Our New ‘Star Wars’ Column Asks ‘Why Is Boba Fett So Popular?’

To commemorate the return of Star Wars to your local megaplex (you probably already know that “Episode I: The Phantom Menace” in 3D hits theaters next Friday) we at MTV Movies have decided to give you a very special gift—a weekly blog devoted to all things “Star Wars.”

In this very space I will be reporting, ruminating and ranting about a variety of topics relating to the film franchise that has always been near and dear to my heart. I’ll call this column The Comlink until I come up with something cooler – suggestions are most definitely welcome.

Today’s topic is a character who—although not my personal favorite—has become so big in the Expanded Universe that if he decided to enter the upcoming presidential election he’d probably win. He’s the guy who survived the belly of the Sarlacc and who legions of fans are hoping to see starring in the long-awaited live action Star Wars TV show. I’m talking about The Man-of-Few-Words, The Disintegrator, The Killer from Kamino himself… Boba Fett.

I’ve often wondered why and how this particular bounty hunter, with his minimal presence in the original trilogy, became so darn popular. Was it the impenetrable helmet? The rocket pack? The funky ship, Slave I, which transported the carbon-frozen Han Solo to that sonofabitch Jabba? MTV News posed the question to George Lucas back in 1997; he said, “I don’t know why. I’m mystified by it.”

Actor/director/writer/producer/outspoken geek Kevin Smith, who never fails to acknowledge his love of Star Wars, is similarly baffled. “He looks cool and that’s it, and I guess appearance goes a long way,” he told MTV News recently. Smith went on to call Boba Fett “a loser.”

I didn’t necessarily share Kevin Smith’s low opinion of Boba, but I did need someone to provide more insight into his popularity. Eric Geller, social media director for TheForce.net, came to my rescue.

“It’s more than just the armor,” Geller explained. “It’s about the actions that he takes, why he takes them, and how that distinguishes him from more archetypal characters.” In contrast to Luke Skywalker on one side and Darth Vader on the other, Boba Fett isn’t motivated by ideology— he’s in it for the money (Han Solo may say it but we know better.) In that way he stands out as a unique character in the ’verse.

And his lack of screen time made Boba even more alluring, said Geller. “It was basically a question of giving somebody just enough to make them want more. And I think that was one of the things that was really artfully done about the original trilogy with Boba Fett.”

And although haters like Kevin Smith might not agree, you’ve got to give props to a guy who stood toe-to-toe with Darth Vader and didn’t flinch. That’s worth a lot to me.

Got something to say about The Fett or anything else Star Wars related? Give us a shout in the comments section below, or on Twitter!