Underrated: Ten Reasons Why Boba Fett Is Underrated… Yes, In The Movies

Boba Fett: genetic clone of infamous bounty hunter Jango Fett and infamous among all the bounty hunters himself.

Love him or hate him, there is no question that the character of Boba Fett himself sparks some of the most divisive opinions among all the Star Wars fan. Even before the sequel trilogy. Is he a badass or is he useless? From my own observation, this difference is mainly split between how big of a Star Wars fan you are: Are you into just the movies or are you into the entire lore (Expanded Universe included)?

Image for post
Image for post
By Crawford Jolly from Unslpash (cropped)

In my own personal opinion, Boba Fett was underused in the original trilogy and didn’t contribute too much to the trilogy’s narrative or as even an obstacle. And I want to make it clear that, technically speaking and to my own admission, Boba Fett was not that impressive in the movies. At least, not on the surface. In fact, I wholeheartedly admit that the intention of this list wasn’t because I truly believed that Boba Fett was unreasonably underrated. This was more to challenge myself to see if I could make one. And honestly, I’m kind of surprised with my answers. Though Boba Fett is mainly a beloved icon in the movies, you might actually be surprised as to what feats and accolades Boba has in the cinematic experience. Here are ten reasons why Boba Fett is underrated in the movies:

1. Boba Fett’s quickdraw is faster than Han’s.

I’m technically splitting hairs here. Boba Fett and Han Solo are often regarded as rivals, both in the lore and by the many nerdish debates that have taken place. Using two scenes from the trilogy that I felt best represented their quick draw, and that most paralleled each other in circumstances, I used editing software to compare the time of Boba Fett’s quickdraw and Han Solo’s quickdraw. Here are the results.

Image for post
Image for post

As you can see, Han Solo’s quickdraw amounts to 16 frames, while Boba Fett amounts to 12 frames. To be fair to Han, the scene in which this is shot makes use of the editing technique known as a match action cut. This is when two camera shots shoot two parts of the same action. Typically, when this happens, directors will make sure that the second shot is edited three seconds before where the last frame of the first shot ends. This is because by the time the mind processes the cut to the second shot, three frames have already passed. This makes for cleaner editing and motion. So, with that logic, we can shave three frames off Han Solo’s quickdraw. That would make Han Solo’s quickdraw 13 frames and Boba Fett’s 12.

So, really they’re just about neck and neck, with a fraction of a second in Boba’s favor. Not bad, especially when you consider that Fett’s rifle is likely heavier than Han’s pistol.

2. His wrist cord did ensnare Luke Skywalker, a Jedi Knight.

Most Star Wars lore fans understand how incredibly powerful a Jedi’s precognitive and reflexive abilities are, being able to deflect an entire squadron’s or platoon’s blaster-fire all on their own. Even as more casual movie fans, people can appreciate how incredibly awesome it looks when a Jedi or Sith bat these energy projectiles away. According to Mythbusters, the speed of a blaster bolt averages from 130 to 135 mph from the first six movies. Personally speaking, I believe those calculations have to be flawed in regard to the prequel trilogy, especially if you look at battles such as the Battle of Kashyyyk and the Battle of Geonosis. I may just do my own separate video myself; but, I digress.

Image for post
Image for post
By Anthony Duran from Unsplash (cropped)

Giving these calculations the benefit of the doubt, that’d make the speed of blaster bolts faster than the world’s fastest thrown pitch in Major League Baseball. Luke Skywalker is a Jedi Knight who deflects these kind of projectiles on a regular basis. In comparison, seasoned baseball players with trained reflexes hit balls that typically go about 30–45 mph less than that, from a much greater distance. Nevertheless, despite Luke’s top notch reflexes, Boba Fett’s wrist cord has a fast enough projectile speed to best Luke.

Yes, you could argue that Luke wasn’t looking; but, when it comes the Jedi, not seeing his or her enemy should be no handicap when deflecting blaster bolts. That’s what their senses are for, in part.

3. Boba Fett heard Luke unholstering his blaster.

Image for post
Image for post
By Rod Long from Unsplash (cropped)

This one is pretty straightforward, though it takes a keen observer of the films to spot it. Back in Episode 5, when Luke Skywalker infiltrates Cloud City to rescue his friends, there’s a scene where Luke stops right before turning the corner. Down the hall is Boba Fett along with an escort of Imperial personnel and the carbonite slab of Han Solo. Expecting action, Luke Skywalker draws his blaster. What most casual Star Wars watchers probably don’t know is that Boba Fett heard this, as his head shifted toward Skywalker’s direction in response to the relatively silent action. This is why Boba Fett knew to ambush Skywalker at the right time.

To jump out of the movies for a quick second, this is actually very consistent with Boba’s Expanded Universe/Legends portrayal, as he had audio sensors that could quote “hear a pin drop from the next planet”.

4. “No Disintegrations”.

This one probably takes the cake for most straightforward. It’s an iconic line that says “Hey! Boba Fett can disintegrate people!”. He may not have ever done it in the movies, but it can be said that he does have a reputation for doing so.

5. Boba Fett’s confidence around Darth Vader.

This one may just be one of my favorites out of the list, because it’s a character quality that no one seems to talk about. Darth Vader is one menacing figure. The Sith Lord has a reputation of projecting fear that is renowned throughout the galaxy. Just the mention of his name or standing in his presence creates fear or anxiousness from nearly every being that’s not Force Sensitive. With the exception of Grand Moff Tarkin, Boba Fett is not only one of a handful of non-Force sensitive people who displays no anxiety in his presence, but he’s actually daring enough to voice his own concerns without getting any backlash from it whatsoever. Not only does that speak to his confidence, but it also speaks to Boba Fett’s reputation and arguably Vader’s respect for the bounty hunter.

Image for post
Image for post
By Tommy van Kessel from Unsplash

6. Boba Fett could have killed Chewbacca.

Admittedly, this one is one of the weakest reasons listed. Yes, Boba Fett didn’t kill Chewbacca; and no, the shot wouldn’t have been that impressive from how close he was positioned. Nevertheless, it’s interesting to me to ponder what could have happened had Vader not halted Boba’s effort to shoot the Wookie down in the Cloud City freezing chamber. In strictly the original trilogy, Fett may not have a single kill in his kill count. But, he was perfectly capable of getting one kill for his kill count. And not just any kill, but a named and supporting character. And hey, that’s better than a stormtrooper, right?

Image for post
Image for post
By Vinicius Marcel from Unsplash

7. Boba offers a secondary antagonistic role.

This one sounds plain obvious, right? Yet, it’s one reason that might want to be taken with consideration. Whether you think Boba Fett is useless or if he’s the badass of the EU hardcore fans appreciate, Boba Fett’s presence does contribute an element of richness in the Star Wars universe. Imagine if Vader was the one and only villain for the rebels to encounter throughout the trilogy (aside from Palpatine at the end). I don’t know about you guys, but I for one feel as if the original trilogy could have been a little “single-tracked” if Vader was the only real antagonistic force that the rebels had to encounter. What all the bounty hunters’ presence does is offer the viewers a greater sense that the Empire and Vader have resources that they can dig into, making them feel like a greater superpower than they already are. And not only that, but Boba Fett himself essentially sparks the sixth episode, being able to get away with Han Solo before the rebels can retrieve him.

8. He was raised by Jango Fett.

Now, normally, if I were to refer to this fact, I would probably be referring to the Expanded Universe and how this fact contributes to Boba Fett being an incredible force to be reckoned with. Instead, I am limiting myself to the movies, which is why I am going to refer to this fact in a different way.

There’s a lot of fans out there disappointed with how Boba Fett was treated with the Attack of Clones, and it’s understandable. In the original trilogy, Boba Fett was the silent Clint-Eastwood-type badass. He’s a man of few words with Mandalorian armor hiding his true identity. Almost a complete enigma. And that ambiguity of the character is what makes him attractive to so many people. “Who the hell is this guy?” So, when George Lucas takes the character and gives him a backstory — one that involves him being a copy/paste version of an even more kickass bounty hunter (by movie standards), that ambiguity is taken away. And, it arguably takes away his originality.

Me, it never really bothered me that much; though if I was born years earlier, it probably would. But let me offer a different perspective: The fact that Boba Fett is the clone son of Jango Fett makes him more relevant to the entire metanarrative of Star Wars than the original trilogy ever could. Before, as cool as Fett was in the trilogy, the guy was a contracted bounty hunter. He was a bit, if you will, random — an outsider that didn’t have any intimate ties to anybody or anything in the plot. Now, with the Attack of the Clones, that all changes. Boba Fett goes from being the contracted hunter who obtained Han Solo to the son of Jango Fett, progenitor of nearly the entire Grand Army of the Republic, which is responsible for executing the death of the Jedi Order and the Rise of the Empire. Dang. Boba Fett sounds a lot more important now than the guy who captured Han Solo.

Image for post
Image for post
By Bimatha Pratha from Unsplash

Also, as a side observation, because of the events in the Battle of Geonosis, the Boba and Vader relationship now has a deeper and more personal context than what was shown in just the OT. Anakin Skywalker was there the day Boba’s dad died. Chances are Boba even saw him in the arena fighting alongside the other Jedi. Think about that next time you see Vader tell Boba “No disintegrations,”.

9. Boba Fett is the best bounty hunter of the galaxy (as far as we know)

I stretch my limits with this one saying that I’m “only using the movies”. In the EU, this fact was not argued. In canon lore, nothing is explicitly stated for Boba to be the best. However, Boba Fett is still widely regarded as the best among them. Even though canon lore doesn’t mention Boba Fett as the greatest, both StarWars.com and a fun little line in EA’s Battlefront II does regard Boba Fett as the best. It is a widespread assumption among the fans that Boba Fett is the best, and even the creators of Star Wars content seem to hitch with this.

So, back with “just movies”. Technically speaking, Boba Fett is the best… In his own time… As far as we know. If we were to look back at all the movies, one could easily see that Jango Fett is the better combatant of the two. But, that’s just being a combatant. This is where we get technical here, because if someone says “Jango Fett is the greatest bounty hunter of all time”, it depends on what they’re talking about when they say “bounty hunter”. Because if that person means “the most deadliest hired gun”, then yes, Jango Fett would be the more deadlier of the two in the movies. But, if we’re talking about the most literal definition of a bounty hunter, “someone who is hired to track and capture a branded criminal, dead or alive, for money”, then Boba Fett would be the better of the two. He was hired to capture a fugitive by both the Empire and Jabba the Hutt and he did just that. Jango did not complete his contract with as much success.

Image for post
Image for post
By Rod Long from Unsplash

10. Boba Fett accomplished tracking down Han Solo much faster than the Empire.

It’s impossible to tell for certain how long Han, Leia, Chewie, and C-3PO were on the run from the Empire. However, watching the film, one could easily reason that the ordeal took at least a week, if not more. Luke’s training with Yoda would have obviously taken a considerable amount of time; Piett informs Vader that by the time the sensors completed a full scan of the asteroid field that the Falcon would have been halfway through the galaxy; and personally speaking, I would also add that the Empire invited bounty hunters that were more than likely not parked at the galaxy’s most convenient Chiic-Fil-A-in-an-asteroid-field if you get my meaning.

More to the point, an Imperial armada, with resources including several Star Destroyers fit with large-scale sensors, hundreds if not thousands of trained Imperial officers, even more stormtroopers, and Darth Vader himself couldn’t locate the Millenium Falcon when they lost track of it. And who are the first people they contact? Not a galaxy-wide, seemingly endless supply of Imperial resources. They contact the bounty hunters. And guess what? Boba Fett, the man for the job, dead-on anticipates Han’s maneuver and locates him in a matter of hours — which again, is something what the Empire couldn’t accomplish in what was likely weeks. Given that no one else was able to predict Han’s seemingly unpredictable plan, it’s safe to say that Fett’s tracking abilities are both exemplary and underrated.

So, whaddya all think? Did I do a good job? Did I crack the challenge? Or did I get something wrong? Lemme know your thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll maybe pay you a dime. But probably not. Hope you found the content entertaining, and remember, “No disintegrations!”.

BEA 2020 Scriptwriting Award-Winner; FanFare Publications writer; God-follower; a man wanting to help and entertain others and provide for himself.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store