Star Wars fans were handed quite the surprise recently when it was revealed that Boba Fett will return in The Mandalorian Season 2. Temuera Morrison, the actor who played Jango Fett, Boba's father, in Attack of the Clones, is set to appear in The Mandalorian season 2 as the beloved character. While this, on its own, is huge news, it could be a gateway to bigger things. Namely, the long-gestating Boba Fett movie.
For starters, let's go over what we know about the bounty hunter's return}. So far, plot details for The Mandalorian season 2 are being kept tightly under wraps, as one would expect. In the report noting Temuera Morrison's casting, it's said that the role is expected to be relatively small. A scene from the show's first season saw a mysterious, shadowy figure come upon the body of Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) in the episode The Gunslinger. It was theorized at the time that this was indeed Boba Fett. It seems that scene paved the way for his return in season 2. But that's about all we've got for right now in terms of specifics.
Boba Fett appeared in live-action for the first time in 1980's The Empire Strikes Back. Though he famously debuted in the ill-fated Star Wars Holiday Special Played via an animated short. Jeremy Bulloch was under the armor in the movie. Despite having very little screen time and saying scarcely more than a few words between his debut on his descent into the pit of Sarlacc in Return of the Jedi, Boba Fett became one of the most popular characters in the entire franchise and remains so to this day.
While it seemed, at the time, that Boba Fett died in Return of the Jedi, to be digested slowly over the course of 1,000 years, this has never been confirmed by the Star Wars canon. His fate was left ambiguous. It seems the bounty hunter somehow managed to survive his scrape with death. The question now becomes, would Lucasfilm truly relegate the return of one of the most popular characters in this galaxy to a small role in The Mandalorian? That would seem unlikely. With that in mind, this may simply be a way to test the waters and serve as a way to reintroduce the character. To open that door up. It could easily serve as a springboard into getting him a solo movie, something that has been on the table for some time now, but has never quite gotten off the ground.
Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2012 for more than $4 billion. Since then, quite a few Star Wars projects have entered development, only to be abandoned, for various reasons, along the way. One such project was a Boba Fett movie, with Josh Trank (Fantastic Four, Chronicle) attached to direct originally. The standalone first got going around 2014 and the plan was to show a teaser trailer, which had already been produced, at Star Wars Celebration in 2015, as a means of making a splashy announcement. Unfortunately, Trank and Lucasfilm parted ways over creative differences. The trailer was never shown and the project was seemingly scrapped.
However, in May 2018 it was reported that James Mangold (Logan, 3:10 to Yuma) had been tapped to take on the Boba Fett movie. This was just as Solo: A Star Wars Story was making its way to theaters. As it turns out, the solo flick ended up being the lone commercial disappointment in the Disney era of Lucasfilm, grossing just $392 million at the global box office. Disney lost a lot of money on the deal. By October, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy had confirmed that the project was, once again, 100 percent dead.
But things have changed in the last couple of years. The Mandalorian helped blast the door wide open for a new era of Star Wars on the small screen. At the same time, The Rise of Skywalker ending the Skywalker saga on a divisive note. Lucasfilm has decided to take a break for several years, with the next big screen entry in the franchise not slated until December 2022. It was recently confirmed that Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok, Jojo Rabbit) is developing a new Star Wars movie taking place in a new corner of the galaxy yet to be explored. The studio is starting to figure out what the future of the franchise is going to look like beyond the Skywalker saga.
Yes, Solo was a commercial disappointment, but it came out just five months after The Last Jedi, perhaps the most divisive movie in the history of the series. It was also deeply expensive, with Phil Lord and Chris Miller being fired from the production after much of it had already been shot, with Ron Howard coming in to replace them. Point being, the lesson shouldn't be that people don't want Star Wars standalones. In fact, there has been a vocal contingent of fans calling for Solo 2 to happen. Plus, Rogue One grossed more than $1 billion at the box office. It just so happens that, in this case, things didn't pan out. Future standalone entries, such as a Boba Fett movie, should not be abandoned over one misfire.
All of this to say, we have one of the most enduringly popular characters in the history of Star Wars making a return in The Mandalorian, a show that has seemingly united the fanbase. It would be downright silly not to use that as a possible avenue to bringing Fett back in a bigger way down the road. There is no reason a Boba Fett movie couldn't work, if handled the right way. It is arguably the kind of project Lucasfilm should explore in an attempt to move away from the Skywalker saga.
There is the possibility that Lucasfilm could go the series route as well. What happened to Boba Fett after he escaped the Sarlacc pit? There is surely meat on those bones. The Obi-Wan Kenobi series in the works for Disney+ currently was, at one point, dangerously close to being made as a movie. Instead, it was repurposed as a series. That could be another way to bring Fett back beyond a small appearance in The Mandalorian. Either way, it would seem logical to conclude that this might be just the beginning. The news of Temuera Morrison's casting was originally reported by The Hollywood Reporter.