This space western has been beloved since the first movie premiered in the ’70s. But, while this universe has grown, its live-action and animated properties have rarely dipped into other genres like their book counterparts have done over the years.
Typically, a Star Wars project is straightforward. The Light goes head-to-head with the Dark Side in a fight for the galaxy’s future.
It’s not a rote, regurgitated story structure by any means. Writers for the franchise have found new and innovative ways to tell stories about good, honest heroes and the obstacles they face in their battle against the encroaching darkness threatening to swallow the universe.
However, there’s only so many times that a good vs. evil plot can happen before fans start wondering about the characters that live in the shades of gray in the world.
What about their stories? What is the universe like outside of the Jedi and the Sith, the Republic and the Empire? What if the four main powers in the Star Wars universe were simply background noise. Catalysts for storytelling sure but not the main event or the protagonists or the antagonists or anything of note besides the lever by which plot moves?
What if the Star Wars franchise jumped genres entirely? At its core it’ll always be a space western but what if it could also be something else?
Questions like these may have been the impetus behind Solo: A Star Wars Story and The Mandalaorian, but it’s The Book of Boba Fett that’s going to drop Star Wars fans into a genre that they’ve gotten a taste of but have never had a full experience with in a live-action film or series.
The show is set to welcome viewers into a crime drama.
The Book of Boba Fett could be just the beginning of new genres in Star Wars
All it takes is one look at this Disney+ original’s official trailer to see narrative beats found commonly in mafia stories.
Boba Fett and Fennec Shand knocked over the old boss and now they’ve claimed his territory and his business. They’re surrounded by wolves who are ready to take them out at any sign of weakness, and they’re flexing their hold on power. Respect is also a key component to how Boba Fett wants to run his crime syndicate.
As Jon Favreau told Empire:
"There is a power vacuum because Jabba is gone. Jabba was clearly a very strong and imposing leader, who people were very scared of, and who seemed to rule with an iron fist. You pull somebody like that out of the ecosystem of Tatooine – and Hutt Space in general – and you have the opportunity that’s ripe in the gangster genre.”"
It’s a new and exciting time for Star Wars because not only is the narrative focus changing but so is this idea that a Star Wars story must follow a certain set of tenants. The Book of Boba Fett will expand the audience’s understanding of the criminal world in this galaxy, but it’ll also expand what a Star Wars project can be. Potentially the same way Star Wars: Visions did.
Heroes are great and so are villains. Anti-heroes are intriguing and so are gray characters who aren’t concerned with good or evil, they just are what they are. There’s room for all kinds of stories to be told in this universe in all kinds of genres.
The Book of Boba Fett could set the precedence for more series or films in other genres if it’s successful. One day there may be a live-action Star Wars mystery or horror if Mike Flanagan ever gets tapped to spin a tale for the franchise.
This universe is in a period of growth and that growth could open more doors to a diversity of storytelling that isn’t entirely centered on the Skywalker Saga or the stories that surround them.