Note: The following blog contains SPOILERS to “Star Wars” #10.
If you’ve followed my reviews of “Star Wars: In the Shadow of Yavin,” then you’re well familiar with my feelings on the overuse of story tropes we’ve seen in Star Wars comics for decades. One of the most common of these tropes is with subplots between Han Solo and Boba Fett.
Earlier this year, when Entertainment Weekly ran a sneak peek at “Star Wars” #2, I was excited to see Boba Fett would be introduced in this title – but, I was also wary from the fact it appeared to be the same story we’ve seen too many times – Boba Fett chases Han Solo, the smuggler escapes, Boba Fett catches up, and the smuggler once again escapes. No payoff, no consequences.
Although the subplot was dragged out, the appearance of Bossk as Boba Fett’s partner gave me hope there’d be more to the confrontation. I was very interested in seeing how the two bounty hunters hooked up, and wanted to see an altercation that would shed light into Han Solo’s reaction to the bounty hunter in Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
I also wanted to see the relationship explained between Boba Fett and Bossk. Something had to have happened to explain why they worked together to hunt down Solo after the Battle of Yavin, but they worked apart during Empire. What was the falling out?
However, we got none of this. In “Star Wars” #10, we receive a gripping illustration of Boba Fett clinging to the Millennium Falcon in a last ditch effort to claim his prize. The Falcon crew loses their “extra cargo” upon leaving the planet’s atmosphere.
In one of the last panels of the confrontation, Perla says, “You two can continue this another time,” which is almost funny if the trope wasn’t so tired. Is this a nod from writer Brian Wood that he understands how many times we’ve seen this same story unfold?
While I love seeing Boba Fett in comics, when nothing new or original is shown through the story, I feel it just makes the story flat and one dimensional.
Note: The following contains SPOILERS to Star Wars #7
Over the past months, Dark Horse has delivered an Original Trilogy story arc that has been praised for its ability to capture the tone and dynamic of classic Star Wars. There’s a long list of reasons this is an asset, it is nostalgic and takes readers back to simpler times.
Writer Brian Woods, though, has continued another classic Star Wars trope, which I feel is a negative element –giving Boba Fett only a few panels every few issues. When reading “Star Wars: In The Shadows of Yavin,” the Boba Fett subplot has been a near duplicate of what we see in “Star Wars: Dark Empire.”
When Slave I appeared in Star Wars #2, I wrote in a preview piece that I hoped Dark Horse would break away from the cat-and-mouse story we’ve seen a continuously between Boba Fett and Han Solo. Instead, the cameo lasted a mere few story boxes before Solo makes an escape.
We catch back up with Han Solo a few issues later on Coruscant. Boba Fett tracks him to the seedy underworld, and we learn he’s partnered with Bossk to claim the Imperial bounty. Han Solo once again slips away with the help of an aspiring smuggler, Perla.
In Star Wars #7, Perla’s transport comes under attack by Slave 1 and Hound’s Tooth. The bounty hunters have flanked their prey, and it’s teased that Han Solo, Chewbacca and their new “friend” will have to blast their way out. The entire story arc feels like déjà vu – replace Bossk with Dengar and the story hits most of the plot points in “Dark Empire.”
The focus of this comic centers around the Rebellion, and on that note, the story has been excellent. However, Woods has been slow roasting Solo/Fett’s subplot, which I can only hope we’ll be awarded for our patients with a well deserved space battle and firefight in Star Wars #8.
Specifically, I’d like to see some actual interaction between Boba Fett and Bossk. I’d like to see whether Woods builds on the relationship we see between the two in The Clone Wars or if it’s more of a shaky alliance that existed prior to the retconned partnership – more akin to their interactions in early bounty hunter novels.
Another busy week for the Mandalorian bounty hunter, and another Boba Fett round-up:
In June 1978, the prototype armor for Boba Fett was revealed to George Lucas in his home. Last week footage from this unveiling was first dropped on the Internet. As a tribute to “what could have been,” Sideshow Collectibles is working on a sixth scale figure of Boba Fett in his white prototype armor. The sneak peek of the figure looks highly detailed and fit for any collector’s display.
Japanese toy company, Medicom, is releasing their second addition to its Vintage Vinyl series. This Boba Fett figure stands about 9.5 inches and costs close to $100. Medicom does not ship internationally, so collectors will have to scour eBay or luck out at conventions to pick up this item.
Available in August, Bioworld Merchandising is taking pre-orders for its Mandalorian Insignia backpack. The backpack appears sturdy and features the color scheme of Boba Fett, with the Mythosaur patch embroidered on its side. This item has a list price of $59.99.
Perfect for your “Little Fett” to watch fireworks this Fourth of July, Kohls is selling a Boba Fett folding chair for the discounted price of $11.39. The chair is child size and comes with a carrying bag for storage. Made of polyester and steel, the chair can hold weight up to 80 pounds.
Comic Images released its new collection of Star Wars rag dolls this month. This plush toy is a great bedtime buddy for kids (or adults) and the design is less deformed than the officially licensed plush toys produced a year or so ago.
Giveaways are popping up everywhere – including on the #BringBackBoba Campaign page. We are giving away a free trade paperback copy of “Boba Fett: Enemy of the Empire” to one lucky person on our Facebook page. You can become eligible simply by “Liking” us on Facebook.
To celebrate reaching its 10,000th “Like” on Facebook, The Dented Helmet is giving away three shoulder patches, featuring Prototype Fett insignia. This patch is designed by Dented Helmet member Skaught and the contest runs through Monday.
Note: The following blog includes SPOILERS to “The Assassination of Darth Vader.”
“I have lived through assassination attempts in the past. If those responsible are not dealt with in a fashion both immediate and ruthless and very, very public, it only emboldens others.”
Dark Horse has included a special Boba Fett and Darth Vader story in this year’s Free Comic Book Day giveaway, with “The Assassination of Darth Vader,” a story written by Brian Wood and illustrated by Ryan Odagawa.
Taking place shortly before the events of A New Hope, we are immediately aboard Darth Vader’s Devastator. According to the narration, he is well aware what is about to unfold. Captain Torn orders a “robust” escort of Stormtroopers to accompany Vader to greet bounty hunter Boba Fett in the ship’s hangar.
Torn had his own agenda though, the escort is only a guise, part of a plan to overwhelm Darth Vader and take him out – motivations being, the thought that with Vader out of the picture, he could rise in the ranks of the Galactic Empire quicker.
Torn dispatches Tie Fighters to fire upon Darth Vader – an attack easily deflected with his Lightsaber, one fighter even crushed via the force. Boba Fett was arriving for “routine matters,” but as Vader remarks, the bounty hunter easily adapts to the situation and knows he’ll be compensated for an assist.
Boba Fett takes out the remaining fighters with the cannons on Slave I.
This story is nothing groundbreaking, but it’s fitting for a four page mini-adventure. It also provides another note in the tale of these men’s relationship. The respect and appreciation for events like this explains why Boba Fett is allowed to speak to Vader the way he does in the films – without suffering reprisal.
This title will be available at your local comic book store on May 4 in celebration of Free Comic Book Day. Also included in this comic is “Captain Midnight.”
The second volume of “Agent of the Empire: Hard Targets” will be released in trade paperback on July 31.
The second story arc, documenting Johan Cross’ adventures as an Imperial agent heavily involved Boba Fett and hinted at a past between the two men – a plotting staple in most of John Ostrander’s writing.
If you’ve read my reviews of the comic, you’d be familiar with my love for this story. I felt the story was smart, introduced fresh aspects to the Star Wars Universe and delivered major payoff at the end. I recommend picking up the trade paperback, because I imagine the payoff is experienced twofold if read in one sitting – rather than spread over five or six months.
In the latest episode of Star Wars Beyond The Film, podcast #67, the team at The Star Wars Report Network give their insights into Hard Targets.
Co-hosts Mark Hurliman and Nathan Butler both praised and critiqued the story arc – giving valid points on both ends – even though I didn’t necessarily agree with all their conclusions.
If you haven’t caught this episode yet, it’s defiantly worth a listen. Both the hosts are well-read and avid fans of the Expanded Universe. If you’re on the fence about whether or not you’d like to invest in this title when it’s released, their insights will help with that decision.
Beware though; if you’d like to avoid spoilers concerning the plot and character development, listen to this podcast after you’ve read Hard Targets.
You can download it for free on iTunes. Agent of the Empire has been one of Dark Horse’s strongest titles the last couple years – let’s hope it comes back with a third volume this year – and maybe we’ll see another appearance of Boba Fett, too.
A little over a month ago the team at The Star Wars Report Network launched a new podcast, “Star Wars Bookworms.”
While they’ve released only three episodes so far, I recommend this new podcast to any fans of the Expanded Universe – whether you’re a casual reader or hardcore completist.
Designed to review, analyze and discuss the happenings in the Expanded Universe, the team hosted by Teresa Delgado and Aaron Goins show great promise in being not only an informative podcast about Star Wars comics and literature – but they demonstrate a natural skill set for interviewing creators.
The hosts and guests approach each topic in a casual manner, not overwhelming listeners with an overabundance of timelines and facts. It’s much more like the discussions you’d have with fellow friends at your local comic shop or in your living room.
Bookworms released a two part episode in March, where they breakdown both volumes of Blood Ties – the multi-generational comic book that dives into the familial story of Jango and Boba Fett.
One of the most enjoyable and well written Boba Fett stories to be published over recent years, the team at Bookworms give some great insights into these volumes and make a number of interesting points.
If you’d like to hear their thoughts on Blood Ties, along with a fascinating interview with Alexander Freed, writer on the Old Republic video games.
You can download Star Wars Bookworms free on iTunes
Note: This blog entry contains SPOILERS to “Agent of the Empire: Hard Targets” #5
We were brought full circle in “Agent of the Empire: Hard Targets” #5, finally learning what prompted the fight between Johan Cross and Boba Fett in the first issue.
In the previous issue, Cross and Candra Tymon rescued Bron Dooku, but their escape was interrupted by the arrival of Boba Fett – who was hired to bring in the young heir. The standoff is quickly joined by Lord Borgin’s forces, which receive immediate fire by Boba Fett.
Cross contributes firepower to Fett’s attack on Borgin’s men, giving Tymon and Bron opportunity to escape. Chief Jorrick and his men are gunned down, leaving the bounty hunter and imperial agent standing. It’s realized the first few panels from “Hard Targets” #1 are pulled from this faceoff.
What I found even more interesting was Boba Fett’s aside that he and Cross had battled before, and Fett had won. Is this a hint from writer John Ostrander that the two characters share a past, which we may get to see in future stories? Perhaps they’ve even worked side-by-side – Fett often being hired by the Empire, and Cross being an agent of the Empire?
The fight cumulates with Boba Fett’s firing an ion missile, which hits the Tymon and Bron’s escape vehicle – resulting in an explosion, destroying the ship. Boba Fett is baffled; the ion missile should have only shut down the engine, not creating a high explosion.
Cross presses Boba Fett for an explanation as to why he would kill the target he was paid to capture alive. Boba Fett pushes back just as hard, reasoning that he could not have been responsible for the explosion. They come to the epiphany that Boba Fett was set up to take the fall – his employer would benefit from the boy’s death.
As far as Fett’s concerned, this is the second time in weeks he’s been set up for a murder that benefited Lord Borgin – the man who hired him – or was it? Last issue, Boba Fett said once he discovered the individual who set him up, he’d deal with them. Now is time for reckoning.
When we next see Cross, he is waiting for Borgin in the politician’s study. What we find out, could poissibly be the most complicated and surprising endgame I’ve ever read in a Star Wars comic.
Boba Fett was not hired by Borgin, but by Cross, through a third party. Fett was led to believe he was being hired by Borgin, to bring him Bron to give him political leverage. Cross discloses to Borgin that he planned to be confronted by Fett once rescuing Bron, and Tymon willingly sacrificed herself in the explosion that she set off herself.
Bron was taken into safekeeping until he comes to age. Borgin is ecstatic that Cross is on his side, but then becomes wary when the agent reveals that the entire operation was not to benefit Borgin, but to make Boba Fett believe the lord had set him up – marking him for death.
The Empire made Orom Malvern, the brother-in-law of Borgin, the new count, because he is not as politically hungry and easily malleable to do the Empire’s will.
Echoing panels from the first issue, Borgin is shot dead from sniper fire through the window. Cross’ plan worked perfectly, although he knows if Boba Fett were to ever figure out the ruse, he will also be killed. However, in his line of work, by the time the bounty hunter learns the truth, when Bron surfaces as an adult, he most likely will already be dead.
This story arc ended with great payoff and left me stunned. Some of the best writing coming out of Dark Horse is in the pages of “Agent of the Empire.”