Boba Fett's cult-following explained: Why the Star Wars character totally deserves a standalone film
Compared to his screen-time, Boba Fett's cult following seems quite extraordinary. On the brink of a new Star Wars spin-off based on him, his popularity really makes one curious.
When it comes to the Star Wars franchise, who gains cult following can be a tricky thing. Precisely why, the man who appeared for barely five scenes with no more than four dialogues and his face perpetually covered by a helmet is gaining such massive fan following, still remains a mystery. Boba Fett - the bounty hunter - rose to the status of a cult-hero in a way that only the Darth Vader has been able to top him, but was it the air of mystery? Or was it his extremely slapstick death?
We see Fett for the first time in the rogues' gallery of bounty hunters on the command deck of the Super Star Destroyer Executor. And even amongst others of his own rank, the man with the battle-scarred armor manages to stand out. This is ironic, since the movies don't really care about establishing a background story for the character, despite his recurring appearances in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
One of his most significant moments in the franchise is his task of delivering Han Solo to Jabba, the Hutt. But right at the introduction of the character, one can feel that this man - with his Mandalorian armor, T-visor and a rocket pack - could actually prove to be troublesome for both Han Solo and Chewbacca.
Funnily enough, George Lucas’ estranged ex-wife Marcia Griffin - who was involved in the editing and also collaborated on the original Star Wars trilogy - once said that Lucas had considered making Vader and Fett brothers, but then tossed the idea for being "hokey."
Apart from that, not much is known about where this mysterious man came from, or where exactly he went. Well, speaking literally, he went into the Sarlacc Pit and met his seemingly unjustified and abrupt death; yet taking certain other aspects of the franchise - such as games - into account, it has been established that he survived that fall.
Which seems of some solace to fans, because come on - the man has a cape! Add to that his other list of extremely badass items - the EE3 blaster rifle, his sinister vibe and of course - the high and mighty confidence. Remember when Vader demands "no disintegration" and this man - in all his calm glory - just answers “as you wish"? That's how cool he is.
So after all that he's been through, it's no secret that a Star Wars spin-off on the man who always seemed to be a step ahead of everyone was inevitable. And several fan theories would back that up too.
In the Empire Strikes Back, we see Fett as the man who just seemed to know what Han Solo was up to even after the Imperials just assume he has disappeared into hyperspace. When Solo's Falcon kicks in and leaves for Bespin, Slave I is seen zooming out of the debris field and following them. The man behind it all? The supreme Fett.
When it comes to the Return of the Jedi however, his appearance is slightly lackluster compared to what fans have known the man to be capable of. He's mostly in the background and the maximum action from his side is seen when Leia disguised as Boushh, comes to free Solo. She is seen threatening Jabba with a thermal detonator and sure enough, Fett rushes to the slug-like crime lord's aid. But his speed isn't the only thing worth noticing in this aspect.
The man who had aimed his rifle at the princess just moments ago also acknowledges her move with the detonator with a nod. Fett might be a cult hero, but he sure knows how to give credit wherever it's due. But probably one of the most refreshing things about this character is how his course of action's graph always has a dip in the middle. It's what made him like no other character seen before.
This man - with braided wookiee scalps on his armor - did things like track Solo to Bespin first and then lead the Vader there. But he did that in time before Solo could even arrive. This is what had hit the masses probably, that instead of the Empire, this one man army could tackle the entire rebellion on his own.
Yet the fate he was gifted in the Star Wars universe, was so unjustified. The bounty hunter who knows better than almost everybody else and doesn't hesitate to fight even a Jedi, falls into the Great Pit of Carkoon, screaming like a puny being with no fight in him.
Sadly, until now, stories of his origin have been just as unattended as the detailing in his assumed death was. Sure, there are insights in certain prequels of the franchise but there's still so much more to be discovered.
In the Attack of the Clones, he was introduced as a kid by Jango Fett - the story revealed in the movie clearly impacting Fett's actions later in the plot. Especially the several fights he saw Jango engage in with the jedis. While most of them were won by Jango, he falls to his ultimate death at the hands of Jedi Windu, who beheads him. This could be why in the later years, Fett has no trouble fighting Jedi Luke - as is believed unanimously by several fan theories all over social media, and certain outlets too.
But at the same time, as hard to believe as it might be, some people find Fett the most overrated character of all times. They claim to have never bought that Boba-cult concept owing to the fact that throughout the span of his appearance in the trilogy, he does only two things - lead the Empire to Bespin and carry Han Solo to Jabba. And both are pretty basic things to do considering his allegiance, these people believe.
Some fans also seem to have this theory that Fett is basically just a Stormtrooper clone, evolved from his father, Jango. Jango's death, much like his was pretty bland - leading people to believe that the father-son duo were just incompetent in their jobs. While Jango was killed by what was arguably one of the worst jedis ever, Fett died from an accidental push to his backpack by a blind man. How unceremonious is that?!
Plus he fell to his assumed death into the Sarlacc Pit - another loophole in the plot, honestly, because this man had a jetpack! An equipment he could have easily used to fly off to a safer zone, but no. It's almost like the makers did not want to expand his plot or stay so they resorted to whatever stupid excuse they could find to do away with this man who had - for some magical reason - gained such cult following.
Still, beyond everything the man has been through and faced, it's is highly doubtful whether any other side character with such questionable short screen-time throughout the trilogy will ever be able to attain that level of massive fan following. This man goes up to the Hall of Infamy as the favorite anti-hero that fans just cannot help adore.
Which only draws one closer to the conclusion that James Mangold is a sheer genius to have picked up this unexplained mystery of a character to create a spin-off movie on. Fett is just one of those characters who are so mysteriously menacing that nobody can have enough of him. So here's hoping that the upcoming film by Disney's Lucasfilm does him justice!