Sullen Teenage Boba Fett Joins STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS

     March 25, 2010


How do you take a cult-character who unexpectedly found love among fans despite his minor role and then stick it to all those fans?  Well, in the case of Boba Fett from Star Wars, you remove all the mystique of the character turn him from a perceived bad-ass into a sullen child with daddy issues.  Now kids who enjoy Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Cartoon Network will get to enjoy the character as a sullen teenager.  USA Today reports that “A teenage version of Fett will appear next month in the popular Cartoon Network show The Clone Wars, bridging the generational gap between fans of the original trilogy and kids reared largely on the prequels.”  I suppose “ruining” constitutes some kind of bridge…

The article goes in depth about what makes Boba Fett such a popular character but this is the standout quote from Clone Wars supervising director Dave Filoni: “What makes Boba Fett interesting is the mystery.”

Hit the jump for more details about how they’re planning to get rid of that.

star_wars_clone_wars_boba_fett_01.jpgTo Filoni’s credit, he does say, “I’m very careful about how much we reveal. When you watch the movies later, even if you’ve seen all the Clone Wars episodes, the mystique is still there. It’s not like I’ll turn on all the lights in the room.”

Here’s a section on why they want to include a teenage Boba Fett (seen here looking constipated).  I’ve put noteworthy excerpts in bold.

But after three decades, countless Lucasfilm novels, short stories, comic books, video games, and three feature-film prequels, fans finally know much, much more about Fett’s origin.

In 2002’s Attack of the Clones, it was revealed that the storm troopers are all replicas of one notoriously tough bounty hunter, Jango Fett (actor Temuera Morrison). Boba, it turns out, is also a clone – but one created without the subservience of the others, and raised by Jango as his son.

We last saw the child Boba (played by Daniel Logan, who voices the character in The Clone Wars cartoon) utterly alone, staring contemplatively into the face of his slain father’s helmet.*

What does he want in the animated series? “If there’s one word: revenge,” Logan says.

That’s bad news for the Jedi, who took out his double-dealing old man. But it could be good news for real-life fathers and their kids by uniting older fans with the young in a shared appreciation for all things Fett.

Star Wars superfan Tom Pniewski, 44, co-host of the podcast We Talk Clones, says his 10-year-old son is a big Commander Cody fan (a major character from the cartoon) but hasn’t developed the same appreciation for the beloved bounty hunter.

“Bringing Boba Fett on as a 12-year-old and 13-year-old means those tweens can catch on to him and attach to the character,” Pniewski says. “For me, he doesn’t need the explanation. But maybe for this generation he does need that.”

As much as fans crave a return of the character, there’s an inherent risk, too. “Their love is so profound that it almost becomes like this is sacred text. When you start messing with that, even when the creator starts messing with that, the fans take it personally,” says Alexandre O. Philippe, director of the new documentary The People vs. George Lucas, about the love-hate relationship some hard-core Star Wars fans have with the franchise.

However, if Fett’s appearance on The Clone Wars manages to please both old and young, Philippe says, “that would be great! But (older) fans have been so cranky for so long, it’s difficult to figure out how they’ll react.”

1.) I don’t care what tweens want.  If you want fathers to connect with their kids, you have to teach kids well and not ruin things for daddy.

2.) I have a pretty good idea of how they’ll react.

I don’t have much investment in the expansion of the Star Wars universe at this point, but it just seems like another one of those things that doesn’t need to be done and that kids and the “tweens” would be fine without it, but since the character is popular he gets to be in the show, whether it serves the needs of the story or not.

patton_oswalt_werewolves_lollipops.jpg*At this point, I must quote Patton Oswalt from his 2007 comedy album Werewolves and Lollipops where he talks about if he had gone back in time and listened to George Lucas talk about the prequels.  Here’s a rough transcription of their exchange on Boba Fett:

Oswalt [Doing an impression of Lucas]: Guess who shows up in the second movie?  Boba Fett.

Oswalt [as himself]: There you go!  YES!  With the helmet and he’s a bounty hunter!  That is awesome, man!  That is so cool!

Lucas: Yeah!  And in the second movie you get to see him as a little kid!

Oswalt: I don’t really care about him when he was a little kid.  I liked the ship and the helmet and the killing people.  Does he have the little helmet on and he’s killing people?  Is that what’s going on?

Lucas: No, he’s like this little kid and his dad dies and he’s really sad.

[long pause]

Oswalt: Do not give a shit.  At all.