- "There's no star system Slave I can't reach, and there's no planet I can't find. There's nowhere in the galaxy for you to run. Might as well give up now."
- ―Boba Fett
Slave I was a modified prototype Firespray-31-class patrol and attack craft used by famed Mandalorian bounty hunters Jango Fett and his cloned son, Boba Fett. It was greatly modified with advanced weapons systems by both Fetts during their respective use.
Originating from Oovo IV, the ship was stolen by Jango Fett, replacing his previous ship, Jaster's Legacy. After Jango's death on Geonosis in 22 BBY, the ship was inherited by Boba Fett and used on several missions during and after the Clone Wars. It was subsequently replaced by the Slave II, Slave III, and Slave IV.
- "Because it flies 'standing up' and lands with its engines down, it takes skill that even a fine pilot must work on, Boba."
- ―Jango, training Boba
Like all Firesprays, Slave I sat flat on its bottom surface when idle, although during flight the ship rotated 90 degrees to maneuver vertically. Boba later added a unique stabilization system which always kept the cockpit oriented "up".
Slave I was a well-armed starship, and to keep it from becoming obsolete, it was endlessly modified. It was stolen during the Vosa bounty, near the time of the creation of the Grand Army of the Republic and the end of Jango's life. While under Jango Fett's ownership, its weaponry included two heavy twin blaster cannons, as well as two rapid firing laser cannons. Rounding out the ship's armament were two projectile launchers, each holding a magazine of three homing missiles or various other payloads, and a naval minelayer equipped with seismic charges.
Slave I also possessed special dummy proton torpedoes mounted with homing beacons and S-thread trackers. By tagging a ship with one of these beacons, Fett could then utilize his contraband HoloNet transceiver to track ships through hyperspace. Most of these weapons were hidden beneath the hull; the armor plating would slide away during the ship's attacks. The ship was also outfitted with a sensor array that could detect minute changes in the ship's mass, which could be used to find homing beacons.
Jango added a spartan crew quarters since the original Firespray was suited for short-term patrols. On top of all this, Jango devoted two-thirds of the entire ship's interior to the powerful upgraded Kuat drive engines and power generators, giving Slave I the sublight speed of an Alliance BTL Y-wing starfighter — a remarkable feat for a ship of Slave I's size. There was a combination airlock and docking ring behind the cockpit, although this was covered by a sensor dish at various points in the vessel's history.
- "She's a Firespray Pursuit Special…one of six prototypes manufactured for the prison. She's the last of her kind now."
- ―Jango Fett
While on the trail for the Dark Jedi and Bando Gora leader, Komari Vosa, Jango Fett captured Bendix Fust for the crime lord Sebolto. Fett was beaten to Fust in Desolation Alley by another bounty hunter, who then began a prison riot. After fighting his way through armed guards and prisoners, Jango made it back to his ship, Jaster's Legacy. Unfortunately, the rival bounty hunter attempted to slice into the old ship. After helping Zam Wesell defeat a horde of guards, a Firespray-class starship fired upon Jango's ship, destroying it.
Acting on a tip from the elevator manager, Jango made his way into the asteroid prison's hangar bays and stole a Firespray-class vessel along with Wesell. During their escape, Jango launched two missiles into the hangar bay housing the other five Firespray vessels and destroyed them to deny any chance of being pursued, leaving his the only ship of its type in existence. Sometime later, Jango would name his new ship Slave I. It was not until Kuat Systems Engineering reintroduced the Firespray line several decades later that other examples of the class would again be seen.
Boba's Slave I
- "I've recently made a few adjustments. The only original part of the ship is the chair I'm sitting in."
- ―Boba Fett
After Jango's death in the First Battle of Geonosis, Boba took the ship. Slave I was stolen in 22 BBY by Gjon on Bogg 2, but Boba and a thief named Aia took it back. When the boy was captured by Aurra Sing, Dooku gave her the ship as a payment, but Boba eventually recovered it. During this time, Boba landed on Tatooine and had Mentis Qinx refuel his ship. Over time, he equipped Slave I with better and better weapons. He added a cloaking device, proton torpedoes, and a minelayer. Boba had the ship when he teamed up with Aurra Sing, Bossk and Castas, to avenge Jango`s death and kill Mace Windu. When the attempt failed, Boba used Slave I to transport hostages CC-6454, Admiral Shoan Kilian and a clone naval officer to Florrum to lure Windu out. At Florrum, Padawan Ahsoka Tano heavily damaged Slave I with her lightsaber in attempt to rescue the hostages and to prevent Aurra Sing from flying away. Aurra lost her control over Slave I and crash landed the ship. In the resulting explosion, she was considered dead and Slave I was counted as destroyed during that time, and young Boba was captured by Jedi Master Plo Koon, and taken to the court.
The Weequay pirate Hondo Ohnaka, after pulling the unconscious Aurra from the wreckage and realizing the uniqueness of the ship, took the crashed ship after she damaged his pirate base. He rebuilt the Slave I and painted it green. Later, Fett reacquired the ship, but it was damaged in a dogfight with a Ginivex-class starfighter, which he believed to be piloted by Asajj Ventress, and was saved from destruction only by the intervention of Anakin Skywalker, who later repaired the ship.
Fett would continue to use the ship to hunt various bounties during the Imperial Period, such as when he was employed by Darth Vader to retrieve an escaped clone of Galen Marek, or on his mission to find Abal Karda. Fett even used Slave I's capsule pickup abilities to escape the Mingula after investigating it.
Sometime after Boba Fett took over Slave I, he took it to Kuat Drive Yards to have it re-modified to fit his profession more suitably. The two rapid fire laser cannons were replaced with an ion cannon and a concussion missile launcher. A miniature tractor beam projector was added to assist in capturing bounties. A stolen sensor masking and jamming array made the ship invisible to sensors, allowing Fett to enter any planet, even Imperial Center, without hassle. He topped the armament off by changing the main ordnance of the projectile launchers to proton torpedoes. Fett routinely stored a swoop aboard to make himself more mobile once on-world, and devoted a piece of the living area to holding cells.
Fett used the ship to track Han Solo to Bespin in order to collect the bounty placed on Solo by the Galactic Empire and Jabba Desilijic Tiure in 3 ABY. During his delivery of Han Solo to Jabba, Fett engaged in a dogfight with two IG-88 assassin droids. IG-88C was destroyed the moment Fett emerged from hyperspace when, rather than inquiring about the other hunter's presence, he fired every weapon aboard Slave I. IG-88D followed Fett seconds after the destruction of his counterpart and began to pummel Fett's shields with laser fire.
However as the IG-2000 followed Boba into Tatooine's atmosphere, Fett activated his inertial dampers shedding his momentum and frying his hyperdrives. This move brought the IG-2000 directly into his sights, where he disabled the ship with his ion cannon, pulled it in with a tractor beam and launched a full bank of concussion missiles into it.
After his escape from the Sarlacc, Boba stole the Hound's Tooth from the Trandoshan, Bossk, using it to travel undetected. Slave I was abandoned in Tatooine's orbit, where it was discovered by a Rebel scout patrol. It was left in a shipyard for several years until it was recovered by Boba, during which time he used the ship Slave II.
This powerful ship nearly met its end during the "reborn" Emperor's attack on the New Republic when Boba Fett ambushed Han Solo on Nar Shaddaa. Fett damaged the Millennium Falcon, but still continued to chase after it. The Falcon managed to escape and be repaired, but Fett was still patiently waiting for his quarry to return. Soon enough, Solo appeared, and he demonstrated his new "lightning gun," which tore into parts of Slave I, although Fett managed to escape.
It is probable that Fett escaped through Slave I's onboard escape pod. The ship was replaced with Slave III—the second had already been used and discarded—which preceded the Slave IV. However, some time before the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, Fett had managed to recover and repair Slave I and used it once more after he lost Slave IV on Shogun.
When Briika Jeban was mortally wounded tackling a Yuuzhan Vong warrior—one of the spikes on the warrior's vonduun crab armor piercing her suit's plating—it was revealed that Slave I was equipped with an emergency medical droid. Despite its efforts, the droid was unable to save Briika.
In 40 ABY, Slave I had a decoy system, which tricked enemy sensors into detecting a speeder bike instead of a Firespray. During the Second Galactic Civil War Fett used Slave I to bring back Sintas Vel's carbonite-frozen body from Phaeda to Mandalore in 41 ABY.
Behind the scenes
Some people mistakenly believe the Slave I's design was inspired by a lamp post outside the ILM building. But Nilo Rodis-Jamero, an art director on The Empire Strikes Back, said that his design for the Slave I was actually based on a radar dish. It was later on when the ship was being constructed at ILM that someone pointed out that it resembled a street lamp, and from then on people just assumed that that had been the original source of the design. Lorne Peterson was one of only two model makers to work on the Slave I.
Damage to the Slave I prior to being repainted green by Hondo is shown on the PocketModel ship unit produced by WizKids. However, the game piece shows both wings in place and includes stats for Slave I for starship battles. This indicates that the rebuilding by the Weequay pirate was a work in progress with the functional parts repaired before the cosmetic pieces and the outer hull received attention.
K. W. Jeter's Slave Ship states Slave I was custom-built for Boba Fett by KDY, but later sources overrode this statement. The "construction" was possibly retroactively changed to a refitting. It is mentioned in the books that Slave I had to be significantly rebuilt following damage done by Bossk and Xizor.
Slave I was severely damaged and almost destroyed in the comic Star Wars: Dark Empire II. A number of other sources show Boba Fett using different starships, although he is once again flying a Firespray in The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force. However, the later works of Karen Traviss once more have him flying Slave I. It is stated that the captain's chair he sits in and the consoles are among the few original parts of Slave I from the ship of Jango's time.
Many of Slave I's internal structures were changed from Episode V to Episode II and the Clone Wars TV series. The Incredible Cross Sections for the original series depicts Slave I's internal structures to be oriented for when the ship is in its horizontal landing position while the same book series for Episode II depicts the ship with its internal structures oriented for use while the ship is in its vertical flying position. Other discrepancies include the airlock that is seen in episode 20 of the second season of The Clone Wars that was previously depicted as a series of antennas and sensors.[source?]
Both the Boba and Jango Fett variations of the Slave I appeared in Star Wars: Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike as unlockable ships: Boba's version was unlocked by earning bronze medals on all standard single-player missions, whereas Jango's version only appeared in "Versus Mode" when one player picked Slave I and another picked the Jedi Starfighter for the Geonosis versus mode stage.
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Notes and references
- Star Wars: Attack of the Clones Incredible Cross-Sections
- Rebellion Era Sourcebook
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 26 (SLA1-2, Slave I)
- Legacy of the Force: Sacrifice
- Boba Fett: Hunted
- Legacy of the Force: Bloodlines
- Star Wars: Complete Cross-Sections
- Star Wars: Complete Vehicles
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "R2 Come Home"
- Star Wars: Behind the Magic
- Boba Fett: Enemy of the Empire
- Boba Fett: The Fight to Survive
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Death Trap"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "R2 Come Home"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Lethal Trackdown"
- Star Wars PocketModel TCG – Scum & Villainy (Card: Slave I-alt (damaged)) (backup link)
- Hasbro Star Wars: The Clone Wars Secret Code ('Slave I' Video)
- Boba Fett: Pursuit
- Boba Fett ½
- Star Wars (2013) 2
- Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
- The New Essential Chronology
- Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays (p. 212)
- Star Wars: From Concept to Screen to Collectible, (p. 20)
- Boba Fett: A Practical Man
- Star Wars: Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike
- Star Wars: Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike: The Official Nintendo Player's Guide