I finally decided to have a crack at sharing one of my ‘geek obsessions’ as Lilly already has a couple of times on the blog, and like Lilly I’m going to start off with a subset of the Star Wars fandom!
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but for a fairly minor character in only 1.5 for the Star Wars movies, Boba Fett is surprisingly popular. Now I wasn’t around at the time, so I’m not entirely sure when or why his cult following came together, but to be honest, it probably has something to do with the cool armour and jetpack, which is now a very symbolic and recognizable part of Star Wars today.
My being a fan of Mr Fett Jr does however come second to Fett senior. Jango Fett. Obviously I’m a younger generation of Star Wars fan, which has led me to the fairly unpopular view that the prequels are actually watchable! So for me the ‘obsession’ with these characters came from Episode II, where to me the best part of the film is Jango Fett, the feared bounty hunter and basis of the entire Republic clone army! Jango Fett is just a much cooler character to me, to begin with he used dual blaster pistols, which is awesome. He has cooler armour, which he actually keeps in good condition. He was brought up within Mandalorian society. He has far better action scenes, where he can clearly hold his own against some of the best Jedi, and even when he does finally meet his end, it’s in a far more epic way than just falling into a pit.
A big part of this for me is actually mostly the backstory that was created to explain who Jango Fett was and where he came from. During the making of Star Wars they originally intended Boba’s armour design to be white and given to a unit of stormtrooper commandos from a part of the galaxy called the ‘Mandalore system’. Instead we ended up with the design being turned into one of the various bounty hunters that Vader hires in Episode V, giving us Boba Fett. Then fast forward (or backward?) To Episode II where we get Boba’s backstory given. Jango’s backstory is also given a lot of material in the form of various Expanded Universe stories. Pretty much all of this material is now labelled as ‘Legends’ and not considered canon, but I couldn’t care less. For me this, along with the Old Republic era is the most interesting part of Star Wars. So in the EU Jango’s past is that he is essentially a war orphan that is adopted and trained into a killing machine by the Mandalorians. The Mandalorians themselves were based on the original idea of people from the Mandalore system, and were depicted as a warrior society, who primarily became mercenaries and bounty hunters after a long series of wars with the Republic, the Jedi, the Sith and themselves throughout their history. Like I said, most of this version of history has been overwritten in Star Wars’ current canon, but I’m talking about the Mandalorians I know.
The main thing that got me interested in the Mandalorians and the Fetts was videogames I played when I was a kid. One of the first games i got for my Playstation 2, I think when I was 9 years old, was Star Wars: Bounty Hunter. I used to play this game for hours despite being terrible at it and only completing it after coming back to it some years later. This game is probably a big part of why I prefer Jango over Boba, as I just feel more familiar with him due to this game. The game is a 3rd person shooter and kind of a platformer where you play as Jango right before the start of Episode II. In the second level of the game it shows Jango first finding his jetpack, and from there the game has you use it all the time, which was the most fun part. The way you could pull off awesome aerial maneuvers while shooting in mid air was great. The game follows Jango through various bounties until he is hired to take out a dark Jedi at the head of a cult/terrorist organisation. After a success Jango is then approached by Count Dooku who tells him he passed a test while also helping him get rid of the nuisance who could’ve ruined the real Sith’s plans, and he is offered a greater reward if he agrees to be cloned. This is what become the clone army in Episode II.
Another game that fueled my interest in this, particularly the Mandalorians themselves, was Bioware’s Knights of the Old Republic games. In the first game there’s a few groups of Mandalorians around, and one of the characters that can join your party is a renowned Mandalorian mercenary named Canderous Ordo who later becomes a leader of his people and adopts the name Mandalore as each ruler had, becoming ‘Mandalore The Preserver’. More importantly it is the second KotOR game where you actually visit their home planet (also named Mandalore) and can do missions for them.
So like with any geek obsession, I own at least a couple of things related to it. Obviously I own a few Star Wars games, but on top of that I buy pretty much any tshirt I see that has Boba Fett on it. I have to blame qwertee.com for this mostly, as their timed sale of tshirts mean far more impulse buying. Also Lilly recently got me the head of Boba Fett to stick on my wall, which of course is great!