Wednesday, August 20, 2014

101 Star Wars Variations 44: Who's Really Under Boba Fett's Helmet

There's a bird sitting outside Boba Fett's window.  Fett is taking a break.  He's been on the go for months, nonstop, across countless worlds.  A bounty hunter's life isn't easy.  Some consider the life deplorable.  But it's a living, and it tires you out same as any other job.

The bird had been singing, but then it noticed that Fett moved to take his helmet off.  Birds are as curious as any other living being, all of whom express this simple impulse in different ways.  Blink and you might miss it.  Fett's quarters are perched high above the earth, the better to keep him unobserved, except by those who can, like Fett himself, fly.  Such as birds.

Such as this bird.  The bird keeps observing the territory around itself, mindful of predators, or potential meals, listening for others of its kind.  There are many like this bird, just as there are many like Fett.  But they are also both of them unique.  The reasons why are boring.  The bird wants to see what's beneath that helmet, same as anyone else.

This bird's feathers are unique.  We'll grant you that.  Their coloring is vibrant beyond the norm for its kind, and they jut in odd directions, like spikes, fanning out not in the interests of attracting a potential mate, but to give the bird a menacing appearance.  Is this something that came about naturally, or did the bird somehow craft this look itself?

Birds chatter all the time, both in matters of love and general gossip.  There are no bigger gossips in the galaxy than birds.  They cover a lot of territory, both out of instinct and interest.  They want to know what's going on.  There are birds who have traveled the stars, the pets of starship crews.  They have the chance to spread gossip far indeed!

The legend of Boba Fett has long held the interest of birds.  They see him as a kindred spirit.  This bird is about to learn something very interesting.

The bird knows what others have said about Fett, how he is the son of the man who was cloned in order to create the first Army of the Republic and later Empire.  He's never believed that.  It sounds good, but the truth is usually far more fascinating, even mundane, connecting facts that seem improbable only because in a different context they're like anything you yourself have experienced, and one's own experiences always seem...dull.

Who's beneath the helmet?

The bird, like all of its kind, views the world in slow motion.  It flits about so quickly in its own life, nothing else can be expected to keep up.  Gossip can be used quite handily to overcome impatience and boredom, the rigors of an unsatisfying life where everything must be done yourself.  Perhaps Fett understands that, too?

The helmet, it's rising!

The bird twitches anxiously.  Get on with it, already, Mr. Fett!  The neck emerges.  The bird, of course, is observing Fett from behind.  The back of the scalp, which is smooth.  The skull.  The...horns?

Wait a minute.  The bird knows that look.  The pigmentation, tribal, a warrior's decoration, a master of oneself.  Fearful, but a mask.  This...isn't possible.  That man is dead, isn't he?  Didn't the bird receive that news a long time ago?  Except there he sits.  He tosses the helmet aside.  It clatters to the floor.  The man rethinks what he's just done and picks the helmet back up.  He looks around, stares the bird in the eyes for a brief moment.

Because the bird quickly darts off.

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