Monday, June 2, 2014

101 Star Wars Variations 17: The Ballad of the Fetts

Once upon a time, there was a man named Jango.  He was an honest man just trying to make his way in the world.  Or something like that.

He wore a suit of Mandalorian armor and he took on assignments from anyone who would pay his fee.  One day such an assignment led him to Kamino, where he was paid to be cloned into a whole army.  He requested only that one clone be left to age naturally, and he named this one Boba.  Jango became a father that day.

Years passed, and he continued to take assignments, until one day the clone army was discovered.  Very soon it was deployed for the first time, too, but none of that concerned him anymore.  He was forced on the run, and he had to take Boba with him.  This was something Jango had never wanted to do.  He didn't shield his son from what he did for a living, but he'd never wanted Boba to know just how...dangerous it really was.  It was only in his son that Jango had rediscovered the notion of innocence.  Something he'd lost long ago.

The galaxy spun all around him.  Jango tried not to pay attention.  That was how he'd always led his life.  And yet now with Boba in danger, he couldn't afford to hide from the rest of the galaxy anymore.  He was aware of how the clone army was supposed to be used.  He didn't much care, but at least he knew.  He always thought he was prepared for anything, even fighting Jedi.  Turns out he was wrong.

In his dying moment, before the killing blow had even been struck, Jango saw not his own life but his son's flash before his eyes.  Somehow he'd always had a kind of clairvoyance.  It was how he'd always been so good at what he did.  If he wasn't about to die, however, he would never have been able to process what he saw in his last vision.

Boba wore the Mandalorian armor.  In fact, he seemed to have become a near-exact replica of his father.  Jango had no idea how that could happen, except from extreme grief.  He'd never wanted this life for his son.  Given enough time, he would have put the armor aside and they could have gone off to lead quiet, unassuming lives on some distant world, maybe something completely unlike anything he'd known on all those assignments.  Except that one planet, the vast desert controlled by the Hutts.  He'd liked it in Mos Eisley, but he liked the dunes more.  Something...peaceful there.  He hoped his son would get to see them.

He didn't see a lot of peace in Boba's future.  He saw nothing of his own dreams.  He saw a warped version of himself.  He was horrified.  Was that truly how Boba saw him?  Was that the sum total of his existence, a remorseless monster, a killer?

He wanted to take Boba in his arms.  He wanted everything else to go away.  He wanted...forgiveness.  And to forgive.

Nothing else mattered.  For him, in an instant, nothing would.  For his son, for Boba Fett, Jango grieved. He cared nothing for what was about to happen to himself.  It was what was going to happen to his son that mattered.  And he could do nothing about it.  A lifetime, wasted.  Thrown away.  Not his but his son's.  Maybe that's what Jango's life amounted to.  The son becomes the father, the father becomes the son.  An old Mandalorian curse.  Perhaps what he deserved after stealing the armor in the first place.  Perhaps the bounty that had been placed on his head.

Beneath the helmet, Jango was crying, when the Jedi's blade fell on it.


  1. What a smokin' article Tony. No pun intended. When you put it like that it's so touching Man. Poor Jango. You have yourself a bomb diggity Monday Dude.

    1. There's always a case to be made for sympathy.