The modern Mandalorian helmet is a technological marvel, one that allows a well-trained Watcher to see in all directions, communicate easily, and fight more effectively than a dozen common soldiers.
The helmet’s viewplate automatically augments vision in low-light conditions and protects it from peaks in intensity, preventing a Watcher from being blinded by explosions or luma-weaponns. The viewplate’s macrobinocular lenses interface with the rangefinger, selecting as many as 10 targets for tracking via the heads-up display, controlled either by voice command or eye movement and blinking. A pineal sensor and microcameras let the wearer see behind him. An encrypted internal comlink allows communications with other Watchers, while a broadband antenna is included for longer-range transmissions. The helmet has a two-hour reserve air tank and an environmental filter to eliminate contaminants.
The Bounty Hunter Code: From The Files of Boba Fett by Daniel Wallace, Ryder Windham and Jason Fry
This is one of those vivid childhood memories that made such an impression I remember it so well even thirty years later.
I’m about six or seven years old, I suppose, on a scorching hot day at the house of friends of my older brother’s. They’re playing with Star Wars toys in the dust in the back yard, and for once I’m being allowed to join in for lack of other entertainment for me.
I pick up a particular toy – a rough looking bounty hunter type with a helmet and a big staff. I pull at the helmet, it comes off, and to my little girl surprise, underneath are feminine features. I ask one of the boys who it is, and they tell me it is Princess Leia, dressed as Boushh the bounty hunter.
A girl dressed as a boy? Doing boy things?! My young little mind is blown.
And after that when we saw Return of the Jedi on TV, I was always utterly fascinated by that scene – the Princess, not being rescued, but being the rescuer (even if, OK, it did go wrong). The girl doing everything a boy can do.
How much of an impact that little toy made on me really says something – that thirty years later I still remember it vividly. That already at that young age societies ‘norms’ for female behaviour were so ingrained in me that her existence was a shock. That somehow that simple toy, those short scenes in a film, gave me permission to be the tom boy I always was, to look at the world and think ‘I can do anything a boy can.’ A simple but powerful message I’ve carried with me the rest of my life.*
And this is why decent, meaningful female characters in films matter. Why we need Princess Leia, Mara Jade, Padme Amidala, Jaina Solo, Winter, Mirax and all the others. This is why we need Princess Leia dolls in Disney stores (and not just Slave Leia!) and far, far more than that. It’s important because yes, a silly little thing like a toy can spark possibilities in a child’s mind that can change their world for ever.**
*although as I grew up, I of course discovered that it’s not ‘I can do anything a boy can’ but that ‘I should be able to do anything a boy can, but there are a hell of a lot of social barriers in the way’.
**and that’s why we also need more people of colour, both male and female in our franchise and in our toy shops.
You guys. I got drunk last night while listening to the Hamilton soundtrack and started writing a screenplay for the Boba Fett movie.
EXT. THE DUNE SEA, TATOOINE
Sand blows and swirls over the dunes. The camera pans slowly to the left, where a MOTHER WOMP RAT staggers up the side of a hill, followed by four babies. She stops, and sniffs the air. A leathery tentacle snatches her up with no warning, and with a sharp squeal, she’s gone. The babies scatter.
The camera continues left, and a dip in the sands reveals a pit where the leathery tentacles meet a toothy maw. The SARLACC belches.
A hover-skiff cuts in front of the camera, circling the pit. It comes to a stop. There are two men aboard, the rough-looking PILOT of the skiff, and BOBA FETT, who stands with his back to the camera. He is wearing Mandalorian combat armor, but not his helmet.
PILOT: Ever seen anything like it?
BOBA FETT: No.
The camera circles around the skiff. BOBA FETT is in his early twenties, wearing armor that is newer and lighter. He holds his Mandalorian helmet in his hands as he looks down at the pit without expression. In the background, other skiffs are approaching, along with JABBA THE HUTT’s sail barge.
PILOT: The locals call it a sarlacc. This your first execution?
BOBA FETT: First one here.
The bounty hunter puts his helmet on. The camera slowly zooms into the black visor until it fades into a black title screen. “BOBA FETT” appears in the traditional Star Wars font.
EXT. ARENA ON GEONOSIS [DREAM]
Darkness. The sound of a child’s frantic, labored breathing. Boba Fett is trapped in a nightmare and a memory. The audience has his POV as he places the helmet on his head, and a child’s hands press over the visor. The interior of the helmet features a highly technical display, with targeting sights and words in the Mandalorian language.
As Fett removes his hands, the decapitated body of Jango Fett, his father, is visible. Clouds of red dust obscure the arena, and the sound of leathery wings fill the air. Through the haze, the bright purple blade of a lightsabre appears, slicing down towards Fett. A soft chime sounds.
INT. SLEEPING QUARTERS ABOARD SLAVE I
Fett wakes, bolting upright in his bunk. He’s in his early thirties now, the passage of years indicated by a new scar on the bridge of his nose. He rubs hands over his face, shaken by his dream. Another chime sounds, and the ship speaks in an automated female voice.