BY: Peter Sessum
With the new Disney Plus series Book of Boba Fett coming out, it is time to revisit my earlier post, Boba Fett was a POG. Using Star Wars canon, on screen activities and off-screen conclusions, not only will I support earlier arguments, but have new points to prove his POG status.
For the uninitiated, POG is an acronym for Person Other than Grunt. Simply put, anyone who isn’t Infantry, and therefore a Grunt, is a POG. Exceptions are Special Operations “Operators” and Medics. For Grunts and Operators, Medics are a special breed that are above ridicule. POG, while an accurate label, is seen as a derogatory term by Grunts and POGs alike. It is important to note, that POG is a mentality, not just an MOS.
I’m not going to rehash all the arguments of the last post; you can read it for yourself. Canon does support Fett’s POG status. If you think Mandalorians are super cool, bad ass fighters, this should not change your mind. After all, Fett isn’t a Mandalorian or raised in their ways. He inherited his armor from the person he was cloned from, who may have been Mandalorian by birth but, depending on the source, may not have followed their ways himself.
Jango Fett, the original, kept his equipment clean and in good repair. Something Grunts do. Take care of your equipment and it will take care of you. The cloned Fett looks like he has either never cleaned his armor, or is regularly getting his ass kicked. He inherited immaculate beskar armor, the hardest metal in the galaxy, and in short order has all kind of dings and dents in it.
Storm Trooper armor is meant to intimidate, since it clearly doesn’t stop any form of attack. Beskar was meant to protect. Not only does Fett have a huge dent in his helmet, but someone shot him in the junk. The helmet dent proves that he was hit in the head with something hard enough to dent the best armor in the galaxy. He isn’t alive because of superior skill, but better protection. All this means is that he is a tank, and there is a reason we call tankers Dumb Ass Tankers (DATs). When you are surrounded by 70 tons of rolling steel, you don’t have to be smart. As soon as someone in the Star Wars universe figures out grenades, Fett is done for.
While some will attest that the marks on his armor are a testament to Fett’s skill as a bounty hunter, I would counter that there is a reason that when giving a fighter’s win/loss record, they add how many wins are by knockout, not how many times they have been knocked out. A direct military correlation is how Grunts will accept a Bronze Star for valor, but that same Grunt will refuse a Purple Heart calling it the “expert enemy badge.” (A direct quote by a Bronze Star recipient and Purple Heart denier.)
In the second season of the Mandalorian, Fett is seen beating down Storm Troopers, which is not a huge accomplishment since a bunch of stone age teddy bears handed them their ass in Return of the Jedi. But even if Fett is now an accomplished fighter, it is like a POG joining an MMA gym after ETS. Even if you learn the perfect arm bar or takedown, you are still a POG. A black belt doesn’t make you a Grunt, a blue cord does.
He is quick to fight troopers, but when he faces The Mandalorian title Character Din Djarin, he doesn’t face him in single combat per the Mandalorian Code, he has his partner lock sights on a literal child to force Djarin to put down his jet pack. Not drop his weapons, but take off his jet pack. If that isn’t a POG move, I don’t know what is. And then he, of course, leaves the fight to get his armor.
Once he has his armor back, he immediately paints it like new, but it doesn’t take long to look like he has been through the ringer. And, of course, he doesn’t fix the dent in his helmet. Making the comparison to modern day fighters, promotional posters always show them at their strongest, not after a fight where they took a beating.
Canon and what we have seen on screen proves that Fett is a POG, but what about what we can conclude happened off screen? What we know is that the show takes place nine years after the Battle of Yavin (ABY) or when the Death Star blew up at the end of the Episode 4: A New Hope. Fett unceremoniously fell into the Sarlac pit early in Return of the Jedi or about 4 ABY. Which means he was kicking it around Tatooine for roughly five years. What was he doing? Hiding like a POG.
I’m sure that Disney will try and find a kick ass reason he was out of commission, but in the end Jawas jacked him for his armor. Not something that would happen to an operator. We can surmise that he was on Jabba’s skiff from the palace, which means his ship was parked somewhere nearby. He had his ship in The Mandalorian, why couldn’t he get his armor back himself? He didn’t try to get it back from the Andy Griffith of a podunk town in the middle of the desert. He had access to tech to replace Fennec’s intestines and bring her from the brink of death, but he couldn’t get his armor back and take over Jabba’s palace in those five years? What was stopping him? Clearly, he wasn’t strong enough without his armor. Having good armor doesn’t make you bad ass, it makes you a geardo.
Years ago, I had a conversation with a DAT where I asked what he would do if there was mobility kill on his tank. Meaning, the tank couldn’t move, but everyone inside was alive. He simply said, “I’m dead.” You take away the tank, and a tanker is dead. He couldn’t conceive of a situation where he would leave the tank and stay in the fight. If you take out a mechanized Infantry vehicle, the Grunt becomes light Infantry.
Boba Fett is useless without his armor. He picked up his ship from near Jabba’s palace and just skulked away. He waited until Djarin recovered his armor, and then tried to blackmail him into giving it up, ultimately stealing it when attention was elsewhere. Where was he when a handful of actual Mandalorians, with his side kick, and a New Republic Marshall raided an Imperial ship? He was light-years away waiting for the smoke to clear. Fett isn’t a hard charging life taker and heart breaker; he is a blue falcon POG and he knows it.
Lucasfilm, and now Disney, has to keep him off screen as much as possible, to keep an air of mystery and have the viewer fill in the blanks with cool details. Now that he has his own series, they will most likely try to shoehorn a bad ass back story and contradict all other evidence, but that is just a smoke screen. The truth remains, Boba Fett is a POG and always will be.