In this week’s third chapter of The Book of Boba Fett, once again 8D8 (voiced by Matt Berry) plays an important role, basically fulfilling the duties C-3PO once did for Jabba the Hutt in Return of the Jedi, only now, instead, for Boba Fett on The Book of Boba Fett. Also, a big difference seems to be that 8D8 actually seems to want the job. There’s no doubt 8D8 looks at this as a promotion. This has to be better than toiling in the basement of Jabba’s palace running the torture department, as he did in Return of the Jedi.
I can’t help but feel happy for 8D8, finally getting his due. I’ve written about this before, but it almost feels like Jon Favreau looked at his old Kenner Star Wars figure collection and decided to fully flesh out some of the characters who got themselves an action figure but didn’t really do all that much during the movies. (To be fair, a case can be made that Boba Fett himself qualifies.) And now it’s 8D8’s turn.
Look, this is no small feat that 8D8 has pulled off here. Think just how many people and droids used to work for Jabba. We also know this because of how many of Jabba’s employees for themselves action figures. There’s one of Jabba’s employees, Klaatu, who somehow got two action figures. One for his “hang out at Jabba’s house” outfit and another for when he’s riding around on the skiff to throw troublemakers into the Sarlacc. It’s a pretty long line of succession to get all the way down to 8D8, whose primary job in Return o the Jedi seemed to be burning the feet of Gonk droids. Even in Return of the Jedi, EV-9D9 seemed to be in charge. (Also, if you own an original EV-9D9 action figure, that’s worth a decent amount of money. If you own an 8D8, it is not worth a decent amount of money.) Now, to be fair, a lot of Jabba’s squad are still being digested by the Sarlacc and aren’t in the position to have a leadership role in Boba Fett’s new administration. (All we know about the timeline of Star Wars, in comparison to our own, is that it was “a long time ago,” which could be 1000 years? So it’s within the realm of possibility that poor Weequay – yes, I get it’s a species, not a name – is still down there being digested.)
So after Boba Fett dispensed of poor Bib Fortuna, other than a couple of Gamorrean Guards, there’s basically no one left from the prior administration other than 8D8. Fett even needed a new Rancor. (Speaking of, I enjoyed that whole exchange between Boba Fett and Danny Trejo – I’m going to just pretend Trejo was playing himself – because in Return of the Jedi it’s played for laughs that the Rancor Keeper is crying after Luke kills the Rancor. But I don’t doubt that character was attached to his Rancor. And now we learn they do make good pets.) But, regardless, there’s 8D8, plugging along.
When we first saw 8D8 in the first episode I assumed it would be one quick cameo. Not a recurring regular character. Like I said, I am happy for 8D8. I bet if a fan poll of “worst action figures” were taken back in 1983, 8D8 would probably make the list. Mostly for being readily available (hey, look, you might want the new Luke Jedi Knight figure, but, sorry, Children’s Palace only has 8D8 – for some reason in St. Louis in 1983 I don’t remember Toys ‘R’ Us, but there were Children’s Palaces everywhere) and for not being able to do all that much. It wasn’t all that fun as a kid to have a “torture droid” action figure.
But, now, 8D8 has made it big. In the show he’s in Boba Fett’s inner circle and, in real life, he’s the star of a very popular Disney+ show. As this series moves forward, I am rooting for 8D8. I will be sad if 8D8 meets his demise. Please, The Book of Boba Fett, 8D8 has come so far. Please let him have this moment.
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