Who thought a Lego set could ever cause this much back and forth? I guess it is the world of Star Wars we’re talking about.
A few months ago, certain Star Wars fans found themselves up in arms that a then-upcoming Lego set depicting Boba Fett’s ship, known in canon as Slave 1, was simply titled “Boba Fett’s Starship.” Lego’s Star Wars line has tweaked and simplified the names of sets many times before in its long history, but what caused this set to become such a topic of discussion was accompanying commentary by Lego designers, who stated that the name of the set was specifically in part due to an alleged mandate by Disney that Slave 1 go unmentioned in merchandise as Boba Fett returned to prominence in Star Wars storytelling.
It was the latest and most public step in a process that had, at that point, largely gone by unnoticed by fans and even then, appeared to be scattershot at best in its approach. Slave 1 wasn’t stricken from Star Wars record entirely, it still appeared in recent novels, on merchandise like trading cards, and even in the databanks of the official Star Wars website. But those mentions co-existed alongside a growing number of mentions that simply referred to Boba’s starship as, well simply that. Lucasfilm remained silent on the purported policy, and the debate largely slipped away, until a new series of Marvel Star Wars comic covers re-ignited it this week.
Revealed for a series of comics set to release in September as part of Marvel’s currently ongoing War of the Bounty Hunters crossover event, Paolo Villanelli’s six bounty hunter ship blueprint variant covers each depict an iconic bounty hunter and their spacecraft. Bossk gets the Hound’s Tooth, IG-88 the IG-2000, and so on. But while the identified covers each refer to the bounty hunters’ ships by their given names, Villanelli’s variant for Boba Fett is simply referred to in solicitations as “Boba Fett and Firespray.” Given that all the other ships have been referred to with their names rather than their ship classes, this has lead to renewed discussion about the decision to rename Slave 1, believing that Fett’s ship is now “officially” called Firespray.
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Except… well, yes and no. But more no than yes. Bounty hunting’s a complicated profession and apparently naming bounty hunter ships, even more so. “Firespray” as mentioned in Marvel’s solicits likely doesn’t refer to a new name, but simply the class of ship the vessel belongs to: a Firespray-31-class patrol and attack craft. It’s the designation the design has held for years in both the Star Wars expanded universe continuity, as well as Disney’s own official canon, where it was first identified as such in the 2015 reference book Ultimate Star Wars. The Firespray-class has, like Slave 1 itself specifically, gone on to be mentioned in merchandise, reference books, and other official material since.
That might offer an explanation as to why it’s referred to in Marvel’s solicitations as such, but as to whether or not it’s the new “official” name for Slave 1, Lucasfilm is remaining publicly silent. A request for comment by io9 about the confusion over Villanelli’s covers made to Lucasfilm has gone unanswered, as did previous requests for comments regarding Lego’s claims of an alleged mandate. We’ll update this post if we hear back from the studio, but for now, Boba Fett’s ship probably doesn’t have a new title in the galaxy far, far away, just yet.
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