Why Boba Fett is Disney’s biggest Star Wars challenge yet

Sam Ashurst
Contributor

So, it’s official. James Mangold is making Boba Fett, the long rumoured Star Wars Story that’s been gestating for about as long as it takes the Sarlacc pit to digest someone.

Fans are giddy with excitement – but we’re not exactly sure why.

Sure, James Mangold made the genuine masterpiece that is Logan, which took a growly murderer and turned him into one of the most sympathetic men with blades for hands since Edward Scissorhands (though, to be fair, the only other competition is Freddy Krueger), but Boba Fett is a completely different proposition.

For one thing, his backstory is an absolute mess. Don’t forget, George Lucas’ prequel trilogy is still canon (as a recent Solo cameo made clear) – with a Ewan McGregor-starring Kenobi the only other planned spin-off. Which means that all that embarrassing stuff featuring baby Boba clutching his dad’s severed head in the middle of a Jedi scrap is also canon.

As good as James Mangold is, it’s going to be hard to make that cool.

And even if Mangold’s successful, and he does make us forget Attack Of The Clones, can you imagine watching this thing in chronological order? Cringey beginning, awesome middle, then embarrassing ending – with Fett taking out by a clumsy blind man, who shoves him straight into a burp gag. It would be like Logan ending with Wolverine falling into a well and farting to death.

The cooler Mangold makes Fett in his spin-off movie, the more incongruous that Return Of The Jedi moment’s going to feel. Seriously, it makes Greedo’s demise look like Braveheart.

And just why do we all think Fett’s deserving of his own movie anyway? He’s got great armour, cool weapons and he can fly – fantastic. But outside of that, all he really does is get told off by Vader (“No disintegrations”) mutter a couple of lines and nod at someone.

But that air of mystery is what made Fett special – and a spin-off film can only diminish that mystery further.

We know, it can’t be as bad as what the prequels did – take a unique character and turn him into a whining clone who’s literally the opposite of an individual – but, still, sometimes characters don’t need backstories and motivations. Sometimes it’s enough to just show up, flirt with a couple of alien ladies and stand in the background looking like a rad dude.

Boba Fett works best as an enigmatic bounty hunter lurking in the shadows, not as a front and centre character with the A Star Wars Story spotlight beamed directly at him.

What can we possibly learn about him that’ll make him more interesting than he already is? That his family were slaughtered by rogue Ewoks? That he owes a debt to IG-88 and can’t stop bounty hunting until it’s paid off? Is he going to go into retirement until Admiral Ackbar hires him for one last job? No matter what the plot, Fett’s enigma will be undone.

So, unless it’s a silent movie in which Fett sells out or kills off everyone he encounters, we’re probably not going to be interested. As a supporting character in a different movie, yes please. As the main lead, no thanks.

That said, Disney did prove us wrong with Solo – which is genuinely good fun, even if the character is so optimistically different to the cynical original trilogy version, they might has well have called it Yolo.

We’ll wait and see – but as it stands, we’re about as excited about this as we were when we found out the mystical force was the result of a medical anomaly known as ‘midichlorians.’

Because as George Lucas learned, sometimes, it’s best not to explain Star Wars stuff.


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