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Finding good help: Boba Fett

In Finding good help on May 21, 2009 at 12:56 am

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.

The greatest bounty hunter in the galaxy about to be Mr. Magooed.

The greatest bounty hunter in the galaxy about to be Mr. Magooed.

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.

One of these guys found the rebels.  The other one cried when his secret wife died for no good reason.

One of these guys found the rebels. The other one cried when his secret wife died for no good reason.

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.

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Finding good help: Bob the Goon

In Finding good help on May 6, 2009 at 2:21 am

This segment is in honor of  the unsung hero…or villain, actually.  This is an opportunity to give attention to the henchman, the sidekick, or the evil lietenaunt whom makes the protagonist or antagonist a force to be reckoned with.  In this case, we are examining the true danger for Gotham City in 1989’s Batman.  Not the gaudy, ridiculous Joker played with scenery-chewing panache by Jack Nicholson, but his level-headed, uber-competent second-in-command, Bob the Goon.

Cool shades, sweet hat.  This guy isn't just good, he looks good doing it.

Cool shades, sweet hat. This guy isn't just good, he looks good doing it.

Tracey Walter portrays Bob with subtle effectiveness.  He may seem like a standard goon but let’s examine his performance throughout the film.

1) He covers Jack Napier (pre-Joker) when he pisses off Lt. Eckhardt.  Jack pushes Eckhardt, Ekhardt pulls his gun, but before he can do shit, Bob swoops in like a silent angel.  His gun comes out quick and Eckhardt is quickly defused.

Trying something?  Not on Bob's watch.

Trying something? Not on Bob's watch.

2) When Batman has Jack Napier dead to rights, it’s Bob again to the rescue.  He takes Commissioner Gordon hostage and forces Batman to release his incompetent, clearly inferior boss.

3) Bob is not just handy with his steel.  He also gathers information about Vicki Vale, Alexander Knox, and Bruce Wayne while the lazy, good-for-nothing Joker is playing around.   Bodyguard.  Intelligence agent.  Is there anything this guy can’t do?

4) Well, Bob can’t take Batman head-to-head.  He is a goon, afterall, and Batman is the hero.  But instead of getting himself beat up for no reason, he retreats to fight another day.  He knows his limits, like a good henchman should.

5) At the end, the Joker demonstrates his insanity by asking for Bob’s gun, then shooting him.  With Bob gone, there is no one left to keep the Joker from fucking everything up.  Who can replace Bob?  Kung-fu guy with knives on his feet?  Nope.  Huge dude swinging giant block and tackle.  Negative.   The Joker, by removing Bob from the equation, sets himself up for failure.  Nice job, jag-off.

R.I.P. Bob.  You were too good for your boss.