"I have finally realized that Fonzie was never, in fact, cool. The man always wore the same leather jacket. He lived in a garage and his 'office' was a bathroom. He was thirty years old and he was dating high school girls. In the final years of the show he grew a beard and became a shop teacher. This is not a cool person." - Paul Mather
Yes, it's always depressing when we realize that our childhood heroes weren't quite as deserving of the idol worship we heaped upon them. We all grow up a little when we hear about Kirby Puckett's problems with domestic abuse, or Pee Wee Herman's indecency exploits, or that the loveable kid from The Wonder Years turned out to be Marilyn Manson. Most of us don't get a chance to reconcile, and those of us that do end up plowing their farm to build a baseball field. But we learn, we learn that everybody, even our heroes, is human. Except for Kermit the Frog -- he's just a glorified sock puppet.
That's not the point! The point is, there seems to be a sort of "urban legend" floating around, one that must be exposed despite the uproar it may cause.
Boba Fett wasn't that tough.
A lot of jaws are going to drop after hearing that, and it's perfectly understandable. We've been conditioned to believe that Boba Fett was this unbelievably supercool armored badass with a penchant for disintegrations. He was a quiet, masked man, but he always seemed to be knee-deep in danger. What's not to like? The guy must have been tough, right? Not so.
Let's stick strictly with the films, as they are the only canonical reference. One could publish a book about C-3PO temporarily gaining samurai-like powers, freeing the spice mines of Kessel and sexing up a droid designated HoeBot-99... that doesn't necessarily make it so. So stop talking about Han and Leia's kids, or Luke Skywalker's jedi wife, or any of the other goofy shit that goes on in the books. Honestly... IG-88 becomes the second death star? That's just silly. And let's cut the crap with the special edition. I'm sorry, but Han shot first -- enough of this revisionist history.
We all know how Boba Fett fits into the "original trilogy". The Empire can't seem to figure out where the Millenium Falcon is, so they call in a whole bunch of bounty hunters. There's IG-88, and Bossk, and Zuckuss, and a bunch of other bounty hunters along with Boba Fett. Which raises the question... if Fett's the best, why is everyone else there?
When an asteroid threatened life on Earth, did NASA go out and get the ten best deep core drillers? No, they asked for one. The best one. Harry Stamper. Why waste your time with a bunch of scrubs if one man can do the job? Maybe, just maybe, Boba Fett wasn't the best. Vader even had to warn him "no disintegrations". What kind of bounty hunter needs to be told twice? No, Boba Fett wasn't that tough.
The devil's advocate would respond, "Well, he found the Millenium Falcon, didn't he? The Empire couldn't do that!" Yes, yes he did.
So Boba Fett outsmarted the Empire. Score one for Fett. Of course, this is the same Empire who finds a guy weak-minded enough to be fooled by an old Jedi Mind Trick, clones him 100,000 times, and calls it their army. This is the same Empire with captains who think, "I'll take responsibility for losing the Falcon on our scopes... Vader won't crush me!" This is the same empire whose glorious leader allows the rebellion to know the location of the shield generator, and keeps saying things like "Everything is proceeding exactly as I have foreseen it", right up until the point where his closest disciple casts him into a shaft of indeterminate length and a smooth-talking pilot with a bottle of Colt .45 blasts his fully-armed and operational battle station to smithereens. Outsmarting the Empire is like beating Forrest Gump in a spelling bee. Big deal.
So, you want to give credit to Fett for catching Han Solo. OK, fine, he figures out Han was drifting away with the garbage, and trails him in the Slave One. Does he infiltrate Cloud City and subdue the Falcon's crew? No. As soon he figures out where the Falcon is going, he dials up the Empire like an angry teenager narcing on his parents. The Empire moves in and does the dirty work for Boba, actually freezing him in carbonite so that Fett doesn't even have to worry about restraining Han. Yeah, Boba Fett, he's a tough guy. He had his bounty handed to him a big block of carbonite. That's some solid bounty hunting right there.
It's probably best to avoid how he meets his demise, but for the sake of thoroughness, it warrants mentioning. A single Jedi who hasn't even completed the training and a few of his undercover buddies start causing mayhem and chaos in the Dune Sea. Boba Fett decides to get involved, by shooting -- get this -- some type of snare wire at Luke Skywalker. Meanwhile Han Solo, temporarily blinded by hibernation sickness, activates Fett's rockets, sending him careening into the main sail barge and plummeting into the Pit of Carkoon, the resting place of the almighty Sarlacc. Getting killed in a slapstick accident initiated by a blind guy doesn't exactly cement your place in the Badass Hall Of Fame. And while you may have heard stories about Fett flying out of that pit... until Lucas puts it in a movie, it didn't happen. Jango Fett holds his own against wave after wave of Jedi, succumbing only to the baddest motherfucker in the galaxy. Boba gets wiped out by a blind guy. Great legacy.
No, it doesn't matter which way you slice it. The deep personal scars Boba carried along with him, the battle-hardened Mandalorian armor, even the galaxy-wide reputation the man somehow garnered. It doesn't add up. Boba Fett just wasn't that tough.