After the success of 2019 show the Mandalorian, Star Wars fans have been craving more content from galaxies far, far away. Disney complied, releasing their newest addition to the universe, the Book of Boba Fett.
The series follows bounty hunter Boba Fett, most famous for his role in the original Star Wars trilogy where he turned over captured hero, Han Solo, to villain gangster, Jabba the Hutt. Boba Fett is considered one of the most ruthless bounty hunters in the universe. His equipment is meant to reflect his notoriety and brutality, and his ship is no exception.
Originally called "Slave I", Fett's ship had only appeared in comics and guidebooks. A Lego kit in 2021 referred to it as "Boba Fett's Starship," perhaps hinting the future name change, but until the Book of Boba Fett, it had never been featured in any Star Wars movies or TV series.
Now, in episode four, the series has silently renamed it "Firespray." A flashback showing how Fett recovered his stolen ship finally revealed the change, with Fett referring to it by its model name. A Firespray is a type of patrol and attack craft; Boba Fett's ship is specifically a Firespray-31.
Disney hasn't released a statement about the subtle change, but fans speculate that the reasoning was to distance the show from slavery. Slavery as a concept has always existed in the Star Wars universe, though as a system unattached to race or other immutable characteristics. Boba Fett himself was once a slave, which the series also retroactively changed. Instead of his original backstory, the Tusken Raiders that he was a slave under, simply "took him in."
Neither of these instances are the first time the concept of slavery has been altered in Star Wars. Princess Leia's iconic metal bikini from Return of the Jedi was once referred to as the "Slave Leia" outfit, and was changed in 2016 to "Huttslayer" referencing the moment where Leia killed Jabba instead of her capture under him.
Because the concept of slavery in the world of Star Wars is so removed from the historical slavery of our world, changing the name of Fett's ship probably doesn't make much of a difference. Is it simply an empty gesture of political correctness from a faceless corporation? Perhaps. It could prove to be a shame, as to erase slavery entirely from the universe would relinquish the chance to challenge it later.
But the challenge isn't going to come through the name of a previously obscure ship. To change it to something a little more comfortable for audiences could at least denormalize the existence of slavery. While we must always remember and learn from the past, the trend of retconning details such as these could lead to the strengthening of our moral character as a society. At the end of the day, the enfranchisement of social equity will always be more important than the sanctity of pop culture lore.
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