For several years now, Disney and Lucasfilm have worked to evolve the Star Wars universe, diversifying the casts of the most recently cinematic trilogy and spin-offs like Rogue One and The Mandalorian, and adding prominent LGBTQ characters to comics and novels. The focus on what Disney CEO Bob Chapek calls “universal values” even led to the dismissal of Mandalorian cast member Gina Carano over a series of controversial tweets, including one suggesting the backlash to contrarian political views was tantamount to the way Jews were targeted in Nazi Germany.
Nonetheless, each attempt to bring inclusivity to Star Wars has been met with backlash from a small but vocal group of Star Wars fans lamenting the saga’s “social justice warriors” and “woke” approach to its latest endeavors.
Now, some Star Wars fans are mad again. This time at a Lego set.
As originally noted by the fan site Jedi News, the new Mandalorian-themed toy line features beloved bounty hunter Boba Fett’s spaceship; however, its traditional Slave I moniker has been changed to “Boba Fett’s Starship.” Per the definitive Star Wars reference site Wookieepedia, Fett’s heavily modified “Firespray-31-class patrol and attack craft” formerly belonged to this father, Jango. While originally built as a police craft with cells to transport criminals, Fett revamped the holding area into prisoner cages, “coffin-like cabinets that were less humane but better controlled his prisoners.”
Speaking to Jedi News, Lego designer Michael Lee Stockwell said the toymaker was no longer using the Slave I name, with fellow designer Jens Kronvold Frederiksen adding, “It’s probably not something which has been announced publicly but it is just something that Disney doesn’t want to use any more.”
Disney did not immediately respond to Yahoo’s request for comment as to whether the vessel’s original name will be completely scrubbed from the galaxy far, far away. However, the name Slave I is still in use on the official StarWars.com site.
News of the name change prompted the inevitable outcry on social media, this time spearheaded by Boba Fett himself. Mark Anthony Austin, who appeared uncredited as Fett in the 1997 updated version of Star Wars: A New Hope — his only acting role, according to IMDb, until the 2017 fan-produced web series No Disintegrations. (The late Jeremy Bulloch, who famously embodied the character in 1980’s The Empire Strike Back, and Temuera Morrison, who played Jango Fett in the prequel trilogy and Boba Fett in The Mandalorian, are better known for their time in the iconic armor.)
“My ship will forever be Slave1. Nothing. Not even #disney can or will change that. This is the way,” tweeted Austin, who works primarily as a visualization artist and whose last two credited projects were Disney’s The One and Only Ivan (2020) and Cruella (2021).
Austin continued to rail against Disney in a tweetstorm Monday, mocking the entertainment giant’s progressive changes and calling them “bullies.”
“WARS. Sounds harsh says #disney. Let's change the franchise name to: STAR DISPUTES."
Several Star Wars fans were with him.
Temuera Morrison will reprise the role in the upcoming Disney+ spin-off, The Book of Boba Fett, scheduled to premiere in December. That is also when we will see his ship in action again, perhaps with a new name.
This wouldn't be the first time Lucasfilm has tweaked the space opera. In 2015, the company phased out the usage of the term “Slave Leia” in marketing materials describing Carrie Fisher and her metallic bikini costume while a captive of Jabba the Hutt in The Return of the Jedi.
Despite the backlash from the outer rim of the internet, the rest of the social media galaxy took the name change in stride.
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