Friday, 28 March 2008

Sideshow Premium Format Statue : Boba Fett

The Movies :
A faceless enforcer, Boba Fett's distinctive armor strikes fear in the hearts of fugitives. He is a legendary bounty hunter, accepting warrants from both the Empire and the criminal underworld. He is all business, laconic, and deadly.

Fett has carefully guarded his past, cultivating a curtain of mystery around his origins. He is in truth a clone, an exact genetic replica of his highly skilled "father," Jango Fett. From Jango, Boba learned valuable survival and martial skills, and even as a child he was proficient with a blaster or laser cannon.

Fett was raised in isolation in the hermetic cities of Kamino, where he was protected not only from the ceaseless storms, but also the harsher elements of his father's career. Young Boba's life changed when a tenacious Jedi Knight, Obi-Wan Kenobi, came looking for his father. Sent to apprehend the bounty hunter for the attempted assassination of a Naboo Senator, Kenobi brawled with Jango as the Fetts sought to escape from Kamino. Young Boba helped his father by pinning the Jedi down with explosive laser fire from the Fett starship, Slave I.

Fleeing from Kamino, the Fetts journeyed to Geonosis, where Jango's benefactor resided. Boba watched as his father's enemies were sentenced to death, but Jedi prove very hard to kill. A huge battle erupted as Jedi reinforcements stormed Geonosis to free their fellow Jedi. Jango entered the fray, only to be killed by Jedi Master Mace Windu. Boba was shocked to witness his father's swift death, and he quietly cradled Jango's empty helmet as Geonosis erupted into all-out war.

During the time of the Empire, Boba Fett emerged as the preeminent bounty hunter of the galaxy. Boba Fett's armor, like his father's, is a battered weapon-covered spacesuit equipped with a rocketpack. His gauntlets contain a flamethrower, and a whipcord lanyard launcher. His kneepads conceal rocket dart launchers. Several ominous braids hang from his shoulder -- trophies from fallen prey -- that underscore this hunter's lethality.
Shortly after the Battle of Hoth, Darth Vader desperately wanted to capture the fugitive Rebel craft, the Millennium Falcon. To that end, he hired a motley assortment of bounty hunters, including the legendary Fett. Vader specifically pointed out to Fett that the Falcon's passengers were to be taken alive. "No disintegrations," rumbled the Dark Lord, obviously familiar with Fett's reputation.

It was Fett who successfully tracked the Falcon from Hoth to Bespin. Arriving at the gas giant before the Falcon, Fett and Vader sprung a trap on the ship's hapless crew. Fett, a shrewd negotiator, received his bounty for capturing the crew, but also was given custody of Han Solo. The bounty hunter was set to collect the reward on Solo's head placed there by the vile gangster Jabba the Hutt.

Whisking the carbonite-frozen form of Han Solo away from Bespin, Fett eventually arrived on Tatooine aboard his starship, the Slave I. Fett delivered Solo to Jabba, his some-time employer, and was many thousands of credits richer. Fett stayed at Jabba's palace, and was present when Solo's friends attempted to rescue the carbon-frozen smuggler.

Jabba, enraged at the attempted prison break, brought his captives out to the Tatooine desert, to execute them in the Great Pit of Carkoon. In the sandpit lay the immense Sarlacc, a vile creature that would digest its prey over thousands of years. Rather than let themselves be thrown in the Sarlacc's maw, Solo's friends, led by Luke Skywalker, fought against their captors. In the chaos that followed, Fett entered the fray.

Solo, free of the carbonite and suffering blindness from hibernation sickness, wildly swung a vibro-ax into an inattentive Fett's rocketpack. The pack activated, and the bounty hunter soared into the air, out of control. The airborne Fett slammed into the side of Jabba's sail barge before tumbling into the Sarlacc's mouth. With a sickly belch from the desert creature, it seemed as if Fett's career as the galaxy's most notorious bounty hunter was brought to an end.
Behind the scenes :
Fett was one of the first new characters to be designed for The Empire Strikes Back. He can trace his origins to rejected Darth Vader concepts that once had the Dark Lord as a rogue bounty hunter. Concept artists Ralph McQuarrie and Joe Johnston were most responsible for Fett's design. He first appeared in an 11-minute animated segment of the lamentable "Star Wars Holiday Special" television broadcast in 1978. Fett had another pre-Empire appearance in the daily newspaper strip story arc entitled "The Frozen World of Ota." Given that Fett and Skywalker meet for the first time in both stories, and Luke unwittingly befriends the bounty hunter each time, one or both of these tales is probably apocryphal.

Fett was the first new action figure for The Empire Strikes Back line of toys. He was originally available as a mail-away offer; kids would send in the appropriate proofs-of-purchase and Kenner would send the toy out. The original mail-away offers stated that Fett would feature a rocket-firing backpack, but safety issues dictated that the toy was released with the rocket glued in.

Fett's big-screen appearance had actor Jeremy Bulloch behind the mask, though the character was coldly voiced by Jason Wingreen. For his return appearance in the Star Wars Trilogy: Special Edition, various Industrial Light & Magic artists wore the armor.

Fett's return from the dead was first chronicled in a 1984 Star Wars #81 comic entitled "Jawas of Doom." A dyspeptic Sarlacc regurgitates the hunter onto the desert sands. Fett, stunned and suffering amnesia, stumbles across Solo once again. The tale ends with Fett tumbling into the Sarlacc again, though it was definitely not his last appearance.

In 1985, Fett made an appearance in the animated Droids television series. Toronto-based Nelvana Studios had animated Fett once before, in the aforementioned Holiday Special. Fett's second ink-and-paint cameo aired in the episode "A Race to the Finish."

In 1992, Dark Horse's Dark Empire comic saga was shaking up the Star Wars universe. It was in these full-color pages that readers discovered that Fett was alive and well, and once again on Solo's trail.

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