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Disney Star Wars Doesn't Know How To Use Boba Fett

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The Star Wars franchise still doesn't know what to do with Boba Fett. Not counting his scream as he falls into the Sarlacc pit, Boba Fett only had four lines of dialogue in the Original Trilogy. In spite of that, though, he's commanded a firm following among Star Wars fans, and isn't only considered one of the franchise's most popular and beloved characters, but one of the most recognizable fictional heroes period. Even George Lucas is reportedly mystified by it.

Curiously enough, Lucas originally had big plans for Boba. He viewed his introduction in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back as setup, and intended to have Fett as the main villain in Return of the Jedi. The confrontation between Luke and Darth Vader, and indeed the fateful battle with the Emperor, were intended to be at the end of Lucas's Sequel Trilogy. But Lucas changed plans, in part because he was getting tired of making Star Wars films, and the Sequels were dropped - for now. Fett was killed off in the first 10 minutes of Return of the Jedi, a character who could have been so much more.

Related: What Star Wars Movies Are Coming Out?

It seems viewers picked up on Boba Fett's potential. Ever since, they've been fascinated with him, to the extent that the old Expanded Universe explored his backstory and even resurrected him (in a rather convoluted manner). When Lucas decided to do the Prequels, he fleshed out Boba's backstory, directly contradicting the Star Wars novels. And when Disney purchased Lucasfilm back in 2012, it didn't take long for rumors to kick off that the studio had plans for the galaxy's favorite mercenary. Six years on, though, it's clear Lucasfilm just doesn't know what to do with Boba Fett.

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A Boba Fett Movie Was Planned - Was It Canned?

Back in 2013, we learned that Lucasfilm was working on a number of Star Wars spinoffs, with both a Han Solo origin movie and a Boba Fett film in the works. The Boba Fett movie was believed to be set either between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, or between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. It was even suggested that Temuera Morrison could play the character; Morrison played Boba's "father," Jango, in the Prequels. Given that Boba is actually a clone of Jango, it would have made perfect sense for Morrison to sign up for the film.

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Josh Trank signed up as director in 2014, but dropped out when his Fantastic Four film temporarily torpedoed his career. Plans at that stage were advanced enough for Lucasfilm to have prepared a Boba Fett sizzle reel for 2015's Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, but Trank's departure seemed to have killed it off. There were constant rumors that the Boba Fett spinoff was still in the works over the next few years, especially after the performance of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and they started to gain traction late last year. Finally, in May 2018 Logan's James Mangold was reportedly selected as director. Given Mangold's popularity among fans of science-fiction and fantasy films, this seemed to be an inspired choice, and the Boba Fett spinoff's future seemed assured. There were reports it would start filming in 2020, delayed due to Mangold's prior commitments.

And then came Solo: A Star Wars Story. Against all the studio's hopes, Solo bombed in the box office, grossing under $400 million in the global box office. Lucasfilm's Star Wars strategy was apparently crumbling, and there were initially reports that the studio had put its future slate on hold while it reconsidered its plans. The latest word is that there's a planned "slowdown" of Star Wars movies, with the franchise pivoting towards spinoff TV shows. We've had no word as to whether or not Boba Fett's movie is still going ahead at all (although to be fair, it was also never officially confirmed to begin with).

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Related: Lucasfilm's Mistake Was Choosing The Wrong Star Wars Stories

Disney Won't Say If Boba Fett Survived In Star Wars Canon

Given all the uncertainty surrounding Boba Fett's future, it should come as no surprise that Lucasfilm won't confirm whether or not Boba Fett survived the Sarlacc in their Star Wars canon. He did in the old Expanded Universe; in fact, that old continuity featured several rival stories of how Fett made his way out of the Sarlacc. The only way to draw all the conflicting threads together was to tell a story in which Fett escaped the Sarlacc once, and then fell back in to escape again! But the Expanded Universe was branded non-canon after Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm. That means Lucasfilm has to make a decision; did Boba survive the Sarlacc in the new Star Wars canon or not?

So far, all the evidence indicates that Lucasfilm simply hasn't made up their minds about this. The time between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens was kept out-of-bounds for content for quite some time, and Lucasfilm is only just beginning to open it up. Chuck Wendig's Aftermath trilogy is one of the few novels set in that time period, and it includes curious hints that Boba Fett may still be alive. It seems the Sarlacc was badly injured during the events of Return of the Jedi, with the explosion of Jabba's Sail Barge leaving the creature partially exposed. Some stoma-tubes were split open, and industrious Jawas raided them for treasures. The novels hinted that the Jawas took the Mandalorian armor, but Boba's fate was never revealed. According to Jabba, it took years to be digested inside the Sarlacc, so Boba may have still been alive - albeit in a bad shape.

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Essentially, right now we have a sort of "Schrodinger's Fett" - Boba Fett is, to all intents and purposes, both alive and dead to the new canon, right up until the moment Lucasfilm make up their minds and confirm either way.

Page 2 of 2: Star Wars Is Exploiting The Sense Of Boba Fett

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Key Release Dates
  • Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
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