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It's a good time to be a Boba Fett fan. The legendary bounty hunter is arguably a bigger part of Star Wars than ever before, thanks to his surprise appearance in The Mandalorian Season 2, the surprise announcement of his own spinoff series and, today, the premiere of that spinoff series on Disney+. With The Book of Boba Fett now out in the world, Boba is more visible than he's ever been, but there was a time when Lucasfilm was a little more hesitant to show off one of their most mysterious characters.
Fett came into the Disney era of Star Wars with only a handful of canonical appearances, including his adventures in the original trilogy and his appearances as a boy in both Attack of the Clones and the Clone Wars animated series. As it became clear that Disney was keen to expand the Star Wars universe in just about every direction, Boba Fett became a prime candidate for either a spinoff story of his own or a new appearance in someone else's story. Before The Mandalorian came along and made that happen, one story that seemed ripe for such an appearance was 2018's Solo: A Star Wars Story, the origin of the smuggler who accidentally knocked Boba Fett to his apparent death back in Return of the Jedi.
Though their interactions in the original trilogy are brief, it's hinted that Solo and Fett have at least a little history, and since Solo showed us everything from the first meeting of Han and Chewbacca to the first appearance of Lando Calrissian and the Millennium Falcon, having the bounty hunter show up to hassle Solo a little bit feels like a scene that would've fit right in. Sadly, it wasn't something Lucasfilm would allow, even if writers Lawrence and Jonathan Kasdan had wanted it. In a new piece on Fett's evolution in The New York Times this week, Jonathan Kasdan noted they were specifically told they couldn't use the bounty hunter.
“Boba was always off limits because he was in development elsewhere," Kasdan said.
It's not clear which "elsewhere" Kasdan is referring to with his comments, but we do know that Boba Fett has been on the minds of Lucasfilm executives for quite some time. In 2014 and 2015, Chronicle and Fantastic Four director Josh Trank was working on a spinoff film that was later revealed to be a Boba Fett movie, which the filmmaker eventually dropped amid the fallout of Fantastic Four. Even with Trank out of the picture, the character seemed to be on the minds of a lot of fans and creators, making appearances in Star Wars comics and biding his time until a live-action return that finally came in The Mandalorian Season 2.
Now, Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, and Robert Rodriguez have set the character up for a post-Return of the Jedi power grab with The Book of Boba Fett, but that doesn't mean Fett won't appear elsewhere. There's still a lot we don't know about his earlier bounty hunting career that Disney could mine for future stories.
The Book of Boba Fett Episode 1 is now streaming on Disney+.