18: Boba Fett: The Fight to Survive
Boba Fett: The Fight to Survive was the first of the Boba Fett series of young reader novels (age 9-12). These tell the story of young Boba Fett and his rise as a bounty hunter during the Clone Wars. The Fight to Survive was written by Terry Bisson and published as a hardcover on 23 April 2002 (before the release of Episode II). A year later it was released as a paperback, which I own and read. The paperback cost $4.99 USD, $6.99 CAD. In August 2008, it was later collected with the second and third books of the series in the hardcover Boba Fett: Part I: Survival.
This book, and indeed the whole series, tells the story of young Boba Fett, ten-year-old bounty hunter. He starts off as a young boy living with his father on Kamino. He learns to become a bounty hunter by following his father, Jango Fett. Jango leaves with Zam Wesell to go on a job (assassination of Padme Amidala), and returns without her. After a visit from a particularly nosy Jedi Knight, Jango and Boba leave. They fight a few battles, but eventually Boba and his father make it to Geonosis. At the Geonosis arena, Boba watches the attempted execution of Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Padme, but as the Jedi arrive to save the day, he watches his father killed by Mace Windu. After the Battle of Geonosis, Boba is able to recover the Slave I, evade the Jedi, and get back to Kamino, where he recovers a book given to him by his father, which he was instructed to open in case of Jango's death. One of the instructions was to find Count Dooku. Boba took the Slave I to the moons of Bogden, where he put the word out that he was searching for Dooku. Several things went wrong: a mechanic tried to steal Slave I and bounty hunters tried to lure Boba to Coruscant to give him to the Jedi. Boba is rescued by Aurra Sing, who delivers him to Count Dooku on Raxus Prime, taking Slave I as payment. Dooku affirms to Boba that he wants to help, and that his ship would be safe with Aurra, and that he would assist in Boba's goal of becoming a great bounty hunter.
-Re-tells the events of Episode II from the perspective of young Boba Fett, who has a really cool viewpoint.
-The dialogue in the scenes Boba is privy to match the film and the novelizations quite closely.
-Boba is, on the one hand, determined to become a bounty hunter, and on the other hand, very young and naive. His naivete shows multiple times, on Bogg 4 and on Coruscant, but his growing skills and wits are shown on Kamino and Geonosis. We get both sides of the growing character.
-Boba's experience as he dealt with his father's death is well-written. The sadness, and the desire to push through it and succeed, both come through.
-Very slow beginning. Not much happens to young Boba in the first third of the story, until Obi-Wan shows up.
-I don't like how they wrote Jango Fett. He obviously loves his son, but he's very harsh. Other portrayals, like in Star Wars: Jango Fett and the recent Blood Ties: A Tale of Jango and Boba Fett, seem to portray him in a more fatherly way, which I prefer.
-Timeline: the events described in this book begin about a week before Episode II begins (which would place it at position #2 in my timeline, behind the Episode II novel). However, since the first paragraph indicates a frame (something as simple as "this tells the story of something that just happened to young Boba"), I will place this where I had it.
-Apparently, it was young Boba Fett, exploring the area outside the Geonosian hive, that discovered Obi-Wan's hidden starfighter. He surrepticiously signaled a sentry, who then reported it, leading directly to Obi-Wan's capture.
-Boba has a crush on Padme. Who doesn't, eh?
-This is the start of a long and complex relationship with Aurra Sing, that would culminate in The Clone Wars season 2 finale.
I really like this story. Young Boba Fett picking up the pieces after the death of his father and beginning his journey to become the Galaxy's most feared bounty hunter. I look forward to seeing how the rest of this series plays out, taking into account his appearances in The Clone Wars (last time I read these was before The Clone Wars began).
Since these books are usually still available at bookstores, I recommend picking up Boba Fett: The Fight to Survive.
Next up: The Lesson, from Tales!