Later this year, when Disney+ launches, it’ll have an original Star Wars series on its slate called The Mandalorian. Disney had originally been developing a Boba Fett spin-off movie as the next installment in their “Anthology” series.
However, since the unprecedented failure of Solo: A Star Wars Story, the Fett movie was shelved and Lucasfilm focused their energy on The Mandalorian, which features a very similar lead character. It’s basically a Boba Fett show, except the character has a different name. Here are 5 Ways Star Wars: The Mandalorian Might Be Better Than A Boba Fett Movie (And 5 Ways It Could Be Worse).
10 Better: Fans Won’t Be Disappointed By An Original Character
A lot of fans’ problems with Solo: A Star Wars Story revolved around the fact that the Han Solo character was being played by someone other than Harrison Ford and written by someone other than George Lucas (or a Lucas-approved writer working from a Lucas story treatment).
Fans would’ve had similar problems with a spin-off about Boba Fett. If anything in the character’s backstory was retconned or fans thought he acted out of character, they would’ve rejected the movie outright. But The Mandalorian is a show about an original character who happens to bear similarities to Fett, so there’s less chance that fans will be disappointed.
9 Worse: The Mandalorian Basically Is Boba Fett
Disney may not be making a Boba Fett movie, but Pedro Pascal’s lead character from The Mandalorian, who is simply being referred to as “the Mandalorian,” basically is Boba Fett. He’s a lone gunfighter who wanders the galaxy in search of fortune whilst evading the authorities.
Although they’ve given him a new name and an ever-so-slightly different costume, the similarities between this character and Boba Fett are undeniable. Fans will be going into The Mandalorian expecting a Boba Fett show in everything but name, so Disney’s attempt to distance themselves from a character that fans hold dear hasn’t exactly panned out.
8 Better: It’s Not Just A Rehash
The problem with a lot of Disney’s Star Wars output has been that it lazily rehashes what we’ve already seen before. Their sequel trilogy is a pale imitation of George Lucas’ original trilogy, while Solo: A Star Wars Story only exists to fill in gaps in the story that didn’t need to be filled in.
A Boba Fett movie probably would’ve done the same thing, mixing shameless fan service with fleshed-out set pieces adapted from anecdotes and Easter eggs. So, maybe it’s a good thing that we’ve got The Mandalorian and not a Boba Fett movie because at least it won’t just be a rehash.
7 Worse: There Are No Familiar Faces
The Star Wars universe is so outlandish that we need familiar faces to ground us in it. While Disney’s sequel trilogy has introduced us to a batch of new characters, familiar faces like Luke and Han have never been too far away.
Rogue One had that nostalgic Vader sequence, as well as Princess Leia and Grand Moff Tarkin. The same goes for the prequels, which had Yoda, young Obi-Wan, and young Anakin to keep us engaged in the stories of the newer characters. A Boba Fett movie would’ve had Boba Fett and probably some cool cameos, but there are no familiar characters in The Mandalorian.
6 Better: Jon Favreau Is A Better Director Than Josh Trank
Jon Favreau is creating, writing, and directing The Mandalorian, having previously appeared in Solo: A Star Wars Story in a voice role. Josh Trank was the first name rumored to be directing the Boba Fett movie. Favreau is the godfather of the entire MCU, having directed the first two Iron Man movies, and he’s also helmed such big-screen delights as Elf and Chef.
He’s also no stranger to spectacle, having directed Disney’s live-action remakes of The Jungle Book and The Lion King. Trank, meanwhile, gave us the meh found-footage superhero movie Chronicle and the abysmal 2015 reboot of Fantastic Four that he refuses to take responsibility for.
5 Worse: James Mangold Is A Better Director Than Jon Favreau
In addition to Josh Trank, James Mangold was attached to direct the Boba Fett movie at one point, and no offense to Jon Favreau, but Mangold is the finest director of all three. Favreau doesn’t have a spotless track record, with iffy misfires like Cowboys & Aliens on his résumé.
But Mangold has proven he can direct smaller awards-bait movies like the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line, agreeable blockbuster fare like the Tom Cruise/Cameron Diaz vehicle Knight and Day, and heartfelt combinations of the two, like the Oscar-nominated comic book masterwork Logan. So, while Favreau beats Trank, Mangold beats Favreau.
4 Better: We Don’t Have Any Preconceived Notions
If a Boba Fett movie was made, then Fett fans would all go into it with preconceived notions about the character. They wouldn’t be watching it for story development or how the actor made the role his own. They’d be looking out for all the ways Disney was pandering to them with Easter eggs and callbacks, and if anything disappointed them in the slightest, they’d be up in arms.
The great thing about The Mandalorian is that it allows us some distance from the story. We’ll take Pedro Pascal’s performance on its own merits, we’ll take the character on his own merits, we’ll take the series’ visual style on its own merits, and so on.
3 Worse: A Boba Fett Movie Wouldn’t Have Had The Solo Problem
Seeing a new actor as Han Solo is completely different than seeing a new actor as Boba Fett. Since Boba Fett is constantly wearing a helmet, we never became as attached to Jeremy Bulloch as we did to actors like Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford.
If an actor carries Boba the right way (Bulloch says he was influenced by the ice-cool demeanor of Clint Eastwood’s Man with No Name character), then the fans won’t know the difference. It’s the costume that makes him Boba Fett. So, a Boba Fett movie wouldn’t have had the same problem as Solo, so Disney might as well have just made one.
2 Better: It’s New
One of Barney Stinson’s many rules is: “New is always better.” And while Ted offered him a number of examples where new was worse, including the Star Wars prequels, there is some merit to his sentiment. New might not turn out to be better, but at least if you give new things a try, you might discover something you really like.
If you stick to the old stuff, that’s all you’ll ever have. This is an entirely new story set in the Star Wars universe, which is arguably what Disney should’ve been doing from the second they bought Lucasfilm instead of clinging desperately to the past.
1 Worse: The Mandalorian Is Just A Substitute For A Boba Fett Movie
If The Mandalorian was a personal story that came from someone’s heart and needed to be told, that would be one thing. But it’s not. It only exists as a substitute for a Boba Fett movie.
When Disney decided against making a Boba Fett movie, they’d already invested a bunch of money in conceptual art and costume design and script work, so they just repurposed all that stuff for a streaming series starring a character that is essentially Boba Fett under a different name. Jon Favreau himself has said that the series only exists because of the hype surrounding Boba Fett.