Disney and Lucasfilm have yet to make an official announcement, but it looks like a Boba Fett movie is coming our way. Recent reports have confirmed that Logan director James Mangold is set to co-write and direct the Star Wars standalone centered on the famed bounty hunter. Simon Kinberg, known for his work as a writer and producer on the X-Men franchise, as well as being an executive producer on Star Wars Rebels, will co-write the script with Mangold. At the present time, no story details are available, but that raises a simple yet important question: What should the Boba Fett movie be about?
Despite the fact that Boba Fett has had a very limited amount of screen time, even if we count the prequels which feature him as a kid alongside his dad Jango Fett, fans have always been fascinated with the bounty hunter and have wanted to see more of him. Various comic books, novels and video games have tried to fill that void, but most of those were removed from the official canon by Disney and Lucasfilm several years ago. That leaves the door wide open in terms of where this movie can take place and what it can do for the character.
Before digging in here, I want to make it clear that I don't write movies or make movies. I write about movies. So I'm not going to pitch a whole three act flick here, but I am going to discuss, in broad terms, what this Boba Fett movie could be and should be. This is a beloved character by many, but also one that others view as overrated. Bearing that in mind, the character could run the risk of being ruined to some degree if this movie isn't done the right way. Perhaps more than any of the Star Wars standalone movies that already exist, or even looking at the ones that we know are in the works, this movie has to walk a very fine line in order to actually work.
More than anything, this movie can't destroy the mystery surrounding Boba Fett. Solo: A Star Wars Story was a pretty straightforward origin story in many ways that showed us a lot of the things we had only heard about in regards to the character's history. When it comes to Fett, part of what makes him so intriguing is the fact that we know so little about him. Much of what draws fans to him is subtext. Why is Han Solo so afraid of him? Why does Vader trust him? So the last thing that James Mangold and Lucasfilm need to do here is give us anything resembling Solo. This movie needs to take a very different approach.
Then there's the question of when? There are several options in that regard. The most logical option would seem to be a story set in the prequel era after a young Boba Fett took up his father's mantle following his death in Attack of the Clones. Maybe pick up after the events of Revenge of the Sith and put it roughly in the same timeline as Solo? That would seem logical enough. What we know from the comics is that Boba Fett had several interactions with Darth Vader over the years. Perhaps Vader could send him on a secret mission of sorts? The first Darth Vader comic book series from Marvel in the new canon featured the Sith Lord doing quite a few things behind the Emperor's back. Perhaps part of that involves a secret mission only a skilled bounty hunter can handle? Something like that could be done without revealing too much about Fett's backstory and could leave the mystery intact. It also could give a character like Vader some more screen time without it feeling too forced. That's just one idea, but something like that could work.
The other option, and possibly the more appealing option in some ways, would be to set the Boba Fett movie after the events of Return of the Jedi. It feels almost deliberate on Lucasfilm's part that they haven't addressed the character's fate in the new canon. Did he somehow survive his fall into the Sarlacc pit? Many fans would like to think so. It would certainly help make up for his Looney Tunes "death" scene. Assuming Lucasfilm goes that route, it would allow them to explore the time period between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens the movies really haven't ventured into that territory yet and it's something many fans would like to see happen.
One of the best things, speaking as an enormous Star Wars fan and, specifically, a Boba Fett fan, would be to see some sort of Dirty Dozen style bounty hunter ensemble movie. Fett gets called upon by someone (Jabba the Hutt? Vader?) for a secretive, difficult task along with several other guns for hire and it turns into a gritty crime mission flick with Fett as part of an ensemble as opposed to being a movie sorely dedicated to him. Regardless of the time period, this would be a great way to preserve the mystique and intrigue of his character while still giving him some much-needed screen time. Plus, this would be a way to sneak in guys like Bossk and IG-88, while also introducing some new guys. Maybe even bring in someone like Cad Bane from The Clone Wars?
One last question that needs to be addressed is who? We know that Boba Fett is a clone of Jango Fett thanks to the prequels, but is that the whole story? Some have suggested that Boba Fett should be a Dread Pirate Roberts sort of thing. A mangle passed down. I honestly don't know if that's the way to go, but this is something that much more gifted folks than I will have to figure out. That said, this is the kind of thing that could potentially be a make or break for this movie. It's going to be a crucial and important sticking point.
There are the kinds of Star Wars fans who love the idea of this movie and the possibilities it represents. Then there are those who loathe it, either because they find Boba Fett to be all flash and no substance and/or because there are other stories they would rather see told in this galaxy. While that sentiment is very understandable, James Mangold is an extremely talented filmmaker and if there is a man who can make this movie work, it's him. If done right, this can be a Star Wars movie the likes of which we've never seen. The question is, will it be done as such? All we can do for now is cross our fingers and hope for the best.