Temuera Morrison honoured in Rotorua with Boba Fett kauri carving

New Zealand actor Temuera Morrison has been catapulted back into the Star Wars universe and onto Disney Plus as the much loved cult favourite titular character in The Book of Boba Fett.

Tem brings such mana to the role, channelling the power of his own Māori ancestry into his performance and combining it with Lucasfilm magic.

"Putting on the costume - that's a most powerful feeling. You just have to wear the costume and all of a sudden you start feeling powerful, feeling like the Bounty Hunter," Morrison told Newshub.

Now that bounty hunter has been honoured in his hometown of Rotorua with an iconic Boba Fett helmet carved from native kauri as a taonga for Tem.

Temuera Morrison greets his kauri Boba Fett taonga with a hongi.
Photo credit: Newshub.

Internationally renowned Papamoa carver and artist Mr G has been drawing his favourite Star Wars characters since he was five years old.

He understood the special Boba Fett assignment.

"For me it's about connection, so this is perfect you know? You've got the Star Wars culture, but you've also got the Māoritanga - our taha Māori, our Māori side - and being able to honour Temuera in this way is so fitting and appropriate," said Mr G.

"As Māori, that's our superpower, us just being who we are. That's how we shine in this world."

Mr G's kauri Boba Fett helmet carving for Temuera Morrison.
Photo credit: Newshub.

Morrison has always been a kind, generous interview, full of life and humour. But for the first time I saw just how much his amazing career means to him, to his whanau and especially to his late mother.

"I remember my mum when I was looking after her because she had dementia. I would take her out of the home, go for a drive up to the farm, and I said 'Hey mum, I'm working up in Hollywood on a Star Wars show'. She'd say 'Really?!', because she'd forgotten I was an actor. 'Really? But you were just a little brown boy I gave birth to you'. So she kept us all humble, our mum."

The Boba Fett helmet carving is a taonga Tem will treasure, and one he's determined to share.