Lucasfilm previous revealed its plan to release not just new Star Wars “Episodes”, but also spinoffs centered around characters “that are not part of the overall saga” – and over the past month, we’ve learned that Gareth Edwards (Godzilla (2014)) and Josh Trank (Chronicle) will be directing two of the aforementioned spinoffs. Question is, exactly which Star Wars projects are the two up and coming filmmakers working on – and who is writing Trank’s film, since it’s already been confirmed that Gary Whitta (Book of Eli) is penning the script for Edwards’ project?
Let’s back up a moment. Edwards’ Star Wars movie, which is confirmed to begin production in 2015 at Pinewood Studios (where Episode VII is currently shooting), is heavily rumored to be a Boba Fett film. Now, the rumor that the famous Mandalorian-armored bounty hunter – whose was revealed to be a clone of his father, Jango Fett, in Episode II – is going to be the recipient of his own solo (cinematic) vehicle – that has been around for some time, along with talk of similar solo films for Han Solo and possibly even Jedi Master Yoda.
More recently, a potential lineup of upcoming Star Wars projects indicated that Boba Fett is going to be the first spinoff released, followed by (Han) Solo and then Red Five (basically, an X-Wing Squadron movie). As such, based on the “evidence” (read: officially details and popular rumors), the tentative conclusion that we have reached is that Edwards and Whitta are collaborating on the Boba Fett film for a 2016 release date. However, an old rumor has resurfaced, suggesting the pieces to this puzzle may not fit together quite like we’ve started to imagine of late.
It was previously confirmed, by no less an authority than Disney CEO Bob Iger, that Lawrence Kasdan – writer of The Empire Strikes Back and co-writer on Episode VII – and Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past), are both working on scripts for Star Wars spinoff films. Filmmaker Jon Schnepp later announced that he knew “for a fact” that Kasdan is writing a Boba Fett movie, based on information he’d received from a well-trusted source – and now, Schmoes Know is reporting that its own source has confirmed that the Kasdan-penned spinoff is, indeed, the Fett film. Thing is, doesn’t the strong implication that Whitta is the one working on the Boba Fett movie rule this particular rumor out?
Well, as you can see from this Twitter exchange, there’s some disagreement about just who is developing which of the Star Wars spinoffs – among movie bloggers who’ve earned a reputation for being in the know, to be exact. Drew McWeeny at Hit Fix seems pretty adamant in saying that Edwards isn’t calling the shots on the Boba Fett movie (and thus, Whitta is not the writer involved) – meaning, it could be Trank who is directing the feature about the space bounty hunter – something that might explain why a screenwriter wasn’t also mentioned when the Chronicle filmmaker (who is also directing the Fantastic Four reboot) was revealed to be headed to a galaxy far, far away.
Another possibility, of course, is that Kasdan only wrote the screen story for the Boba Fett movie, which Whitta shall turn into a screenplay – but why Lucasfilm wouldn’t have mentioned that, in the official press release, would be the next question, in that scenario. Moreover, given that Kasdan is confirmed to be playing an essential role in building the future of the Star Wars franchise (which includes Kasdan consulting on both Episode VIII and Episode IX), it seems doubtful that Disney and Lucasfilm wouldn’t trust him as the sole writer on one of the first spinoffs – along with, possibly, its director, that is.
On a different, but related note: the Schmoes Know scoop also mentions that Kasdan “might be basing some elements” of his Boba Fett script on material on a previously-published Star Wars “Expanded Universe” story. Now, bear in mind, although Lucasfilm has confirmed that such old Star Wars EU literature is not officially canon, the company also mentioned that those who’re crafting new Star Wars entertainment “have full access to the rich content of the Expanded Universe” – meaning, Kasdan is free to pick and choose whatever he feels is the best material, to include in his spinoff script (be it Boba Fett or something else).
As mentioned in the Schmoes Know report, one of the more famous Boba Fett-related pieces of EU literature out there is the anthology novel “Star Wars: Tales of the Bounty Hunters”. That one includes a tale about the bounty hunter Dengar, which reveals how Fett recovered after he escaped from the Sarlacc Pit that he fell into during Return of the Jedi – in addition to a separate, post-ROTJ adventure tale, where the Mandalorian-plated bounty hunter is the focus – and ends up crossing paths with Han Solo, along the way. If Kasdan drew inspiration from the latter, for example, it might make sense for Solo to arrive first and introduce the actor playing the young(er) Han Solo – before he shows up in the Boba Fett movie.
There’s also an entire book trilogy, dubbed “The Bounty Hunter Wars”, that weaves a yarn about Boba Fett after his escape from the Sarlacc, intertwined with flashbacks to his pre-ROTJ adventures; depending on when the Fett movie takes place (i.e. before and/or after Return of the Jedi), the screenplay by Kasdan – assuming he is, in fact, writing it – could utilize elements from any of these stories, combined with brand-new material of the screenwriter’s own creation. It’s best to keep in mind that, for now, we don’t know for certain when this prospective Boba Fett feature will take place – lest we all go far in debating whether the film would be better off set prior to and/or after Episode VI (assuming you’re down for a Fett movie to begin with).
The short of it? Until the Mouse House and Lucasfilm announce otherwise, we cannot for certain rule out the possibility that Kasdan is writing a Boba Fett movie – either for Trank or someone else to direct – and that Whitta/Edwards’ Star Wars spinoff involves Han Solo, an X-Wing fighter pilot, or some other character entirely. Hopefully, we shall have some official information on the matter soon, instead of just more intriguing, but also mildly infuriating rumors to offer.
Star Wars: Episode VII opens in theaters on December 18th, 2015. The first Star Wars spinoff (whatever it may be) is expected to reach theaters in 2016.
Source: Schmoes Know