Boba Fett And An Entrance Into The World Of Bounty Hunters
So far, we're assuming a direct swap for Maul, but did Solo: A Star Wars Story have to write itself in a whole of the big boss? It couldn't be as some great crime lord, but if Lucasfilm wanted a forward-thinking character to appear who had links to Han and Star Wars' future, you can't get much better than Boba Fett.
Given the familiarity that Han has with Boba Fett in Return of the Jedi, it very much seems like the two have a history, perhaps one that Solo could have teased for a potential sequel or in James Mangold's recently-reported Boba Fett film. Indeed, the timing of that news could have easily dovetailed from Fett's appearance in Solo, possibly as another Crimson Dawn emissary.
Of course, this one's a little controversial. Boba Fett has always felt like more of a freelance type, choosing to take on one-man missions rather than leading a criminal syndicate himself, and as much as fans associate him with Han, a cameo may not have worked for narrative reasons; as it stands, Han and Chewie are en route to Tattooine for a job, and it's fair for fans to expect that their paths will cross with Boba Fett at some point then.
Cad Bane: Another Clone Wars Alum
Even Boba Fett is not going to fit, there's still room for other bounty hunters in Han's origin. Indeed, two characters - Bossk and Aurra Sing - both get namedropped with direct links to Beckett, and there's plenty of other contenders (Sing would work if she wasn't already dead).
If Maul is in part meant to herald the direct bridging between Star Wars movies and TV, then The Clone Wars offers up a pretty strong contender in the form of Cad Bane. A brand new character for the cartoon, Bane became a mainstay thanks to his striking gunslinger look (something that would be at home in the western-styled Solo) and impressive ability to hold his own against clones and Jedi alike. He even has links to Maul that could pave the way for the former Sith's appearance in a later movie. Like Boba, he would be an odd pick as a crime lord, although it's not as out of the question as with Fett.
Of course, the reason Lucasfilm wouldn't choose Cad Bane is one of notoriety: Maul is known well beyond the TV show and so conjures up an immediate reaction, good or bad. And, ultimately, that's why Solo: A Star Wars Story went with Darth Maul. There may be better options, but none would be as shocking.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019