Discussion: Boba Fett’s Memory in EP 4

There’s been a lot of complaining that our hero believed his armor was still in the sarlacc’s belly when we, the audience, saw very clearly in flashback that Boba escaped wearing his armor and was semi-conscious when the Jawas came to rob him. How can Boba not remember? He was awake!

There’s no way to sugarcoat this: if you believe this is a matter of bad writing, you’re startlingly ignorant of reality and thus, the implied insult against the many victims of this kind of traumatic memory loss might be forgiven.

Even if we haven’t experienced it directly, I suspect virtually all of us who live in countries where drinking is normal are familiar with people we’ve known blacking out memories from drinking too much. Boba endured a hell of a lot more than a few drinks too many.

Car accidents and similar types of incidents that involve physical trauma very commonly cause lapses of memory both before and after the incident.

A Florida medical clinic offers a layman’s breakdown of the different forms of memory loss that can come from auto accidents:

  • Post-traumatic amnesia is a state of confusion or loss of memory of the time immediately after a traumatic event, such as an auto accident
  • Anterograde amnesia is the most common. It is the loss of ability to form memories for a period of time after the accident, leading the individual not to “remember” a period of time after the traumatic head injury.
  • Retrograde amnesia is the loss of memories that formed before a traumatic head injury.

Boba woke up in the sarlacc’s belly marinating in its digestive juices and even before that, he suffered some physical trauma getting there since he smashed into the side of the sail barge before falling. He had to cut an oxygen line from a hapless stormtrooper’s suit in order to get enough air focus on escape.

Once out, Boba was so exhausted he collapsed on the sand, where after suffering who knows how many hours of exposure, the Jawas robbed him and hit him in the head.

Real-world people who suffered a lot less trauma than Boba have lost blocks of memory.

At the time that Boba told Fennec he believed his armor was still in the sarlacc, it’s quite likely he didn’t remember Jawas at all, and very possibly not even the details of how he got out of the sarlacc. There’s an argument Boba might not even have clearly recalled all his mistreatment by the Tuskens as anterograde amnesia could have continued to inhibit memory formation for some time.

Boba’s assumption his armor was still in the sarlacc is thus reasonable, given that it was the last place he was absolutely certain that he had it.

On the subject of narrative timing, there’s also no conflict, as the bacta dreams are happening well after Boba’s already recovered his armor, so they do not reflect the condition of his memory *during* the flashback when he erroneously believed his armor was still in the belly of the beast.99CommentsAwardShareSaveHideReport100% Up