Boba Fett Anthology Movie: Is It A Good Idea?
Disney’s acquisition of the Star Wars franchise has promised an unbelievably exciting future for fans worldwide with films set to be released every year for the near future. Not only are we to be treated with Episode Seven, Eight and beyond, but an instalment of so called ‘anthology’ movies, the first of which was Rogue One. The movie was a huge success winning the admiration of the fans whilst collecting a wad load of money.
The next anthology movie has been confirmed to be centred on the younger days of Han Solo, set for release in December 2018. We know for sure there’s going to be a third anthology film but we don’t know what it will be about. Whilst there are strong murmurings of an Obi Wan Kenobi orientated story and even Yoda, by far the strongest rumours have emanated from a Boba Fett spin off movie. He is, after all, a stupendously popular character and his related merchandise sells like gold dust.
But would the creation of a Boba Fett movie be so straightforward? Every other Star Wars movie has dealt with heroes fighting villains, a fight between good and evil, the temptation between the dark and the light. Surely Disney would be stepping in to unknown territory with a movie centred on a character primarily renowned to be a villain. Here then, are some reasons why a Boba Fett anthology movie may not be such a good idea.
Could It Ruin The Character?
Despite its tremendous popularity, classic British sitcom Fawlty Towers co-writers John Cleese and Connie Booth both made the brave decision to end the show after only its second series. “When you do something that is generally accepted as very good, how do you top it?” asked Cleese as fans longed for more. Its short run time guaranteed the longevity and appeal of the show for multiple generations; it didn’t out stay its welcome and finished in the prime of its comedic value. If, as John Cleese intimates, a third series had been commissioned the quality may have indeed dipped and its reputation blemished. A strange way to start a discussion of Boba Fett but the same principles may apply with a possible anthology movie.
Boba Fett’s screen time is limited to say the least throughout the original trilogy; it’s incredible to think that for someone so beloved he only speaks four lines of dialogue throughout three movies! His battle armor is futuristically sleek and his ice cold demeanour have ensured his unquestionable popularity. Fans want more from the character in the future, but is it a good idea? As with Fawlty Towers, could the reputation of his character become tarnished if we over expose the character? Fans want more of him because there was hardly any of him. More of him could actually serve to make fans want less of him. For instance, it’s hard to believe that the iconic helmet would not have to come off at some point in a two hour movie focused entirely on him. The mystery of his character would thus be removed, and maybe the insane level of his popularity with it. Disney would surely not want this to happen given the high amount of investment in this universe.
More Financial Risk?
The Force Awakens, returning us to all our old favorite characters, was always going to be a massive box office success and indeed it was. It went on to become the third largest grossing movie ever. Rogue One was a riskier venture as it veered away from our regular band of characters in to new territory. With no continuation of the familiar Skywalker family we saw the movie portray the story of the rebel spies who manage to steal the plans for the first Death Star. It did ultimately make a ton of money, albeit nearly half of the revenue of The Force Awakens and it could be suggested that without the inclusion of the universally recognizable Darth Vader the film may have grossed less.
Of course there’s no doubting the popularity of Boba Fett. But just who is he popular with? There’s an argument to be made that in fact his popularity runs high with the more hardcore, ‘fan boy’ type of audience instead of than, say, general movie goers. The Force Awakens employed huge special effects action sequences and the continuation of familiar characters whilst Rogue One promised Vader and a daring ‘against all odds’ style adventure. Boba Fett can be seen as a more niche character whose story perhaps wouldn’t be told through family friendly epic set pieces, instead being placed amongst a murkier world of darker characters. He is, after all, a bounty hunter. With the staggering amount of money Disney has invested in the franchise, would a Boba Fett movie really prove to be a clear cut, highly profitable endeavor?
Connecting With The Audience
Is Boba Fett a hero or villain? Maybe, as a bounty hunter, he should be seen as an anti hero, neither truly good nor evil. However, when judging the characters’ actions throughout the original trilogy, in particular his capture of the loveable Han Solo for the evil Empire, the evidence strongly points towards villain. How then, could a movie based on a villain work as a relatable narrative? How could a movie audience connect with such a character?
Recent movies such as DC’s Suicide Squad have tried to focus solely upon the perspective of the villain and whilst it was commercially successful it was nevertheless generally panned by critics. This cannot be afforded by Disney these days, certainly not after the recent memory of the widely regarded awful prequel movies. There’s a fine line to walk between creating the right tone and a relatable character. A difficult and riskier job would lie ahead for the writers of a Boba Fett movie.
On the other hand, it can be argued that the character of Deadpool in his self-titled solo movie was presented as a variation of the anti hero. The movie was critically praised and raked in the cash. Then again, Deadpool was not a family movie like the Star Wars movies are. Rated R in the US and 15 in the UK, the film was expletive in its dialogue and viscerally violent in its action set pieces. The challenge to represent the villain as the main character in a family targeted movie would be much more difficult.
The release of the Han Solo movie in December, 2018, is sure to delve deeper in to the darker underworld of the Star Wars universe. A smuggler in his early days, Han undoubtedly related with bounty hunters, gangsters, gamblers and smugglers. As Boba Fett is himself a bounty hunter, sure to be interacting with similar darker characters in seedier societies, could a little repetition perhaps seep its way in to a Boba Fett movie? Could the Star Wars fandom have by then had its fill of bounty hunters and the like by 2018? Of course, this is speculation as to what exactly the two movies will be about, but it’s a relatively safe bet that both movies will feature some variations of the Star Wars underworld.
Would The Fans Prefer Something Else?
The prequel movies were far from perfect. In fact, whilst there are those fans that do enjoy those movies and of course there’s nothing wrong with that, most fans would most likely agree that the story of Anakin’s fall to the dark side was incredibly misguided. Over reliance on CGI, wooden dialogue and boring politics are all pointed to as major contributors to a poor reception. Perhaps the one shining light however, was the casting of Ewan McGregor as a younger Obi Wan Kenobi. His performances in those movies were praised by many, especially with his emotionally driven expression of love for his fallen Jedi brother Anakin, and have led to strong suggestions that he should deserve his own solo movie.
Would the fans thus prefer this over a Boba Fett movie? Of course, Obi Wan imposes himself to exile on the desert planet Tatooine after his fateful duel with Anakin, assigning himself watchful guardian of the young son of Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker. There’s a wealth of rich material to draw upon here. What exactly happened to him in the years between Episodes Three and Four? Why is he considered a crazy old man by Uncle Owen? How did he stay hidden from Imperial forces? Could there be potential for a very young Luke Skywalker appearance? Maybe an Obi Wan Kenobi movie is more of a ‘when’ rather than a ‘will’ it happen movie, but would fans prefer to see it happen in the next few years or are they happy for a Boba Fett movie to take shape first? Only time will tell.