Previously, this author offered a defense of Boba Fett on why he should be considered special among our pantheon of Star Wars characters. However, that defense was by necessity based on his actions in the Original Trilogy, and nothing was mentioned of the Boba Fett we met in Attack of the Clones. This was a purposeful omission, as Lucas did a lot to reduce the allure, mystery and downright coolness of Fett by failing to execute an idea that while not entirely terrible, was terribly done.
That idea was that our favorite Bounty Hunter was in fact, a clone, and weird quasi-son of a Mandalorian warrior named Jango Fett. A major flaw in this idea was the casting of the most feared bounty hunter in the galaxy as something akin to a rotten brat (not the actor’s fault). It was one of those cool to uncool moments that result in cinematic whiplash. Additionally, Lucas took the trappings of Fett, the Mandalorian armor and Slav I starship, and applied them to Jango. In itself, this did not start off poorly, with Fett the Senior handling himself well, but the same spirit by which Lucas sent Boba into the Sarlaac, he had Jango dispatched with effortless, borderline ridiculous, leave by Mace Windu. It was the battle equivalent of standing in the middle of a street and being run over by a bus. It’s another inglorious end for another Fett. Lucas, by his efforts, has hurt Fett’s character more than any Tatooine sand monster or purple lightsaber wielding Jedi Master.
The task then is to restore the allure and mystery of Boba Fett. Here’s my proposal in a form only its mother would love, but I hope conveys the idea.
Opening scroll after the Star Wars fanfare summarizes the following information:
Among the most feared bounty hunters of the galaxy, few stood shoulder to shoulder with Boba Fett. Sought after and hired by both criminal organizations and the Galactic Empire, Fett always found his target: including the former smuggler and Rebel Alliance hero, General Han Solo. It the battle by Solo’s friends to rescue him, led by Princess Leia and Jedi Knight, Luke Skywalker, Fett fell to his death into the maw of the Sarlaac on the planet Tatooine, doomed to be slowly digested over a thousand years…
As the scroll disappears into the star punctured blackness of space, the camera pans down to bring the sandy and tan colored surface of Tatooine into view. The camera plunges downward toward the surface of the planet, passing through the atmosphere and several wisps of clouds. Growing closer, we see bright flashes of light and make out what appears to be Jabba’s sand barge, and what can quickly be discerned as a view of the battle between our heroes and Jaaba’s men. A skiff flies away and the barge explodes and the camera continues to zoom downward now centered on the mouth of the Sarlaac before plunging straight into it.
The camera passes into darkness, the insides of the Sarlaac dark, and enter into something that can only be described as a low ceiling stomach cavern, filled with recent victims from the battle above and the half-digested remains of older meals. The camera pans to the right and a bright red dot of light appears, upon which the camera zooms up to reveal an injured, but alive Boba Fett slouched against the wall of the stomach, and he tilts his helmet up to gaze into the camera. Enter a proper Star Wars swipe cut to the dark confines of a bar.
Dramatic opening accomplished!
We remind our viewers where we last left our beloved bounty hunter, right where George Lucas left him, and now we turn to the other parallel storyline for Mr. Fett. The intent is not to offer a complete script or even a treatment or anything so high minded, but instead a general idea of what a story could encompass. So back to our bar.
It’s a dark and sleazy bar (try to imagine the opposite of what we saw in Attack of the Clones) and we see two men seated by the bar. A young, arrogant voice with a familiar accent (Jango Fett’s) says something to the ilk, “Blah Blah Blah, thought you were so clever, huh? You weren’t clever enough.” This prompts a glove hand to grab one of the two men and spin him around to face Boba Fett in the armor of his father. His prey, however, does not decide to go easily, fight ensues, and the bounty escapes, leaving Fett on his rear end cursing. The other man, a bit older than Fett, scowls something to the effect, “What a fine example of a Mandalorian warrior…when you can simply disintegrate someone, do it. Makes life easier.”
Thus, our young Fett meets an older mentor. The mentor proves to be one of the last of the Mandalorian warriors (a former member of the now defunct Death Watch faction), and offers to teach Fett the ways of his people that Jango never had much of a chance to teach him. Yes, this means training montage! Okay, no montage, but what we do have a series of scenes where Fett learns how to be a Mandalorian warrior, which at the same time are interwoven in him and the yet unnamed mentor (and some pals of Fett) chasing after bounties – which offer Fett the opportunity to put his new skills to use. Part of it is instructing Fett on how to decorate his armor (complete with wookie scalp) and paint scheme. Another instruction on how he should never remove his helmet in front of others.
While we have these scenes unfolding, we cut back intermittently to Fett in the stomach of the Sarlacc. Each of these scenes will reveal fighting his way out of the stomach of the desert beast, killing/sacrificing other members of Jabba’s retinue still alive, and doing whatever he can to overcome the challenges that stand between him and escape. Most of these are dimly lit, imagine a living cave with only the smallest bit of illumination, in which tentacles and other survivors emerge and disappear from and into the shadows.
The last “training” scene ends in a similarly dark room. Fett and his mentor have successfully captured a final bounty after a number of increasingly difficult bounties. Both men wear near identical suits of armor. It’s a moment of congratulations, the student has graduated from his lessons. Boba, perhaps, even admits to his mentor that he’s something of a father figure and expresses excitement at the duo pursuing more bounties in the future. The mentor smiles, tells Fett there’s one lesson he should always remember, “When you can simply disintegrate someone, do it.” The mentor then promptly levels his blaster at Fett, fires, and disintegrates him. “Makes life easier.” The mentor adjusts his helmet, a twin to the one formerly worn by Boba, and the bounty just captured exclaims something to the affect, “Who are you?!” The mentor turns back toward the bounty, “Fett, Boba Fett.” We immediately cut away to the Fett in the Sarlaac, finally fighting his way out of the Sarlaac, doing no small bit of damage to it’s mouth on the way out – escaping into the blinding suns of a Tatooine noon. Acid bubbles and fizzes on his armor, which he strips off down and pauses to catch his breath. After an exhalation, the man who took the name Boba Fett staggers off into the glaring light of the desert.
We cut away to the dimly lit courtroom of another Hutt. It’s similar to Jabba’s palace (perhaps the same) and we see a rag and cloaked figure stumble into the room. The figure whispers something to the Hutt’s majordomo, who relates it to the Hutt, who laughs dismissively. The Hutt remarks that he’s not bound by Jabba’s promises of pay and dismisses the figure. The figure doesn’t budge, causing the Hutt to get angrier and order his guards to cut the man down where he stands. With breathtaking speed, the figure disarms a guard and using the majordomo as a shield, blasts the Hutt’s guard in quick succession. The Hutt, alarmed and eyes focused on the blaster pointed at his head asks for the name of the stranger, “Fett, Boba Fett.” We go to black, roll credits.
Is this a great idea? I honestly don’t know, but the main push is to separate the Fett of the Original Trilogy with the Fett established in the Prequel Trilogy and the Clone Wars. Fett needs to be a man with no name, someone who’s mystery helps him be anyone in the imagination of those who see him on the screen. This is the main gist of what the above is meant to accomplish. It seems that the interlude in Aftermath may hint that this is the direction that the new Expanded Universe will take, so we’ll wait and see. Hopefully, this is what we’ll get, but hey, if you need a starting point, here ya go.