Controversy over Boba Fett’s spaceship’s name still rages, let’s take a look.
The internet is full of misinformation. Recently a lot of people have been upset and up in arms over what they think are attempts to rename Boba Fett’s Slave I. Despite a lot of claims to the contrary the ship has not in fact been officially renamed. Let’s dig in.
Episode I: The Phantom LEGO Menace
This controversy all started a few months ago with the announcement of a new LEGO set. Now I’ve covered the whole story here, but I will do a quick recap. In short the new LEGO set, which is of the ship named Slave I came with the name “Boba Fett’s Starship”. This combined with some LEGO designers saying Disney didn’t really like the name Slave I (for some obvious reasons) made people assume that they were changing the name.
This was not the case. LEGO sets regularly use generic titles rather than little known in-universe titles on ships and the like, and no one at Disney/Lucasfilm has said anything about changing the name. At the time we hoped it was put to rest.
Episode II: Attack of The Clone’s Spaceship Cover
Sadly the issue has not been put to rest. The latest development came from the world of comics. One of the ongoing comics is the War of the Bounty Hunter’s, a large event focusing on a number of Bounty Hunters. As is common with comics these get a number of variant covers, i.e. the same comic but with different cover art. This is a standard move in the industry. One set of variants (no relation to Loki) is set to focus on spaceship blueprints, and was described in a message sent to, it appears, industry people and retailers. The heart of the message has been covered in a number of places and states:
The War of the Bounty Hunters continues to explode across the galaxy this September! The action-packed crossover is currently unfolding across all of Marvel’s ongoing Star Wars titles as well as a main WAR OF THE BOUNTY HUNTERS limited series and character-focused one-shots. The hunt for Han Solo has brought out the underworld’s most dangerous hunters and acclaimed Star Wars artist Paolo Villanelli’s new BOUNTY HUNTER SHIP BLUEPRINT VARIANT COVERS dynamically depicts them alongside their legendary ships. Fans can see the following characters and vehicles on variant covers throughout September:
· Bossk and The Hound’s Tooth
· Boba Fett and Firespray
· IG-88 and IG-2000
· Zuckuss and The Mist Hunter
· Valance Beilert and The Broken Wing
· Dengar and The Punishing One
Seems like a pretty simple announcement, no?
Episode III: Revenge of The Angry Internet Commenters
People online were quick to point out one seemingly off detail on the announcement; while all the bounty hunters are listed as their name and the name of their ship, one stands out: “Boba Fett and Firespray”. Ah ha! Goes the internet, here it is they’ve officially renamed the ship and this is proof. In a short period of time, online groups and twitter blew up about this issue again, because apparently, this is the hill Star Wars fans are choosing to die on. Fueling the misinformation a large number of websites, rather irresponsibly, ran articles about the “official name change”. Screen Rant, a large news site said “Boba Fett’s Ship Slave I Has A New Name”. IGN, another large site ran “Boba Fett’s Ship Officially Has a New Name“. Many other sites ran similar articles… but they were all of them deceived.
Episode IV: A New Nope
So, did this release mean Slave I was renamed? Well, the short answer is nope. For a longer answer let’s look at a few things. First off is the supposed name it was changed too: “Firespray”. Calling Slave I a Firespray is not really a name change or wrong. The ship has always been identified as a Firespray-31-class patrol and attack craft. That is simply the type of ship it is and always has been. It’s the same as saying “The Y-T1300 did a barrel roll” instead of saying the Millennium Falcon did one. Sure, maybe they are changing the name of the ship to be the name of the class, but that’s kind of weird and there isn’t a lot of evidence of that.
Next let’s look at the source for this news. This appears to have come from an industry internal announcement, and not a public one. That would be a pretty odd place to announce an “official name change”. It seems just as likely that whatever intern was sending this couldn’t remember the name of the ship and looked it up then grabbed Firespray. Indeed there are other errors in the announcement, they refer to the bounty hunter “Valance Beilert”, the actual name is Beilert Valance. Though of course, they could be renaming him also. Finally, let’s look at the covers themselves. I’ve put two above. Now I don’t read aurebesh, but according to those who do, the covers don’t have the names of the ships on them. Indeed we can see that IG-88’s cover doesn’t have the IG-2000 name on it, as aurebesh uses roman numerals. Likewise, Boba Fett’s cover doesn’t have a I for Slave I or any words long enough to be Firespray. So this “name change” appears to be limited to a potential error on the announcement, and certainly isn’t reflected on the covers themselves.
Episode V: The Disney Empire Strikes Back
So what about the people behind this all, what does the House of Mouse have to say about Slave I‘s name? Well, nothing. Disney/Lucasfilm have said nothing at all about a name change or anything related to one. As of the writing of this article (9/2/21) the official website Starwars.com still lists Slave I as Boba’s ship. I think that’s a pretty good sign that for now that the name hasn’t changed. Of course there could be something else going on here as well. During the first part of the controversy, one of the LEGO designers mentioned that Disney wanted people to avoid using the name. So it is possible that is what we are seeing here, not a name change, but just an avoidance of using it and instead referring to the ship class. In some ways that’s the best of both worlds.
Episode VI: Return of the Ship?
So this is where we stand right now. Despite what angry people on the internet and a bunch of sensationalist reporting would have you think, Slave I has in no way been officially renamed. It certainly could be renamed at some time in the future, or Disney could just avoid using the name again. As we’ve been told “always in motion is the future” and trying to say something will never happen is a fool’s errand. Of course, the Book of Fett is set to come out this December and it is likely we might get some real answers then, depending on what the ship is called in that show and its promotional material. Until then, we wait, and please, try to remain calm.
Let us know what you think about this controversy, down in the comments!