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'Clone Wars' tech & George Lucas nods: 10 things we learned from the making-of 'The Book of Boba Fett'
Galactic secrets galore in honor of May the Fourth!
Star Wars Day — aka May the Fourth — is officially here — and Lucasfilm didn't skimp on the galactic goodies. In addition to dropping a fresh trailer for Obi-Wan Kenobi and announcing a six-part nonfiction series on Industrial Light & Magic, the production banner also premiered a making-of documentary for The Book of Boba Fett. A little over an hour in length, this peek behind the curtain of the live-action TV series is chock full of fascinating tidbits on how to produce Star Wars content that feels both exciting and familiar all at the same time.
Saddle up your Rancor and head below for 10 fun facts we learned from the documentary...
10. Boba subdued
When The Book of Boba Fett was first announced, Star Wars fans expected to see the titular bounty hunter (Temuera Morrison) making his way out of the Sarlacc pit and embark on badass adventures across the galaxy. This didn't end up being the case, with many fans vocally upset over what they saw as a betrayal of the character's legacy established by the original trilogy. Taking Boba in a brand-new direction was always the plan, according to executive producers, Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau.
"I think the thing with Boba is that once he goes down into the Sarlacc pit, once he's in the subterranean world, the underworld... that transitional moment changes someone. How could it not?" Filoni, who directed and co-wrote Episode 6, states in the documentary. "You have an opportunity for him to come out on the other side and make a choice about what kind of person he wants to be."
"As much as it is to think about a character who has questionable morality, blasting his way through the galaxy, that only goes so far," adds Favreau, who wrote all seven episodes. "You can't really explore storylines. It sounds good, but when you actually zoom in and explore what's going on with that character ... if that character is just a lawless character who is doing really cool action sequences, that's not Star Wars. Star Wars has to be about each character facing certain obstacles, usually emotional ones as well as physical ones ... If there's no internal conflict going on with the character, you're losing half of what makes it impactful."
9. "Fennec Look"
Wanting to take full advantage of Ming-Na Wen's dynamite performance as deadly-bounty-hunter-turned-Boba-Fett's-chief-advisor Fennec Shand, director Robert Rodriguez designed entire scenes around what he called the "Fennec Look."
"Ming-Na brings such an incredible swagger to her character," explains Rodriguez, who, in addition to serving as an executive producer, helmed three episodes (including the pilot and finale). "We played with that a lot and there was even something I called the 'Fennec Look,' where sometimes, I would design scenes to just end on her giving Boba a look that spoke volumes."
8. A connection to The Clone Wars
Mok Shaiz, the corrupt mayor of Mos Espa, is an Ithorian, which means he is not biologically capable of speaking English, or as it's known in the Star Wars universe, Galactic Basic Standard. To get around this, the mayor wears a specual voice box, which translates his whale-like speech into intelligible words (spoken by Rodriguez). The device was previously featured in the animated Clone Wars show, which Filoni oversaw.
"If you look at this episode of Clone Wars, we had it and then they make it [for live-action]. And so, I'm staring at this thing, I'm like, 'Oh my gosh, there's our voice box!' It's so neat to see that still there. That's what fans want, they want one, connected universe."
7. Battlefront-inspired costume design
For Garsa Thwip's cantina, costumer designer Shawna Trpcic designed "300 new costumes that had never been seen before." To make sure the outfits looked appropriate for this particular mythos, she referenced "stacks and stacks of every book ever written on anything that has to do with Star Wars," including "Battlefront books." The goal was to "stay within that aesthetic and stay within that world."
6. Black Krrsantan vs. Chewbacca
Die-hard Star Wars fans will known Black Krrsantan from the Marvel comics, where he faced off with Obi-Wan Kenobi, but what about more casual viewers? How do you ensure that this new Wookiee doesn't feel too similar to Chewbacca? "It has to be visually striking in a way that's different immediately," Filoni explains, going on to extol the performance of Krrsantan actor, Carey Jones. "His posture, the way he stands, it's different than [Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew]. He's got these piercing eye where Peter had these very kind, gentle eyes."
"I had to create this attitude for this guy because he's always pissed," Jones says with a laugh. "That's who he is and I wanted to make sure that even if he was standing there and I didn't have my face to show that, it came through the character in the suit."
5. "Addams Family version of the Mandalorian"
They may wear similar armor, but Boba Fett and the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) are vastly different characters. "Whereas the Mandalorian is a slick gunslinger, I'm more like a Conan, and that was the reference," Morrison reveals. The dichotomy between the two bounty hunters resulted in Favreau referring to Boba as "the Addams Family version" of Din Djarin, particularly when it came to Fett usurping Jabba the Hutt's creepy old palace. "The castle feels like a haunted castle," Favreau says.
4. Reinvigorating the Rancor
Since Luke killed Jabba's old rancor in Return of the Jedi, the production "had to figure out a way to start populating [Boba's] menagerie," Favreau continues. Fett receives his very own Rancor as a gift from two of Jabba's cousins. Since this isn't the same Rancor featured in Episode VI, production designer Doug Chiang had an opportunity to play around the design a little bit while still paying homage to what came before.
"To honor that creature, we actually went back and looked at the all the footage, we looked at all the original maquettes, because we wanted to capture the right essence ... we wanted to preserve the charm of what we saw and that charm came from this hand puppet built by Phil Tippet. It was a rubber monster, but the way it was photographed, the way it was lit, the way it was painted, it was absolutely great. It didn't look absolutely photo-real, but that wasn't necessary. It was more the emotional impact and that's what we wanted to capture."
3. A nod to George Lucas
Episode 5 of The Book of Boba Fett features the return of Din Djarin, who makes his way back to Tatooine in search of a new spaceship. The follow-up to the Razor Crest ends up being a tricked-out version of the N-1 Starfighter — a vessel flown by a young Anakin Skywalker during the climax of The Phantom Menace. Mando's augmentation of the ship alongside the wise-cracking mechanic Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris) was meant as a nod to Star Wars creator, George Lucas, and the drag racing he enjoyed in his youth. Lucas's love of driving and souped-up, retrofitted hot rods became a central part of his 1973 coming-of-age project: American Graffiti.
"In the '50s or the '60s when George Lucas had set American Graffiti, they were driving around Deuce Coupes or three-window '32 Fords. They would take those and chop parts off of it and throw on speed modifications," Favreau explains. "And so, we wanted to keep that spirit alive, so the idea of creating an N-1 Starfighter in a garage with a mechanic and building your own customized version of that...that's part of what Star Wars is about."
2. Mark Hamill was on set
The Book of Boba Fett also features the return of Luke Skywalker as he prepares to open an academy for the next generation of Jedi. Since this is a younger version of Luke, the crew used a body double (Graham Hamilton) and groundbreaking CGI and Deepfake innovations to recreate what the character looked like in 1983. With that said, Mark Hamill was also on set, both shooting scenes for reference and guiding Hamilton on how to best embody Luke. "It's a composite performance — not just from the stunt double, but input from the director and what's on the page," says Hamill. "All of these elements coming together so that it's an ongoing learning experience."
1. Tricking Rosario Dawson
Rosario Dawson, who reprised the live-action role of Ahsoka Tano from Season 2 of The Mandalorian, had no idea that she'd be interacting with Luke in The Book of Boba Fett. To avoid spoilers from getting out, the actress was given a script that falsely claimed an appearance from the Jedi Master known as Plo Koon, which should've raised some serious alarm bells since the character is visibly killed onscreen in Revenge of the Sith. "She didn't know until the day we were shooting that she wasn't gonna meet Plo Koon," Filoni recalls (the same trick was pulled on the cast of The Mandalorian ahead of Luke's cameo in the Season 2 finale).
"I'm doing all of my scenes. I'm like, 'Ok, that's gonna be really interesting. Master Plo Koon... I'm a little confused by that, but ok, that could be interesting. How is it jumping around?' I don't know..." Rosario adds. "I was like, 'It's gonna make sense. When I get to the set, I'll ask all the questions and figure it out.' And then comes Mark Hamill. I couldn't believe I was standing there in front of him and we're working together. I've got lightsabers and there's a Baby Yoda and actual Luke Skywalker in front of me. I can't believe I didn't faint that day. I can't believe that they kept that secret from me, even up until I was on set with him."
All seven episodes of The Book of Boba Fett are now streaming on Disney+.
For more sci-fi content, head over to Peacock for genre classics like Independence Day and Armageddon.