RIP Jeremy Bulloch, original Boba Fett: Who plays Boba in ‘Star Wars’ now?
Jeremy Bulloch, the legendary actor behind the infamous Boba Fett in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back & Return of the Jedi, died Thursday, Dec. 17, of Parkinson’s disease. He was seventy-five.
Sadly, Bulloch isn’t the only Star Wars legend who died in 2020. Grant Imahara, the man behind R2D2 in the prequel trilogy, died after suffering a brain aneurysm in July at forty-nine. Then David Prowse, Darth Vader’s on-screen actor, died from COVID-19 in early December at eighty-five.
Many know Bulloch as Boba Fett, but he’s also had other significant roles across pop culture – but, who’s Boba Fett now?
Jeremy Bulloch’s Boba Fett
“I thought of Boba Fett as Clint Eastwood in a suit of armor,” Jeremy Bulloch once explained about his famous character. “Well, Clint Eastwood has this cloak, and I remember thinking, “That’s Boba Fett. That’s definitely Boba Fett.” It just looks, “That’s incredible,” he told StarWars.com in 2017.
Bulloch pulled the slow deliberate moves, cradled rifle, and cocked hip from Eastwood’s most iconic Western gunslinger, Blondie from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. According to StarWars.com, Bulloch was not the only one behind Boba Fett’s Eastwood inspiration. Empire Strikes Back’s sound designer added a jangling spurs sound effect to Boba Fett’s walk.
Boba Fett is Bulloch’s favorite role and frequented many conventions and fan meet & greets. “In 1979, I was called onto the set of Empire Strikes Back to play Boba Fett, and since that day it has changed the entire direction of my life in such a wonderful way,” he wrote on his website. “It is with a heavy heart that I have decided to stop attending conventions and hang up the Fett helmet. It has not been an easy decision to make.
The call Bulloch referred to in his 2018 post was from his brother. Bulloch’s brother, Robert Watts, was an associate producer on The Empire Strikes Back. According to StarWars.com, I’d never managed to give Jeremy a job on film,” recalled Watts in 2008. “So I rang him up and said, ‘If the suit fits, the part’s yours.’ He came in, and it fit.”
Bulloch has another person to thank for helping bring his character to life. While everyone knows Bulloch as Boba Fett we don’t hear his voice in the movies. Bulloch is only the on-screen actor. Jason Wingreen voiced Boba Fett and went uncredited.
Boba Fett today
While Bulloch did not return for The Mandalorian, another Fett member came back to portray the famous Star Wars bounty hunter. Temuera Morrison returned to Star Wars after playing Boba Fett’s father, Jango Fett, in Attack of the Clones.
Boba Fett is a clone of Jango Fett, so having Morrison come back for The Mandalorian is incredible. Bulloch never commented on Morrison’s return to Star Wars, but we imagine he was as thrilled as we were at the news. Who better to entrust his beloved character in The Mandalorian and the upcoming spinoff series The Book of Boba Fett.
Jeremy Bulloch’s other roles
Non-Star Wars fans would recognize Bulloch from some of his other famous ppp culture roles. Before playing Boba Fett, Bulloch played Hal & Tor on Doctor Who. He also appeared in three James Bond films with Roger Moore. He appeared in The Spy who Loved Me, For Your Eyes Only, and Octopussy. Bulloch also has a small role in the Robin Hood TV series from the mid-1980s.
However, Boba Fett is the only role Bulloch had in Star Wars. For Revenge of the Sith, Bulloch played Captain Colton. His most recent roles were in fan films about Star Wars in 2015 and Doctor Who in 2016. In the Doctor Who fan film, his character’s name is a nod to his famous Star Wars character, playing Robert “Boba” Fett.
Three prominent figures in Star Wars made statements about the late actor.
Star Wars’s creator George Lucas told StarWars.com, “Jeremy brought the perfect combination of mystery and menace to his performance of Boba Fett, which is just what I wanted the character to convey. In addition, Jeremy was a true gentleman who was very supportive of Star Wars and its fans, and I’m very grateful for his contributions to the saga and its legacy.”
Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill took to Twitter to praise the actor, “Jeremy Bulloch was the quintessential English gentleman. A fine actor, delightful company & so kind to everyone lucky enough to meet or work with him. I will deeply miss him & am so grateful to have known him.”
Finally, Lando Calrissian, Billy Dee Williams also took to Twitter posting, “today we lost the best bounty hunter in the galaxy.”