Inside the Slave I: Boba Fett's Swiss Army Knife Of A Ship
A Deadly Vessel
The Slave I is one of the most iconic ship designs in Star Wars. The personal vehicle of infamous bounty hunter Boba Fett, the Slave I immediately made an impression on me the first time I saw it in The Empire Strikes Back. Sleek, yet powerful-looking, this unique ship rises from a lying position and rotates so what was the top is now facing forward. If we were to compare it to the human body, the ship goes from lying on its back to standing and facing forward. This raised questions about how this functions, as in The Empire Strikes Back, we never see how Boba Fett boards, enters the pilot’s seat, and then takes off.
Luckily, we finally got a good look at how this functions in season two of The Mandalorian, with a scene that takes place inside the Slave I as it takes off. As Team Mando sits down in the (pretty sparse) cabin, we can see the cabin remaining stationary as the body of the ship rotates around it. No matter what position the Slave I is flying in, the crew stays upright. It’s a pretty neat trick.
Beyond this unique feature, the Slave I may appear to be lightly armed with only two blaster cannons, but this is intentionally misleading. Slave I is a Swiss Army knife of a ship, with weapons and features tucked away to fool prey or pursuers into thinking Fett could be taken down easily.
By the time of The Mandalorian season two, those two blaster cannons are capable of firing Ion shots as well, which Fett uses to incapacitate the Imperial Shuttle that Dr. Pershing is aboard. This feature no doubt comes in handy for the “no disintegration” kind of jobs.
Directly beneath the blaster cannons are hidden panels that contain missile launchers. As Obi-Wan Kenobi discovered in an asteroid field over Geonosis, the missiles were of the homing variety. The Jedi Master only narrowly avoided death by ejecting his ship’s spare parts at just the right time.
Another set of hidden compartments in front of the ship’s wings open to reveal hidden laser cannons that can rapidly fire heavy shots, tearing apart enemy ships (or Geonosian asteroids) in seconds.
One of the deadliest weapons in Slave I’s arsenal is the seismic charge. Located in the back of the ship, a dispenser can drop one of the charges behind as Fett flees an enemy. When the charge detonates, all sound just vanishes before there’s a flash of blue light, and one of the most satisfying sounds in the Star Wars franchise: the seismic charge’s now iconic BWOMMM. The blue quickly expands outwards in a ring, obliterating anything in the blast radius.
Where did the Slave I come from? While this has not been explicitly addressed in the Disney era canon, we did get to see how Jango Fett acquired it in the now “Legends” Star Wars: Bounty Hunter video game. In the game, Jango Fett pilots Jaster’s Legacy, named after Jango’s mentor, Jaster Mereel. The game’s story brings Jango to a prison on Oovo IV, where Jaster’s Legacy is destroyed by a Firespray-class patrolship. When Jango completes his objective and escapes Oovo IV, he steals one of the Firesprays, and launches a missile to destroy the other five.
As it so happens, these were prototype ships designed by Kuat Systems Engineering, and Jango was now in possession of the last remaining Firespray. Kuat Systems found itself in a financial crisis with the loss of their prototypes, so shut down production of the Firespray line. Later on, Kuat re-introduced the Firespray patrolships, hoping to capitalize on the notoriety that Boba Fett and the Slave I had gained throughout the galaxy.
While this origin for the Slave I and the impact it had on Kuat Systems is classified as a “Legends” story, nothing has explicitly contradicted it yet. Could there be more Firespray patrolships in the galaxy by the time of The Book of Boba Fett, or is the Slave I the last of its kind?
Written By Dylan Myers
Syndicated From Culture Slate