I got into a discussion with a friend about the great Boba Fett recently. His view matches that of most Star Wars fans, Boba Fett is a super badass. My view is that he is incompetent and probably the worst bounty hunter out there. Why do so many people believe that he is so awesome? What has he done? Many will point to his various adventures in the Expanded Universe, but even those had to have been inspired by the movies, right?
So, looking at the movies, we are first introduced to Boba Fett with several other bounty hunters. We had Turban Guy, Skinny Robot Guy, Bug Guy, Lizard Guy, Robot Bug Guy, and Boba Fett. While giving the instructions, Vader singles out Boba Fett to tell him not to disintegrate anybody. Let’s stop and think about this for a minute. A bounty hunter is someone who goes out and hunts people, and when he finds them, he either captures them, or kills them. Then returns for his bounty. To collect the bounty on a dead target, some kind of proof is usually needed, this can be anything from a body part to the entire body, typically, it’s something that the owner cannot live without. A disintegrated target leaves behind no proof and is the worst way to kill your target. Picture this:
Jabba lounges on his throne while the bounty hunter Boba Fett returns from his mission. “Jabba, Kreelon is dead, I have returned to collect my bounty.”
Jabba looks down at the character in Mandalorian armor before him, “Where is the body? Did you bring it with you, there was no news of it being found at the scene.”
“I disintegrated it, Great Jabba, there is no body. Now where is my money.”
Jabba contemplates this for a moment. He really hated Kreelon, and would happily pay the man who killed him, but since no body was ever recovered, it’s possible that he could just be hiding out on the rim where he’ll live to a ripe old age. Jabba looks down at the bounty hunter before him again, then hits the lever to drop him into the pit with pet rancor.
Before you say that this was a general warning, remember that Boba Fett replies with, “As you wish.” Not a happy, “Dread Pirate Robert falling down a hill after finding out his one true love still loves him”, this was an upset, “I just want to disintegrate some people so I can go home and watch the new episode of My Little Tauntaun” reply. How Boba Fett got to be known as such a great bounty hunter when he appears to have a habit of not being able to show proof of actually bringing in his bounties is beyond me. But his incompetence doesn’t end there.
His greatest achievement in the original trilogy, is capturing Han Solo. Let’s review that, shall we.
Having just escaped the digestive tract of a giant space worm, the Millennium Falcon is back to being pursued by the Empire. Han has the great idea of flying straight at a the Star Destroyer, and then docking to the back of the little command tower. Since nobody has any sensors for that kind of stuff, and there apparently aren’t any windows on those levels, nobody finds out. Vader kills another admiral, and then the decide to hyperspace the fleet out of there. In these scenes, we see several other Star Destroyers all floating past the front windshield of the Falcon, but nobody spots them. Likewise, one would expect that there would be at least one or two tie fighters out there. If you are looking for a ship, it makes sense to have a few fighters joining in, right?
But no, the Empire completely drops the ball here, and Han is able to float away with their discarded garbage. Garbage that is conveniently made up of giant broken space ship pieces and not half empty take out containers and pizza boxes. Even though we know they have trash compactors in the future, they are dumping loose chunks of broken ships out into space.
Boba Fett also takes advantage of this and sneaks off after Han, hiding roughly 100 yards behind the falcon, where not only should any sensors pick up his ship, but where he should also be right in plain sight to anybody that happens to look in the Star Wars equivalent of a rear view mirror. The only thing that this whole sequence shows us is that Boba Fett is maybe a little less incompetent than the Empire is.
Boba Fett then figures out where they are headed, and tells Vader to meet them there. This is probably the worst thing that he could have done. Remember, he knew where they were hiding and managed to hide his ship in with the empire trash. At any point in time, he could have signaled to Vader that he found Han, and the entire Empire fleet would have been right there. Remember, thy were hiding because the hyperdrive wasn’t working. This could have been all wrapped up right here, but instead they go to Cloud City, where their actions lead to the Lando joining the Rebellion, and eventually blowing up the next Death Star.
Death of a Bungler
Lastly, we come to the death of the mighty warrior. After letting the Empire do all the hard work, he victoriously takes the Hansicle to Jabba. Then he dies.
Go ahead and watch that a couple of times if you need to. You’ll see Boba get knocked down, fire at Luke and miss worse than any stormtrooper, and then get accidentally attacked by a blind man, which rockets him to his death while he screams like a little girl. This is not a dignified death. Not by a long shot.
Sure, in the Expanded Universe, he manages to get out of the sarlac and even kill the creature, but why? At what point in these movies did he do anything that was so fantastic that they had to bring him back? His most impressive feat from the movies involved his being only slightly less incompetent than everybody else.