Why is Boba Fett so popular? It might not be the first question Star Wars fans ponder, but the bounty hunter's reputation needs a reevaluation. Boba Fett is often cited as one of the coolest characters in the entire saga, but from an objective perspective, there’s not a lot of reasoning behind his popularity, similar to how the Jedi aren't the heroes everyone considers them.
Whether as a young clone or fully grown, Boba Fett has appeared in three Star Wars films, the Clone Wars series, and even in the much-maligned holiday special. Throughout that screen time, Boba Fett has mostly done what he does best: stand around, look cool, and not accomplish anything significant. Even Boba Fett's final moment is pathetic.
To describe him as simply overrated would be a gross understatement. He’s a run-of-the-mill hunter with a neat costume who has been riding on the coolness coattails of other Star Wars characters for too long. It’s time to call Boba Fett out for his undeniable imperfection, and it needs to be done before Disney does something foolish like give him his own movie.
Perhaps no two words inspire greater fits of rage among Star Wars fans than “Holiday Special.” George Lucas himself once opined, “If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy of that show and smash it.”
Therefore, it has to be considered a mark against Boba Fett’s record that he made his debut in such an unpopular corner of the saga. Sure, Fett’s cartoon segment in the 1978 TV movie - in which he rides an alien dinosaur and speaks more lines of dialogue than in any other appearance - is probably the best part of the Star Wars Holiday Special, but that’s not saying much.
Sometimes, raw numbers can paint a picture more clearly than anything else, and that may be the case when it comes to Boba Fett’s overall importance to the Star Wars saga. In The Empire Strikes Back, Fett receives under two minutes of screentime and speaks only four lines of dialogue. It’s even worse in Return of the Jedi, as Boba is onscreen for one minute and has a single line of dialogue - his pathetic shriek as he tumbles into the Sarlacc’s maw.
Overall, the guy appears for less than three minutes in the entire original trilogy, putting him behind such luminaries as Wicket the Ewok.
Boba Fett speaks only five lines of dialogue in the original trilogy, and one of them is just a shriek. His other lines are nothing to write home about, either. The scene in which Darth Vader wags his finger in Fett's face and warns him of “no disintegrations” is often touted as proof of Fett's tough reputation, but it doesn’t seem so cool when he meekly responds with, “As you wish.”
As John Gruber pointed out on Twitter, all of Fett’s dialogue from the original trilogy would fit in a single tweet, and that was before they allowed more than 140 characters. Young Fett does a bit better in Attack of the Clones, where he speaks over a dozen lines, but the majority of them are things like “Yep,” “Sure,” and “Dad!” Quotable, he is not.
As a bounty hunter, Boba Fett’s one crowning achievement is the successful capture of Han Solo at Cloud City. But a closer review of the events reveals Fett doesn’t contribute much on his end. He does track the Millennium Falcon to Bespin, but after that, he just kicks back and watches Darth Vader and Lando Calrissian plan to apprehend the rebels.
Fett merely picks up a frozen Han on his way out the door and walks away to collect his reward without ever getting his hands dirty. It’s efficient work, but doesn’t do much to seal Fett’s supposedly cool reputation.