Star Wars - Boba Fett's Ship Slave I

Bounty hunter Boba Fett returned to the Star Wars universe in a big way thanks to the second season of The Mandalorian last year. Though the character already had a rich history thanks to the stories that are now being relegated to Star Wars Legends, the new Star Wars canon established by Lucasfilm in 2014 after Disney purchased the company wipes the slate clean. Now those in charge of Star Wars have freedom to take Boba Fett in new directions, and that could include giving his ship a new name.

Even though it’s never been named out loud in the movies, Boba Fett’s ship has always been known as Slave I. However, The Walt Disney Company has now reportedly asked that the vehicle merely be labeled as Boba Fett’s Starship on toys and other merchandise that might reference it. But what does this mean for the name of Boba Fett’s ship in the Star Wars universe, and is ignoring it, or possibly changing it, the right move?

This new wrinkle in the Star Wars universe comes from an interview at Jedi News (and conducted with LEGO Star Wars design director Jens Kronvold Frederiksen and lead designer Michael Lee Stockwell. While talking about a few upcoming LEGO sets inspired by The Mandalorian, this exchange unfolded:

Jens: Then, the next one, also from The Mandalorian, is Boba Fett’s Starship.

Michael: Yes, I built another. We’re not calling it Slave I any more. This is Boba Fett’s Starship.

James: OK, why are we dropping the Slave I name?

Jens: Everybody is. It’s probably not something which has been announced publicly but it is just something that Disney doesn’t want to use any more.

Star Wars - Boba Fett's Ship LEGO Set

Why is the Slave I Name Being Changed?

Though the exact reasoning wasn’t provided, it’s likely that Disney doesn’t want to go out of there way to sell merchandise that has the word “slave” as part of its name, especially in a franchise that’s meant to be geared towards kids. Slavery is part of a tragic time in America’s history (as well as the history of many countries around the globe), so Disney distancing themselves from that concept makes sense. After all, the company is no longer making “Slave Leia” merchandise, though that may have more to do with the objectification and sexualization of Princess Leia in Return of the Jedi than the concept of slavery itself.

However, this begs the question whether the mere existence of slavery in real history should be reason enough to ignore (and possibly update) something that has been previously established in the mythology of Star Wars for decades.

The Mandalorian - Boba Fett's Ship Slave I

Should the Slave I Name Be Ignored?

If Disney wants to distance themselves from using the word “slave” in any of their merchandise, that’s understandable. But is it the right move? Slavery exists in the Star Wars universe, just as it has for centuries in the real world. Let’s not forget that Darth Vader himself was once a young slave with his mother when he was Anakin Skywalker. To ignore the name of a ship that references something that has a firm place in the Star Wars universe seems like an odd move.

Then again, if it’s merely for toy packages, does it really matter? It’s not as if calling the ship “Boba Fett’s Starship” is inaccurate. Plus, LEGO has a history of not calling ships by their actual names in the Star Wars universe. A Star Wars fan on Twitter pointed out this very fact with a series of images:

Darth Maul’s Sith Infiltrator is actually called the Scimitar. General Grievous’ starship is named the Soulless One. The transport ship used by the Knights of Ren is called the Night Buzzard. And The Bad Batch’s attack shuttle is known as the Havoc Marauder. But no one has ever gotten up in arms about the real names of those ships not being used on LEGO packaging. Will not seeing the Slave I name on the box ruin the ship for fans?

The Mandalorian - Boba Fett

Should the Slave I Name Be Changed?

If Disney feels uncomfortable about putting “Slave I” on merchandise packaging, should the name of Boba Fett’s starship be changed entirely? Even though that’s what Boba Fett’s ship has been referred to for years, it’s never actually been uttered aloud in the history of the entire Star Wars saga. Only in Star Wars Legends and previous merchandise releases has that name been used. So it stands to reason that Lucasfilm could change the name of the ship in the new Star Wars canon. But do they need to?

Though a reason has never been given for the ship’s name being Slave I (which dates back to Jango Fett), perhaps there’s a backstory that would give purpose to the name. As we’ve established, slavery exists in the Star Wars universe. Maybe the ship was named as a way of giving a slave who previously owned it a sense of power after escaping their overlord. Maybe Jango Fett named it as tribute to a fallen slave whose name he never knew. This particular class of ship is said to be used on a prison moon, so perhaps keeping the name serves as a reminder of the time Jango bested the guards by stealing it, and Boba Fett saw no need to change it.

At the end of the day, the name of Slave I is just a little detail from the old Star Wars universe that doesn’t yet have any real significance. Even though it’s been the name of the ship for a long time in Star Wars mythology, a lot of that has changed due to the creation of Star Wars Legends. Maybe it’s time for Boba Fett’s ship to have a new name now that he’s finally getting his due diligence in his own TV show. But as of now, there’s no indication that the name of the ship will be changed. We’ll have to see what happens when The Book of Boba Fett arrives later this year.

Cool Posts From Around the Web: