Greetings from the Odinson,
Boba Fett has the reputation of being the most feared and capable bounty hunter in the galaxy. He wears super cool body armor with an iconic helmet. He pilots one the most unique space ships in all of science fiction. And, he is armed head-to-toe with all sorts of weapons, gadgets, and tools. Some might say Boba Fett is the Batman of Star Wars. But why is he so cool?
I mean this is a character whose only brief appearance in the first Star War film was cut from the film. However, word began to spread from people who had seen this footage, probably during early test screenings. They’d talk about this super cool silent man in armor standing in the background as Han Solo bargained with the mobster Jabba the Hut. This was years before the internet and yet this was still a rumor talked about on playgrounds all across the land. This rumor became a reality when the toys for the film were released and among them was this mysterious villain named Boba Fett.
But why was Boba Fett so cool? He appeared in The Empire Strikes Back, but only in a supporting/henchman type role. And then his last appearance was in Return of the Jedi. And though I will admit he looked pretty awesome in Jabba’s Palace, his demise was a throwaway joke. So, how did a character that was cut from the first film, played a secondary role in the second film, and was dispatched offhandedly in the third film become one the most popular characters in arguably the most popular franchise of All-Time?
Boba Fett was an instant hit with fans because he was mysterious. He had a great character design. And his all too brief appearances left the audience wanting more.
So, this got the Odinson thinking about the other characters in popular fiction that fit this bill. Who are the mysterious characters with fantastic character designs that leave me wanting more?
Who are the Boba Fetts of the Multiverse?
Warduke – The first time a young Odinson laid eyes on this truly intimidating looking warrior was on the shelves at Toy R Us. Back in the early 1980s, Advanced Dungeons and Dragons started to come on strong and build their brand. Part of this movement was the release of these really super cool action figures in the same scale as Star Wars and GI Joe. The line included wizards, knights, elves, monsters, and play sets, but, hands down, the Odinson’s favorite was Warduke.
Half his body was covered in chainmail. He was armed with a broadsword and skull-faced shield. But his most startling feature was his Darth Vader-like helmet that covered his face in shadow. The only thing you could see was a pair of menacing glowing red eyes peering back you. This guy looked like he stepped right out of a Frank Frazetta painting.
Warduke is the Boba Fett of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons.
Racer X – He is the mysterious masked car racer that appears in the classic cartoon Speed Racer. Is he friend or foe? Well, he dresses like a super hero. In fact, he looks like he raided the X-Mansion’s closets and barrowed one of Scott Summers’ alternate costume.
His driving skills and tricked up vehicle rival the best in the world and may even surpass them all, even Speed’s. His identity is originally a secret, adding to his aura of mystery. He is an international man of mystery and a super spy. Ultimately it is his startling connection to our hero that adds to his overall legend.
Racer X is the Boba Fett of Speed Racer.
Seraph – Making his first appearance in The Matrix Reloaded, this Zen like master of the martial arts with an understated demeanor instantly became a personal favorite.
Here is what we know about him from the films. He possesses super human skills and abilities of such a high level that he is able to stand toe-to-toe with the One. He has access to doors that open up to secret hallways that can lead to anywhere within the Matrix. He protects that which matters most. And, he has defeated Agent Smith in one-on-one combat in the past.
In a world as super cool as the Matrix, Seraph is a stand out character and left me definitely wanting more!
Seraph is the Boba Fett of The Matrix.
Lorelei Ambrosia – Is she a femme fatale? Is she a goofy sidekick? Is she a technical wizard? This blonde bombshell proved there is so much more to her than meets the eye. She is part of the diabolical cabal of evildoers led by scheming billionaire Ross Webster. The ease with which Lorelei can switch from bubblehead to seductress to secret super genius certainly keeps the audience and those around her on their toes and makes her truly formidable, for the bad guys and the good.
Lorelei is the Boba Fett of the Christopher Reeve Superman Universe.
Gemini – 2,000 years into the future, Earth has been reborn. It is a frightening place of monsters, mutants, super science, and sorcery. Among the many tyrannical wizards that rule over the barbaric feudal territories of this post-Apocalyptic world, the most terrible and most feared has to be Gemini.
Cast in armor, he appears as a wizened man with sad eyes and an almost grandfatherly tone. But when provoked, the blast shield of his domed helmet drops, his head spins around 180 degrees, and when the blast shield raises, his withered features have been replaced by a demonic visage with blazing eyes that can rain fire and devastation down upon his enemies.
In a world Jack “The King” Kirby had a hand in designing, Gemini stands out as a very Kirbyesque character. He is one of only a few characters that isn’t part of the main cast of Thundarr the Barbarian that makes multiple appearances, and quite frankly, we needed more!
Gemini is the Boa Fett of Thundarr the Barbarian.
Creighton Duke – He’s the mysterious duster clad, cowboy hat-wearing bounty hunter from Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday. Like Abraham Van Helsing to Dracula, Duke seems to have a ton of insight to the supernatural lore and the history surrounding Jason Voorhees and his family. He works outside the law, using tactics and methods that may suggest he is less than kosher.
Does he have a personal vendetta? Is he simply a monster hunter in the same vein as Buffy Summers or the Winchester Brothers? The director of the film has stated firmly that Duke survived that final showdown with Jason. It sure does seem like there are more stories to tell with this mysterious man that helped topple the titan of slashers.
Creighton Duke is the Boba Fett of the Friday the 13th Universe.
Jaqen H’ghar – We cannot even be 100% sure that this is his real name, or even his real face. Jaqen H’ghar is one of the Faceless Men, a member of the House of Black and White. They worship the Many-Faced God, a.k.a. death. They are a shadowy guild of deadly assassins, thieves, and spies. They have the ability to disguise their features by wearing the faces of others, move with ninja-like grace, and eliminate a target before the victim even realizes they’ve been murdered.
Jaqen enters the story as an enigma and his sudden disappearance from the narrative after Arya Stark leaves Braavos leaves us wanting so much more!
Jaqen H’ghar is the Boba Fett of Game of Thrones.
Callisto – In her early years, Xena the Warrior Princess was an agent of war and led a vast army across the land, trampling anything and anyone that got in their way. Callisto’s home and family fell victim to Xena’s hordes. The child swore vengeance and in an ironic twist of fate grew to become an agent of the evil goddess, Hera. Meanwhile, Xena through her interactions with the mighty Hercules had now become a force for justice.
The juxtaposition between these warrior women is stark. Xena, the dark haired former agent of chaos was now a stalwart seeker of peace and righteousness. Whereas the fair haired Callisto was once an innocent child whose world was shattered by chaos and is now the crazy-eyed force of vengeance and anarchy. These two opposing forces are nearly completely even in skill and physical strength and agility. Callisto has proven to be a formidable foe for the two strongest heroes of the ancient world, and every time she makes an appearance, I’m left anxious to see when she will strike next.
Lord Soth – He is the Knight of the Black Rose. Built like a tank, he wears desecrated armor of the once noble Knights of Solamnia. With a sweeping cloak and towering stature, Soth is an imposing sight to behold. He has soul-piercing red eyes that glow from the shadows of a helmet that covers his unholy features.
Cursed, Lord Soth walks between the worlds of the living the dead. He is a Death Knight, a terrible spectral fallen paladin who rides astride an ebony steed that exhales gouts of flame from its nostrils and scorches the earth in its wake. From the mist-covered realms of Ravenloft to the world of Krynn, Lord Soth is among the most feared adversaries in all the worlds of D&D as he can kill with but the utterance of a single word. When we first meet him in the Dragonlance Chronicles and Time of the Twins he is an enigma of horror whose terrible legend has only grown in the years since.
Lord Soth is the Boba Fett of Dragonlance.
Boba Fett started out as a mysterious background character that was never meant to be in the spotlight, but his presence was too great, and the fandom demanded more. In the decades since his last appearance in Return of the Jedi, through books, games, comic books, and TV shows, Bob Fett’s legend has only grown.
I know video games and articles and tons of ancillary material have pulled back the veil on the mystery of these characters on this list, but just like Boba Fett, their mystique, their fantastic character designs, and their irresistible presence on the screen, page, and even the toy aisle have made them the Bob Fett of their respective universe.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell
NOTE: For past entries of the So Sayeth the Odinson blog, over a decade’s worth of comic book and pop culture articles and reviews, click HERE. Also, be sure to check out my novels The Survivors and Autumn Dawn, which were inspired by 1980s horror – HERE and HERE.