The Expanded Universe was wise enough to revive Boba Fett. It’s time the new canon gets on board and brings back the notorious bounty hunter.
As a longtime fan of the Expanded Universe (now Legends – but it’ll always be the EU to me!), I was one of thousands understandably saddened by the revelation the new series of Star Wars movies would be doing away with all the stories, characters, and future adventures of Luke, Leia, and Han that I’d spent decades reading and adopting as “the official tale of Star Wars outside of the movies.”
I liked how – despite the sheer number of Star Wars projects released on a seemingly weekly basis – the continuity of the stories from A Galaxy Far, Far Away always seemed to find a way to merge into one massive story. Occasionally toes would be stepped on as a story unintentionally (or even intentionally) rewrote events that had already been told, but overall there was an identifiable chain of stories that one could follow from the ancient days of the Old Republic all the way to a time unexplored, over a hundred years past the classic trilogy.
Most interesting for myself were the tales involving the Mandalorians, be it K W Jeter’s classic Bounty Hunter Wars (an amazing read), Karen Travis’s Republic Commando novels, or the return of Boba Fett in the New Jedi Order/Legacy series.
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Boba Fett. The iconic silent threat and devious hunter of the Star Wars universe. My all-time favorite character. The Fettman always got a raw deal in my opinion, so when I discovered back in the late ’90s he had somehow gotten his way out of that nasty Sarlacc pit, I was both intrigued and hooked by the expanded galaxy that I’d only previously given a passing glance at.
What followed was a years-long journey into the novels of the New Republic, the Yuuzhan Vong, the Dark Nest, the turn of Darth Caedus, culminating with the return of Abeloth. Each project continually built off the one before it, creating an elaborate tangle of plot threads that provided endless opportunities for expansion and exploration.
Back to the Fettman though – for years I’d always taken pride in being able to counter the inevitable declaration that “the galaxy’s most notorious bounty hunter got dropped by a blind guy with a stick” with the proclamation that they were dealing with outdated info, and that Boba was alive and well, and was now actually the Mandalore of his people. He had a granddaughter. He led his people to a new age of prosperity. He overcame certain death as a result of the cloning process that had given him life. He and Han Solo even developed a mutual respect for each other. The Boba Fett of the EU was, plain and simply, The Man.
And then it was all gone.
The Mandalorian. Photo credit: LucasFilm
Now don’t get me wrong, I love the Star Wars sequels, I just don’t love the way my favorite character was thrown back into the Pit, and then his presence teased and hinted at, and to this day he remains an unsolved mystery. (Cue that spooky theme song from the ’80s.)
First, in The Force Awakens, when the heroes enter Maz Kanata’s castle, we see a Mandalorian Skull prominently displayed on a center flag above the entrance. I thought Fett would’ve been one of the many patrons in the establishment that day, even if you just see him in the background. Heck that’s about all we ever get from him in the classic trilogy anyway!
In Rogue One, I thought he’d be a perfect addition in some capacity. Possibly Vader’s agent in pursuing the rebels at the end, or possibly even just a passerby on Jedha like Dr. Evazan and Ponda Baba. Alas, not even a Firespray starship was seen in the distance.
The Last Jedi didn’t really ever lead me to believe Fett would return, aside from a feeling that Episode VIII would slightly mirror Episode V and we’d see the returns of Fett & Lando Calrissian. That, of course, didn’t pan out.
In Solo, there is a full set of Mando armor behind Dryden Vos in the concluding act of the movie, and while admittedly it would’ve been downright silly to have Fett suddenly materialize into the end of the story, I’d still have jumped out of my seat and applauded! If nothing else, I naturally assumed – as did so many others – Solo would give us a glimpse of the history between Solo and Fett. Again, another opportunity missed, and the biggest one to date I believe.
Alas, of the current canon, it is Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath series that shows the most of Boba’s fate, as Fett’s armor is salvaged from the ruins of the Sarlacc Pit and taken by a local lawman. I thought for sure there would be a continuation of that tale, and maybe there still will be, but for now the story of Boba Fett is once again a short one ending at the unintentional hands of…sigh…a blind man with a stick.
Why couldn’t it have at least been Chirrut Imwe?
It is my hope that the new series, The Mandalorian, will once again right this wrong. Help me out Jon Favreau! Please!