By: Sam Bluze, Student Contributor (‘22)
A character with only four lines of dialogue and six total minutes on screen in a franchise doesn’t seem like he would be the most eligible character to earn a documentary; however, this character has more story than what initially meets the eye. Boba Fett, a well-known side character from the Star Wars saga, is deserving of an entire documentary, not just the 20 minutes of the new Under the Helmet: The Legacy of Boba Fett special.
For an average person watching Star Wars, Boba Fett is just a galaxy-class bounty hunter who works with the villains to fight against the heroes (Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia). He was first seen in the original trilogy (Episodes V and VI), had another short appearance as his younger self (Episode II), made more appearances in the animated TV show Clone Wars, and most recently, starred in the Disney+ original series The Mandalorian during its second season. For more avid Star Wars fans, however, Boba Fett is a big deal—much more important than just a bounty hunter. From his past to his mysterious present and future, Fett is one of the most confounding and interesting characters in the franchise, and many details that enhance that mystery are brought to light in Under the Helmet.
The short documentary pulls interview clips from people who worked directly with anyone or anything that had to do with Boba Fett, from Ben Burtt, a sound designer who created the sounds of Boba Fett’s ship, all the way to George Lucas, who designed the entire character and made a place for him in the movies. These interviews provide in-depth knowledge that no fan would have known otherwise, and every clip of an interview adds something new to the history behind Boba Fett’s character, whether it be the process in which these creative minds formed Fett’s character or even how they were able to have fun with this new, mysterious helmeted bounty hunter no one knew anything about.
Just a glance at Boba Fett’s costume does not do justice to the hard work the designers put into it. Every dent and scratch in his armor has a story, and everything down to his mannerisms and the clink of his boots as he walks behind Darth Vader in Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back (1980) has a reason and rationale behind it.
The formatting of these interview audio and video clips closely follow the format of other Disney+ documentaries, including Behind the Attraction and The Imagineering Story, and this simple but effective layout is extremely successful with providing insight, rather than filling the empty space with a boring narrator who doesn’t know this information and doesn’t care enough to convey it to the eager ears of the fans.
This formatting takes the audience through the story of Boba Fett, from the very beginning to the plans for the future with his own series, which helps bring a new round of love and appreciation for the character. Seeing the pride the producers, designers, editors, and actors have for the outstanding creation and portrayal of this character is heartening, and the feeling of astonishment is perfectly transferred from the screen to the hearts of every Star Wars fan. By the end of the 20-minute documentary, it transitions into the plans for the future, including Temeura Morrison’s portrayal of Boba Fett in both The Mandalorian and the upcoming The Book of Boba Fett series on Disney+, likely to build excitement and create some buzz for its release. Their plan is definitely working!