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.
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?
If you’re not currently following executive director Greg Weisman on Twitter, you may not be aware of some of the information he’s revealed about the development of “Star Wars Rebels.” Thus far, he disclosed they have broken down the first season of the new animated series – which filled up 363 note cards.
These brainstorming sessions between Weisman and fellow producers are merely story ideas – they’ve yet to script any episodes yet. In fact, Saturday marked the team’s first full week on the project. He also noted they’ve already discussed plot ideas for season two.
Earlier last week, Weisman posted a tease of what to expect from this new series. While vague, it gave us additional information to supplement the brief synopsis Lucasfilm released.
“Expect great characters, stunning action, humor, arcing and a little romance, i.e. all the things that most of you have enjoyed in my previous series and in the very best of the Star Wars franchise. Expect that. Go ahead. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed! And if I’m wrong, I’ll eat my lightsaber. (I’m getting a lightsaber tomorrow!! YES!)”
Only a week into development, we can’t expect to see character names yet, but let’s hope the name Boba Fett came up in these meetings.
Let the rumors begin! Disney just announced it will debut a new animated series in fall 2014, taking place in the virtually untouched time between Episode III-IV. According to Disney officials, “Star Wars Rebels” takes place about 20 years before A New Hope.
This is great news for fans of Boba Fett – as it provides a great opportunity to not only tie up loose ends from “The Clone Wars,” but flesh out the rise of Boba Fett to the infamous role he plays in the Original Trilogy era.
We’ve heard there was a Boba Fett story arc planned for season six; we even saw an image of him in his Mandalorian armor. However, we never got to see his full transition from an angry orphan to a renowned bounty hunter. How did he wind up with his classic armor? How did he retrieve Slave I from Hondo?
It wouldn’t be too hard to put Boba Fett in this new animated series, especially since they’ve already got the animated model complete for the character. There’s also opportunity to show the foundation of Boba Fett’s and Darth Vader’s working relationship.
Since this series focuses on the Rebellion, this creates a place for bounty hunters as well. It was Prince Xizor who suggested the Emperor use bounty hunters as tools for the Galactic Empire in the Bounty Hunter War trilogy. He points out in the first novel, how there’s an advantage to using these individuals for certain missions.
We see how useful bounty hunters are to the Empire in “The Force Unleashed II,” when Darth Vader recruits Boba Fett to hunt down Juno to lure in Starkiller.
During this era, the Empire may even hire bounty hunters like Boba Fett to hunt down the remaining Jedi who escaped Order 66. There’s all kinds of possibilities – not to mention, many fans would like to see the fallout of Mandalore – it in itself a channel to bring in Boba Fett again.
Let’s also not forget in the time of “The Clone Wars,” Cad Bane is the No. 1 bounty hunter. How does Boba Fett take hold this role?
We need to demonstrate to Disney the fan base of Boba Fett. His role in “Rebels” would also provide a good build up to get younger fans excited about a Boba Fett spin-off film. To show our support, we’ll be starting a campaign to #BringBackBoba. It starts with a Facebook page, and hopefully we’ll be able to grow from there.
Help us build the foundation for our campaign. Here is the Facebook page we’ve created, which will receive a shorter URL once we fulfill the “like” requirements.
"Like" our Boba Fett’s Return in ‘Star Wars Rebels’ Facebook Page