The actor behind the mask opens up about his character, offering intimate details about the creation and backstory on this beloved bounty hunter
Star Wars: The Original Trilogy Blu-ray, Star Wars: The Prequel Trilogy Blu-ray, and Star Wars: The Complete Saga Blu-ray will all make their long-awaited debut next month, on September 16th, from Fox Home Entertainment. One of the coolest special features included for fans of all ages is a selection of never-before-seen deleted scenes and outtakes that promise to be a treasure trove of long-lost moments fans have been waiting more than thirty years to see. And these scenes may very well contain a forgotten moment or two with everyone's favorite intergalactic bounty hunter Boba Fett.
Jeremy Bulloch first introduced the character of Boba Fett in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, and reprised the role in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi. The character proved to be so popular that George Lucas went back and edited Boba Fett into the original Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. He then made this notorious bounty hunter one of the secondary characters in the prequel, Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, giving us a look at his not-so-innocent childhood.
When last we see Boba in Star Wars: The Complete Saga Blu-ray's Return of the Jedi, he was being swallowed by the Sarlacc pit. It has long been debated whether or not Fett actually died in that pit, or if, like the Marvel and Dark Horse Comics depict, he crawled out and lived on to fight another day.
Is Boba Fett alive? Where did he go and where has he been all these years? And, will we really see a Boba Fett stand-alone movie, such as Captain America: The First Avenger director Joe Johnston hinted at recently (note: Joe Johnston is credited for creating the look of Boba Fett's armor)?
We recently caught up with Jeremy Bulloch, the man behind the mask, to ask these questions and more. Here is our conversation.
Is Boba Fett dead? Or did he survive the Sarlacc pit? What is your definite answer on that timeless controversy?
Jeremy Bulloch: Well, you are talking to him. I am alive! That last scene was just a little brief poem, a hook on a fishing line. We wanted to hook you all into it. Yes, he is dead, he is dead, he is dead...Wait, no he is not! He digs himself out of that Sarlacc pit. I remember George Lucas said to me, "When he goes, he goes. That is the end of him." But I think he did it with a twinkle. Because, yes, Boba Fett is still alive. There is a debate. Some people think he is gone completely. Some fans think he is alive. When I meet people, they ask me, "Is Boba still alive?" I say, "Oh, yes!" They ask, "Well, how do you know?" And I say, "Because I am sitting here talking to you!" They go, "Oh, yes, of course! Thank you Mr. Bulloch." Then they go on their merry way. The majority of the people think he gets up and walks out of that Sarlacc pit. Because he does.
I like to believe that he lived. I vividly remember reading that in the Marvel comic shortly after Jedi came out. I'm not sure how much those old Marvel Star Wars comics are considered cannon, though.
Jeremy Bulloch: I think you are right, but people will always have their own ideas about it. Maybe this happened, or maybe it went like this. That is why Star Wars has been so successful. There is always so much about it that you can talk about. The different forums people go on. They'll say, "This is fantastic, but they really should have done this!" There is always someone complaining about something. But that is a good thing. It keeps people talking about the film, and it gets people going to see it again. They will watch it on DVD, so that they know what someone means, or what their point is. Its actually a really good thing.
The character first appeared in a cartoon for the Star Wars Holiday Special. Did you get to see that before you climbed into the costume yourself, to get a sense of who this guy was? Or was this a character you went at blind?
Jeremy Bulloch: I saw The Star Wars Holiday Special may years later. Maybe it was 1998, or 1999. Something like that. I saw it very late, and I don't think it was much loved by people.
People dig the animated sequence with Boba Fett, though...
Jeremy Bulloch: I was lucky with Boba. I was in the theater while I was filming Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back for two weeks. I'd get there in the morning, and look at that costume. I'd marvel, "This is a fantastic costume!" It is ripped apart, there are dents in his helmet. His chest plate, it's been in a battle. It should be very cool, the way he holds this down. So, a lot of it you put in there yourself. A lot of it comes from direction. If the director thinks that you are doing too much, he'll say, "You don't need to do that!" Between the actor and the director, you come to some agreement on how he should behave.
You based your performance on Clint Eastwood's Man with No Name, right?
Jeremy Bulloch: I mentioned that many years ago. I said, "Boba Fett is exactly like the Western character Clint Eastwood played in A Fistful of Dollars." And he is. Smoking is bad for you. But there is that scene where Clint Eastwood is drawing on a cigarette, and it is taking him forever. At some point, you can hear the music, and something is going to happen. He pulls out his guns, and three people are blasted away. Then he carries on as he was, taking his route, moving very slowly. At the time, I thought, "Boba's costume is so deadly, you hardly have to move to create a menace." You have to create a menacing character as well as maintain a mystery.
Boba Fett isn't necessarily a bad guy. He might fight on the side of good. It's just all about the money...
Jeremy Bulloch: Yeah, he wants the money. And he goes for it. But you are absolutely right. He could have been a good guy. I absolutely believe, to this day, that somewhere along the line, Boba Fett and Han Solo flew the Millinium Falcon together. Something went wrong, and they split up as a couple of friends. I always remember the line, "Boba Fett? Where?" Han wants to settle something. I think that's what that scene means. I think there is a respect for both of them. They respect each other. People ask, "If you could choose another character, who would you choose?" And I always say Han Solo.
Its interesting that you bring up that bit of back story. Joe Johnston, who is credited with creating the look of Boba Fett, wants to create a stand-alone movie based on the character. What are your thoughts on that?
Jeremy Bulloch: It could be cool. You never know. I think you might want to just leave it as it is. If they did do a film, it would be nice to be asked to sit in the corner of the Sarlacc pit as a wise old bounty hunter. Occasionally speaking a line here or there, and being a lot like Clint Eastwood. It would be nice to do a cameo.
Boba Fett returns on September 16th in Star Wars: The Original Trilogy Blu-ray, Star Wars: The Prequel Trilogy Blu-ray, and Star Wars: The Complete Saga Blu-ray. Buy them or fall to the dark side of the force!