Some of my earliest memories are playing with Star Wars toys - my awareness of the first film and the toys are muddled together, but I clearly remember seeing The Empire Strikes Back, and vividly recall the couple-years-long wait after that, before Return of the Jedi would come and resolve the incredible cliffhangers left dangling in ‘Empire.
Vader claims to be Luke’s father! Is it true? At the time we weren't so sure. Yoda says “there is another” hope for the galaxy. Who is it? And maybe in the darkest turn of all, Han's been frozen in carbonite and taken away by this armored, helmeted badass who captured my imagination with very little screen time and barely speaking at all.
When Han and friends were on the run from the Empire, using all of Solo's daring and wits (and maybe a little luck) to evade them, the Empire had to call in Bounty Hunters. That scene featuring all the strange, cool looking Hunters made a huge impression on me from the get-go. From the toys I learned all their names - Bossk, the terrifying lizard-man. IG-88, the Bounty Hunter robot (how does that work? I wondered), Bandage-headed Dengar, and the characters Zuckuss and 4-Lom. You could send away for a Zuckuss character action figure, i remember, by mailing some proofs of purchase away or something. I wasn't able to do it but I wanted to.
Most important, though, was Boba Fett, the one who DID manage to catch the heroes by out-thinking Han and tracking them all to Cloud City.
Fett was a mysterious fellow. Cold and capable, with that missile on his back, battered and banged-up armor, and a mask that was even cooler to me than Darth Vader's.
He looked so awesome. He WAS awesome. I had the action figure and he was one of the prized toys in my collection. I remember my brother had a door-sized poster of him and told our step sister that Boba came to life at night. She was rightly terrified.
I wasn't able to get his ship, but I loved that ship. My friend Rob had the toy and the thing was so cool. Such an odd-looking elephant-head shape to the thing.
I wouldn't see the interior (other than Rob's toy) for many many years, on the Mandalorian, when Fett returned and we saw the Slave 1 in action for the first time. We saw how Fett sat in it, flat on his back, until the thing lifted off and turned to flying position.
We saw it in combat in space, as well as dropping one of its Seismic Bombs. Pure baddassery! And now that a Boba Fett series is coming, we will surely see that unique ship design in action some more, as Boba Fett and Fennec Shand navigate the Galactic criminal underworld (presumably).
As awesome as the ship is, in live action and in toy form, there was one problem: the name.
Happily, executives with Disney, Lucasfilm or Lego have taken it upon themselves to remove the “Slave 1” name, dark and sinister and dangerous as it is (though I don't think it's said in any of the movies) and
changed it to the much more acceptable and less promblematic “Boba Fett's StarShip”.
I'm so glad the studios and toy companies are acting as our protectors, shielding our delicate sensibilities from having to see words that they deem unacceptable!
I look forward to future corrections, perhaps beginning with that - what's it called? The Death Star? No. It's the Empire's Space Station. Bounty Hunters? Ugly! They're the Empire's Subcontractors. Star Destroyers? Um, NO. They're the Empire's Large Starships. By the way, STAR WARS is potentially unpleasant. I propose it be renamed “Space-Based Interactions”.
Thank you for protecting us all! We salute you!
Banes at 12:00AM, July 1, 2021
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