It is not easy being Darth Vader, and it’s not just because he basically murdered his wife and his boss is an angry prune who shoots lightning. For much of the Star Wars saga, Anakin Skywalker exists as “more machine than man”, to quote his old pal Obi-Wan Kenobi – and that’s not a good thing.
What if being part of the machine wasn’t so bad after all? Through Boba Fett’s Book, Star Wars is changing the script on what it means to be a cyborg, and in Episode 4, the franchise takes another big step to correct this 45-year-old oversight. (Spoilers ahead for Boba Fett Episode 4.)
The Star Wars Cyborg Problem
Throughout the Star Wars canon (and even non-canon elements), cyborgs have always been seen as inferior to those in the franchise. Nobody in the movies gets a cyborg hand by choice; it’s something you do after a lightsaber cuts off your human hand.
This no doubt stems from the treatment of droids in general throughout Star Wars. When George Lucas created R2-D2 and C-3PO, he based them on Akira Kurosawa’s main characters. hidden fortress, which follows two peasants in feudal Japan. Since then, droids have occupied something of a serf class in Star Wars despite their intelligence and personalities. So, by extension, installing droid parts on your own body is considered a bad thing.
In Solo, the franchise toyed with the idea of droid rights, but despite the best efforts of L3-37 (Phoebe Waller-Bridge), droids are still enslaved in the era of Boba Fett’s Book. However, it seems that the status of cyborgs in Star Wars has advanced slightly.
Boba Fett makes cyborgs cool
In Episode 3, Boba Fett encountered a group of young Tatooine residents who chose to modify their bodies through technology. Although he seemed surprised at first, it soon became clear that these young cyborgs were not only proud of their modifications but could be of use to him with their special skills.
Episode 4 went even further. After saving Fennec Shand, Boba takes him to a building on the outskirts of town where people choose to have robot parts installed on their bodies. Everything from the music to the clothes in this scene makes it clear that it’s meant to be a cool place filled with cool people. And casting popular musician Thundercat as chief biohacker only solidifies that idea.
Star Wars is now cyberpunk and cyborgs are cool.
In the world of Star Wars, that’s an impressive step forward, and maybe it will eventually lead to equality for droids too. Perhaps at the end of his adventure, Boba Fett will even choose to free the droid he inherited from Jabba the Hutt.
In our own world, this is just the beginning. Star Wars should consider casting real “cyborg” actors to play some of these roles in the future. But for now, it’s a good start.
Boba Fett’s Book is streaming now on Disney+.