Written by Richie Pepio
During the 124 days before the release of The Last Jedi, I’m reviewing all 124 minutes of the theatrical version of
The Empire Strikes Back. Join me and together we will watch Star Wars….
As the Empire's closed in on the good guys, the color scheme's changed. Cloud City was all whites, a neutral color reflecting whatever light was shown on it - whether it was the orange sunset shades or the light sky blues. Now that it's teeming with Imperial troops, we're shown the deep underbelly of the city, painted a dark red color more akin to the Dark Side of the Force.
Surrounded by villains, Lando's leisure pajamas/cape don't help him fit in any better. Even though he's the mayor of this facade-city, he only plays third wheel to a convo between Vader and Boba Fett, the fastest gun in the West(ern part of the Outer Rim Territories).
Played by actor Jeremy Bulloch, Fett is rarely seen and even more rarely heard, and yet he's often considered the most BA BH around. Bulloch continues making rounds on the convention circuit even though the character only said 4 lines during his 6 minutes and 32 seconds of screen-time, confirmed by the Boba Fett Fan Club.
What is less known than the history of the masked gunslinger is the fact that, outside of this scene, Bulloch didn't play Boba Fett in the other scenes on Cloud City. Elsewhere, the character was played by John Fass Morton, when Bulloch was being filmed as that Imperial officer who enjoys throwing Leia around. For his part, Morton also played Luke's doomed gunner, Dak, during the Battle of Hoth (before appearing as an astronaut in Superman II and retiring from the movies to become a writer in Maryland).
Of his experience as the Fett stand-in, Morton confirmed my own suspicions that Fett's characterization was based on a famous Western star:
The reference to Jeremy Bulloch having drawn from Clint Eastwood is absolutely correct. As fans know, I dep’d for Jeremy for two days on ESB in the scene with David, Billy Dee and John Hollis (Lobot). Boba says the line, ‘He’s no good to me dead.’ The day before, I asked Jeremy the usual — ‘What’s my motivation? How do you want me to play this?’ He said very simply, ‘Play Clint Eastwood.’ So when Darth Vader entered to my right and came around to face me, I very slowly and deliberately moved my head mechanically from my right shoulder to face him squarely. I thought of my move in terms of a radar tracking him, not so much for communicating to him, but rather as man-machine weapon system that coolly and continuously regarded him as a target that Boba was ready to take out in an instant.
Like Morton, all the other Fetts were able to commiserate about their experiences. They were able to confirm which member of the group was Jango Fett, but they could not say which one was the Ringo...
Boba's finally got his big score, but Lando's got the short end of the Gaderffii stick. Starting to reveal his guilt, Lando's expert cardplaying skills can't give him any kind of poker face when addressing Vader. The Dark Lord tells Lando that Leia and Chewie must never again leave the city. For a traitorous wookiee and a princess whom the Empire sentenced to death three years ago, this is a pretty good deal. But it wasn't part of the original payout Lando was offered. And he drops a telling followup line - "that was never a condition of our agreement. Nor was giving Han to this bounty hunter." This begs the question - what was Vader's original offer - that Han, Chewie and Leia could remain on Cloud City alive and unharmed, as long as they were used as bait to lure Luke Skywalker? That's too good a deal and Lando would have to be a total idiot to trust Darth Satan with that offer.
Several cell blocks away, Chewie botches another repair as Threepio realizes he's been half-assembled backwards. It's a nice moment that doesn't really enhance the plot but provides some much needed comic relief and sets up C-3P0's situation for the rest of the movie.
Best Performance by a Human: Boba Fett's Clint Eastwood-esque delivery.
Best Performance by a Non-human: Lobot doing his best impression of set dressing.
Best Line: Boba Fett's warning of Han Solo's condition - "he's no good to me dead."
Rating: 4.8 out 5 Fetts.
This was originally posted on Mindctrlaltdel.tumblr.com