Boba Fett, first seen in “The Empire Strikes Back,” will help celebrate the 30th anniversary of the film.
There will be new toys, a convention and special screenings hosted around the world. But the biggest development: A teenage version of Fett will appear next month in the popular Cartoon Network show “The Clone Wars”, bridging the generational gap between fans of the original trilogy and kids reared largely on the prequels.
“Well, he started out as a character in the famed Christmas special,” notes George Lucas to USA Today.
“I thought the idea of a storm trooper-ish kind of guy with rocket packs who was actually a hero — not just a nameless, faceless guy — had a chance for pizzazz. So, we made an über-storm trooper and I called him Boba Fett. I liked the idea that he was a bounty hunter and carried six-shooters. … After the (Christmas show), we put him in the films. And then after that, he became more and more of a popular character.”
Fett is just one character from “Empire” who will help celebrate 30 years of “Empire.” LucasFilm is devoting this year’s Celebration V to the epic film and has already lined up actress Carrie Fischer as one of the attendees.
“Princess Leia is going to be there, and she’s always a huge, huge hit,” says Steve Sansweet, Lucasfilm’s head of fan relations.
The convention will take place Aug 12-15 in Orlando. Details can be found at StarWarsCelebration.com.
And, of course, any celebration of “Star Wars” means more collectibles.
Hasbro is releasing a series of new toys Aug. 1, including a new version of the AT-ATs — those giant, snowbound metal dinosaurs from the opening Empire battle sequence on the frozen planet Hoth.
The toy retails for about $100 and is 2 feet tall and almost 21/2 feet long. “It’s absolutely suitable for play with a kid,” says Howard Roffman, Lucasfilm’s head of licensing. “But if you’re a collector, it’s also a trophy piece.”
A decoration for a desk? “A big desk,” Roffman says.
That toy will be a vintage design, with one big exception: The original was touted as having a firing rocket on its back, but at the last moment, those ejecting plastic nubs were declared a safety hazard and glued in instead.
“That was a big disappointment at the time. They couldn’t do it within the safety standards,” Roffman says. “But they have been able to make it work now.” The rocket part is a little larger, to avoid the threat of swallowing and choking.
Roffman jokes: “It took 30 years for the dream to be realized.”
Hasbro also is putting out full-scale Boba Fett helmets with electronic sounds and phrases — probably all of the bounty hunter’s lines, since he had only a handful.
And a collection of new Hasbro action figures based on the “Empire” characters will be released. They’ll be new designs but with vintage packaging and photos of the 1980-era toys on the back. Hasbro also is repeating a giveaway from the original Empire release. Fans can mail in proofs of purchase from the action figures to get a free Boba Fett.