After yesterday's news that Disney appeared to be rebranding Star Wars favorite Boba Fett's ship on the front of a new Lego set based on the franchise, fans of Fett's character and Star Wars in general came out to do the only thing that seems right and wholesome to do in these situations - they started a petition to demand Disney stop the rebrand.
While it is not really known how far the change of name goes, Boba Fett's starship has always been known as Slave I up until now. The Lego set, however, calls it Boba Fett's Starship. Now while this may be technically correct, as it would be hard to disagree that it is a starship and does belong to Boba Fett, the amendment to the name that has been canon in the franchise until this set was launched has not gone down well.
Cody Pirkle, a fan of the Star Wars saga set up the digital petition on Change.org, under the simple title of "Change the Slave-1's name back to Slave-1." In the description, the petition reads, "Recently it has been revealed by jedinews.com that the iconic space-ship that Boba flys around in Star Wars will no longer be using the name "Slave-1" for unknown reasons. Disney has requested all companies including Lego and Topps trading cards to stop using the name. We want you to sign this petition showing that you still want the name to be the Slave-1 not and "Boba's Star Ship"" At the time of writing, the petition has amassed just over 1500 signatures in 2 days.
While there was some initial confusion over whether the name change was only related to the Lego item to help people with little knowledge about the names of certain vehicles, or if it was more wide reaching than that. However, Michael Lee Stockwell, lead designer for Lego Star Wars, said, "We're not calling it Slave-1 anymore. This is Boba Fett's Starship." This is something that was further confirmed by design director Jens Kronvold Frederiksen who commented, "Everybody is [dropping the Slave I name]. It's probably not something which has been announced publicly but it is just something that Disney doesn't want to use anymore."
From what is known about the change, it is suggested that the whole thing is Disney making a decision that they do not want to use the term "slave" in such a prominent way in the franchise going forward, which will be quickly proven if further merchandise begins to appear with the similar change made. One person who wasn't happy about the change was Mark Anthony Smith, who stood in for Boba Fett when the Special Edition of Star Wars: A New Hope was made.
The digital effects artist posted his comments on his social media, saying, "When applying for personalized plates for my car the DMV would not allow 'Slave1'," Smith tweeted. "Okay I understand. Had to try. But I get it. This #disney idiocy however. Not buying it. Not conforming to the Mouse, no siree. Not gonna happen. When I was growing up I loved #disney. No more."
Currently, there does not seem to have been any changes to the name on official websites and such, other than the Lego set that began the backlash. Whether this will change over time as we near the premiere of The Book of Boba Fett is something that we will have to wait to find out, but clearly the fans aren't going to let this one go without making as much noise as possible.