Although the newly released trailer for Star Wars: The Mandalorian included some familiar elements, from Imperial Stormtroopers to a bounty frozen in carbonite, series creator Jon Favreau confirmed there's one person viewers won't see: Boba Fett. While some fans might be disappointed by the absence of the franchise's most famous, and most feared, bounty hunter, we should be happy Boba Fett is being left to digest for a thousand years in the Pit of Carkoon -- for now, at least.
Star Wars fans have lingered too long in the past. It's time they take page from The Last Jedi's script and "Let the past die."
What Would Boba Fett Add?
The Mandalorian explores a darker side of the Star Wars universe, and focuses on the enigmatic title, who remains an enigma in the underworld. Boba Fett could, potentially, feature in that story, but how?
In Return of the Jedi, Boba Fett takes a humiliating tumble into the Sarlacc Pit. Although Legends lore details his escape, in current canon, he's still very much dead. The Mandalorian takes place a few years after the fall of the Galactic Empire, following the Battle of Endor. If Boba Fett were to appear in The Mandalorian, the writers would need to figure out a new explanation for how he survived.
But assume the show did take time out of its story to justify his appearance. What would Boba Fett add to the narrative?
But what role could Fett play that any other character, new or original, couldn't also occupy? IG-88, Bossk or Dash Rendar could just as easily take his place without the need for exposition -- and, more importantly, without distracting from the title character. After all, Boba Fett looms so large in the franchise that he casts a long shadow.
Why Are Fans So Obsessed with Boba Fett?
Boba Fett was originally cool and mysterious, but in Return of the Jedi, he's defeated in an underwhelming fashion. Yet for some reason, fans have elevated Fett to some sort of unforeseen level of popularity. In Legends, he proves his merit in a series of challenges, but in the new Disney canon, Boba Fett has only accomplished what happens in the films.
Boba Fett only occupied a noteworthy role in the Legends canon due to his popularity. So ... why was Fett so popular in the first place? That popularity led to him being one of the few characters Disney considered spinning off into a solo film. So, why?
Because he looks cool. That's conceivably the only reason. He doesn't do anything particularly interesting in the events of the films. Sometimes, a minor character leaves audiences asking, "What's that guy's story?" The guy who cries when the Rancor dies hints at a far larger backstory. Captain Phasma, due to her authority, insistence on loyalty and combat prowess, leaves audiences asking "What's her story?"
Fett is told not to disintegrate Han Solo. He doesn't. Then he gets beaten.
Moving Past Nostalgia
Star Wars needs to move past nostalgia. Many fans complained the first two Star Wars films under Disney were too similar to what we saw previously. They rightfully pointed out the Disney films were hyper-focused on nostalgic references and retreads of old plot lines. But when The Last Jedi was released, some fans raged about how it subverted their expectations.
If Star Wars is to survive past The Rise of Skywalker, the franchise will need to innovate, to offer fans original characters and stories that can continue into the future. New characters need to be established. The Mandalorian needs to explore new, unknown territory.
The next two Star Wars series on Disney+ will focus on characters we're already with. We don't need to drown this original story in fan service. And fan service is the only thing Boba Fett might have provided.
Created by Jon Favreau, The Mandalorian stars Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Carl Weathers, Giancarlo Esposito, Emily Swallow, Omid Abtahi, Werner Herzog and Nick Nolte. The series debuts Nov. 12 on Disney+