The Star Wars universe is expansive, detailed and one that inspires fervent devotion in its fandom. Beyond the films, official novels and the expanded universe kept fans hooked and developed countless side characters from bit-part players to crucial components of the franchise. Now that we’re in the new age of the franchise, Disney and Lucasfilm have decided to keep the galaxy growing beyond the central narrative, primarily through prequels that spin-off past the adventures of the Skywalker clan. First, there was Rogue One, then there was Solo, and now it seems that we are going to get the story of Boba Fett.
A Boba Fett film has been discussed for some time, with rumors indicating that Josh Trank was in line to direct before he left the franchise. The project sat in limbo until this week, when stories began to surface that Logan director James Mangold had signed on to write and direct a film centered on the series’ most enigmatic bounty hunter. Right now, nothing has been confirmed by Lucasfilm or Disney, but given how frequently the rumors of a Boba Fett movie appear, it seems all but assured that such a project will make its way to production in the near future.
As a character in the original trilogy, Boba Fett’s contribution came down to a couple of lines of dialogue, a rather undignified death at the jaws of the sarlacc, and one hell of a costume. For whatever reason, he captured the imaginations of fans, and by the time we got to the prequels, his origin was established. Fans saw Boba as a child in Attack of the Clones - the unaltered clone of bounty hunter Jango Fett, who was played by Temuera Morrison. After watching his father die at the hands of Mace Windu, his fate was sealed. Fett appears in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and is featured extensively in the Star Wars Legends continuity, where it was shown that he survived his death in Return of the Jedi. Legends is no longer canon, nor are his appearances in the expanded universe where his character was truly established. While this may be a disappointment to many fans, it presents various creative opportunities for the franchise as it stands.
- This Page: Aurra Sing and Disintegrations
- Page 2: Connecting the Criminal Underworld and the Empire
Justice For Aurra Sing (and a Han Cameo)
There are threads from Solo that could set up a Boba Fett movie in this current continuity. In The Clone Wars series, Boba is trained by Aurra Sing, a bounty hunter and expert assassin who worked with him to seek vengeance on Mace Windu. She is positioned as something of a mother figure to Boba, and is arguably the biggest influence on him aside from his father. At some point after the Clone Wars, Sing was killed by Tobias Beckett, a smuggler for hire who is played by Woody Harrelson in Solo. While Beckett is no longer around for Boba Fett to seek his own revenge on, his pseudo-protégé Han Solo is.
A cameo from Han and Chewie feels almost necessary in any movie made about Fett. Fans are aware of their sordid histories and how their paths crossed over frequently during their various criminal activities. Solo sets up various opportunities for Fett to appear in a sequel – if Han is off to work for Jabba the Hutt on Tatooine, there’s no way he won’t bump into Fett at least once – so it makes sense for the favor to be returned.
One of the moments from the original trilogy that made Fett so intriguing to fans was Darth Vader telling him not to disintegrate his targets. Given how little time we get with the character, it felt notable that even Vader, one of the galaxy's most feared figures, had to tell this particular bounty hunter not to turn people into piles of ash. It made him seem more notorious than the rest of the scum and villainy who had been sent out to find Han and company. Any film showing Fett's story would need to back up that legend and show why he's earned that reputation. We know what happens when someone is shot with a blaster or struck down with a lightsaber: What happens when Boba Fett disintegrates you?
The Bridge Between Crime and Empire
One of the strongest elements of Solo was how it showed the grimy underworld of the galaxy and the figures who inhabit it: The all-controlling crime syndicates, the smugglers-for-hire, the casual thugs, and the inescapable system of violence and exploitation. For the majority of residents living under the thumb of the Empire, this is their day-to-day lives. Solo offered a striking genre twist to the Star Wars franchise by focusing on a crime and heist story, with obvious gangster undertones. That seems perfect for any story centered on Boba Fett.
The universe of Star Wars is one torn between chaotic lawlessness and fascistic rule. The people who benefit from it the most are those who suck up to power or those who are willing to play the game, like Boba Fett. He has no allegiances, no family ties, no home to return to, and seemingly no hesitation when it comes to capturing his targets. Figures like him are key to keeping the powerful at the top, hence why Vader is quick to call upon his services when he needs to locate Han and the Millennium Falcon. Seeing him in action is all fans really need but seeing it in the wider context of this political ecosystem would offer new depths to the cinematic universe.
More Bounty Hunters
The various prequels and spin-offs give the Star Wars universe a chance to expand their style, tone and genre. Rogue One brought a darker war-focused edge to the series while Solo reveled in its old-school crime adventure aesthetic. The latter opened up the crime world to audiences, and a Boba Fett movie could make for a striking intersection between sci-fi, gangster movies and action.
There are plenty of other bounty hunters in the expanded universe canon who fans would get a kick out of seeing. A Fett film would benefit from bringing them all together - perhaps in an ensemble piece or a frenetic action narrative that has them all chasing down the same target: Think Mad Max: Fury Road in space, with a colorful host of characters and eye-watering set-pieces spanning the galaxy. Fett, with his mostly silent demeanor and expert weapon skills, is already a proto-Western antihero, and he would be best served by a film that allows him to be immersed in the chaos of others. If the director rumors are true. James Mangold would be perfect for that kind of story. He already has experience in imbuing sci-fi with a neo-Western feel, thanks to Logan.
The Boba Fett news, following the release of Solo and the rumors of an upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi film (to be directed by Stephen Daldry), suggests that Lucasfilm's spin-off strategy may be focused more on expanding established characters. If this is the case, making a Boba Fett film is a sensible approach: The character is beloved enough to intrigue fans but there's still enough room to expand and develop the surrounding mythos. There’s certainly enough interest to keep us eagerly looking forward to more news.