds picked it up.  Some of it was good, I will give you that.  Some of it was bad.  And among other things, Boba Fett was idealized, and even Idolized.  His back story was expanded.  He became the elite, the cream of the crop, complete with copycats.  He got out of that Sarlaac pit, and retained his bad-ass ways.

And then came the re-releases, Star Wars, back in the theaters!  With a few edits.  Suddenly, Boba Fett is watching while Han and Jabba have a conversation.  [shrug]  That’s fine, whatever.  That doesn’t excuse his sheer incompetence in the rest of the films.

Ah, but I will admit, there is evidence for the Defense:  Out of the five or six bounty hunters that showed up on Vader’s ship, only one figured on watching for an obscure trick.  Yes, Fett predicted Solo’s move.  Yes, he tracked them to Cloud City.  I will give his supporters that one.

But that’s it.  That, and cool armor does not make him worthwhile of the adoration that he received.  Or does it?

You see, part of why this realization hit me so hard, is because I used to be a Fett Fan.  I had a Boba Fett action figure growing up, and he was the bomb.  He took out so many Legos, Transformers, G.I. Joes, if we had an action figure of it, Boba Fett took it out at least once.  We played with that toy til it broke, then we glued it back together and played with it some more.

But one day, years later, I watched Jedi.  And I thought, ‘Whatever happened to my Boba Fett action figure?  He was so cool.’  And about thirty minutes later, I realized that no, no he was not.  He was actually pretty lame, just with cool armor.

But it was okay, because of the novels, and comics.  Boba Fett can be cool again.  There’s back story, fill-in before the movies–

BOOM.  What’s that?  The trailer for the new Star Wars movie?  A double-bladed lightsaber??  GLEE!

Then it came out.  Uh, okay.  Darth Maul, that’s a pro.  Young Anakin, that’s a con.  Midichlorians…that’s an oh dear god, what were you thinking?  And Darth Maul, the only person who looked cooler than the Fett, gets chopped in half for a janitor to sweep up.

This is leading us to my main point:  the new movies was Lucas pandering to the masses.  He gave fanboys what they said they wanted to see.  Or maybe he was only listening to his internal fanboy.  In either case, he forgot that the movies should be good, as movies.  The cheesiness of the originals can be excused because of the limitations of the time.  (Film students and profs are more than welcome to disagree with me, and you may be right.)  Also, because of the grand scope of the story.  That plot out-weighed the dialogue writing and delivery.  I will tear up a little when a Muppet fades away to his death.

But the new movies…no.  Just no.  They suffered from the same problem as the EU, even while contradicting: the point was not to make good movies, but to just expand the existing story.

Let’s go back to my example:  Boba Fett.  Hey, here’s his dad/brother/clone predecessor: Jango Fett.  Jango Fett has…similar armor!  That makes him cool!  And he’s also so good at what he does, we’re going to clone him.  A lot.  Enough to take over the WORLD!  I mean, the UNIVERSE!  At least the part of it that is the REPUBLIC! 

See? That’s how bad-ass Boba Fett is!  He’s so cool, that he’s basically an elite version of the billions of white-clad cannon fodder wandering over the universe! Uhhhh…

Jango was alright, but he couldn’t catch a Jedi.  Especially if they hide their spaceship on something larger and wait for you to go past before floating away.  Need to make a note of that trick, little Boba, a smuggler might try that in twenty years…

Now it’s time to confront the Jedi.  Okay, so my opponent is telekinetic, and can deflect my lasers.  I think I will… fly and shoot at him with two guns!  This will work!

Hey look, there is a LOT of JEDI.  They are decimating the robot army.  SHOOT AT THEM.

Oh, poor sad Boba Fett.  Your father figure (ehhhhh) just got his head lopped off by a Jedi because he didn’t know his own limitations.  You should take the helmet, repaint it, and follow in his footsteps.

Sigh.  The prequel movies couldn’t work.  They would have to be either better, and thus lessen the weight of the original three, or worse, and then suck.  Usually, the latter.  But occasionally the former.

Podrace?  Kinda impressive.  Watching the hoverbike scene on Endor seems to lack now.

Darth Maul lightsaber duel?  Badass!  Yoda?  Badder!  Asthmatic robot with four arms and an unprecedented four lightsabers?  No way!  No, seriously, there’s no way I can take that seriously.  Just, stop.  And Christopher Lee’s best Jedi duel was against Gandalf in The Fellowship of the Ring.

Regardless, there was some nice combat stunt work in the prequel trilogy.  Which makes Luke vs. Vader in RotJ kinda lame.

Its gotten to the point where there is only two ways to enjoy the original trilogy.  Option A) never watch the prequels and never read any books or comics.  Option B) work yourself into a near-frenzy of nostalgia.

Maybe you don’t have this problem.  Maybe you can watch the originals, or even the prequels for that matter, without cringing in pain.  Maybe you can recapture that suspension of disbelief and just sit back and enjoy the films.  That’s not a crime.  (Unless you appreciate Jar-Jar.  That’s a crime.)

Me?  I go with option B.  If I watch the prequels, I make extreme selective over-use of the fast-forward and mute commands.  And I imagine a remake twenty years down the line (not only will it probably happen, but it will probably happen sooner than that) in which Boba Fett regains his coolness and by proxy redeems the entire franchise…by being played by Bruce Campbell.

One day…

Tagged evidence, nostalgia, Star Wars

§ One Response to Bubba Fett was a Little B*tch

  • Wes Mueller says:

    Clone Wars was the only Star Wars movie I actually hate to watch. I thought the other two were good (read entertaining).

    I agree though. Boba Fett was a mess up, they should have thought about the prequel trilogy a little harder before making it, and Bruce Campbell is the only way.

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