Boba Fett is back, and he’s a bigger deal than ever.
A fan favorite ever since he first appeared in 1978 in the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special (and then in 1980 in his much more well-known debut in The Empire Strikes Back), Fett has rarely received the spotlight in Star Wars storytelling, left instead to the whims of imaginations, with fans wondering about this mysterious character.
But that is all changing now, with The Book of Boba Fett, the upcoming live-action series set in the time period following Fett’s miraculous survival from the sarlacc pit. The series will follow Fett’s pursuit to lead in the criminal underworld, taking the throne of Jabba the Hutt and ruling in his place. But it sounds like that is just the beginning, and plenty of twists and turns will follow.
Showrunner Robert Rodriguez, in a recent profile done by The Hollywood Reporter on the series, mentioned that Fett “invites a whole world from the underworld in with him,” and then adds that, “Things turn up you don’t expect, you see things we couldn’t believe we got to do. Every episode has big surprises.” That’s furthered by the fact that he says we’ve only seen footage from the beginning of the first episode, since even footage from later in the opening episode is too spoilerly to reveal now.
Of course, it’s easy for there to be a lot of surprises when you say basically nothing beyond the bare minimum about the show, but nonetheless I assume he’s meaning that there will be some really notable twists that we are not expecting to happen, even with what we do know about the show. And I think there’s one such category of surprises that is teased in the same article, this time from Dave Filoni, Executive Creative Director at Lucasfilm and an Executive Producer on The Book of Boba Fett.
“Boba gives us a direct connection to the Star Wars saga since he was involved in that story,” Filoni, who doubles as a Star Wars historian of sorts for the other members of these productions, said. “This creates a nice crossover point for both classic characters and new characters. Much of The Mandalorian was new, or had not been seen onscreen. Through Boba Fett, we can weave some of those characters and tales together using a character we know but don’t know a lot about.”
That’s very interesting, and I read it as a tease that there will be known characters showing up in this series – presumably as big surprises, like Rodriguez said. And it sounds like these known characters will be from the original trilogy (and not just an appearance from Din Djarin, for example, which could happen but doesn’t seem to be what Filoni has in mind). Since it seems extremely likely that the show will make use of flashbacks, there are all sorts of possibilities to explore Fett during the original trilogy timeline, which would give plenty of options for which characters to have show up. But which ones could they be?
Let’s start with the most logical and likely of them all, which is that we might see other bounty hunters in this series. There were six bounty hunters who famously appeared in The Empire Strikes Back, headlined of course by Fett. Personally, I would be quite shocked if we don’t see any of them make at least an appearance here. We know that IG-88 and Dengar are still alive in the period post-Return of the Jedi, while the fates of Bossk, Zuckuss, and 4-LOM are still up in the air. Whether it’s set in the present day timeline of the show or in flashbacks, I’m fully expecting at least one of these bounty hunters to show up in this show (my bet would be on Bossk as the most likely).
But I’m not sure if it’ll just be bounty hunters showing up here either. Not to get too crazy, but I also wouldn’t be too shocked to see Han Solo. For a long time in Star Wars storytelling there has been a rivalry of sorts between Solo and Fett, so now that they’re finally doing the long-awaited Boba Fett project it would make sense that they would find a way to incorporate Han in some way. And they could do this either in flashbacks or in the present day of the timeline, since Han is still very much alive then. I’d lean toward the former being more likely, but regardless, I can’t help but wonder whether Han will be in the show.
Beyond the logical connections with Boba Fett, though, another reason I’m speculating about Han being in this series is because of what happened in The Mandalorian, where Luke Skywalker showed up in a cameo role. Lucasfilm can obvious de-age characters (and are also reportedly going to be doing so with Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones 5 as well), so that’s no problem. And in a bigger picture, it certainly seems inevitable that all of these shows are going to be leading up to the return of Thrawn, setting up a brand new Thrawn crisis in canon in the era post-ROTJ. Luke, Han, and Leia were major players in the Thrawn crisis in Legends, which raises an interesting situation for the new canon to tackle: while I sincerely doubt those original three are going be major players in this canon version of it, I (along with many others, I’m sure) if the new version of the Thrawn crisis didn’t involve them at all and just kept them retired and off to the side. So having. them show up in key spots along the way could be just enough to keep them involved in the story without having them be major players, which I think is very unlikely and logistically difficult.
So anyway, what we know is that the show is going to feature surprises, and probably some familiar characters from the original trilogy. And while we don’t know who they will be (otherwise they wouldn’t be surprises, after all), I’m confident in guessing we might see some familiar bounty hunters and an even more familiar scoundrel.