Star Wars has expanded its scope, no longer content to focus on the franchise's core storylines, Disney has been diving into anthology movies like Rogue One and Solo: A Star Wars Story. When talk first emerged of spinoffs like Solo, among those rumored to be in development were backstories for Obi-Wan Kenobi and Master Yoda.
Another big name which kept popping up was Boba Fett, with rumors that the proposed film would focus on his formative days as a bounty hunter. The project seemed to be shelved, although talk did recently emerge X-Men: Dark Phoenix director Simon Kinberg was circling the project.
Well, word is this spinoff may be in the works once again, with Kinberg co-writing and producing, and James Mangold (Logan) directing. If true, it may be the fan-favorite villain's final shot at redeeming or ruining the character for good.
Boba Fett has always held the potential to be one of Star Wars' most intriguing characters, but whenever attempts to flesh him out have been made, things have fallen flat. The prequel trilogy tried to explain his origin, but it ended up being more style than substance, a backdrop storyline merely done to set him up as a hired gun in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
It'll be interesting to see what approach Mangold and Kinberg adopt if the solo outing comes to fruition. A prequel story may not have a lot of impact, as we've already experienced his quest for revenge against the Jedi -- namely Mace Windu, who killed his father in Attack of the Clones -- wrapped in The Clone Wars, where Boba failed and was imprisoned on Coruscant.
This series continued his journey, taking him from prison to the life of a bounty hunter, which Marvel Comics' Star Wars has further detailed. Those books illustrated how Jabba the Hutt hired him to hunt Han Solo, and how Darth Vader used Boba to inadvertently find out about Luke Skywalker on Tattooine. Basically, the backstory informing Boba before he appeared in George Lucas' original trilogy has been thoroughly explored, so a similar strategy here would be repetitive, boring and do the character more harm than good.
Mangold can shift to a more surprising perspective though, opting to reveal Boba survived the sarlacc pit he fell into in Return of the Jedi. Most fans have assumed Boba Fett is dead, but if he somehow lived, we could get an intriguing story of a broken soldier living in the wake of a fallen Empire, on a dystopian planet where his past could be forgotten.
Crafting Boba as a new man trying to leave a violent legacy behind might be an intriguing angle to explore, one similar to the tale Mangold succeeded with in Logan. Such new exploits could provide us a truly different spin and engaging narrative for a character whose potential always felt like it lay in the future, until that future was taken form him by an unceremonious death as a giant sand monster's lunch.
Simply put, backtracking to Boba's past runs the risk of making the Anthology films' approach predictably formulaic, once more reverse-engineering stories in Star Wars history which lead to a destination we already know -- in Fett's case, a destiny of dust and death. To avoid this trap, Mangold and his creative team need to dive into uncharted territory, giving the character fresh context and providing fans an unpredictable adventure. Ultimately, it's make or break time, and if things go awry, it'll undoubtedly be the final nail in Boba's coffin.