Sunday, January 3, 2016

Retro Dark Horse: Boba Fett in Dark Empire Trilogy (12 Days of Boba Fett Covers)

Celebrating day ten of the 12 days of Boba Fett covers!

Boba Fett has a small role in Star Wars: Dark Empire.  His appearance is foreshadowed when a derelict ship that looks like the Slave I is shown in orbit around the moon Nar Shaddaa when the Millennium Falcon arrives with Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, and C-3PO aboard.  They are there to get help traveling to the planet Byss, the center of the rejuvenated Imperial controlled space and the location of Luke Skywalker.  Han Solo is betrayed by one of his contacts, Mako, when Boba Fett, Dengar, and a few new bounty hunters show up to capture him.  Han has a bounty on him for the death of Jabba.  Our heroes, receiving help from Han's old girlfriend Salla Zend and friend Shug Ninx, escape the bounty hunters who give chase aboard Slave II.  The Slave II is severely damaged by security shields when approaching the planet Byss following the Falcon.

Star Wars: Dark Empire #4a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (June 1992)
While IG-88 is shown on the cover to Dark Empire #4, he does not actually appear in the story.  The ship shown above the bounty hunter trio is the Slave II.

Boba Fett's appearance in Star Wars: Dark Empire II is also brief, but some of his backstory is revealed.  He also appears on two covers which coincide with his use in the story.

On Nar Shaddaa, Boba Fett is approached by two Imperial dark-side warriors.  They tell Fett he is to work for the Empire for no pay or they will divulge that Fett was an Imperial Stormtrooper who murdered his superior officer.  Fett attacks the dark-side warriors and escapes aboard Slave I.  Meanwhile, the Millennium Falcon with Han, Leia, Chewbacca, Salla, and Shug returns to Nar Shaddaa so Leia can find an old female Jedi named Vima Da-Boda.  They are attacked by the Imperials and Han, Leia, and Chewbacca board the Falcon and are subsequently attacked by Slave I piloted by Fett.  They escape and resume their search for Vima.  When they find Vima, Boba Fett attacks them again.  This time, Chewbacca rips Fett's helmet off and ignites Fett's rockets which send him careening into the ceiling.  It is interesting to note that Chewbacca is shot by Boba Fett in this sequence, not unlike him getting shot in The Force Awakens.

Star Wars: Dark Empire II #2a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (January 1995)
With Vima now accompanying them aboard the Falcon, our heroes leaves Nal Shaddaa, only to be attacked by ships piloted by more bounty hunters.  The pursuers are quickly taken care of, but Fett, donning another helmet and piloting Slave I, attacks the Falcon and damages it.  The Falcon enters a gas cloud and Fett decides to wait for the Falcon to emerge.  When the Falcon does emerge from the gas cloud, Slave I is waiting as Fett promises.  (More adventure takes place in the gas cloud, but Boba Fett is not involved.)  Han decides it is time to finish off Fett and critically damages Slave I.  The text says:

"Once again Boba Fett underestimates Han Solo's abilities... and his luck!  With all its systems shorted out and its new reactor at critical mass, Slave I spins out of control into the radioactive gas cloud." The next panel shows Leia and Han at the controls of the Falcon and Han Solo exclaims, "Didja see that flash?  I got a feelin' we'll never see him again!  I'm gonna miss him.  Where to, Leia?"

Star Wars: Dark Empire II #4a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (March 1995)
The cover to Dark Empire II #4 shows the standoff between Han Solo and Boba Fett.  The Falcon, emerging from the gas cloud, is pursued by ships as Slave I intercepts it.  It is a terrific cover showing Han Solo's resolve to defeat Fett once and for all.  It is clear from the text that Boba Fett was meant to die in Dark Empire II.  Boba Fett does not appear in Star Wars: Empire's End, the third and final story in the Dark Empire trilogy.  Boba Fett is not dead however; he shows up in future stories that take place after Dark Empire II in the Expanded Universe.  It is a trope of comic books that if a body is not shown, the character is not dead.

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