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Disney's Change To Boba Fett's Ship Is Causing An Uproar On Twitter

Disney has made a quiet change to "Star Wars" that is causing people on social media to make some noise in protest. The name alteration was recently revealed in Jedi News, which went to LEGO Fan Media Days in late May and reported a revealing conversation. In it, a new Lego version of Boba Fett's starship was revealed, modeled from the one seen in "The Mandalorian." Michael Lee Stockwell, the lead designer for Lego Star Wars, said, "We're not calling it Slave 1 any more." When asked why, design director for the Lego Star Wars line said, "It's probably not something which has been announced publicly, but it is just something that Disney doesn't want to use any more." 

It's unclear from the wording whether this is actually a change to canon or something less official. Slave 1 has long been the accepted name of Boba Fett's iconic ship, seen first in "The Empire Strikes Back," although the name was never actually used in the movies (it did appear in an episode of "The Clone Wars"). One Twitter user referenced this in the debate that ensued after fans learned about the name change: @thervn1207page said they had heard the name "Slave 1" bandied about "more in the last day than I've ever seen/heard it in any Star Wars media." 

The racially-charged connotations of the word "slave" in the U.S. may trigger people who associate it with a dark period of American history, which still has effects for many citizens today. But the entire situation brings the "Slave 1" debate into the realm of politics, which has continued to be divisive in today's climate. This naturally means that Twitter users have a lot to say on the topic.

Boba Fett actor Mark Anthony Austin made a strong statement against the change, fueling Internet outrage

The fires of internet anger about the move have been stoked in part by Mark Anthony Austin, the actor who wore Boba Fett's costume in 1997's Special Edition of "Star Wars IV: A New Hope." He posted to Twitter, "My ship will forever be Slave1. Nothing. Not even #disney can or will change that. This is the way." He criticized the change in other posts, saying in one that the DMV didn't allow him to use the words "SLAVE 1" on his vanity license plate, which he understood, but he no longer loves Disney as a result of this particular transgression. 

Even though another Twitter user derided him as "the extra who stood in Boba Fett's armor for ten seconds," and others have also dismissed his credentials, he's not alone in the sentiment. @MistaJ86_ said, "It's an absolute joke that people would even consider renaming it." @danjam888 said, "#Slave1 – Always was, Always will be." @GrumpyGamer72 said, "This is #slave1 it is Boba Fett's Starship respect the lore and the franchise." 

Some users pointed out that the name came from Jango Fett, who was enslaved himself and named the ship after his experience, although others noted that the explanations of the name might have been an after-the-fact explanation for, as @benb183 termed it, "a wild a** name for a spaceship." Others were confused by the connotations. "It wasn't even used in a bad way. In regards to a ship, the term 'slave' refers to being able to control it remotely without being in the cockpit. I learned that through Legends btw," said @BestofFett.

Others point out that other Legos have experienced similar changes

The outraged Twitter users had plenty of pushback from others, though. They believe that this isn't an actual name change for the ship — just a more generic title that makes the packaging more family-friendly. @HenryLouis21 pointed out, "They are not changing the name of the Slave-1. It's just LEGO calling the ship 'Boba Fett's Starship' on the packaging to make the set more accessible to casuals who aren't familiar with the name. It's the same with other sets." 

One fan at @ATGCast did a "market survey" video and interviewed his child, who did not know the name of Boba Fett's ship. @AdamLanceGarcia referenced the fact that Slave 1 was never mentioned by name in the films. Another also pointed out that Lego "Star Wars" ships have been renamed in the past, showing images of some of them. "Just gonna drop this here; ship is still the Slave 1, Lego does this s*** all the time people; don't go insane," said @TheJediWatchman. A recent example of this phenomenon is Lego's The Bad Batch Attack Shuttle, which is actually called the Havoc in "Bad Batch" mythology.

When confronted with the words spoken in the Jedi News interview, these defenders pointed out that the change could be part of the mercenary's redemption arc in "The Mandalorian." Well, if Disney is serious about renaming the Slave 1, which seems very ambiguous based on the comments by the Lego Star Wars executives, it seems this might be an interesting topic to cover in episodes of the upcoming "The Book of Boba Fett."