Plastic Soul: Mandalorian Rifle Origins

This episode discusses the maligned Star Wars Holiday Special and how it inspired a cool new blaster rifle from NERF.

Unveiling the Massive Mandalorian Rifle

Welcome to another episode of Plastic Soul, the Entertainment Earth, Pop Culture Show. I’m your host, Jason Lenzi. Sometimes I get excited about things I see something on the internet. I see something that is not coming out for a long time and get excited and say “I’m ordering that, I have to have it right now.” And then when it shows up, it’s enormous! This is the Mandalorian rifle.

You’ve seen it in the show, you know it from Boba Fett, it’s usage in the Star Wars Holiday Special. And here it is, it’s been recreated by Nerf. Probably can’t get it all in the frame here because it’s massive. I ordered this a long time ago and it t showed up fairly recently. It’s big. There’s no two ways about it. It’s so big. You can’t really find room to shoot anything in the house with your Nerf bullets. It’s that big. It’s huge.

But I love it because it reminds me of the very first time, we saw Boba Fett, which was in The Star Wars Holiday Special. This is all kind of old hat for most people that know Star Wars, but in 1978, November to be exact, The Star Wars Holiday Special aired the one and only time on CBS and the rest is history. It is one of the most maligned pieces of television ever made.

I personally think it’s a little unfair for the 70’s because the kind of variety specials that were made at the time were pretty bad, but there’s a lot worse out there. It just so happens that the reason that it’s so crazy and so bad and everybody keeps going on about it is because it’s Star Wars. But it lives in that netherworld of Star Wars that wasn’t fully figured out yet, we didn’t get that until Empire.

Trippy and Weird: Boba Fett’s First Appearance

In that middle ground area, there’s a lot of weirdness and that’s the stuff that I love. Star Wars Holiday Special – if you ask anybody about it, they will say the best part of the special is the animated section. There’s a section of animation, about 10 minutes or so, that’s now up on Disney+ that was done by Nelvana, the Canadian Animation Company. It’s trippy and weird, but it’s best known for having the very first appearance of Boba Fett. And when you see him, he’s got a rifle like this, he’s riding a big, weird dinosaur-type creature in the water and he’s using this thing to shock it with, to kind of keep it in line.

That was in the very first episode of the Mandalorian if you remember. I don’t want to say spoilers, but he has this in the show. I’m not going to tell you what happens to it, but to have it actually made in toy form, something that kind of harkens back to the Star Wars Holiday Special. Well, I just love that. Everybody knows that Boba Fett was the first free figure in this character that was mysterious and he was after the Rebels, but especially Han Solo in the Star Wars Holiday Special. And we waited for Empire Strikes Back and he only ended up getting like three lines, but he’s become legendary, and it led to all the Mandalorian stuff we have, it just gets better and better.

Lights, Sounds, and Action

But here is the actual rifle, the actual weapon that he used in the Holiday Special, which got put into The Mandalorian. In fact, it’s so big you can almost hit the camera from here. I kind of dig it.

And here’s what you do. Put the Nerf bullet in, open that up, Nerf bullet goes in, right? And then you turn on the light in the scope and then here we go. I mean, come on, I love stuff that lights up and makes noise. Are you kidding me? And it comes in really cool packaging. It’s got Mandalorian writing and scripture and all kinds of things on it. It’s very cool.

You want to keep the box basically, I’ve kept the box, but the box is about eight feet long. This thing is taller than me and the box is even longer. It showed up and I thought it was going to be about yay big and it’s this, you can’t really be casual with this. It’s like I should be a shepherd. You can use this to be a shepherd. Anyway, there you go. I love it. It’s the Mandalorian rifle, forget the brand, but it’s by Hasbro Nerf and shoots special Nerf bullets. All the details are here, check it out if you can.

Let Us Know Your Thoughts

I’d love to know what you think about the Star Wars Holiday Special and the cartoon and the fact they went back to Nelvana for the Droids and Ewoks cartoon series. Think about that. Here’s the thing that everybody bad mouth for years, but Lucas went back to them to do these Saturday morning cartoons, there must have been a reason he liked Nelvana.

Let me know what you think in the comments. Please hit like and subscribe. Let me know if you’re a fan of Boba Fett, The Mandalorian in general, the Boba Fett Series, Mandalorian Troopers, anything, especially this rifle and the Star Wars Holiday Special.

Anything, please leave it in the comments and don’t forget to sign up for the Entertainment Earth email newsletter to stay up to date on all your pop culture needs. That’s a bullseye. It also looks cool on stage. Alright, see you soon people.



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