The Boba Bounty

Your latest news and speculation on Boba Fett's presence in Star Wars film, television, comics, video games and collectibles. Also, the originator of the #BringBackBoba Campaign.

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If you recall the Star Wars: Force Collection mobile card game from last year, you may remember how much of an utter disappointment it was – especially coming from a company like Komani.

Last week, Disney Interactive released Star Wars: Assault Team for iOS, Android and Windows devices – which are the game we hoped Force Collection would be.

A product of Disney Interactive, this is a turn-based combat game that spans the story of the entire film saga and features popular characters – including Boba Fett.

It’s in the style of a card game, by which it allows players to acquire character cards to assemble their dream team to complete missions and battle other players.

Unlike last year’s game – which was graphically no more than cardboard cut outs and lame game play – the graphics are brilliant and fun. There are hundreds of cards to come across, and you can improve your team’s skills through completing in-game missions.

Dave Filoni doesn’t post things online too often, but when he does – they tend to blow our minds. This was no truer than when he shared conceptual drawings from his personal sketchbook last week on the Official Star Wars Blog. They included concepts from the rumored (but unaired) Boba Fett story arc for The Clone Wars.

These episodes were originally meant to air in the fifth season of The Clone Wars, but were pushed to season six – something that was not uncommon. Writers have previously stated in interviews they always created more stories than episodes produced in a season.

After the cancellation of The Clone Wars, fans were afraid we’d never learn the details of Boba Fett’s development as a bounty hunter.

We hoped the episodes would be included in The Lost Missions, but those dreams were deflated on March 7, when season six was released on Netflix, without the arc – although by all reports, it was fully written and near completion – Daniel Logan even said he voiced the lines more than two years ago.

Filoni’s sketches were bitter sweet to view. One drawing showed Cad Bane and Boba Fett strolling across the Tatooine desert, talking candidly to one another. Another sketch shows Bane surrounded by a posse of bounty hunters, including young Boba Fett and his old ally Bossk.

These images reminded us we’ll never see (unless retooled for another series) these episodes, but it was exciting to see possible proof concerning speculation we posed last year.

In August, I theorized the story would showcase young Boba Fett leaving the mentorship of Aurra Sing and being taken under the wing of Cad Bane. Here are a few snippets from my previous story:

“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.”

“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.”

It’s also intriguing to see that in the sketches, he’s wearing what appears to be Mandalorian armor. There would have been some major growth for Boba Fett in these episodes, and I think it’s tragic they were not included in The Lost Missions.

I hope now that The Lost Missions have aired, Filoni can speak more about these sketches and what was planned for the story. However, there’s no reason this story couldn’t be retooled for Star Wars Rebels – of course, later in their mentorship/partnership.

What did you think about these images? Do you think the main themes of this type of story could be refitted for the world we’ll see in Rebels?

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.

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This past December, my brother and I were Christmas shopping when we strolled past the video game section at Walmart. We had just left the toy aisle, but when we came upon a shelf with pegs filled with Disney Infinity and Skylanders products – he asked why these action figures weren’t kept with the others in the toy aisle.

I tried my best to explain to him that the figures he was admiring – ranging from Pixar favorites to Captain Hook – were more than action figures, but actually components to a video game. While I’ve never played either platforms, I understand the basics behind it and told him users purchase figures of the characters they wish to play in the game.

It’s a brilliant evolution in toys and a concept I believe we’ll see more in coming years, perhaps the most promising strategy to breathe new life into action figure sales. I imagine this concept was the inspiration behind Telepods – although stripped down and much less sophisticated, tech wise.

While Skylanders was the first to really corner this marriage between video games and toys, Disney launched Infinity August of last year and sold more than three million copies of its toys and video game products. That’s a huge success and encouraged them to expand the line.

Disney officials announced they’re working on Disney Infinity 2, which will expand the character roster to include Marvel and Star Wars. As information comes forward in coming months, I have to imagine Boba Fett is high up on the list of characters to roll out.

Last August, Disney asked fans to vote for what characters they want to be included in the game via a hashtag campaign. I wouldn’t be surprised if they do a similar prompt during development of the sequel – and when this happens, you can bet we’ll be pushing to get Boba Fett well represented and push to have him a part of the expansion.

We’re less than a month into the New Year and a number of Boba Fett products have already hit the market – and have sold out.

Unless you’re lucky enough to make it out to Disney World or Disneyland this year, you can still order these exclusive Star Wars emblem pins at Disneystore.com. The set includes seven pins including symbols for the Jedi, Rebel Alliance, Confederacy of Independent Systems, Galactic Senate, Galactic Empire, Open Circle Fleet and the Mandalorian icon of the Mythosaur. Each pin is about 1.5 inches in height and has glitter accents. The online price is $34.95.

Japan-based F-TOYS is accepting pre-orders for its seven piece Star Wars vehicles series, which includes 1:350 scale models of the AT-AT, Sandcrawler, Imperial Shuttle and Slave I in Jango Fett’s colors. It also includes a 1:144 scale B-Wing Fighter. Items are scheduled to ship out in March and the online price is about $47.66 USD.

Hasbro’s new wave of Saga Legends action figures is now available, but the Boba Fett is already out of stock – no surprise there. The Boba Fett figure began popping up overseas earlier this summer, but they should start being seen in the states now – although I’ve yet to see any of the new figures in any of my local stores. The Boba Fett action figure has 5-points of articulation, but is beautifully sculpted from what I see online. The Jango Fett Mission Series figure was a favorite last year, and I expect this sculpt to be just as impressive in person.

United Kingdom’s Debenhams came out with a Boba Fett onesie as an online exclusive, which quickly sold out. The one-piece jumpsuit is made from 65 percent polyester and 35 percent cotton, but before you kick yourself for missing this one – it also featured a warning that the material is very flammable – therefore, keep away from fire. That’s not really something I’d want to deal with.

About 16,000 participated in an online poll at IGN.com on who they most want to see return in Episode VII. The results were a near landslide, with Boba Fett receiving nearly a quarter of the votes. Twenty-three percent of the people polled voted for Boba Fett.

The best way to illustrate the scale of these results, the runner up was Darth Maul with 12 percent and Chewbacca with 11 percent. IGN.com included 20 characters in the poll, excluding “obvious” choices like Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Darth Vader.

Earlier this year, StarWars.com came up with similar results during their March Madness Character Tournament. If you take the same characters out, that IGN omitted, and you’d be left also with Boba Fett as the top choice – note, he did make the semi-finals during that tourney.

While I was excited to learn these results, the result articles made my teeth grind – the writer commenting that Boba Fett is dead, a fact we all know is false. Even if you’re only considering G-Level canon, you cannot conclude Boba died.

A rule of thumb for genre television and movies has always been – if you don’t see a body, you can’t know 100 percent they’re fate is sealed. That being said, this story has been making the rounds and I must imagine has come to the attention of Lucasfilm officials.

Let’s continue to cross our fingers that we’ll see the “resurrection” of Boba Fett in the sequel trilogy.

We’re in high anticipation for the Star Wars Rebels presentation coming next month to the New York Comic Con, but earlier this month we got one of our first big pieces of casting rumors – word spread that actors David Oyelowo, Freddie Prinze Jr, Vanessa Marshall, Taylor Gray and Steve Blum were being brought on to voice characters.

This rumor holds some weight in my opinion, because a few of these performers have past histories with Star Wars properties. Some have even commented about it since the rumor hit the Internet.

In an interview with RebelForce Radio a few weeks ago, voice actor Tom Kane, best known for his role as Yoda in The Clone Wars, disclosed that he landed the job due to previously working with Lucasfilm, voicing some early Star Wars games. So it’s no surprise two of these individuals come from this arena.

Of the names mentioned, Steve Blum has the longest relationship with Star Wars projects – having provided voices for nearly a dozen Star Wars video games – including such recent titles as The Old Republic, The Force Unleashed II, and games as old as 1996’s X-Wing vs. TIE Fighters.

Vanessa Marshall is also part of the Star Wars family, having voiced characters in The Old Republic, Knights of the Old Republic and Jedi Knights II – like Blum, she has been in the folds for more than a decade. Both of them also have working relationships with producer Greg Weisman.

Most of the roles Blum played has been Imperial troopers, whether AT-ST drivers, Infantry, or Imperial officers. Marshall has played Force users, whether Sith or Jedi. Could these hint at what parts they’ll play in the show?

Some of the other actors are a little harder to tie to the project. This is Taylor Gray’s first major voice work job, previously best known for a Nickelodeon show, Bucket and Skinner’s Epic Adventures.

However, odds are strong he landed a lead role – and it’s a Jedi – source? – Well, an article from Hollywood Reporter, announcing Gray’s been cast in a lead role was posted as news on Gray’s official website. Gray also tweeted the following four days ago, dropping a bomb: “Cool article that came out today. Always wanted to be a Jedi!”

David Oyelowo is one of the most exciting names attached to this rumor, because earlier this month it was reported he may be the first actor casted for Episode VII and that he’d also play a role in Rebels that would lead way to the film performance. The exciting part of this rumor is Simon Kinsberg is working with Rebel producers to create continuity between the two projects.

However, this is no surprise, Weisman has mentioned on Twitter, on multiple occasions, he’s talked story with Kinsberg. Like most actors who’ve been onscreen for a while, he’s been quiet.

Hollywood Reporter also broke that Freddie Prinze Jr was being sought to voice a role. Prinze has done voice work before, in video games like Mass Effects and television shows like Kim Possible and Robot Chicken.

It’s no surprise that so far evidence points to Jedi being around in Rebels. The premise of the show, as stated by Lucasfilm, is the Empire hunting down the remains of the Jedi Order. That would be a little hard to do – with no Jedi characters.

Last April, a rumor followed the news of the LucasArts shut down, concerning the much anticipated game, 1313. It was reported by insiders multiple changes during development led to Boba Fett being the central figure of the game.

This led to plenty of conversation on forums and social media platforms. Some fans casted doubt on these rumors, citing early concepts shown at E3. Other fans totally believed the rumors and voiced disappointment – nonetheless, when IGN.com shots of the game – confirming Boba Fett’s role – a delayed rage finally showed its face on the Internet.

IGN received a look at a 15 minute demo of 1313, which they report would have debuted at this year’s E3. The footage fully confirmed the rumors heard earlier this year. According to IGN, the game followed a young Boba Fett, working for Jabba the Hutt. Other bounty hunters were featured and they worked for other crime bosses. The game traced Boba Fett’s evolution from the prequels to the Original Trilogy.

IGN’s source also revealed the game would tie into Star Wars Underworld, a live-action television show that never got off the ground. I’m very disappointed this game was canceled, although I’m surprised fans didn’t voice their anger about its plug being pulled until now – other than now they can see actual screen grabs – but I’ve seen the Internet go running with much more vague rumors in the past.

Although this game is canceled, I have faith it will be show up as another project in the future. While the franchise now belongs to Disney, I don’t think the good people at Lucasfilm will suddenly abandon their trait of never throwing anything out. Kathleen Kennedy and other officials studied under George Lucas, and he was the biggest proponent of archiving concepts and finding the right time to reintroduce them in new ways.

I’ve worked in journalism for about eight years. One disappointing trend I’ve noticed is people seldom read an entire news piece before drawing their conclusions – society is being conditioned to ignoring anything longer than a Twitter post. I sometimes want to remind people to read more than the headline, there’s more words under the byline.

Last week the Internet swarmed with news that Boba Fett and Han Solo spin-offs were confirmed by Disney’s Bob Iger and they’d be origin stories. As our friends at BobaFett.com pointed out, while Disney confirmed last February they were developing two spin-off movies, he did not actually mention any specific premises or characters – only that there indeed were films on the horizon, and they’d be written by Star Wars veterans Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg.

The aside that Boba Fett, Han Solo and Yoda were characters being tossed around were only rumors – not sourced, vetted or officially confirmed. The website NukeTheFridge.com reported the Boba Fett spin-off being confirmed by citing a story from Movieweb.com.

According to Movieweb, Disney CFO Jay Rasulo announced the spin-off films would be origin stories during an entertainment conference in Beverly Hills. However, with no direct quotes provided, I have skeptical whether the report from this even was a case of misunderstanding or taking what Rasulo said out of context.

BobaFett.com shared this Twitter post from official Star Wars writer Bryan Young: “People need to learn how to properly source, provide links, and learn the definition of ‘confirmed.’”

Lucasfilm and Disney have had ample opportunity to make announcements regarding upcoming films – ranging from San Diego Comic Con to Celebration Europe and more. An announcement of this weight would be made with greater fanfare and through wider channels than a convention in Beverly Hills to a select inner circle. Unless, Rasulo spoke out of turn. I find that unlikely for someone in his position and for such a major company.

This is a good lesson in critical thinking, especially when it comes to rumors. Development is still underway for not only Episode VII, but also for Star Wars Rebels. While a general story for the first season of Rebels has been outlined, Star Wars officials have said writing is still underway. The biggest red flag about the “confirmation” of the spin-offs, is that origin stories would directly conflict with the timeline being fleshed out in Rebels.

Disney is a smart company and would not write itself into a corner, one of the main reasons it will not comment on whether or not the Big Three will appear in Episode VII. Therefore, it’s highly unlikely they would commit the spin-offs to a timeline that is would create continuity dilemmas in the official canon.

imageOver 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.