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.
There’s been speculation whether or not the Star Wars spin-off films will be related to the series proper. If the latest plot rumors have a kernel of truth, as reported by SchmoesKnow.com, this very well may be.
According to the “leaked” information, the plot centering on Episode VII will involve the characters of Jaina and Jacen Solo – the twin children of Han Solo and Leia Organa. The New Jedi Order has been established, but tensions rise when Jacen turns to the Dark Side.
Fans of the Expanded Universe are familiar with this story, especially from the “Legacy of the Force” novels. Jaina was trained by Luke Skywalker and her brother, Jacen, becomes one of the most powerful Jedi in the universe, rivaling Luke, himself.
In the novels, Jacen is seduced to the Dark Side as a way to better the world. He becomes convinced he can learn this side of the Force without falling into the same trappings his grandfather, Anakin, had. In the novels, it becomes left to Jaina to stop her brother – and to do so, she seeks out Boba Fett to train her.
Jaina’s time spent on Mandalore, training with Fett, becoming comrades with Mirta Gev, Boba Fett’s granddaughter, and fighting beside Mandalorians, was a pivotal piece of her readying to take down her brother.
Therefore, if the plot of Episode VII is truly about the Solo twins – we’ll likely see a heavy amount of Mandalorians – even if this isn’t fleshed out until Episode VIII or IX.
I wouldn’t be shocked if Disney wants to include more Mandalorians in the sequel trilogy. The popularity of Death Watch and Mandalore-centered episodes in The Clone Wars has proven fans embrace Mandalorian factions as much as Jedi and Sith.
This also would open Boba Fett’s rumored spin-off, especially if Episode VIII is when they land Jaina on Mandalore.
They could set up the fall of Jacen in Episode VII, and then release the Boba Fett spin-off, which centers on Boba Fett’s survival from the Sarlacc, reunion with Mirta Gev and becoming Mandalore.
Then we have all the information we need to lead into Episode VIII – which shows Jaina arriving on Mandalore and her experiences with the people.
What are your thoughts?
Yahoo! UK & Ireland caught up with Jeremy Bulloch during his appearance at MCM Midlands Comic and Entertainment Expo earlier this month. The interview expanded on Bulloch’s previous statements that he’s more than willing to strap on the Mandalorian gear and reprise his role as Boba Fett.
Bulloch has been very vocal about Episode VII, ever since the announcement was made last year. He’s been quoted in multiple articles, but since rumors have begun about a Boba Fett film, reporters are chopping at the bit to get their exclusive interviews.
Bulloch has had his thumb on the pulse of fans for decades, so hopefully those at Lucasfilm are listening to his input – namely, don’t bastardize the Expanded Universe. There’s very little G-level canon regarding Boba Fett. The character was introduced with great bravo around the time of Empire Strikes Back, but fans unanimously agree, the character was shafted in his treatment in Return of the Jedi.
George Lucas made up for this a little in the prequels, giving Boba Fett an engaging origin story in Attack of the Clones. Still, the story shed more light on the clones and Jango Fett than Boba. While the Clone Wars has given fans further adventures of the young Boba Fett – the majority of his story has existed in comics and books.
For thirty-some years we’ve had to rely on novels and comics to turn to Star Wars literature to get a taste of the bounty hunter. Much of what we most appreciate, love about Boba Fett comes from the Expanded Universe.
If Lucasfilm and Disney completely discard these stories and adventures, there’s a strong potential of fan backlash – if stories like Twin Engines of Destruction or the Bounty Hunter Wars are said to never have happened.
Fans are more prone to accept a compromise of two alternative timelines, which can only happen if the present Expanded Universe is continued and not retconned to fit with the film universe.
We don’t need to see an exact adaptation of the Expanded Universe, but it should at least be respected when making these films. After all, those are the stories that kept fandom alive and made these new movies possible.
Most importantly, Disney needs to redeem Boba Fett in the new films. No more defeats by blind smugglers like we saw in Return of the Jedi, or swapped in place of a slave bride as in his last appearance in Clone Wars.
The good news is Lawrence Kasdan is rumored to be the one scribing a Boba Fett film. Kasdan penned Empire Strikes Back, which was the closest film to flesh out Boba Fett in the badass fashion we’ve seen him portrayed in the Expanded Universe. Therefore, I have faith he is the man that can resurrect the character that for thirty years has had casual fans believing Boba Fett is still in the belly of the Sarlacc.
Kasdan can put the rumors to rest, Boba Fett is alive and well.