It’s a sad irony that Boba Fett actor Jeremy Bulloch died mere hours before the season 2 finale of The Mandalorian. Bulloch was under the helmet and armor in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, his performance helping make the bounty hunter one of the most interesting and enigmatic characters in Star Wars. The impact of his Boba Fett is keenly felt in the smash hit Disney+ show, too, with Temuera Morrison taking over the role to amazing effect and set to continue it in a dedicated spinoff.
Tributes have been flooding in from his Star Wars colleagues all week as well. Billy Dee Williams said “today we lost the best bounty hunter in the galaxy,” Mark Hamill described him as “the quintessential English gentleman” and Daniel Logan (who played the young Boba in Attack of the Clones) stated: “Conventions won’t be the same without you. May the force be with you always.”
Now, the official Star Wars site has marked his passing by posting the following:
“Bulloch was a regular feature at many of the Star Wars Celebration events hosted over the last 20 years, and has become a beloved figure among fans for his gracious personality and generous spirit. He will be dearly missed and fondly remembered for the legacy he leaves to the Star Wars saga and its fans.”
George Lucas has also released a statement, saying:
“Jeremy brought the perfect combination of mystery and menace to his performance of Boba Fett, which is just what I wanted the character to convey. In addition, Jeremy was a true gentleman who was very supportive of Star Wars and its fans, and I’m very grateful for his contributions to the saga and its legacy.”
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It’s worth noting that Bulloch had Star Wars roles beyond Boba Fett. In The Empire Strikes Back, he plays an Imperial Officer escorting Princess Leia through Cloud City. He also returned to the franchise for Revenge of the Sith, portraying the minor role of Captain Colton.
But it’ll be Boba that he’s remembered for. Bulloch once explained in an interview that he saw Fett as “Clint Eastwood in a suit of armor.” This perspective was incorporated into the character, too, with sound designer Ben Burtt overlaying the noise of jangling spurs into his walk.
In his later years, Bulloch lived with Parkinson’s disease and suffered health complications as a result. Were it not for this, I’m sure Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni would have found room for a cameo for him in The Mandalorian. As it stands, let’s hope the upcoming show The Book of Boba Fett contains a fitting tribute.
RIP Jeremy Bulloch, 1945-2020.