Kevin Smith has weighed in on the heated debate over whether it was wise for Boba Fett to remove his helmet in The Book of Boba Fett.
Kevin Smith thinks it was a mistake for Boba Fett to remove his helmet on The Book of Boba Fett. The mysterious bounty hunter who captured Han Solo for Jabba the Hutt made his live-action debut in the Star Wars universe with The Empire Strikes Back.
The second movie in the original Star Wars trilogy indeed gave fans only a small taste of Boba Fett but he immediately became one of the most popular characters in the movie series. George Lucas would quickly kill off Boba Fett in Return of the Jedi, sending him careening into the sarlacc, but could not resist revisiting the character as a young clone when he made his prequel trilogy beginning in the 1990s. Of course it wasn’t until The Mandalorian season 2 that Boba Fett was properly reintroduced to the live-action Star Wars universe. Now the character has been given his own spotlight show The Book of Boba Fett, which among other things has answered the lingering question of how he ever escaped from the sarlacc in the first place.
But with the arrival of The Book of Boba Fett has come yet another Star Wars controversy. This time the flap is over Boba Fett’s helmet and the question of whether the character loses all his mystique when he shows his face – as he frequently does on the Disney+ show that bears his name. For his part, pop culture maven Smith believes it was a big mistake to have Boba Fett show his face so often. As Smith explained on his podcast Fatman Beyond (via Uproxx):
“One of the things I loved about Boba Fett through most of my life is that we never took his helmet off. And in Boba Fett now, Episode 4 or whatever [Chapter 5, actually], we are accustomed to Boba Fett just going au natural Charlie Brown style and stuff. And it don’t matter; I understand story-wise he’s not a Mandalorian and so forth and such – like I’m not dumb. I’m just saying this episode, seeing Din Djarin… seeing this guy never take his helmet off just makes every scene cooler. Where you’re just like ‘I don’t know what he’s f*cking thinking.’”
As Smith points out there is a big difference between Boba Fett and Din Djarin when it comes to the question of helmet removal. Being a Mandalorian bound by the code of that group, Djarin is never supposed to take his helmet off, and indeed the fact that he admitted to doing so in The Book of Boba Fett episode 5 resulted in his being excommunicated. Boba Fett on the other hand is not actually a member of the Mandalorian order and is allowed to take his helmet off whenever he wishes. Obviously the ability to walk around helmet-free is a big advantage for Boba Fett actor Temuera Morrison, from a comfort point-of-view if nothing else. But it’s also undeniable that much of the appeal of Din Djarin is the mystery the character gains by mostly being seen with his face covered and his thoughts veiled.
Of course much of the point of The Book of Boba Fett has been to humanize the show’s main character, which has meant stripping away that helmet-related mystique he’s built up over the decades. Whether Boba Fett was a character who needed humanizing is obviously another question altogether. The bounty hunter served a specific purpose in the original Star Wars movies, and that purpose was to be menacing and dangerous and ultimately a total enigma. By making Boba Fett helmetless and more three-dimensional, The Book of Boba Fett may have actually ruined the very character it set out to deepen.
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