Admission: Originally, the only source of my original fixation with Bossk was his name. I’d just decided to get back into Twitter, and started playing with Star Wars names until I found one that went well with the “boxerless” adjective. In hindsight, it’s highly likely that I subconsciously stole the theme of that name from Australian podcast collective Sanspants Radio. (Check them out! They focus on making light of all of nerd culture, but especially their Plumbing the Death Star podcast has some great Star Wars episodes)
Flash forward a couple years, and I find myself with a blog styled after his ship, the Hound’s Tooth. And any mention of his name is sure to get my undivided attention. So what makes this 36 year old background character so compelling?
Of course, it helps that “background character” is a term most of us Star Wars are unfamiliar with. If you’ve appeared in a Star Wars film for even half a second, chances are there’s an action figure or ten in your image. Bossk is no exception to this. He exists in every format you can think of, from Lego to Funko. The fact that he got a close-up and a snarl also gives him the advantage over his bounty hunting mates like IG-88 and Zuckuss.
What really put him over the edge for me is the whole race of Wookiee-hating scum that was modeled on him: Trandoshans. I’ve many a fond memory of sticking a vibroblade right between a slaver’s eyes in the game Star Wars: Republic Commando. It was very interesting to me how this culture hinges on hunting and dominating other species, Wookiees in particular. Even moreso because they’re portrayed as even more savage and animalistic than the species they oppress.
(You could even call them savage oppressors. Heyooo!)
Of course, there’s no discussing Bossk without his biggest appearances. The Clone Wars gave him a new yet familiar role as part of young Boba Fett’s crew. And not just any part. In fact, as Boba’s staunchest ally, Bossk is the only one who stays with him through all of the Seperatist War. One could claim this terrible lizard had a big hand in raising the most feared bounty hunter in the galaxy. As such, I really hope we’ll one day see the event that led to the apparent falling-out the two legendary hunters had.
Of course, it’s not all great. One of my Star Wars pet peeves is Bossk’s story in Tales of the Bounty Hunters, the Prize Pelt. Bossk is the only one of the bounty hunters in the book that’s not the main character of his own story. He also comes across as a bit of a chump, ending up in jail without ever coming close to his goal of capturing Han Solo and Chewbacca. One of my upcoming articles will detail which parts of this book I’d like to see canonized in some form… But, spoilers for that article: Prize Pelt is not one of them.
Overall though, Bossk is an imposing character. For me his presence, no matter how small, improves any medium he’s in. This blog included, of course.
The Hound’s Tooth will be a blog about characters, theories, stories both old and new, and basically whatever Star Wars discussion my fingers can come up with. I hope you’ll be returning every so often to catch up on my latest musings. May the Force be with you! Here’s a Bossk selfie to close you out for now.