When Disney announced spinoffs along with new chapters in the Star Wars theatrical universe, fans automatically suspected the notorious bounty hunter Boba Fett would be the first one to get a standalone movie. So far, with recent news and rumors, fans were right to suspect so. However, aside from a strong cult following, moving forward with a Boba Fett movie is an important move for Disney to make to ensure they are actually handling the franchise right, story wise and merchandise wise.
Story comes first, above all. A good story can make even the most outlandish risk of a production become a blockbuster. Guardians of the Galaxy is a prime example of that. Guardians is the perfect movie to remind fans that Thanos is on his way even if he won’t be the main baddie in Avengers 2, while the movie itself shines a light of hope on other, more unique Marvel properties. Since the beginning of Disney’s acquisition of Marvel, they have worked out each and every story from the first Iron-Man to Avengers 2 and beyond, ensuring the films all connect into a broader cinematic universe. We wouldn’t get a Guardians of the Galaxy movie if the story didn’t call for it.
Now with Star Wars in their grasp, Disney is not only overseeing a new cinematic universe, but an entire franchise that will now interlock from books to film. Their recent action of disestablishing the Old Expanded Universe shows they are making huge moves to ensure the entire Star Wars universe actually runs fluid through each outlet they produce, unlike the old way LucasFilm did it where G canon was real and everything else from B canon to whatever is taken with a grain of salt. They are trying to make sure that when someone talks about a certain story in Star Wars, there is no debate on how it fits into the universe.
With Boba Fett, story means everything, mainly because now, he really doesn’t have one. From the established canon, we know Boba Fett was a clone of bounty hunter Jango Fett who was orphaned by Jedi Master Mace Windu and sought revenge on him during the Clone Wars with help from other bounty hunters Aurra Sing and (Original Trilogy favorite) Bossk, only to be arrested and put in prison with another ruthless bounty hunter named Cad Bane. Bane paid him to start a riot which allowed him to escape, along with Bossk, where they later blackmailed former darksider Asajj Ventress into joining them on an assignment. This mission involved them delivering a young bride to a fat slob of a king, where only Asajj Ventress walked off successful.
Aside from The Clone Wars, we have no idea what becomes of Boba Fett between then and A New Hope, where he was placed in the special edition in the employ of Jabba the Hutt. There were a few stories coming out that would have closed the gap a bit more and explain how the duplicate became one of the most feared bounty hunters in the galaxy. One story involved Boba joining Cad Bane and Aurra Sing on a mission that would have sealed the fates of the latter hunters and brought the young Fett closer to acquiring his full armor in the unfinished season 6 arc of The Clone Wars.
Another story would have shown fans a darker side of the Star Wars galaxy where, after Revenge of the Sith, Fett and other bounty hunters, traversed the treacherous Coruscunt level of 1313, a highly anticipated video game that was soon cancelled once Disney took over LucasFilm. Looking at what Disney is doing, they wouldn’t cancel a game that was guaranteed to sell millions of copies, especially since the game was promoted as “Star Wars‘ first rated M game.” With the Boba Fett spin-off in mind, I believe that Disney cancelled the game in favor of telling that story, or a story like it, as a movie, and with a character with as big a following as Boba Fett has, that seems like the right direction to take.
Aside from story, the merchandising for a Fett movie will be epic. Toys will be flying off the shelves, especially since what makes Fett’s toys so popular and sought after is how hard it is to get one. Now that there will be a story about everyone’s favorite bounty hunter, everyone will be able to get there hands on the lead character’s action figure. Only this time, I’m sure we’ll be getting different versions of the character in toy form that will be hard to find aside from the ones made just for the movie.
Now, with a good story and a strong line of merchandise, Disney just cashed in on their first successful spin-off, which means another one will be fast tracked before we get to Episode VIII of the main series. Once Disney proves itself with a second spin-off, they can dive deeper into different Star Wars stories (even some from the old EU) and release them as standalone films aimed at a variety of different fans, like the ones wanting an Old Republic spinoff, or kids craving something more friendly in the likeness of Ewoks and Droids, or fans who only care about the Skywalker story.
Whichever the case, the Boba Fett movie is the first step into a broader universe of connected material unlike anything seen before. The effort put forward by Disney to really get everything they can out of Star Wars is both a liberating and a depressing feeling. On one hand, Disney could be putting out to much Star Wars too fast overwhelming fans and on the other hand, who doesn’t want more Star Wars? In any case, it is all up to Boba Fett on whether fans will trust Disney in pushing out stories that don’t revolve around the main series of movies. Can you imagine Princess Leia pleading to Boba Fett, “Save us Boba Fett, you’re our only hope!”?