The Boba Bounty

Your latest news and speculation on Boba Fett's presence in Star Wars film, television, comics, video games and collectibles. Also, the originator of the #BringBackBoba Campaign.

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There’s another round of Boba Fett scuttlebutt hitting the web, after Jeremy Bulloch reportedly had a slip of the tongue at Salt Lake Comic Con earlier this month.

During an interview with Big Shiny Robot, Bulloch was asked if he’d been approached about appearing in Episode VII. The short answer was no, but Bulloch started to continue his answer, before cutting himself off, with an “oops,” and covering his mouth.

While media is taking this as a possible hint toward Bulloch’s involvement in a Boba Fett project – there’s a lot of forced conclusions behind this speculation. Lucasfilm may have approached Bulloch for any number of projects in development, including a voice role in Star Wars Rebels or a cameo appearance in a spin-off film – whether or not that’s a Boba Fett film or Episode VII.

When pushed further, Bulloch said he’s not allowed to say anymore. No surprise, really. But I’m more prone to think he was about to say he’s doing a voice on Rebels.

I believe any spin-off projects are in discussion phases – nowhere near casting talks – he just stated nobody approached him for Episode VII yet, and I tend to think they’ll go in the direction of Daniel Logan or Temuerra Morrison for Boba Fett – if for no other reason than continuity purposes.

In related news, the folks over at MakingStarWars.com report a source overheard Disney executives discussing their enthusiasm for Boba Fett during a breakfast meeting yesterday. An unidentified executive allegedly said they wish to move forward on the bounty hunter’s spin-off, but worry about his portrayal.

According to the eavesdropper, the executives want Boba Fett to remain a menacing presence, but are challenged by the thought on how to make him the hero of the picture – without sacrificing the villainous nature Boba Fett carried in the films.

How much of this breakfast talk is on point, is debatable. But my thoughts on the story, as it’s been reported, is I don’t know if I totally agree with their appraisal of Boba Fett’s nature. To put it simply: I don’t think I agree that Boba Fett is a “villain.”

First off, you don’t need to be an outright villain to be menacing. I don’t even know whether I fully agree he was a villain in Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi – I grew up seeing him as a bounty hunter. Therefore, his actions may be villainous or heroic, depending on the contract.

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If you follow our blog on a regular basis, then you know how busy the last year has been for Boba Fett collectors. Two-thousand thirteen was swamped with comic book cameos, convention exclusives, mobile game and roleplaying expansions – amongst other news items ranging from spin-off rumors and the launch of the #BringBackBoba Campaign.

We’ve reviewed some of the most popular highlights of 2013 and created a list broken down by months, which focuses on this year’s Boba Fett collecting. Some of the major happenings were the wrap up of Agent of the Empire, Boba’s 6-inch figure in the Black Series toy line, his update in Angry Birds Star Wars and controversy over the canceled 1313 video game.

If we missed anything you feel should be on the list, or would like to talk about your favorite Boba Fett product or project, jump over and discuss it at our #BringBackBoba Campaign page on Facebook.

January:
image-Boba Fett appeared in Agent of the Empire: Hard Targets #4.
-Street artist Brian Donelly releases exclusive Boba Fett vinyl figure in Tokyo.
-Dark Horse Comics released Blood Ties: Boba Fett is Dead in trade paperback.
-Target carried officially licensed Boba Fett water bottles, puzzles and play packs.

February:
-Mars rereleased M&M Boba Fett candy products for Valentine’s Day.
-Boba Fett appeared in Star Wars: In the Shadow of Yavin #2.
-Jeremy Bulloch named Boba Fett in his favorite five film rogues in Star Wars Insider #140.
-Zen Studios released Boba Fett Pinball for mobile devices.
-Boba Fett appeared on the cover of Wired Magazine.
-Rumors started about a possible Boba Fett spin-off film.
-Hasbro announced Boba Fett in second wave of Angry Birds Star Wars at NYC Toy Fair.
-Boba Fett appeared in Agent of the Empire: Hard Targets #5.
-Fighter Pods Series 4 included new Boba Fett figurines and Slave I.
-Ted dressed like Boba Fett in an episode of How I Met Your Mother.
-Boba Fett included in expansion of Fantasy Flight’s Star Wars Roleplaying Game.
-Fantasy Flight Games expanded X-Wing Miniature Game with Slave I ship.

March:
-Kotobukiya released its Boba Fett silicon ice cube tray.
-Boba Fett makes semi-finals for StarWars.com’s March Madness tournament.
-Boba Fett levels added to Angry Birds Star Wars mobile app.
-Inside sources reported there was an unaired Boba Fett story arc planned for The Clone Wars S6.
-Gentle Giant offered 12-inch Jumbo Boba Fett as gift option for premier gold members

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April:
-Boba Fett appeared on stage during Walt Disney World announcement about Star Wars Day.
-Patton Oswalt mentioned Boba Fett in episode of Parks and Recreation.
-LucasArts sources report video game 1313 was centered on Boba Fett.
-Boba Fett appeared in children’s book Vader’s Little Princess.
-UK-based company Direct Blinds released blueprint Slave I window covers.

May:
-Magician Chris Cross challenged Jeremy Bulloch in escape act at Star Wars Day event.
-Boba Fett appeared in The Assassination of Darth Vader released on Free Comic Book Day.
-Boba Fett appeared in Star Wars: In the Shadow of Yavin #5.
-We launched the #BringBackBoba Campaign.
-Winning T-Shirt for the Dark Side Design Contest featured Boba Fett.
-FanWraps.com released Boba Fett car wraps for Star Wars Day.
-Her Universe released Boba Fett tank top for Star Wars Day.
-Boba Fett found in Series 2 of Angry Birds Star Wars blind bag figurines.
-Hollywood Studios released exclusive print featuring Boba Fett for Star Wars Weekends.
-Disney released “Sarlacc Attack” toy set exclusively for Disney Park gift shops.
-StarWars.com offered printable Boba Fett mask for Cinco de Mayo.

June:
-Medicom released new designs for Boba Fett Be@rbricks Collection.
-Rovio released Boba’s Delivery cartoon for Angry Birds Toons.
-X-Raided offered limited edition Boba Fett challenge coin.
-Jeremy Bulloch began giving exclusive Boba Fett patches with copies of Flying Solo.
-Comic Images released Boba Fett rag doll.
-Sideshow Collectibles announces its Sixth Scale Prototype Boba Fett.

July:
image-Artist Joe Corroney released The Slave Princess featuring Boba Fett for Celebration Europe II.
-Artist Brian Rood released Homecoming featuring Boba Fett for Celebration Europe II.
-Limited edition giclee Boba Fett paintings released by artist Christian Waggoner.
-Giclee painting featuring Boba Fett released by artist Raymond Swanland.
-Bounty hunter card set including Boba Fett offered as exclusive for Celebration Europe II.
-Gentle Giant offered Boba Fett Deluxe Mini Bust at San Diego Comic Con.
-Exclusive 6-inch Boba Fett with Han Solo in Carbonite offered at SDCC and Celebration Europe II.
-Retro Outlaw Boba Fett figure offered as San Diego Comic Con exclusive.
-Boba Fett actors reunite on stage at Celebration Europe II.
-Funko released Holiday Special Boba Fett Pop! Vinyl exclusive.
-Boba Fett appeared in Star Wars: In the Shadow of Yavin #7.
-Dark Horse Comics released Agent of the Empire: Hard Targets on trade paperback.

August:
-Bioworld Merchandising released Boba Fett backpack.
-Amazon.com shipped out exclusive Vintage Collection Slave I.
-Boba Fett appeared in Star Wars: In the Shadow of Yavin #8.
-LEGO released Boba Fett LED Keychain.
-Gentle Giant announced its Boba Fett Holiday Special Animated Maquette.
-UD Replicas released Boba Fett leather motorcycle jacket.
-Boba Fett featured in Topps’ Star Wars Galactic Files II.
-Boba Fett throws first pitch at Los Angeles Dodgers game.

September:
-Boba Fett featured in Petco’s new Star Wars Pet Fans Collection.
-Tribe released new line of Star Wars USB flash drives including Boba Fett.
-Retailers stock officially licensed inflatable Boba Fett jetpack.
-Hasbro announced Boba Fett’s Class II Slave I to hit stores in fall.
-Her Universe announces new Boba Fett dresses coming soon.
-Konami launches Star Wars: Force Collection for mobile devices featuring Boba Fett.
-Boba Fett featured in Angry Birds Star Wars II.

October:
-Boba Fett featured in Topps’ Star Wars Jedi Legacy card series.
-Boba Fett featured on Angry Birds Star Wars Happy Meal pails.
-Artist Brian Rood released Boba Fett is on the Hunt for limited time.
-Dark Horse released limited edition of Star Wars #2 canvas prints.
-Funko featured Boba Fett in its Star Wars Papercraft Playset.
-Boba Fett appeared in Star Wars: In the Shadow of Yavin #10.
-Release of The Bounty Hunters Code: From the Files of Boba Fett.

November:
image-Artist William Silvers featured Boba Fett in his painting A Good Day to Die.
-Boba Fett celebrated the 35th anniversary of his animated debut.
-Boba Fett merchandise given away in contests for Entertainment Earth, Think Geek and Mint in Box.
-Retailers stocked Boba Fett stationary sets and hot chocolate for holiday specials.
-Hasbro released Boba Fett in Wave 2 of the Black Series 6-inch line.
-Boba Fett featured in mobile application Tiny Death Star.
-Boba Fett wins majority vote in IGN.com’s Episode VII poll.
-Star Wars drinkware featuring Boba Fett showed up at Target.
-LEGO Advent Calendar features Boba Fett, Jango Fett and Slave I.
-More than 20 Black Friday sales related to Boba Fett products.

December:
-Boba Fett sketch by Joe Johnston raises money for Shine On Sierra Leone.
-Tiny Death Star adds Holiday Special Boba Fett to in-game characters.

How’s that for a year?! Lastly, as this year ends it also marks near the one year anniversary of The Boba Bounty. How have you enjoyed our reporting on Boba Fett collectibles and Star Wars speculation? What could we improve, adjust or expand on? Let us know your thoughts by commenting on Facebook or emailing us at thebobabounty@gmail.com.

About 16,000 participated in an online poll at IGN.com on who they most want to see return in Episode VII. The results were a near landslide, with Boba Fett receiving nearly a quarter of the votes. Twenty-three percent of the people polled voted for Boba Fett.

The best way to illustrate the scale of these results, the runner up was Darth Maul with 12 percent and Chewbacca with 11 percent. IGN.com included 20 characters in the poll, excluding “obvious” choices like Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Darth Vader.

Earlier this year, StarWars.com came up with similar results during their March Madness Character Tournament. If you take the same characters out, that IGN omitted, and you’d be left also with Boba Fett as the top choice – note, he did make the semi-finals during that tourney.

While I was excited to learn these results, the result articles made my teeth grind – the writer commenting that Boba Fett is dead, a fact we all know is false. Even if you’re only considering G-Level canon, you cannot conclude Boba died.

A rule of thumb for genre television and movies has always been – if you don’t see a body, you can’t know 100 percent they’re fate is sealed. That being said, this story has been making the rounds and I must imagine has come to the attention of Lucasfilm officials.

Let’s continue to cross our fingers that we’ll see the “resurrection” of Boba Fett in the sequel trilogy.

We’re in high anticipation for the Star Wars Rebels presentation coming next month to the New York Comic Con, but earlier this month we got one of our first big pieces of casting rumors – word spread that actors David Oyelowo, Freddie Prinze Jr, Vanessa Marshall, Taylor Gray and Steve Blum were being brought on to voice characters.

This rumor holds some weight in my opinion, because a few of these performers have past histories with Star Wars properties. Some have even commented about it since the rumor hit the Internet.

In an interview with RebelForce Radio a few weeks ago, voice actor Tom Kane, best known for his role as Yoda in The Clone Wars, disclosed that he landed the job due to previously working with Lucasfilm, voicing some early Star Wars games. So it’s no surprise two of these individuals come from this arena.

Of the names mentioned, Steve Blum has the longest relationship with Star Wars projects – having provided voices for nearly a dozen Star Wars video games – including such recent titles as The Old Republic, The Force Unleashed II, and games as old as 1996’s X-Wing vs. TIE Fighters.

Vanessa Marshall is also part of the Star Wars family, having voiced characters in The Old Republic, Knights of the Old Republic and Jedi Knights II – like Blum, she has been in the folds for more than a decade. Both of them also have working relationships with producer Greg Weisman.

Most of the roles Blum played has been Imperial troopers, whether AT-ST drivers, Infantry, or Imperial officers. Marshall has played Force users, whether Sith or Jedi. Could these hint at what parts they’ll play in the show?

Some of the other actors are a little harder to tie to the project. This is Taylor Gray’s first major voice work job, previously best known for a Nickelodeon show, Bucket and Skinner’s Epic Adventures.

However, odds are strong he landed a lead role – and it’s a Jedi – source? – Well, an article from Hollywood Reporter, announcing Gray’s been cast in a lead role was posted as news on Gray’s official website. Gray also tweeted the following four days ago, dropping a bomb: “Cool article that came out today. Always wanted to be a Jedi!”

David Oyelowo is one of the most exciting names attached to this rumor, because earlier this month it was reported he may be the first actor casted for Episode VII and that he’d also play a role in Rebels that would lead way to the film performance. The exciting part of this rumor is Simon Kinsberg is working with Rebel producers to create continuity between the two projects.

However, this is no surprise, Weisman has mentioned on Twitter, on multiple occasions, he’s talked story with Kinsberg. Like most actors who’ve been onscreen for a while, he’s been quiet.

Hollywood Reporter also broke that Freddie Prinze Jr was being sought to voice a role. Prinze has done voice work before, in video games like Mass Effects and television shows like Kim Possible and Robot Chicken.

It’s no surprise that so far evidence points to Jedi being around in Rebels. The premise of the show, as stated by Lucasfilm, is the Empire hunting down the remains of the Jedi Order. That would be a little hard to do – with no Jedi characters.

If you’re reading this blog entry, you’re either a fan of Boba Fett or at minimum, think he’s cool looking. But there’s a contingent of fans out there who shake with hatred and fear the Mandalorian could return in upcoming films and television.

What’s to fear? For about 30 years, Boba Fett haters have thrown the Sarlacc in our faces. Most of them know very well that Boba Fett escaped the Pit of Carkoon, but they know it’s a sore spot for our community of fandom. There’s also the crass name calling and “blind man” jokes. The haters fear losing these taunts if Boba Fett escapes the Sarlacc on film or is shown as we see him in comics and novels.

Everyone has their right to an opinion, but it bothers me when people attack a character just to get a rise out of another fan. I understand if you are indifferent or not fanatic about a character, but it’s bizarre to me to literally attack a fellow fan for liking a particular character.

I’m sure you’ve all visited forums or read tweets, where somebody says they hate Boba Fett. I usually ignore these remarks, but today I decided to collect the most common comments by haters, and have supplied counter arguments to each.

Haters Say: Boba Fett is just popular because he looks cool. He does nothing in the movies but stand there.

Counter: Yes, he looks awesome, but that’s a silly reason to hate a character. Also, while he may not say much in the Original Trilogy, there’s a reason the few quotes he does have are so iconic. Don’t forget, he was also one of the few characters who even teased the line of arguing with Darth Vader.

Haters Say: Star Wars is oversaturated by Boba Fett already; he shouldn’t be in new films.

Counter: Despite being contradictory to the first argument, this is just plain false. The Original Trilogy has a complete running time of about 385 minutes, which Boba Fett appears in only about 20 minutes of – that’s including his cameo in the special edition. He then appeared in only six episodes of The Clone Wars, which ran 108 episodes – and one of those six episodes was just the character’s cameo on a wanted poster. So you hate him because of all the merchandising? With that reasoning, you should also hate Darth Vader or Yoda.

Haters Say: Boba Fett was a punk who got killed by a blind man.

Counter: First off, you know he’s not dead. Second, the Empire was defeated by Ewoks. Does that mean the Empire was a poor threat? Anything can be simplified into an insult. Nuff said.

Haters Say: Boba Fett is dead.

Counter: This is a tired comment by haters. It’s widely understood Boba Fett escaped the Sarlacc in the Expanded Universe. In fact, he escaped twice, if you include another story from the comics. Also, George Lucas has gone on the record recently, saying Boba Fett survived. Even without those first two counter points, there’s plenty of reason to suspect his survival. We only see him fall into the Sarlacc, not actually die. There’s no blood or decapitation. Anakin Skywalker survived a lava planet and that was without Mandalorian armor.

Haters Say: He’s too popular.

Counter: It all comes down to this reason; people don’t like that he’s so popular. Personally, I don’t believe this is a valid reason to attack a character. By far, characters like Yoda, Anakin Skywalker, C3-PO are equally, if more popular, but you don’t see hoards of people hating those characters due to that reason. This is as superficial as hating a supermodel, because they’re too pretty.

I’ve worked in journalism for about eight years. One disappointing trend I’ve noticed is people seldom read an entire news piece before drawing their conclusions – society is being conditioned to ignoring anything longer than a Twitter post. I sometimes want to remind people to read more than the headline, there’s more words under the byline.

Last week the Internet swarmed with news that Boba Fett and Han Solo spin-offs were confirmed by Disney’s Bob Iger and they’d be origin stories. As our friends at BobaFett.com pointed out, while Disney confirmed last February they were developing two spin-off movies, he did not actually mention any specific premises or characters – only that there indeed were films on the horizon, and they’d be written by Star Wars veterans Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg.

The aside that Boba Fett, Han Solo and Yoda were characters being tossed around were only rumors – not sourced, vetted or officially confirmed. The website NukeTheFridge.com reported the Boba Fett spin-off being confirmed by citing a story from Movieweb.com.

According to Movieweb, Disney CFO Jay Rasulo announced the spin-off films would be origin stories during an entertainment conference in Beverly Hills. However, with no direct quotes provided, I have skeptical whether the report from this even was a case of misunderstanding or taking what Rasulo said out of context.

BobaFett.com shared this Twitter post from official Star Wars writer Bryan Young: “People need to learn how to properly source, provide links, and learn the definition of ‘confirmed.’”

Lucasfilm and Disney have had ample opportunity to make announcements regarding upcoming films – ranging from San Diego Comic Con to Celebration Europe and more. An announcement of this weight would be made with greater fanfare and through wider channels than a convention in Beverly Hills to a select inner circle. Unless, Rasulo spoke out of turn. I find that unlikely for someone in his position and for such a major company.

This is a good lesson in critical thinking, especially when it comes to rumors. Development is still underway for not only Episode VII, but also for Star Wars Rebels. While a general story for the first season of Rebels has been outlined, Star Wars officials have said writing is still underway. The biggest red flag about the “confirmation” of the spin-offs, is that origin stories would directly conflict with the timeline being fleshed out in Rebels.

Disney is a smart company and would not write itself into a corner, one of the main reasons it will not comment on whether or not the Big Three will appear in Episode VII. Therefore, it’s highly unlikely they would commit the spin-offs to a timeline that is would create continuity dilemmas in the official canon.

In the latest issue of Geek Magazine, its writing team sat down with Steven Melching, writer of The Clone Wars, and Chris Gossett, Star Wars artist, to gain their insight into the popularity of Boba Fett. This Q&A was a sidebar to a larger feature, looking at the Saga’s standing in the fan community.

“After briefly being introduced in The Star Wars Holiday Special, bounty hunter Boba Fett made a more impressive entrance to the Star Wars mythos in The Empire Strikes Back, in which he instantly captivated the imaginations of fans everywhere. The character’s enduring popularity led to him being added into the original Star Wars in the 1997 Special Edition release and becoming a vital part of the prequels years later. So why has Boba Fett become such a fan favorite opposed to some of his brooding brethren, such as IG-88 and Bossk? We turned to our Star Wars experts to get their thoughts on Fett’s enduring Mandalorian appeal.” - Geek Magazine

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Melching accredited Boba Fett’s popularity to the mystique the character carried prior to the release of Empire. He believes the promotional action figure also endeared fans to the character – many impressed by his armor, specifically the fact he was rumored to have taken down Wookiees – even wearing a braid of his Wookiee targets over his gear.

“I think a big reason why Fett became so popular was because we really didn’t know a whole lot about him. He was described as a Mandalorian Shock Trooper. Who the hell were they?” Melching said. “Did they fight in the Clone Wars? Could he be this ‘other’ that Yoda spoke of? All this anticipation made his ignominious demise in Return of the Jedi all the more crushing.”

Gossett chimed in, saying the prequels screwed up the character in his opinion. Making Boba Fett a clone was one of the major problems in the prequels, he said. Gossett believes one of the characteristics beloved about Fett was he was Han Solo without a soul – Boba Fett was what Solo might have become if he made different choices as a smuggler.

“Showing that contrast was one of the functions Boba Fett served, and he served it damn well. The fact that Lucas just dropped him into the Sarlacc Pit was a sign of poor choices to come,” Gossett said.

According to Melching, the main protagonist of Episode VI was supposed to be Boba Fett. The Sarlacc was a quick solution when George Lucas decided to squash Episode VII-IX into Return of the Jedi – which was supposed to feature Han Solo versus Boba Fett, with the Skywalker story only introduced at the end leading to the next trilogy.

“Fans still refuse to accept that he died in the Sarlacc Pit… He became a major player in the Clone Wars series, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he turns up in Episode VII or as a central character in one of the rumored ‘spin-off’ movies,” Melching said.

 

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There’s been speculation whether or not the Star Wars spin-off films will be related to the series proper. If the latest plot rumors have a kernel of truth, as reported by SchmoesKnow.com, this very well may be.

According to the “leaked” information, the plot centering on Episode VII will involve the characters of Jaina and Jacen Solo – the twin children of Han Solo and Leia Organa. The New Jedi Order has been established, but tensions rise when Jacen turns to the Dark Side.

Fans of the Expanded Universe are familiar with this story, especially from the “Legacy of the Force” novels. Jaina was trained by Luke Skywalker and her brother, Jacen, becomes one of the most powerful Jedi in the universe, rivaling Luke, himself.

In the novels, Jacen is seduced to the Dark Side as a way to better the world. He becomes convinced he can learn this side of the Force without falling into the same trappings his grandfather, Anakin, had. In the novels, it becomes left to Jaina to stop her brother – and to do so, she seeks out Boba Fett to train her.

Jaina’s time spent on Mandalore, training with Fett, becoming comrades with Mirta Gev, Boba Fett’s granddaughter, and fighting beside Mandalorians, was a pivotal piece of her readying to take down her brother.

Therefore, if the plot of Episode VII is truly about the Solo twins – we’ll likely see a heavy amount of Mandalorians – even if this isn’t fleshed out until Episode VIII or IX.

I wouldn’t be shocked if Disney wants to include more Mandalorians in the sequel trilogy. The popularity of Death Watch and Mandalore-centered episodes in The Clone Wars has proven fans embrace Mandalorian factions as much as Jedi and Sith.

This also would open Boba Fett’s rumored spin-off, especially if Episode VIII is when they land Jaina on Mandalore.

They could set up the fall of Jacen in Episode VII, and then release the Boba Fett spin-off, which centers on Boba Fett’s survival from the Sarlacc, reunion with Mirta Gev and becoming Mandalore.

Then we have all the information we need to lead into Episode VIII – which shows Jaina arriving on Mandalore and her experiences with the people.

What are your thoughts?

Artist Robert Shane was always bothered by what happened to Boba Fett in the beginning of Return of the Jedi. One of his most recent illustrations features Fett’s resurrection from the Sarlacc pit. Here’s his proposal for the return of our favorite bounty hunter. What do you think of his proposal?

In my drawing I’ve shown Fett emerging from the Sarlacc pit after being trapped unconscious for 30 years. The Sarlacc’s stomach acid has been wearing away at his armor all this time - leading to the added corrosion and cracks I’ve drawn - until the acid created a short circuit in Fett’s jet pack which ignited the rocket on his pack, killing the Sarlacc and allowing Fett to wake from his stasis and slowly, wearily crawl up out of the burning pit… just in time to appear in Star Wars: Episode VII - looking to take revenge on Han Solo!”

Here’s a clip of the filming of Patton Oswalt’s Star Wars filibuster, which can be seen in tonight’s episode of "Parks and Recreation" on NBC. He gives a solid nod to Boba Fett and Slave I.