I’m actually old enough and crazy enough to very vaguely remember the ill fated Star Wars Holiday Special. I was maybe nine at the time, and while we only had one movie to adore back then, and my family had no VCR or anything, the memories of the movie, along with read and reread comic books, and the novel, well in my young mind Star Wars and Star Trek and super heroes were the crux of my imagination.
Since then my mind has been opened to many different things, and even the real world no longer seems so bland and disinteresting as it seemed when I was nine. But Star Wars is still a part of my psyche.
Boba Fett was introduced in that special, but I don’t actually remember that. I think I got board (the cartoon if you remember is really the only half way entertaining part of the special) and played with my space sword. By the time I got back to the special it was nearly over. All I really remember is the beginning with Han and Chewbacca being chased by Star Destroyers, and the ending where Han punches a Stormtrooper who falls to his death.
The rest of the special was a blur to me for many years. I’d nearly forgotten it till Weird Al bought a bootlegged copy from a “gangsta” in “White and Nerdy.”
A couple of years back I got a job at a factory. I was recovering from terrible illness and needed a less stressful job, so I took one at this factory. I worked Christmas Eve night, and would not pick up my son till the next morning. Twelve hour shifts on top of myalgic encephalomyletis made me just want to crash in bed. But it was Christmas Eve, and I was missing my son terribly.
I turned on the tv, put it on Youtube, and the top AI recommendation was Rifftrax riffing the Star Wars Holiday Special.
I stayed awake for about thirty minutes or so, sinking in the joy of watching these master riffers ripping apart this execrable tv production.
It was SO BAD. With the exception of the scenes with Harrison Ford, and the cartoon, the entire production made me long for the quality productions of Roger Corman or Ed Wood.
But the riffing was so good. MST3K and Rifftrax, along with the great internet critics Red Letter Media, The Cinema Snob, and Brandon Tenold….these are the great comforts of my old age.
So Bobba Fett was introduced, and I had missed it thirty five years earlier.
While I got to see the original Star Wars in theaters, it would be many years before I would actually see The Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi. I read them as comic books, back in the heady days when Marvel was just starting to give DC some real major competition, when they had the rights to Star Wars and it wasn’t Dark Horse Comics or Sat….I mean Disney that was running the ink. Bobba Fett somehow came across as a major threat, someone to be feared almost on a level with Vader himself.
Watching the movies years later, I was disappointed. Maybe the comics did it better, or maybe my young imagination had just inflated the “bad-assery” of the character. I thought of him back then as a kind of sifi Clint Eastwood. Someone who wasn’t about justice, but sought the highest bidder with cold cunning calculation. Or maybe like a James Bond in armor.
When I saw the movies finally some eight or ten years after they came out….Bobba Fett didn’t seem like the strong silent type.
Honestly, grown up me saw him as more of an afterthought. “We need to sell more action figures Mr. Lucas.” “Oh….hell….I don’t have any new ideas….I know! Let’s pull that Boba Fett guy out from that mistake we made a little while ago and sell him!” “Brilliant sir!” “Kaching!”
So in summary…..what is the tired blogger really trying to say?
The shine has been pretty badly worn off of Star Wars for me. The prequals were just irritating, and frankly, all I can say about the latest trilogy is that it makes the prequals look good. For a cutting but very wonderful critique of the prequals and the Force Awakens the Last Jedi to raise up Skywalker, I highly recommend Red Letter Medias critiques. But be warned….there are hours and hours of material, you need to clear an evening to hear even half of it.
In the end, I do appreciate the effort to revive the franchise with quality work in The Mandalorian. Having said that….if they could get the tv series right…..couldn’t they have gotten the movies right too?
What do you think? If you loved Star Wars, let me know, if you hated it, let me know, if you are Jar Jar Binks….I’m coming for you…..