According to recent news, Lucasfilm may be in the early stages of developing an Obi-Wan Kenobi spinoff, and could also be looking into additional films featuring Yoda, Jabba the Hutt, and Boba Fett. While this means Star Wars will continue to play it safe with the anthology stories, it’s still exciting for fans of these characters - in particular, those intrigued to learn more about the enigmatic Mandalorian bounty hunter.
Previously, Boba Fett was on-deck after Han Solo, with director Josh Trank even slapping together a sizzle reel for Star Wars Celebration 2015 before the project fell apart. Fett might fall back in behind Obi-Wan now – unless Jedi fever pushes Yoda into the runner-up position. The mysterious mercenary is now well on his way to a solo feature. Despite several rumored story arcs, including a bounty hunter-centered movie and a mistaken identity tale, Disney’s true intentions for the character remain unclear.
Equally as important: which actor will play the gruff scofflaw in his solo outing? We have a few suggestions.
Upon hearing a Boba Fett movie was in development, fans of the CW's Arrowverse might already have an instant favorite in mind: Manu Bennett. Most recently known for his turn as Oliver Queen's sharpshooter adversary, Deathstroke, Bennett rose to fame in as Marc Antony on Xena: Warrior Princess, before landing his first major movie supporting role as the sheriff in the 30 Days of Night (2006) adaptation. Most people, though, knew him from the Starz series Spartacus, where he portrayed the Gallic gladiator Crixus. His roles as Deathstroke and in The Hobbit trilogy big bad Azog the Defiler also make him a good fit for the mysterious mercenary.
The one hiccup to Bennett might be his age. At 47, he's definitely too old to portray a post-Revenge of the Sith Fett, but would suit the original trilogy time period - especially if Lucasfilm adapts the Legends tale where he escapes the Sarlacc after Return of the Jedi. Since face-less time is an imperative for any actor playing the character, Bennett is a great choice, as he's clearly comfortable behind Deathstroke's signature helmet.
Pana Hema Taylor
Once again, timing is everything when it comes to the Boba Fett standalone. Setting the anthology during the days before A New Hope allows Lucasfilm to dig into the characters transitional years. One of the most interesting aspects of the character would be watching him develop from the revenge-fueled, upstart fans watched in Star Wars: The Clone Wars series into one of the galaxy's most feared bounty hunters. When casting a young Fett, Disney also would benefit from a fresh face, something which up-and-comer Pana Hema Taylor provides.
Taylor himself is a rising star, with starring roles in several prominent New Zealand TV series. He also landed a supporting role as Syrian rebel Nasir, alongside fellow Maori actor Manu Bennett, in the popular Starz series Spartacus. In addition, Taylor snagged a support spot in the Taika Waititi movie Boy (more on Waititi in a moment). He's also roughly the same height and build Jango Fett star Temuera Morrison and bears a subtle if striking resemblance to the distinguished New Zealand actor.
Most people probably know Taika Waititi as the director of Marvel's upcoming tentpole Thor: Ragnarok, but he's no slouch in front of the camera, either. The native New Zealander recently undertook roles in his own acclaimed films What We Do in the Shadows and Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Waititi may have transitioned into filmmaking but should he decide to take on a major role in a Disney feature (he also has small roles in Ragnarok and Moana), he’d be perfect to play a post-original trilogy Boba Fett.
Coming up alongside the best and brightest of New Zealand's 2000s comedic scene, including Flight of the Conchords, Waititi clearly knows his way around timing and pacing, something vital for a bounty hunter of few words. As one of the coolest characters in the galaxy, Waititi could imbue Fett with an appropriately dry wit, one necessary for a notorious outlaw that often pays his bill working for the most brutal crime lords and totalitarian regimes in the galaxy.
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