We all know the trope. A character, often a cunning thief or dark hero, makes a silent entrance or exit without any of the surrounding characters on screen noticing – even when they are only inches apart and nary a footstep nor a flapping cape is heard. Batman is famous for it. Jokes have been made of his stealthiness. But keep in mind the Dark Knight went through intense montage training to become a sneaky snake. He is – for all intents and purposes – a bona fide ninja.
So then it must be a skill only a ninja would possess, right? Wrong. The secret is out, dear readers. Tell your friends! Call Grandma! Alert the police! For decades there have been ninjas in plain sight without you even knowing it – until now.
Here are the 5 greatest tiptoeing masterpieces. That’s right: awesome movies you didn’t know were secretly about ninjas…
5. Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
This is a story about a man named Boba Fett. Well, it does seem that way at times, doesn’t it? Besides Yoda, he’s the only other breakout star from the movie and has as large, if not a larger, fan base as the little backwards talking toad. And I contend one of the main reasons for this is the sneak factor. Any guy who can outsmart Han Solo by hiding his ship in a bigger ship’s garbage chute, being simultaneously more cunning than the big bad Empire and his rival bounty hunters, demands our immediate respect.
And it’s not just Captain Solo who falls to the helmeted one’s stealth. In Cloud City, Luke Skywalker nearly walks into a face full of blaster fire from the Fett man. I mean, wow! Catch a Jedi-in-training by surprise and lead him into a parent trap? I’d call that taking the boy to school. Ninja school.
Ben Burtt Note: The sound of spurs jingling was added to the soundtrack when Boba Fett is walking. It’s a great addition, tapping into the gunfighter mythos, except it does diminish the character’s sneak factor somewhat. And it does lead to some unfortunate consequences in other movies. As we’ll see in…
This article was first posted on January 17, 2014