For those of you who’ve been following me for years, you’re already aware of my 2nd biggest fandom, Game of Thrones. And luckily, there’s enough cross-over between the two for great mash-ups each year for the new season’s premiere!
Not many in the Star Wars galaxy have the cool factor of Boba Fett. His Western gunfighter look and mysterious aura, like an armored Clint Eastwood, hooked writer Paul Dini from the start.
“The narrow, T-shaped visor gives him a look of constant scrutiny, as if he’s always sizing up a target just before he draws on him,” Dini says of the infamous bounty hunter he writes about in the new 40th-anniversary anthology book Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View (Del Rey, out Oct. 3).
“You’re always guessing who he really is under the helmet, simply a hired gun for the highest price, or is there something more to him? What’s going on inside his head? Do we even want to know?”
It’s those questions Dini, a lifelong Star Wars fan, loved exploring doing the Fett tale “Added Muscle” for From a Certain Point of View, featuring 40 tales by 40 different writers. The collection is filled with iconic moments starring sideline players who drift in and out of the original 1977 Star Wars. You can read an exclusive excerpt from Dini’s story below or listen to the audio version read by Mad Men’s Jon Hamm.
“As Don Draper, Jon excelled at playing a character who was ruthless, cunning, and yet undeniably charismatic. There’s a lot of that in Fett,” Dini says.
Fett technically first appeared in 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back but was later digitally inserted by George Lucas into the 1997 special edition of the original Star Wars.
“Added Muscle” is a “wink to that,” Dini says, a day in the life of the galactic bounty hunter that happens to be the same day Luke Skywalker joins forces with Obi-Wan Kenobi.
“Boba is stopping over on Tatooine when he’s called on by his old associate Jabba the Hutt to help collect a debt. Naturally this is the money owed to Jabba by Han Solo. The story is a monologue going through Fett’s head while he backs up Jabba and stares down Han and Chewie.”
Semacam Guardian Of Galaxy, hidupku ada Vol.2-nya.
Setelah operasi skoliosis.
Aku dioperasi pas kelas 2 SMP, Di Jakarta, sempet gak masuk sekolah satu bulan. Berada dua minggu di rumah sakit, tiduran, dengan rambut yang agak panjang waktu itu memang merepotkan. Entah efek dari mana, rambutku rontok parah waktu itu. Mau keramas juga susah, akhirnya, sebelum kembali masuk sekolah, aku pangkas rambutku.
Kenapa “pangkas”? Karena memang dipotong pendek sekali kayak laki-laki.
Bedanya, ada poninya dan bagian didepan telinga juga panjang, seakan punya jambang. Tapi bukan kayak Andika Kangen Band gitu sihhh…duh kekmana yaaaaa….
Hari-hari pertama memang agak sulit. Aku berangkat diantar Bapak, jam setengah 7, karena aku gak bisa bawa barang apapun saat itu, Bapak antar aku sampai ke dalam kelas. Sekolah masih sepi.
Aku inget betul seberapa dingin kelas pagi itu, bagaimana suara AC yang menderu, dan sepi yang menyapaku (azek).
Satu persatu murid lain berdatangan. Beberapa menanyakan kabar, beberapa hanya berbisik perlahan.
Sebulan tidak masuk sekolah, kemudian datang dengan penampilan seperti itu mungkin mengejutkan beberapa orang.
Kabar yang beredar?
Semacam di tipi yak.
Aku ingat bagaimana beberapa orang memandangku aneh.
Tapi aku lebih ingat kebaikan dan tawaran pertolongan dari semua teman.
Aku ingat Dini mengambilkan pensilku yang jatuh.
Aku ingat anak kelas menawarkan diri membawakan tasku pas jam pulang sekolah.
Dan aku ingat Deddy, memandangku agak sayu. Kasihan mungkin.
Btw, waktu itu jamannya sinetron anak cewek botak yang suka main sepakbola itu loh…duh, siapa namanya ya. Nah, beberapa senior sempat memanggilku dengan nama tokoh sinetron itu. Aku berusaha santai. Agak sedih, tapi yaudahlah. Disamain sama artis coyyyyy, mayanlah.
Oh, balik ke Deddy.
Deddy tipe anak cowok yang sukanya main-main di kelas. “Anak ribut”.
Posisi tempat duduk dikelas waktu itu letter U. Aku dan Deddy duduk berhadapan. Teddy beberapa kali “nyemeeh” rambutku, pakai bahasa isyarat karena jarak kami lumayan jauh. Menirukan aku merapikan poni, atau menirukan aku memainkan “jambang"ku. Jadi dipuntir-puntir gitu.
Pada saat jam olahraga, aku biasanya nunggu di kelas. Murid yang lain sudah bergegas keluar, tapi Deddy menunggu sampai semua agak sepi. Kemudian dia bilang, “Woi Han, pengen aku punya rambut kayak kau. Ada jambangnya. Aku mana bisa. Panjang dikit dah disuruh potong sama Pak Jon. Keren rambut kau Han. Kayak gini aja terus.”
Antara bercanda dan tidak, tapi kata-kata itu menghangatkan…
Rasanya bersyukur sekali tinggal di lingkungan yang baik. Bisa aja waktu itu aku stress karena perubahan yang drastis.
Tapi dengan perlakuan mereka yang berbeda tapi tidak membedakanku pada saat itu, justru menguatkan.
Mereka tahu harus lebih berhati-hati denganku karena punggungku masih ringkih banget waktu itu, tapi selebihnya, mereka biasa saja. Sama seperti biasanya.
Entah apa omongan yang ada di belakang, sama sekali tidak terdengar. Karena tidak sempat aku dengarkan.
Summary: Jon meets Sansa one rainy afternoon right after she gets dumped by her girlfriend and he becomes acutely aware of his more than inappropriate attraction to her despite knowing she’s not into guys. It only gets worse when Sansa turns out to be as fun to be around as she is beautiful. So, of course, that means Jon’s life is officially over and he hates everything.
When Jon meets Sansa for the first time, she’s drenched from head to toe, wearing a large ratty hoodie and black leggings, with mascara smeared down her cheeks. As first appearances go, it’s not great, and considering she’s also sobbing uncontrollably, Jon shouldn’t find her as attractive as he does, but Sansa Stark is beautiful regardless of what condition she comes in. In fact, the drowned rat look is actually sort of cute on her, if she wasn’t crying and if his heart wasn’t breaking just by hearing that sound.
It’s a universally known fact that Jon doesn’t do well around crying girls or women. He’s awkward enough as it is around them when they’re happy. This is uncharted territory. He grew up as an only child with a dead mother, an absentee father and a boarding school full of boys.
But Sansa is crying and she’s standing there on his front stoop looking for all the world like someone had just thrown her puppy into the middle of traffic, so he approaches slowly.
“Um… hello?” Jon says, immediately berating himself for such a dumb opener. “Are you okay, miss? Do you need me to ring someone for you?”
Her eyes snap to his and they immediately narrow with wariness. Even though she’s the one crying in front of his house, Jon suddenly feels like he’s intruding. “Who are you?” she snaps irritably. “Do you live here? Is my brother home?”
“Brother?” Jon repeats, just as sudden clarity strikes him like a jolt of lightning. “You’re Robb’s sister! Sansa? Or is it… Arya?”
“It’s Sansa,” she answers, though still wary.
Well, Jon can’t blame her. Robb is friends with Theon and he’s a creep, so he’d be wary of Robb’s friends too. But the girl is still sniffling and looking sorely in need of something, so Jon raises his hand and gestures towards the door. “He should be home soon. I can make you a cup of tea while you wait?”
Sansa gives a small nod, her expression softening slowly, and as he leads her through the house, gives her a cup of tea (with two spoons of sugar and a good dash of milk), the softness is there in her eyes and lips and it just about takes his breath away.
God, Jon muses to himself. He’s never had such an instant reaction to someone before and he’s still too inexperienced with girls to know if that’s a good or bad thing.
“I didn’t catch your name,” Sansa says after a moment of silence. She’s sitting on the opposite sofa from him with one of the throw blankets wrapped around her. Jon is unbelievably glad that he had thrown it into the wash only a few days prior.
“It’s Jon,” he answers. “Jon Snow. I’m… Well, obviously I’m Robb’s housemate.” He chuckles nervously. “I uh… I also play rugby with him.”
“Oh,” she nods, taking another sip from her mug. “I know you. Robb talks about you.”
“Hopefully good things?” Jon hedges with a smile.
But Sansa doesn’t hear him because she abruptly drops the mug to the coffee table and angle her entire body towards him. “Jon, you like girls, right?”
“What?” He’s too incredulous to answer, and to his horror, his whole body begins to flush just from that question alone.
“I mean you’re into girls, right?” Sansa asks again, a bit more forcefully this time. He nods, which gives her prompt to continue. “Then tell me, tell me why girls like playing games so much. Is it because they’re incapable of committing or is it just me, you know?” Sansa runs a hand through her hair and growls. “We were together for eight months! Eight months. And before that, she knew I was wary about getting back into a relationship but she promised it’d be different. And then she goes and… Well, what kind of person just wakes up one day and says they’re in love with someone else? Who does that!”
Her voice had gotten steadily higher and higher the more she told him, and while he commiserates with her heartbreak, Jon is aware of one thing and one thing only: she’s not into guys. And just like that, what unexpected and unwanted hope that had seeded itself into his mind the moment he saw her wilted and died. Then to add insult to injury, Jon is immediately wracked with guilt because here’s Robb’s sister confiding in him over her girlfriend and all he’s doing is having creepy thoughts about her.
Jon grounds his teeth and forces the thoughts away. He is not a creep. He is not going to get upset because one girl out of a million just happens to fancy girls as well. More power to Sansa for being so open and confident with her sexuality. Right?
God, he thinks, he’s an asshole.
“I… I don’t think that’s exclusive to girls,” Jon says, and immediately regrets it when she throws him a sharp look. He puts up his hands in defence. “Sorry. I just mean… there’s always going to be those people who will come into your life just to break your heart.”
She arches her eyebrow as if to say, ‘what are you on about?’, so Jon continues, stumbling over his words like the idiot that he is.
“What I mean is I don’t want you to… close yourself off. Because that’d be bad, a shame really, and you deserve to be happy. Really happy with someone. So I just wanted you to know not all girls will break your heart. That’s it.”
Sansa stares at him for a beat before she starts chuckling. “You’re really bad at this, you know that, right?”
He rubs his hands over his face and sighs. “I’ve never had to do this before!” he grouses. “Most of the time when one of the lads is going through a breakup, I just take him to the pub and we get pissed.”
“So let’s go.”
Jon drops his hands, and this time, he stares at her for a long second. “What?”
“To the pub,” Sansa says, as she stands up. “Let’s go right now.”
“Don’t you want to wait for your brother?” Jon asks hesitantly, though he stands up as well, realising he’s probably going to be unable to deny this girl anything.
Sansa rolls her eyes. “Honestly, he’s worse than you. I don’t know what I was thinking coming to him.” She chuckles again. “I guess I just thought he might be able to help because he knows Margaery as well, but he’d probably muck it up and I’d just feel worse.”
“Right…” Jon contemplates what he’s about to suggest, but then he decides it’s not about him today, it’s about her. “Pub then?”
When the castle is accidentally set ablaze by Daenerys, she is named a monster and a witch. Running away and hiding in the mountains. Her sister, Sansa, embarks on a journey to return her home and stop the fire burning their kingdom.