Mystery Box #5: Boba Fett is a Good Learner

Mystery BoxStar Wars trivia is some of the best trivia and that is why we love highlighting some of it in the Mystery Box series of posts! The Mystery Box comes from J.J.’s love for the mystery in film, those things which are there but you don’t necessarily see. However, because Star Wars trivia is so fun it would be a shame to not dig into it a little bit more. We’ve already looked at deleted scenes, parts of the soundtrack and the famous opening line. And today I thought it would be fun to look at a fascinating little link between Attack of the Clones and The Empire Strikes Back, courtesy of IMDB:

According to George Lucas, Obi-Wan’s hiding in Geonosis’ asteroid field teaches young Boba Fett a lesson that he uses to his advantage during adulthood. Having learned how Obi-Wan hid from him and his father, Boba Fett knows the trick Han Solo is using to hide inStar Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and is able to find him.

When I read this I thought it over for a few days because it felt a bit unspecific. But there is an undeniable mirroring in those two scenes so let’s dig into it!

In Attack of the Clones Obi-Wan visits Kamino and meets Jango Fett, the bounty-hunter responsible for the attempts on Padme Amidala’s life and the model for the clone army. After a short battle on Kamino Jango escapes aboard the Slave I with his “son” Boba. Obi-Wan follows them through a homing beacon and just outside the atmosphere of Geonosis we get the following confrontation between the two. This scene also has one of my favourite Star Wars sound effects: the seismic charges. I remember seeing this scene for the first time and I loved them!

And then there is the other scene in The Empire Strikes Back. Here we have Han, Leia, Chewbacca and C-3PO narrowly escaping an asteroid field by cleverly hiding from the Empire by attaching themselves to an Imperial ship. Once the trash is released, they decouple and float away undetected. However, Boba Fett is on their trail.

On the surface these two scenes have a very different feel because one is an action scene while the other is much calmer. However, as George Lucas noted, there are similarities which can be explained through Boba’s presence.

In the scene in AotC we see both Jango and Obi-Wan using tricks to hide themselves from the other. In the case of Jango he flies behind the asteroid him and Obi-Wan are flying through. By doing so, he hides himself from his tracker, apparently, and manages to manoeuvre his ship in such a way he is now flying behind Obi-Wan and therefore in an attack position. In some ways, I’d argue, this is not very different from how Han Solo hides in ESB. Personally I would love to believe for this to be a little smuggler trick. It reminds me of something from The Lord of the Rings: ‘The closer we are to danger, the further we are from harm’. However, the thing Lucas was really referring to is Obi-Wan’s little trick. When Jango finds this particular Jedi is becoming a nuisance he sends homing missiles after him. In order to escape these, Obi-Wan jettisons his spare parts, thereby confusing the trackers on the missiles and making Jango and Boba believe they have hit him. This little trick must have made enough of an impression on young Boba because in ESB he is already hiding in the trash. (I’m sure there is a Tumblr joke in there.)

What is so great about this potential link is that it adds a little bit more to the Boba we get to see in the Originals. It’s great if someone is just good at their job, but how fun is it to maybe know where he learned some of his tricks? In and of itself Boba’s role in the Originals trilogy is a relatively small one and yet he made a massive impact on the fandom. Both in ESB and in RotJ he makes for a great bad guy, but his characterization doesn’t necessarily go very deep. In AotC we learned much more about Boba’s origins and his “father” Jango, not only revealing where he is from but also showing us something of his emotional interior. The Clone Wars continued along this trend, making me actually care about Boba for once.

On its own this link between the two trilogies is incredibly small and could be seen as insignificant, but I think it is actually really important for a sense of continuity. With these kind of simple links between the two trilogies Lucas not only allows character development to take place over time but it also shows how different stories are taking place within one narrative. In Star Wars side characters aren’t frozen in place, they also have a story which you can follow and track. Even if this link isn’t ‘in your face’ obvious, it does add something significant to Boba’s character. By showing that he was able to analyse a situation such as the one in AotC and learn from it, discover his enemy’s strengths and make them his own is the first true roof I’ve seen for why he would be one of the best bounty hunters around.

So, short post but too fun a link between the Prequels and the Originals not to share. What do you think, would Boba have remembered this or do you think everything that happened afterwards on Geonosis overshadowed this small space-fight?

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