Star Wars fans are still awaiting the answers to all the mysteries posed by J.J. Abrams’ The Force Awakens, but followers of the galaxy far, far away have a lot more than the continuation of the core saga to speculate about. In between the main episodes, Disney/Lucasfilm will release standalone spinoff movies, which tell separate stories that are set in the universe.
Godzilla helmsman Gareth Edwards will be calling the shots on the first of these projects, which has been making headlines recently thanks to some high profile actresses testing for the female lead and screenwriter Gary Whitta departing the production after finishing a first draft. The rumor mill is in full effect again today, with new details about the spinoff’s potential plot being revealed.
Making Star Wars talked to sources inside Pinewood Studios (where principal photography on the spinoff will take place), and they obtained some information pertaining to Edwards’ film. Perhaps the most pertinent bits are that bounty hunters are “important to the film” and that many crew members believe that on-location shooting will take place in Mexico.
Earlier reports about the movie’s narrative suggested that it could be about a team of bounty hunters tasked with stealing the Death Star plans for the Rebel Alliance, a claim that (at least partially) is validated by this new development. Whether or not the Empire’s greatest weapon makes an appearance, it certainly sounds like the underbelly of the galactic crime world will be the primary focus of the first spinoff.
The notion that Edwards will do some filming in Mexico is interesting as well, as it allows us to theorize about the main location of the film. Should the Death Star rumor pan out, a distinct possibility is Geonosis, a planet that the Mexican landscape could portray effectively.
Keep in mind that it is there where the Death Star plans were hidden toward the end of Attack of the Clones, meaning that the bounty hunters would have to go to Geonosis in order to retrieve them. The location could also give the film the feel of an old Western, which plays in line with the reports that the spinoffs will look to blend multiple genres.
In addition to the Making Star Wars revelations, Latino Review has a juicy rumor of their own about the first spinoff – namely, the characters fans can expect to see. According to their source, both Han Solo and Boba Fett will be featured in the same film, a deviation from the prior belief that the two would get a chance to headline their own solo vehicle.
There’s a lot to unpack here. Several months ago, there were rumors circulating around the web that Star Wars veteran Lawrence Kasdan would be the one in charge of writing the Boba Fett-centric spinoff, but that information was never confirmed by Lucasfilm. Disney CEO Bob Iger stated that Kasdan would be penning the scripts for one of the spinoffs, but never said which one. And given that we don’t even know what any of these spinoff movies are yet, it makes it difficult to separate fact from fiction.
So, it’s entirely possible that Kasdan is working on a different spinoff, especially since it seems more and more likely that Edwards’ film (which Kasdan has never been attached to) will star bounty hunters in some capacity. When you take into account Boba’s overwhelming popularity amongst Star Wars fans, Disney/Lucasfilm would definitely want to have him play a part (hello, marketing), which would in essence make this the oft-discussed “Boba Fett spinoff.”
As for the prospect of Han and Boba sharing the spotlight in one of these flicks, it’s certainly an intriguing one. Before his days with the Rebellion, Captain Solo was never one to shy away from the galactic underworld, spending his time interacting with crime lords like Jabba the Hutt.
Based on his background, his inclusion in a film about bounty hunters would make some sense, even if Han’s specialty was smuggling. Seeing his history with characters like Boba could provide some extra layers for fans to chew over when they rewatch The Empire Strikes Back, as well.
Regardless, until Lucasfilm says something official about the matter, this could all be a bunch of hearsay. As Edwards is aiming to start production on his movie in the near future, some confirmed details are bound to come out sooner rather than later, providing some much needed clarity to this hazy picture. In the interim, these reports will certainly give many fans something to think about as they wait.
The first Star Wars spinoff will be in theaters December 16, 2016.