If Slave 1 has a new name, so what?

Last year, there was no shortage of discussion surrounding the name of Boba Fett’s ship, stemming from a Lego set being called “Boba Fett’s Starship” instead of Slave 1. Seems harmless enough… but this is Star Wars, after all, and there is nothing a certain segment of “fans” of the franchise like more than complaining about the franchise.

The question, basically, is this: is Fett’s ship called Slave 1 still or not?

In the most recent episode of The Book of Boba Fett, Fett and Fennec Shand recover the ship, which Fett calls “my Firespray gunship.” So that seems to be what they’re calling it right now, and I honestly don’t think it’s that big of a deal.

First, it’s not like the name Slave 1 has been mentioned so often that it’s a dramatic change. It was never mentioned by name during the original trilogy, and it’s mentioned by name only briefly in The Clone Wars. That does admittedly create a problem, however, because even though it’s very seldom used, it is still clear in canon that it’s name is Slave 1.

Second, though, is the fact that they haven’t necessarily clarified that it’s a different name. It seems like they aren’t going to be using the name Slave 1 anymore, but considering the fact that the ship has appeared in other Star Wars material without the name being spoken (like The Empire Strikes Back, or Attack of the Clones, or The Mandalorian), it’s not actually necessary for them to explain whether this is still the name of the ship or not. Instead, like he did here, Fett can refer to it more vaguely by its class. In fact, in this particular instance it makes far more sense to say it the way Fett did. Is the name Slave 1 going to mean anything to Fennec? Maybe this way Boba is actually giving her more pertinent information needed about which ship they’re going after in the hangar.

Third, it’s not new for Star Wars to refer to ships by their make or class rather than a specific name. Think of X-Wings or TIE Fighters, for example: there aren’t specific names for each one, but they’re instead referred to as “Luke Skywalker’s X-Wing” or “Poe Dameron’s X-Wing” or something like that… much like “Boba Fett’s Starship,” perhaps? But there’s actually an example much closer to this show that fans don’t seem to have a problem with. In The Mandalorian, it’s very much unclear whether the Razor Crest is the ship’s actual name or the class of ship, but there’s evidence to suggest it’s the latter. In the very first episode of the series, as the Mythrol sits in the cockpit, he tries to make small talk and tells Din Djarin, “I like your ship. She’s a classic. Razor Crest, am I right? Pre-Empire?” That statement suggests it’s the class of ship, not the specific name itself. Or in season two, when the X-Wing pilots approach the ship because it’s transponder isn’t on, Carson Teva says, “Razor Crest, M-One-Eleven. Come in, Razor Crest. Do you copy?” Again, it seems to me like it could just as easily be the class of ship that is referred to as it’s name because of the scarcity of that kind of ship in the present timeline. The same exact thing could be true of Boba Fett’s Firespray gunship.

And fourth, what’s the big deal if Boba Fett does re-name his ship? Even though the Slave 1 name wasn’t originally intended to be celebrating slavery, why is it such a problem if Fett, in the aftermath of his whole ordeal with the sarlacc pit, the Tusken Raiders, and more, change his ship’s name to something a bit tamer? This show is exploring Fett’s new identity and mindset, and it’s clear he’s a changed (and changing) man. If he wants to drop the name, I think it’s understandable. And if in real life Lucasfilm wants to drop the name, I also think that’s understandable. In the grand scheme of things, it’s just not that big of a deal, and it’s certainly not worth getting upset about. Boba Fett still has his ship. The ship is still epic. The sound design of the guns and seismic charges are still the same (which is the most important thing, after all). And if the ship has a different name, it’s hardly going to register as a blip on the radar of Star Wars storytelling.

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