When I saw The Empire Strikes Back (1980) as a kid, one scene in particular stuck with me well after I’d seen it. In the middle of the film, Darth Vader has amassed a murderer’s row of… well, murderers, bounty hunters if you will. He’s going to pay the first one who successfully tracks down the universe’s most famous scruffy-looking nerf herder, Han Solo. There was just the right amount of wonder, curiosity, and fear that built up inside me, at age five, looking up at Vader’s band of miscreants. Ever since then, I’ve chewed on that scene, constantly contemplating the various angles to determine which of these bounty hunters is the coolest. Additionally, there was at least one other bounty hunter that hunted Han Solo–Greedo. Here’s how I rank them from worst to best:
Dengar was a fat guy with a head wound who wore a metal breast plate. He also had a metal cod piece, which apparently protected his junk from blaster shrapnel. Not only is he the worst of the bounty hunters who chased Han Solo. He’s a contender for one of the lamest characters in the entire Star Wars universe.
I’m not sure what tactical advantage IG-88 had. He was like the bastard child of Manute Bol and a soda can, complete with a head full of Christmas tree lights. Do you know what’s more intimidating than a Manute Bol-soda can combination? Pretty much everything except for a fat guy with a head wound wearing a metal cod piece.
Now we’re getting somewhere. Zuckuss carried a weapon that resembled the intergalactic equivalent of a gangster’s tommy gun. Anyone who looks like a gangster automatically possesses a certain amount of cool. Then there was his biology. He looked sort of like an insect. The only thing keeping him from moving up on this list is the gas mask over his face. It makes him look like he has an anus for a nose, and that’s not good.
No, I don’t have a stuttering problem and that’s not a typo. The character’s name is 4-Lom and he comes in at number four. 4-Lom rocked the same insect appearance as Zuckuss, and even sort of has an anus on his face, but his fly-like eyes are more pronounced. Also, he’s a robot. But he’s not a thin, stretched out soda can that could be knocked over by a stiff wind like IG-88. He basically had C3PO’s body, but it was black and had flies eyes in the head. He was the bizarro C3PO.
What Greedo has that most of these other bounty hunters don’t have is that he actually managed to track down Solo. And he possesses dead black shark eyes, a trait known only to belong to cold-blooded killers. Think Anton Chigurh. Unfortunately, he can’t go any higher on the list because he came so close and yet still failed, dying at the hands of Solo. And for all of his efforts, no- he did not get to fire a shot before or after Solo gunned him down.
Bossk lands at number two purely due to the intimidation factor. He cut an imposing figure. And his species would seem to be 1/3 pit bull, 1/3 komodo dragon, 1/3 human. His attire even suggests that he was at one point a pilot in the Rebel Alliance, implying a military background (technically, I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the case). He never caught Solo, but he was the second worthiest to the task.
1. Boba Fett
You expected the Easter Bunny? Even if Boba Fett hadn’t been the bounty hunter who caught Solo and delivered him to Vader’s clutches, he’d still be in the #1 slot. He had deadly aim with his blaster, flew around with a jet pack, and his military DNA was so strong that his were the same genes used to create an entire Imperial army. To seal the deal, he looked cool as hell.