With all the focus on J.J. Abrams’ Episode VII, we still don’t know much about the other planned Star Wars spin-off films. And there should be a lot of them, since Disney seems to be taking the Marvel Cinematic Universe approach now that George Lucas’ fictional universe is under their control. We know Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg were hired on to work on the spin-offs, and we’ve heard rumors that the first batch of spin-off films could be prequels/origin stories for Boba Fett, Yoda, and Han Solo. Now the latest Star Wars rumor suggests the Boba Fett movie is proving a tough nut to crack.
MakingStarWars.net is reporting a tidbit from the Disney Executive Breakfast that took place at Disneyworld in Florida recently. Apparently the scuttlebutt being passed back and forth among the staff was that one topic of discussion during the breakfast was that figuring out the right approach for the proposed Boba Fett spin-off has been tricky. MSW says:
Lucasfilm wants Boba Fett to remain menacing and scary but we have to make him the hero of the film and it is a real challenge.
If that’s more than just the Disneyworld staff playing a distorting game of “gossip telephone,” can I just say that I’m not enormously surprised? The Star Wars mythology is vast and rich and full of potential stories to tell, both new ones and tales excavated from the Expanded Universe. The notion of digging deeper into Lucas’ galaxy far, far away is hugely exciting, but so far most of the rumored spin-off possibilities have been less than exciting. Sure, you could get a cool “young Han Solo” movie, but only if you can find that one-in-a-million unknown young actor who can take over the role made iconic by Harrison Ford and actually win over skeptical fans. But a Yoda movie? A bad idea that is.
As for Boba Fett, if you get the right script and the right director, it could be fun. But I think making him the star of his own flick is ignoring one very important fact: part of the reason Boba Fett has had such a lasting appeal is due to the fact that he has such brief screen time in the original Star Wars films. He shows up briefly in two of the movies, but looking badass, not saying much, and not overstaying his welcome is a big part of why he became a fan favorite. (We’ll ignore that whole embarrassing Sarlacc incident.) But actually giving us more Fett runs the risk of diminishing the very mystique that made him interesting in the first place.
And yes, I’m ignoring all that’s been done with Fett in the Expanded Universe, for good or ill. I’m sure some of that material has done the character proud and further evolved the bounty hunter in an interesting way. But for the sizable chunk of the potential Star Wars audience who’s never read any of the EU material, the only Boba Fett they know is the one from the movies. So a Boba Fett movie could go very well…or very wrong.
But if Disney needs some pointers on how to pull off the anti-hero thing properly, they need look no further than another of their wildly popular franchises. Doesn’t the name “Loki” ring a bell? Or hell, send an intern down to Redbox to pick up a copy of Pitch Black. Frankly, Riddick could hand Boba Fett his lungs without breaking a sweat, even if he didn’t have a blind Corellian smuggler handy.