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Possible 'Star Wars' spin-off: Boba Fett falls into the Sarlacc pit, but not the bargain-bin

Jeremy Bullock, who played Boba Fett in 'The Empire Strikes Back' and 'Return of the Jedi', muses on the enduring character.

By Mike EisenbergScreen Rant / August 4, 2011



Jeremy Bulloch, the actor who portrayed the infamous Boba Fett in both The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, took some time to discuss the fan-favorite character with us. The Star Wars saga finally makes its way to Blu-ray in September and while Bulloch has not seen the Blu-ray edition yet, he is excited to see the franchise continue to adapt to new technology.

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With a rare opportunity to talk Star Wars with an original cast member, we jumped right into what makes Boba Fett tick. Recent discussions of a possible Boba Fett spin-off have re-ignited interest in the character whose popularity didn’t die with his memorable fall into the Sarlacc pit. Bulloch had some fascinating things to say about the character he brought to life, including thoughts on Robot Chicken‘s alternative look at the bounty hunter.

Speaking with Bulloch reminds us that some characters can define an actor’s entire career. While he has made a name for both on stage and in front of the camera, Bulloch has embraced his iconic status as the original Boba Fett and hopes that the integrity of the character stays intact through years to come. Read our brief interview with Bulloch below and check out what he had to say about the spin-off, Robot Chicken, Boba Fett’s history and why it is important to keep the mask on at all times.

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Screen Rant: First of all, thank you for the character of Boba Fett and everything you brought to that character. Obviously it has stood the test of time and people love him.

Jeremy Bulloch: Well, at the time I was working in the theater at nights as well as working on the film during the day. I think I was very lucky because a lot film companies won’t allow you to be doing something else as well. In the evenings, with the proper theater work and talking non-stop for two and half hours, to then come in and be filming in the morning hardly uttering a word, so it’s quite a nice rest before going into the theater.

SR: I imagine working multiple projects is difficult, but you didn’t have any trouble combining the two?

Bulloch: No. In theater I was doing a very fast comedy thing. In a way I think it helped because you could calm down completely during the day, thinking well I’ve got the theater tonight – just stand absolutely still. And it was then I start wondering what is going on in his mind, so you start thinking about it and he is just waiting.

SR: So what did you bring to the character?

Bulloch: You were given direction from Irvin Kershner and George had set him up as a bounty hunter and he’s going to capture Han Solo briefly. But from day to day you didn’t exactly know what you were going to do and it was nice to think, well, the outfit is terrific and if I am to look quite menacing here, but for me it was a wonderful chance for me to be in [The Empire Strikes Back]. And who knows, will it be integral to A New Hope or will it be better? In the end I think [The Empire Strikes Back] was slightly better than A New Hope.

SR: A lot of films like this keep the character destinies from even the actors playing them. Did you know that your character would suffer a pretty memorable fate?

Bulloch: No, I didn’t know anything at all. You suddenly think to yourself, well that’s showbiz. At least when I was told you were doing Return of the Jedi, they were asking for me back so it couldn’t be all that bad. But you know, I think it was probably a little bit too quick in getting rid of him. But as I said earlier, sometimes it works out where the character becomes quite popular and a discussion for them can happen. People will say, “Hey did you see the way Boba Fett got snuffed, that was terrible. Why did George do it?” And in a way I think it’s quite clever that they got rid of him and it kept everyone talking about him.

SR: Now we have heard rumors of a potential Boba Fett spin-off. What do you say to that?

Bulloch: I’ve heard about it, and of course the first thing that people say is, “Will you be Boba Fett?” Well, I very much doubt it. I’m getting on a bit now, but still very fit. It would be lovely to have a cameo role, just without showing your face, just nodding your head and saying you need to talk to me because I know all about Boba Fett. That would be nice. The first thing I would say is that whoever wears the costume, make sure it is lighter than the one I had.

SR: Have you seen the Robot Chicken parodies by any chance?

Bulloch: Oh, yes. The Robot Chicken really made me laugh. That’s fantastic. It’s incredible the amount of toys that were made and beautiful stuff, statues and pictures and I’ve collected a few bits and pieces. I think it’s incredible what this character has created. They’ve made an ice cream about Boba Fett.

SR: Do you see him as a villain or just a man doing his job?

Bulloch: No, I think you are right. He is a man doing his job and doing it very well. He’ll shoot you if you try something silly. He’ll get at you and that’s the end of you and he will carry on. I’ve said this before, but I believe somewhere along the line, he worked with Han Solo and something went wrong. I think probably they flew together and Boba Fett decided to go his own way.

SR: Right now we are seeing a ton of superheroes who have masks to cover their identity. Could you even call Boba Fett a superhero or super-villain to some extent?

Bulloch: In a way I can call him a superhero. I used to notice in wrestling some of the guys would wear masks to hide their identity. They don’t want to be seen resting. Boba Fett doesn’t want to be seen going to a McDonald’s.

SR: How do you feel about the prequels and the direction they took with Boba Fett’s backstory?

Bulloch: I think it’s good that now people know who Boba Fett is. I think it would be nice that you never see his face. Keep the mask on after being a young kid. Something happened that he keeps his mask over his face, so there’s a mystery surrounding him all the time. I think that’s good just to keep. What’s under the mask? What’s going on?

While this interview was set in motion thanks to the upcoming release of the Star Wars Blu-ray, Bulloch had not seen the Blu-ray, nor considered himself familiar with the technology. For those of you still interested in what the Blu-ray edition has to offer, it will be a huge home video event. Never-before-seen deleted scenes and other featurettes will be included that should enhance the decades-long legend that Star Wars has established.

Share your favorite memories about Boba Fett and what you would like to see in any future exploration of the character on-screen.

The Star Wars Blu-ray releases in America on September 16th.

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Mike Eisenberg blogs at Screen Rant

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