Thursday, November 2, 2023

Star Wars Subjectivities: Boba Fett Deserved Better

No, it's cool. It's not like I adored Boba Fett or anything. Just desecrate his corpse on TV. It's fine.

Nothing in the show is as cool as this image leads you to believe

Today is compare & contrast day here at NoaF, as I am handed entirely too much editorial control and you get to read (or, more likely, ignore) two of my essays rants about my favorite fictional universe. One of the questions I ask with any particular piece of Star Wars (well, any) media is "does this need to exist?" - clearly, none of them need to, in the sense of being essential to our survival, but do they add anything to the broader landscape, or simply take up space? I love mysteries and thrillers, but there are a whole host of books, movies and shows that do not need to exist.

Star Wars is much the same - it is deep, and broad, colorful and well-explored, so if you're going to tell a story, make damn sure that story needs to be told. Check back a noon PST for one that wasn't crying out to be made, yet triumphed over that and told a story that did.

The Book of Boba Fett, on the other hand...

I have this recurring nightmare that I am about to be handed the keys to some piece of the Star Wars universe - they're telling me: DESR, go tell the story YOU think needs to be told. And it's gonna be *awesome*. You guys are gonna eat it up. And right before we sign this deal for incredible amounts of creative control that is also incredibly lucrative, they say "hey, you wrote for this Fanzine, right? Ever write anything about Star Wars?"

I begin sweating profusely. "Well, not much..."

They start googling. "Oh, neat you covered The Book of Boba Fett? Twice?"

"I mean, I had some jokes, and..."

"You know I wrote that, right?" [click]

And then I wake up in a cold sweat.

Because, as I state in the linked piece up there, if the best part of a character is not knowing. JJ Abrams has talked at length about the mystery box, and yeah, that's all fine and good, but at some point you gotta open the damn box. And if what's in the box isn't better than not knowing, keep the damn thing closed.

Bad day for boxes

Boba could have stayed in that Sarlaac pit forever and people would have talked about him, wondered if he got out, was he still rotting in there. But no, they pulled what was left of him out, and what we got was tepid, at best, and an exploration of the character that masqueraded as depth and development. In truth, it was none of those things - they tried to make Fett this sympathetic, heart-of-gold crime lord, who suddenly cares for the people of Tatooine and none of it makes any sense. MC Chris better captured the character in four minutes than this show did in its entire run. 

It's truly baffling that this show missed the mark, and missed it so, so badly. The entire show is a fundamental misunderstanding and misuse of the character. We are blessed with some amazing content right now (more on that at noon!), that does an amazing job of broadening the Star Wars universe, introducing great new characters and lending more to familiar ones, so it's tragic that they couldn't do that with someone as iconic as Boba Fett.


Dean Smith-Richard is the author of 3204AD, loves to cook, play baseball, and is way too much of a craft beer nerd. He lives in the Pacific Northwest, and likes the rain, thank you very much.