The team over at Rebels Report is in my opinion the leading source of Star Wars Rebels coverage. Earlier this month, they uncovered five book covers from this summer’s release of Rebels tie-in children books – scheduled to hit shelves Aug. 5.
They’ve been keeping a close eye on these titles since hints of the book series popped online earlier this year. The cover art was discovered via the Edelweiss catalogue, which is a legitimate information source for publishers and professional reviewers. So, this is the real deal, not misconstrued fan art or a hoax.
One of the books, Ezra’s Gamble, immediately grabbed our attention. The cover art depicts Rebel’s fresh faced Ezra standing alongside the familiar face of Bossk. Some have pointed out the image of Bossk comes from The Clone Wars, but being a tie-in novel, Disney wouldn’t have generated a new model of Bossk just for a book cover.
What’s more important than where the images are originally sourced from is the fact that Bossk and Ezra appear friendly – or at least allied – in the cover art. At this point, it’s nearly impossible to speculate the storyline in Ezra’s Gamble, at the very least; it’s obvious the two characters cross paths. But, does this point toward Boba Fett also appearing in this title?
The Clone Wars established a close partnership between Bossk and young Boba Fett, and sketches by Dave Filoni hinted the two bounty hunters continued their partnership in future storylines – these are the sketches showing Bossk and Boba alongside Cad Bane’s crew in an unaired story arc.
Of course, plenty of time has passed between the happenings in The Clone Wars and the time period of Star Wars Rebels, but I have to imagine any fallout between Boba Fett and Bossk would be saved for an onscreen story arc. Filoni created such a strong bond between the two bounty hunters, it would be a wasted opportunity to not show their dissolved.
Even if Boba Fett and Bossk is no longer a pair during this time period, their close association could still point at Boba Fett appearing in the title. If they’re no longer allies, than they’re each other’s competition, making it conceivable that if Ezra is crossing Bossk’s paths, then it couldn’t be too hard to believe an intersection with Boba Fett wouldn’t be too outlandish to occur.
When images of the female Mandalorian came out of New York Toy Fair, revealed later as Sabine, there was plenty of speculation about who she might be. I was more focused on what her role could suggest happened to Mandalore following the Darth Maul story arc in season five of The Clone Wars.
The fallout of Darth Maul’s hostile takeover of planet Mandalore has consumed most of my thoughts on the show’s last season. When we left, the planet was in Civil War. Bo-Katan’s splinter group, the Nite Owls, was in heated battle to regain control from Maul’s Shadow Collective, including Death Watch.
Although the pacifistic government was overthrown, the planet’s neutral siding would mean there’d be no intervention by the Jedi or the Republic. If the Nite Owls were defeated, this would mean the planet would remain controlled by organized crime – right? It may not be that clean cut.
While the audience is aware Darth Maul was usurped by Sidious, nobody else survived the encounter that could enlighten either side of the conflict. Of course, Sidious wouldn’t advertise his victory; in fact, he’d use it to his advantage – the natural puppet master that he is. If he left Maul on the planet, but under his thumb, he could now influence the happenings of a planet previously outside his influence.
Through controlling the figure head of Mandalore, it would provide an emerging Empire with two advantages. The first, it neutralizes one of the most threatening warrior classes; and second, it allows the existence of Imperial outposts with no resistance when the Empire expands.
Of course, there would be Nite Owl members who survive the clash and either continue to fight, or go underground. Either way, their children would be raised to distrust and hate the Empire that controls their planet – sending their planet into depression as its resources and industry is taken over and used to pump out weapons and items for Imperial forces.
Sabine’s bucket is very similar to the design of the Nite Owls, which leads me to speculate she could be an offspring of one of the members. Also, her artistic tendencies could be a product of being a youth during the pacifistic regime, where arts could have been pushed more over the older roots of being warriors.
One of the biggest accomplishments brought on by The Clone Wars, was the introduction of powerful female figures. Amongst these ladies is none other than Bo-Katan, who we last saw in the fifth season’s Darth Maul arc.
Bo-Katan broke away from Maul’s Shadow Collective, creating a splinter group of Mandalorian Warriors called the Nite Owls. She also delivered one of my favorite quotes from the season, “Mandalore will survive. We always survive.”
Dave Filoni admits he loves the characters he developed, hinting we’ll see familiar faces in the upcoming Star Wars Rebels. Could Bo-Katan return in the new animated series? Once the civil war resolved, could Bo-Katan be the new leader of Mandalore? I am intrigued on seeing more of this character developed.
Depending on what time period between Episode III and IV that Rebels takes place in, there’s a huge question mark surrounding the fate of Clone Troopers.
Will the show writers address the fallout of thousands of aging Clones, no longer of use to the Empire, who find themselves now without purpose or maybe even a complication? Will they be simply abandoned, or will a new Order be executed, calling for the complete elimination of these troopers?
If so, this could give opportunity to introduce Kal Skirata, the Mandalorian warrior that Jango Fett recruited to help train the Grand Army.
The Expanded Universe portrays Skirata as a man with great love for his men, so when the Kamino project is scrapped, would he surface to the forefront, with a new self-imposed mission – salvaging what’s left of his squad and keeping them alive.
It took some tinkering to perfect the cloning process on Kamino. In some of the Expanded Universe material produced over the years, it’s detailed that early batches of Clones are created with some errors or defects.
One such case is Spar, a Clone who inherited the full memories of Jango Fett and lacked the genetic coding to limit his free thinking. Spar escaped Kamino before the Clone Wars and adopted the lifestyle of a bounty hunter.
Equipped with no only Jango’s skills as a fighter, but with his genetic father’s memories and experience, he could easily evade detection by the Republic, and later, the Empire. Would he also inherit Jango’s desire for an heir? What would happen then, if Spar and Boba Fett encountered one another?
Boba Fett is used to running into men who look like his father, but what about a man who possesses the mind of his father? Furthermore, what if after bonding, Spar is killed in front of him? What stories could they mine from this relationship?
Dred Priest was another Mandalorian that Jango Fett recruited to train his Clone Commandos on Kamino.He possessed a leaning toward the ideals carried by Death Watch, so following The Clone Wars, he returns to Mandalore to rejoin his brothers.
But, only to find a great schism between the planet’s warriors. His return to Mandalore could conflict with the direction Bo-Katan wants to guide her people – as a system independent of the Empire, while Priest, wishing to use the Empire as a tool to spread a Mandalorian Empire. This conflict could result in further civil war on Mandalore.
Former Clone Troopers
What Mandalorians would you like to see pop up in Star Wars Rebels? Also, would you like to see former Clone Troopers - like Rex or Cody - adopt the culture and lifestyle of Mandalorians if discarded by the Empire?
Share your thoughts at the #BringBackBoba Campaign page at Facebook.com/BringBackBoba.
One of my favorite moments from the fourth season of The Clone Wars, was when Obi Wan went undercover in the episode, Deception. I hadn’t seen the previews, so was caught by surprise when some of my favorite bounty hunters popped up in the Republic prison.
During this episode, Obi Wan is confronted by Boba Fett in the cafeteria. A passing glance between him and a watching Cad Bane grabbed my attention. From then on, I began to wonder if we’d get to see more about the relationship shared between these two hunters.
This is one of the reasons I was disappointed when I heard a Boba Fett/Cad Bane story arc was planned for season six, but we’d never get to see it. What had the Clone Wars writers had planned for these two? What role would Bane fulfill for the young Boba?
I thought back to this episode while listening to a recent podcast episode of Geek Out Loud, featuring Michael Cohen of Frontline Podcast and a number of other shows. While discussing Star Wars Rebels, Cohen mused that he believed we’d certainly see Cad Bane in the upcoming series, he also said he viewed Cad Bane as a figure Boba Fett might aspire to emulate.
There’s always been a comparison drawn between Cad Bane and Boba Fett. Bane was considered a notorious bounty hunter, at the top of the game, worked regularly for crime syndicates, like the Hutts, was armed to the teeth, held his own against Jedi to just name a few characteristics. In fact, there are more similarities in style between Boba and Bane than compared to Jango Fett.
One could speculate Cad Bane might have taken Boba under his wing while in prison, fulfilling more of a mentor role than Aurra Sing or Bossk had. I question whether the military skills we see Boba showcase while posing as a cadet was thanks to training by Sing or others – but came from a mix of Kamino genetic coding and the training he’d have undergone with his Jango.
Since the Boba Fett we see later along the timeline more closely mirror Cad Bane’s discipline and principles, we could assume he gained those traits by modeling himself after a mentor like Bane. As an associate of Cad Bane, this would also help understand how he became so familiar with the cartels.
At Celebration Europe, Dave Filoni said he is endeared to characters he helped create, hinting that we would see familiar faces in Star Wars Rebels. This added to the popularity of Cad Bane, and the need to explain what happened to such a notorious bounty hunter, makes it likely we’ll see the Duros again.
Will the Rebels team carry over their plans for the Cad Bane/Boba Fett story arc to the new show? Will Cad Bane be developed into a mentor for the up-and-coming bounty hunter, helping him reach the notoriety he has during the original films? Is this something you’d like to see?
Over the last couple months we’ve posted a number of speculative stories about how Boba Fett could be reintroduced in Star Wars Rebels, along with numerous other pieces on how writers could approach the show. As we launch our #BringBackBoba Campaign Challenge, we are now asking you all to chime in for our first prompt.
The first campaign challenge is for fans to use the hashtag, #BringBackBoba, on a social networking platform, with an explanation as to why you’d personally like to see Boba Fett return to Star Wars Rebels. Whether it’s on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or another site – we invite you to participate, hopefully catching the attention of the “powers-that-be” over at Lucasfilm and Disney.
Also, join the ongoing conversations over at the #BringBackBoba Campaign page on Facebook. Don’t forget to “Like” us and don’t hesitate to post on our wall.
We were first introduced to Boba Fett in the Holiday Special, when he was portrayed as a spy for the Empire. Even after an overhaul and a more menacing and mysterious debut in Empire Strikes Back, he was still seen as a villain.
Similar to many other franchises, when a character becomes popular enough, there’s an internal push by creators to transform them into an anti-hero. This has been, arguably, the development of Boba Fett over the years. Just look at last year’s release of Angry Birds Star Wars as proof – before he appeared in the game, lots of fan art poured onto the web.
The majority of this fan art illustrated Boba Fett as a bird, instead of a pig. It could be debated, the reason this happened is some fans subconsciously view the bounty hunter leaning more toward the good, than the dark side. This makes sense – since K.W. Jeter’s “The Bounty Hunter Wars” trilogy, Boba Fett has been painted as more of a decent guy who does bad things when paid. Although, he filled a more ruthless role in this book than in modern storylines.
This norm continues through a number of comics and novels. In Dark Horse’s “Blood Ties,” he does right by his half-brother Connor Freeman, even though he should feel as much kinship with Freeman as he should with any other clone or their offspring. In Karen Traviss’ Legacy of the Force series, he even further is illustrated as being more than an emotionless killer.
Contrast these recent stories to his portrayal in early Marvel comics or Dark Horse’s “Dark Empire,” where instead of being surgical in his approach when hunting down his bounties, he is cut throat and willing to shoot down anyone or anything standing between him and his prey. It’s evident, he was written as more of a “true baddie” in these early projects than he is now.
In fact, he’s helped save the galaxy numerous times in relatively modern books – even training one of the Solo children to save the day, opening himself up to family bonds and working to better the lives of Mandalorians as their leader.
The fate of the Expanded Universe is up in the air, so if it’s dispatched of, will we be left with a more ruthless and cold Boba Fett, as hinted at in the Original Trilogy? Not quite. The push to sway Boba Fett away from being a villain is already been planted within the official canon, through his character development in The Clone Wars.
The writers could have written Boba Fett much more sinister in his initial Clone Wars story arc. He was, after all, out to avenge his father’s death and take down the Jedi. They could have made him a “child soldier,” who could shoot down an unarmed clone without blinking. A vengeful kid, whose only concern was the bounty being paid – laying a foundation to the Boba Fett we see in the films.
Instead though, they avoided any actions on young Boba Fett’s part that would make it difficult to redeem him as a good guy later on. He never killed in cold blood and demonstrated a moral compass that separated him from characters like Aurra Sing. When we see him in later seasons, he is working as a bounty hunter – but not carrying out assassinations. He’s specializing more as a mercenary than an assassin.
Since he never performs acts of atrocity, the creators are free to take Boba Fett in a more anti-hero direction in Star Wars Rebels, if they wish. Even in the original films, he technically does nothing that would warrant an ultimate death to fully redeem his actions. Han Solo was not an innocent, so delivering him to Jabba the Hutt in Carbonite, could even be argued as nothing close to a truly evil act.
Will Disney decide to create a story that distinguishes Boba Fett as a bounty hunter to be feared, never hesitating to kill – but never ending the life of the unarmed or innocent? A bounty hunter who uses moral judgment, before accepting a job?
As a fan, what do you want to see – Boba Fett developed into an anti-hero or executed in the role of a villain?
Since last year’s announcement of the sequel trilogy, many fans have debated whether the Expanded Universe would be discarded to allow new continuity. The relationship between G-Level and T-Level canon has always been blurry, but EU characters crossing over isn’t unprecedented.
The most recent example of EU canon being carried over was the inclusion of The Black Sun during the Darth Maul arc in The Clone Wars final season. Lucasfilm officials have tried to not step on the toes of expanded stories and characters, but prior to Disney’s acquisition, there was no major conflicts of interest that would jeopardize both venues working in harmony.
Most likely, Disney will not want to be restricted in creating original stories. The question arises, will the Expanded Universe be discarded, will it become a separate universe or some type of compromise? With Star Wars Rebels debuting next year, we’ll soon get that answer – and to examine this issue, we can hone in on one particular Expanded Universe story that involves Boba Fett.
Dark Horse’s popular comic book, Agent of the Empire: Hard Targets, takes place about 3 years before the Battle of Yavin in Episode IV. This is the era Rebels will take place in, although the exact date has not yet been announced, and could happen years earlier than this, but still within the same decade.
Hard Targets also dealt with similar issues as the Rebels premise puts forth – powerful families, cunning underdogs and other individuals looking to shape a rising empire. Obviously, they won’t reproduce the exact storylines from Hard Targets, but unless EU in entirety is tossed, this comic could hint at some elements we might see in Rebels.
The biggest prospective are Imperial Agents, like Johan Cross – side note, with the popularity of this book, could they officially canonize Cross as a new character in the series? Either way, with rumblings of a rebellion, we could see spies as a major role, like Clone Troopers were in the prequel era and Stormtroopers were in the Original Trilogy.
Hard Targets also illustrated the affects of power hungry families of means, families with names like Dooku. The front line is no longer on the ground, but behind closed doors. To ensure the right families gain power, the Empire uses bounty hunters as tools – in terms of assassinations or kidnappings. This is how characters like Cad Bane, Aurra Sing and others could be utilized in Rebels.
This also brings us to Boba Fett – a favorite used by the Empire. But this also brings us to the point where conflicts arise within continuity. Hard Targets establishes that Boba Fett, by 3 BBY, has been used regularly by the Empire. It’s alluded that he’s worked missions with Cross in the past, and we also see him recruited by Darth Vader in The Force Unleashed II, a video game/comic book also taking place in the time range of Rebels.
In Hard Targets, Boba Fett fits what we see not too far after in the original films. To not disrupt canon established in the Expanded Universe, then Star Wars Rebels must hit certain markers to match up with what we see later, especially if the show takes place closer to A New Hope than Episode III.
Boba Fett needs to have settled affairs with Hondo Ohnaka and retrieve Slave I. He’s got to be wearing his classic Mandalorian armor. Have produced a working relationship with the Empire and hooked up with Jabba the Hutt, as we see him as an escort in the Special Edition.
Lucasfilm should want to connect each era with few loose ends, at least in major character development aspects. Especially if the EU is erased, I should think they’d not want to leave popular characters like Boba Fett, a major moneymaker for the franchise, in the wind. It’s just bad storytelling to have a character like Boba Fett last seen in The Clone Wars with “starter set” armor, his flagship hidden in a pirate’s lair and no reputation of his own – to just show up years later with all those things with no explanation as to why.
They need to either provide that string of character development in Rebels or embrace the Expanded Universe to explain the happenings. Of course, they could simply reboot the Expanded Universe, but that would just tie their hands with future films just as equally as keeping the current comics and novels in the canon.
Mandalore had fallen into schism the last we visited it in The Clone Wars, and its leadership virtually dismantled. The premise of Disney’s new animated series deals with the rise of the rebellion, so is there room for a return to Mandalore?
Through the Expanded Universe we learn the Empire catches Mandalore in its crosshairs, due to an interest in its natural resources. In addition to harvesting the planet’s Mandalorian Iron, the Empire also see’s the planet as a convenient outpost to the expansion of its power. What other reason would they set base on a planet in the Outer Rim?
Whether or not this concept will be explored in Star Wars Rebels, perhaps in later seasons, there’s another reason we may return to Mandalore. The generation that grew up with The Clone Wars has become endeared to the clones.
The clone troopers are beloved, and would Disney simply discard these characters completely? I doubt this, especially since Dave Filoni is personally attached to these characters, and he would know some continuity in characters is essential to keeping audiences watching each episode.
The problem then becomes, how do you include clones – who are aging aggressively, and according to present canon, are not around in the era right before Episode IV. The answer could come from what we read in Expanded Universe novels, like the Republic Commando books by Karen Traviss.
In Traviss’ novels we learn that Mandalore becomes a sanctuary for clones, especially those under the command of Skirata – a Mandalorian who assisted Jango Fett in the training of early clones. Of course, there’s no guarantee that they’d introduce characters like Fenn Shysa, Spar, Skirata, etc. But, they could carry over popular troopers from The Clone Wars and put them on Mandalore.
Mandalore could be the only safe place for former clone troopers, and the story could still fit within the stories premise. Are we assuming that in the title “Rebels,” the show is only referring to the Rebel Alliance?
Wouldn’t a faction of ex-clone troopers, discarded by their government, dealing with betraying their Jedi commanders, who are fighting against the occupation of their adoptive planet, Mandalore, be considered rebels?
Would you like to see clones featured in Star Wars Rebels? If so, in what capacity? Share your thoughts by clicking through to our #BringBackBoba Campaign page on Facebook.
Dave Filoni already stated Star Wars Rebels will be heavily influenced by the conceptual artwork by Ralph McQuarrie. What this means for the look of the show became realized at Celebration Europe II, when Filoni gave fans a first look at early designs of the ships and characters in the show.
The time period between Episode III and IV has not been touched – in television or film, that is, we’ll disregard The Force Unleashed franchise for the time being. It’s obvious from these early images, the colors and style of Rebels will truly characterize this era as its own.
During Filoni’s panel, he showcased artwork by McQuarrie in companion with images of Rebels. Whether the landscape of Tatooine, Mos Eisley or Imperial spacecraft – there’s no denying they’ve captured the style of McQuarrie – when comparing this pictures to images of the Ghost – the protagonist’s flagship in the upcoming series.
It’s interesting to note the first major revelation of Rebels is about the Ghost. Could this hint the producers and writers are treating ships as characters, themselves? This is an ongoing tradition in Star Wars – the Millennium Falcon and Slave I has become just as much characters as Han Solo and Boba Fett.
If a strong focus is going to be placed on ships, then it provides a natural opportunity to bring back Boba Fett. One of the major loose ends from The Clone Wars, was how he reclaimed Slave I – an important bridge in the story if this series leads up to the Original Trilogy.
Depending on how much they include bounty hunters into the story, it would be interesting to see how they choose to characterize Slave I and other ships, like Hounds Tooth, for instance, in the story. If the majority of the episodes happen on ships, rather than planets, then we’ll receive more in-depth understanding of Slave I through the show.
If they use personification with the ships on the show – attaching human characteristics to the vehicles – how would you like to see Slave I fleshed out? What type of “personality” should they assign to Slave I?
In the films, they treated Slave I more as an extension of Boba Fett, but if they create a human-like relationship between the two – like we see between the Falcon and Solo – how would you like to see that play out or develop?
Brian Snook, aka Engelhast, grabbed everyone’s attention not too long ago with his jaw dropping fan designs for “Star Wars Rebels.” But, before his Photoshop work made the rounds on fan sites, he shared one of his early pieces on our Facebook page.
Engelhast produced about a dozen mock-up cards based on his envision for future ‘Rebel’ action figures. What he produced far surpassed, in my opinion, what Hasbro has been churning out – in fact, one of the reasons I’m looking forward to ‘Rebel’ based action figures is the “Clone Wars” line produced some of the best sculpts to hit pegs in years.
About 10 days ago, Engelhast revealed some concept designs for his “wish list” of characters. Truly, some remarkable work – we can only hope Disney and Lucasfilm have caught wind of his work and bring him into their folds.
His concept design for Boba Fett was posted on July 6. Clarification – he posted two versions of Boba Fett – one with a traditional Mandalorian helmet and the other with the proto helmet young Boba wore during his last appearance in The Clone Wars.
The design is interesting. It uses the green color scheme we’ll see in later films, but the feel of the uniform lends itself to one of my proposed ideas – that Boba Fett would commission armor to resemble his fathers, but lacking knowledge of his culture and basing designs only on childhood memories – the armor wouldn’t be 100 percent true to what we know as Mandalorian.
I like the blasters Engelhast chose to arm Boba Fett with, a nod to Jango Fett’s long and slender barrels and similar to what he used in The Clone Wars. The body armor appears light and fitting for a bounty hunter in his youth. It also appears almost patched together, also fitting for a bounty hunter still rising in the ranks and who doesn’t have the funds yet to afford Durablast and more sophisticated designs.