I know this is hard to believe but some times Hollywood gets it wrong. Thats where we come in. The Hollywood pitch is designed to suggest a version of a movie or premise that might just work. Want to see more Jaws movies? Then you want to see our version, where Richard Dreyfuss returns as Hooper and the Aurora Science Facility has to deal with a large, and seemingly intelligent great white shark. Doesn’t that make more sense than a shark coming after the Brody family in movie after movie? Want another Indy movie? See our pitch for a Chris Pratt lead film set between Raiders and Last Crusade.
Today our attention turn to the galaxy far far away, and a particularly enigmatic bounty hunter…
The rumours are that the second Star Wars Anthology Film will focus on the bad ass, armour clad, highest-bidder-favouring bounty hunter. The project is currently code named “Tin Can”, a possible reference to that pant dampeningly cool helmet, and was originally slated to be director Josh Trank’s first offering. Unfortunately Mr. Trank exited stage right not too long after his no show at Celebration, and so the job is up for grabs. See who we want to take the job by clicking here and sharing. Now the person who steps into the role will have a big, daunting task ahead of them. Not only is there an awful lot of attention focused on that project thanks to the Trank shaped drama, but its following The Force Awakens, the hotly anticipated Rogue One and the Rian Johnson helmed Episode VIII. I’m not sure I’d want anything to do with this film, too much pressure dude. Add to all that the fact that fan boys everywhere are already sharpening their knives for a Boba Fett movie of any kind, thanks largely to how poorly managed the character was in the prequels, and this is a asteroid shaped hot potato.
So, before we get to our simple outline for doing Boba right, lets look at where it went wrong…
To Fett Or Not To Fett
Last year I wrote a piece on Movie Pilot about the upcoming Star Wars movies and how there was a lot to be concerned about when it comes to a Boba Fett movie. You can read that here. You’ll notice some of the details are a way off now, what a difference a year makes. One thing hasn’t changed though, and thats my opinion that going back to show Boba Fett as a kid was a mistake in my opinion. It makes this rich world we play in feel small when everybody knew everybody else and their Dads all knew each other and hung out together. Is this the galaxy far, far away, or that place just two streets over?
Boba Fett worked in Empire because he was a badass figure of mystery. He had this cool armour and wicked space ship. He said little, but when he spoke it was with a cold disengaged matter of factness, hell, even the big bad had to calm the guy down when he drew a bead on Chewy as the mighty Wookiee lost his grip around the carbon freeze chamber. In Jedi he kind of went out like a punk, but that’s the issue with George’s take on these characters (I’m looking at both halves of you Darth Maul) he rushes to wrap them up and then realises he could have sold millions more action figures if he’d just given them a way out. Enter Jango…
Making Jango Fett the template for the Clones was fine, making him the “father” of Boba was not. I didn’t need to see Boba lose his “dad” and develop a hate for the Jedi in order to find him compelling, he already got my attention without all that. Not every character needs to be sympathetic. I don’t need more detail on him to understand his motivations. Look at the biggest bad in Star Wars, The Emperor. We get a lot of detail in the prequels that illustrates how Palpatine did what he did, and we didn’t need to know why. He was the BAD GUY and that was enough, some characters do bad shit. I suspect if George was to go back and make Palpatine prequels we’d see a Jedi baby sitter steal his sweeties or something. Some characters just work in black and white, that’s what we had in Empire-Boba, this bad guy is who the bad guys call for help. Bad ass. Showing me that character as a whiney little punk (poorly played in a weak ass movie too!) did not endear me to the character. So how can we redeem the character in the new Anthology offering? Glad you asked…
What is it about Boba Fett that works? He is a cool bounty hunter. Has cool armour. Moves in a creepy graceful manner and says little. We never see under the helmet so he could be anyone. He is the cowboy in the black hat, the man with no name, a drifter who might just disintegrate you. He has a wicked cool looking ship, Slave I, and works for the highest bidder.
Where is it written that the highest bidder has to be the Empire or the Hutts?
Here is what I want to see in a Boba Fett movie.
- Never take his helmet off
- Limit his dialogue
- Make him the good(ish) guy
Now you’re probably thinking, you just just said bad should be bad, well calm down dear, we have a great model to adopt for a Boba Fett movie, it is the single best example of the bad guy being reframed as the hero.
True Space Grit
In my Boba Fett movie I’d have someone hire the bounty hunter to escort a child from point A to point B. This child is a high value target (think River Tam in Firefly and Serenity) and Boba Fett has to keep her alive on the journey. I wouldn’t go too young with the kid, give her some spirit, like Hailee Steinfeld’s Mattie Ross in True Grit, framing Boba Fett the Rooster Cogburn character. I’d also steal liberally from Terminator 2 and have the girl reign in Boba Fett who would be happy to lay waste to entire regions to keep her safe. Like Darth Vader forcing Fett’s blaster down in Bespin, the girl stops Boba from killing his way across the galaxy because she doesn’t want that blood on her hands. We’d get to see our villain as the (anti)hero without making him a whiny bitch. I’d love to see someone get under his skin, especially if we could avoid the whole love interest angle. Look at how that worked in The Dark Knight Rises, Bane was completely committed to Tahlia without it being a romantic connection, and so Boba develops that relationship with his “Mattie Ross” as she humanises him.
Ok I’m going to commit a sin here so bare with me.
Depending on when we set this story, we have a couple of options. If we want to leave Boba in the belly of the beast (literally) despite Uncle George’s claims that the character escaped, off screen after Jedi, then we could set this film between the trilogies. There are twenty years to play with, and we know Boba Fett was quite active building his reputation as a bad ass. If we choose that time period to set our story then the “Mattie Ross” character could be a force sensitive child being taken to safety. This will be about the time of the Jedi Purge, where Vader and the Emperor are hunting down and killing Jedi. Now I know what I just said about small universe syndrome in Star Wars, but how cool would it be if the child in question was Obi-Wan’s daughter? He had a romantic interlude in The Clone Wars, and that was with a Mandalorian head of state. For the uninitiated the Mandalaorians are Boba Fett’s people, and the lady in question is Duchess Satine Kryze. To add an extra layer of connectivity you could make the child Sabine Wren from Star Wars Rebels and only reveal that in the closing moments of the movie. Im not married to the Sabine thing, although I think her being a Kenobi is a cool idea.
If you want to set the movie after Jedi, and after Boba’s escape from the Sarlacc (that could explain why he never removes his helmet, maybe his face is messed up) you could still have a force sensitive child being rushed into hiding. We have thirty years to play with between the second and third trilogies so anything could happen. We don’t know what the plans are for the new characters in The Force Awakens so maybe the force sensitive child being escorted to safety is Rey and she and Boba set up a outpost on Jakku before he dies in the third act leaving her to fend for herself.
I would be happy with either option, although, honesty, I would probably not do the Sabine Wren thing.
Who Is Under The Helmet
Casting seems simple enough to me. You need a character actor capable of projecting a performance through that mask. He needs to do the cool voice we remember from the original movies (not Temuera Morrison’s, sorry Tem), and he needs to be able to move in that oh so cool / creepy manner. For my money there is only one person to cast in the role of the new Boba Fett and that’s Andy Serkis.
In summary, I now wouldn’t mind seeing a Boba Fett movie that develops the character in unexpected ways. Cast a strong young woman in the lead as a would be Jedi on the run, who may or may not have ties to the larger universe and show us some chemistry between the monster and his ward. This way we see Boba Fett in a different light without compromising his badassdom.
Take my money.
What do you think: Is there a better way to deal with Boba Fett in an Anthology Movie? Should he be left well enough alone? Share this post on twitter by clicking here and hit that little like button at the bottom there.
Thanks for reading.