This might seem like an odd choice, as this mythical figure certainly needs no introduction. Certainly not from the likes of me. The amount of Boba Fett merchandise in existence on this planet demonstrates he is extremely popular. Yet, I feel his competence requires some recognition. He was not a mover or a shaker in the Star Wars Universe. His motives and desires didn’t drive the narrative. He was hired to do job and do it he did. That is why I love Boba Fett. He is simply very good at his job and this is an admirable trait. Boba Fett is the embodiment, in many ways, to finding good help.
Well, where to start with Boba Fett. He is introduced on the bridge of a star destroyer (I am not counting the Marvel comic and I have purged the Star War Holiday Special from my brain except for an occasional flash of a geriatric wookie getting aroused by Solid Gold-style dancers. Shudder) with a bunch of other bounty hunters. He is certainly cool-looking but then again, his competiton includes a guy dressed like a mummy who looks like he could rival Jek Porkins in a rib-eating competion. But we do not really know he is special. So what does he do to make himself stand apart. Well…
1) He hides his ship amongst the garbage dropped from the star destroyer to follow the Millenium Falcon, who have tried to hide from Imperial detection. Obviously, he knows all the tricks because he is a goddamn professional. Take that Zuckuss! I wonder, however, did he pull this trick off. Did he put his ship, Slave I, in the garbage hold prior to its ejection? Did he have to explain this to anyone? If I hired someone to find a criminal and he then asked to hide in my dumpster, I’d be skeptical. Whatever, it’s an amazingly badass move.
2) He brings the Empire to Cloud City. After tracking Han Solo and company to Bespin, he calls in the troops to take them down. He doesn’t do something stupid like take ’em down himself. Not his job. Maybe some loser like 4-LOM would have tried to be a hero, but Boba Fett plays it like a pro. He calls Darth Vader, Vader shows up to brunch, Vader blocks some Han Solo blaster blasts with his hand, then Vader takes the gun away with the force. Darth Vader looks like a huge fucking badass until Boba Fett comes out from behind a pillar to show Darth Vader what badass really looks like. I love that scene.
3) Sucessfully bums out the audience in 1980 with his successful hunting skills. He has Han Solo taken to his cargo bay but Leia, Chewbacca, and Lando are on the way. Time for a big rescue? Maybe if you were dealing with Bossk, that would have worked. But by the time our heroes get there, Boba Fett is already taking off. Hey, Leia. Take a couple of shots if it makes you feel better. You think your stormtrooper rifle can touch Slave I? Negative, your worship. In fact, what WERE you thinking? If I can blow up the ship carrying my boyfriend, I can…um… Didn’t think that one out too well, huh?
4) Much later, after Boba Fett has already gotten paid by Jabba, he’s hanging out on Tatooine when Leia, dressed up like a bounty hunter called Boushh, shows up to turn in the bounty for Chewbacca. When Leia pulls out a thermal detonator to play hardball during the negotiations, is it Dengar who has his trusty blaster at the ready in an instant? Fuck, no. It’s Boba Fett, covering the situation. When a deal is struck and the danger passes, he gives a subtle approving head nod to Leia. That is high praise and should have been the highlight of her life. Kinda like an opposite of Alderaan blowing up.
Of course, Boba Fett leaves the movie falling into the Sarlacc pit after getting his jetpacked whacked by a blind Han Solo. According to comics, books, and assorted Boba Fett/Mara Jade slash fic, Fett survives the Sarlacc pit but I just hate how he went out. But, you know, if Omar Little can have a bad day, so can Boba Fett.