I am lifetime Star Wars fanatic. I didn't even mind The Phantom Menace, though like any rational human being I wanted Jar Jar Binks to die a horrible, gory and pointless death. As much as I love Star Wars and consider it an integral part of my childhood (I consider Lao-tse, Socrates and Yoda to be the greatest philosophers of all time) some aspects of Star Wars fandom really puzzle me. In fact, troubles me.
There is a very large part of the Star Wars fan community that is absolutely obsessed with the character of Boba Fett. There are comics, graphic novels and fansites dedicated to him, and this I really don't understand. He's basically a neat looking set of armor, not a character. Yet a huge following hungers for more Boba Fett. So much so that George Lucas put additional scenes of Boba Fett into the special edition re-released of the original Star Wars trilogy.
Boba Fett was first introduced in an animated sequence in The Star Wars Holiday Special, a nearly forgotten travesty resurrected by the Internet (where no secret is buried for long). This alone is reason to totally discount Boba Fett. The Holiday Special is so awful that George Lucas is alleged to have said that he wished every last copy were burned. My friend Kenn Scott, who saw a bootleg copy, says that Lucas' wish is too restrained. Watch the Star Wars Holiday Special, and you will learn startling facts, such as the cantina on Mos Eisley is owned by Bea "Maude" Arthur. You'll watch a stoned Carrie Fisher sing a song about friendship to the tune of the main Star Wars theme. And you thought Jar Jar made a mockery of Star Wars. Next to the Special, Jar Jar is a shining icon of dignity.
If you don't count the Special or the numerous novels, which I don't think should count (Lucas Authenticity Committee my ass. Do you really think they won't contradict something from a novel in the next two movies if it's convenient to do so?), Boba Fett hasn't actually done much. As far as I can tell his contribution to the Star Wars series is this:
Oh, in the special editions they added a few extra shots of him looking at the dancing girls and things like that, but this isn't exactly depth.
Let's face facts here. Boba Fett, for all the posturing the novels have done, is a candy-ass pansy.
I understand that Boba Fetta Cheese's less than glorious death in Return of the Jedi (yes, I know the brought him back in a novel, big deal) really pisses off the fanboys. For this reason, it seems likely that Fett might be brought into episodes 2 and 3 and be actually given something to do. One story breakdown floating on the net (probably pure speculation) indicates that he will be an important player in Episode 2. Fanboys will be pleased, but they should be worried. If Darth Vader can say "Yippee!" then believe me, Booba Fett's embarrassing death might be the least of the indignities inflicted on the character...I mean suit of armor. In fact, let's speculate on some nifty ways to further ruin Boba Fett.
1 Darth Sidious sends Boba Fett on a top-secret mission to a distant forest planet. Though he thinks he is alone, Fett is surprised by two big, burly aliens who subdue him in the deepest darkest part of the woods. The two aliens note that Fett has "a purty mouth, boy" and proceed to make him squeal like a Gamorean until he is rescued by a passing band of Storm Troopers.
2 Boba Fett is played by Robin Williams. We learn that Fett was part of the elite Mandalorian Shock Troopers, but his comical way of looking at life often put him at odds with the more uptight institution. He thought even though they were hunting and killing people, there was no reason it couldn't be done with a laugh and a smile, frequently painting happy faces on their helmets. Although it looks like he will be kicked out, eventually his popularity with the younger Shock Troopers forces the institution to change it stodgy ways.
3 Fett participates in the Star Wars version of the "Wazzap?" Budweiser commercials.
4 Add a good, long lengthy seen where Jar Jar Binks kicks the living shit out of Boba Fett then declares "Meesa making yousa meesa bitch."
5 Make one of the weapons in Fett's deadly arsenal the Orgazmorator from Orgazmo. In fact, throw in Ron Jeremy as Fett's sidekick.
6 Jake Lloyd did such a great job as a young Darth Vader, let's get him to play a young Boba Fett. Let's give him more opportunities to say "Yippee!" too.
7 You could ruin Boba Fett with a mere wave of the casting wand. Consider these fine actors playing him: Jim Carrey. Tom Hanks. Leonardo DiCaprio. Keanu Reeves (they wouldn't even need to give him the helmet. Just paint his face grey). Macaulay Culkin. William Shatner. Tom Arnold. Tim Allen. Woody Allen. Drew Carey.
8 Give Fett a cute, cuddly Disney-esque sidekick, like Meeko from Pocahontas or Philoctetes from Hercules.
9 In a surprise twist, we learn that a character we have previously been introduced to in The Phantom Menace evolves into the Boba Fett character. Though this character fought for the forces of good alongside Obi-Wan and Queen Amidala, bravely risking his life for the greater good, by the time Episode Two roles around he has become embittered, disillusioned, and twisted. He switches loyalties to the forces of darkness. And that character is Jar Jar Binks. He puts on the armor, and through the cold steel mask you can hear him say "Meesa no Jar Jar no more. Meesa Jar Jar Fett. No, exsqueeze me, meesa thinking better name. Meesa Boba Binks. Meesa new name is Boba Binks, yousa fear meesa."
Well, there's speculation that the outcry will help fix the weaker elements of Episode 1 (cough, cough Jar Jar) in Episode 2. That may well be, but that doesn't mean all new mistakes won't be made. Personally I think that Episode 1 was too driven by a marketing plan and Lucas' perception of what the audience wanted. Which means he could very well plan a movie around a virtual non-character just because the Boba Fett action figures sold a lot of units. This ain't no way to make a movie. When I go to see episode 2, I'll use a tactic I've been employing which has helped me get through many a movie relatively unscathed: I'll go in expecting to hate it.
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