Actor and digital artists Mark Anthony Austin, who played Star Wars bounty hunter Boba Fett in scenes added to “Episode IV: A New Hope” in 1997, said on Twitter that the famed character’s ship will “forever be Slave I” despite Disney’s apparent efforts to remove the name from LEGO sets and other Star Wars products.
On Sunday, the Daily Wire reported that LEGO director Jens Kronvold Frederiksen told a LEGO news outlet that Disney had requested the company rename the ship, known as “Slave I,” to “Boba Fett’s starship” for LEGO builder kits tied into the Disney+ Star Wars series, “The Mandalorian.”
Neither Disney nor Fredericksen gave an explanation for the change.
“One of the new LEGO Star Wars sets revealed at LEGO CON is named a little differently than it has been in the past, with Disney helming the name change,” Brickfanatics reported, per the Daily Wire. “LEGO Star Wars 75312 Boba Fett’s Starship might not carry the name that builders have recognized since its introduction in The Empire Strikes Back, ditching the Slave I moniker for a more generic title.”
Referring to the “Slave I” name, Fredericksen would only say that, the change is “probably not something which has been announced publicly but it is just something that Disney doesn’t want to use any more.”
Although Brickfantatics and others speculated that there could be several reasons why Disney chose to rename the ship on key merchandise — including concerns the iconic character, Boba Fett, has better name recognition than his ship does — Austin seemed to suggest he believed the change was in response to a Disney effort to sanitize its properties, removing any hit of politically incorrect language.
“My ship will forever be Slave 1. Nothing. Not even Disney can or will change that. This is the way,” Austin said.
In a follow-up Tweet, he lashed out at Disney’s new wokeness.
“When applying for personalized plates for my car the DMV would not allow ‘Slave1’. Okay I understand. Had to try. But I get it,” Austin said. “This Disney idiocy however. Not buying. not conforming to the Mouse, no siree. Not gonna happen.”
“When I was growing up I loved Disney. No more,” he said.
Although Disney has not announced the “Slave I” name change, nor the reasons for it, the company has been on a campaign to rework some of its properties — both film and physical — to meet more modern, woke sensibilities: warning parents that some of the company’s older films contain racial stereotypes (and putting those films off-limits to Disney+ users under 7 years old), “updating” classic films like “The Little Mermaid” and “Snow White” with multicultural casts, and refurbishing its theme park rides to rid them of stereotypes and problematic references.
Star Wars has been hit hard by this campaign. Last year, the company fired “Mandalorian” actress Gina Carano — who was due to headline her own series on the Disney+ network and has been nominated for an Emmy for her role as former Rebel Alliance shock trooper Cara Dune — for posting “conservative” content on social media. Carano is now working on a forthcoming project with the Daily Wire.
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