The Star Wars News Roundup – 2.22.2013

Episode VII Updates

There were a few new updates related to the sequel films this week. First up, Mark Hamill revealed to Entertainment Tonight that he is talking to Lucasfilm about Star Wars: Episode VII:

“They’re talking to us,” he reveals. “George [Lucas] wanted to know whether we’d be interested. He did say that if we didn’t want to do it, they wouldn’t cast another actor in our parts – they would write us out. … I can tell you right away that we haven’t signed any contracts. We’re in the stage where they want us to go in and meet with Michael Arndt, who is the writer, and Kathleen Kennedy, who is going to run Lucasfilm. Both have had meetings set that were postponed — on their end, not mine. They’re more busy than I am.”

Hamill also explained what he was expecting from the new film:

“I said to George that I wanted to go back to the way it was, in the sense that ours was much more carefree and lighthearted and humorous – in my opinion, anyway. And another thing I’d want to make sure of is are we going to have the whole gang back? Is Carrie and Harrison and Billy Dee and Tony Daniels, everybody that’s around from the original [returning]? I want to make sure that everybody’s on board here, rather than just one. I guess I’ll have to tune into your show to figure out who’s on board.”

Visit the link above for much more on his thoughts of the sequel films, his role in them, and his ideas for the standalone films.

Next up, the John Williams Fan Network had a reader attend a John Williams concert where the conductor confirmed his interest in returning for “Episode VII.” They quoted Williams:

“We’re about to play Star Wars [audience interrupts with cheers] and each time we play it, I’m reminded of the first time we played it decades ago. Neither I, nor George, nor anyone else involved thought this would go far or in a few years there would be a sequel and I’d have to revisit the themes…and years later another trilogy. Now we’re hearing of a new set of movies coming in 2015, 2016…so I need to make sure I’m still ready to go in a few years for what I hope would be continued work with George…[more cheers].”

Glad to hear he’s up to return!

Finally, if there was any doubt, Frank Marshall confirmed that Kathleen Kennedy will not be producing Jurassic Park 4 and will be focusing her efforts on Star Wars.

Star Wars Standalone Movies – Boba Fett

Continuing our discussion of standalone “Star Wars” movies, this week we look at possible films featuring Boba Fett. Few characters have made a bigger impact with so few lines, but his cool design and menacing presence made him a fan favorite. And the fact that he appeared to have died in “Return of the Jedi” didn’t stop the Expanded Universe from setting him free and allowing him to live a long life.

In order to anticipate what a Boba Fett movie might cover (or if one even makes sense), it’s worthwhile to look at the Expanded Uninverse stories in the books, comics, and cartoons. It quickly becomes apparent that there are as many or more stories featuring Boba Fett than some of the other main characters in the films. And few of the characters have had their lives as thoroughly explored as Boba Fett. Pretty much every aspect of his life has been covered in one form or another.

We were first introduced to young Boba Fett (played by Daniel Logan) in “Attack of the Clones.” There, we learned that he was an exact clone of Jango Fett. We also saw him orphaned as Jango was killed by Mace Windu. It’s there that a series of young Boba Fett books by Terry Bisson and Elizabeth Hand took over. In the books, Boba Fett finds himself alone and trying to survive in the galaxy. Over the course of the series, he partners with Aurra Sing, reclaims his father’s hidden fortune, and comes under the employ of Jabba the Hutt for the first time. In fact, it’s is Jabba who gives Boba his first bounty assignment. The series also features the first meeting between Anakin Skywalker and Boba Fett as well as Boba is facing Mace Windu again. While these books were labeled as young reader series, they covered a significant part of the life of Boba Fett and were actually quite good, even for adult readers.

Young Boba Fett continued to be featured in the TV series “The Clone Wars.” He could be seen infiltrating the young clone troopers in Season 2’s “Death Trap.” He would then appear several more times (while being voiced again by Daniel Logan) in “R2 Come Home,” “Lethal Trackdown,” “Deception” and “Bounty.”

After the Clone Wars, there were a hodgepodge of standalone comics and novels, all of varying quality. Most of them featured Boba Fett tracking down bounties, being impersonated, or and dealing with rival bounty hunters. But many were written before “Attack of the Clones” were released, so the writers were quite constrained by Lucasfilm guidelines. None of the writers knew Boba’s background, his origin, or the fact that he was a clone, so this meant his characterization was rather shallow. He played the silent tough guy tracking people down like the Terminator.

After Boba Fett’s addition to the “A New Hope – Special Edition” in 1997, his stories started catching back up to the films. In the comics for “Shadows of the Empire,” we saw what happened after Fett left Cloud City with Han Solo frozen in carbonite. Basically, all of the other rival bounty hunters in the galaxy came out of the woodwork to try and steal Solo from Fett.

In the 1996 book “Tales From Jabba’s Palace,” Boba Fett finally got his death sentence reprieve from the Sarlaac. The short story “A Barve Like That: The Tale of Boba Fett” by J. D. Montgomery told the tale of Fett escaping from the Sarlaac though a little worse for wear. While it seemed sacrilege to go against an apparent death in the movies, it also seemed logical that a fully armed Boba Fett could somehow blast his way out of a monster buried in the sand. Nobody wanted to see Fett go out like a chump after being blindly hit by Han Solo, so his resurrection was somewhat welcomed by fans.

Now that Fett has a second lease on life, he was featured in more short stories in the comics and novels. He and Han Solo even came to a truce, Fett had a daughter, and he became a leader of some Mandalorian warriors. Later, as the Star Wars galaxy was invaded by the Yuuzhan Vong, Fett teamed up briefly with the heroes from the films to help save the galaxy. Much later in the novels as Han Solo’s son Jacen became a Sith named Darth Caedus (long story), an aging Boba Fett ended up training Jaina Solo so that she could battle her brother. After all, while he has trouble fighting blinded smugglers, he does know how to fight Jedi. After aiding in the defeat of Darth Caedus, that pretty much takes you up to today with where Fett is in the Expanded Universe.

So considering all of the different types of stories that have come before, what’s the best way you could pull off a Boba Fett movie? I see several possibilities:

Boba Begins

Even though much of Boba Fett’s young life has been covered, a story covering his early years could still be done. Much like “Batman Begins,” you go back to his earliest training. Show him learning the bounty hunter ropes. Show him trying and failing to capture bounties. Show him becoming the eventual tough guy we all know and love. And if it’s set before “Revenge of the Sith,” it could possibly build up to him having a confrontation with Mace Windu. This would allow for the return of Samuel L. Jackson which would be fun. Anybody that’s a fan of comic book movies knows that a good origin story is often the most exciting part of the character’s legend. That would seem to be a good tactic to take with a standalone Boba Fett movie.

The Good, The Bad, and the Boba

Another tactic is to go back to the Western roots of Star Wars and show Boba Fett in his prime (or just after escaping the Sarlaac). Show Boba Fett on the wild frontier of space hunting down bad guys, competing with rival bounty hunters, and other cool stuff. Look to “The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly,” “A Fistful of Dollars,” “True Grit,” “Django,” and any number of spaghetti westerns for inspiration. After all, Boba Fett’s father was named after Django, so it’s not a big leap to get there.

Boba Fett – Jedi Hunter

If you wanted to bring Darth Vader and the Empire more into the mix, you could set a story right after “Revenge of the Sith” and feature Boba Fett hunting down rogue Jedi. That offers potential for a lot of action, allows more characters from the films to appear, and it fills in more of the story between Episode III and IV. You might also learn more about why Darth Vader emphasized “NO disintegrations.” Go with the Dirty Harry approach and it could be a fun action movie. “Being as this is a EE-3 carbine rifle, the most powerful blaster in the galaxy, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: “Do I feel lucky?” Well, do ya, Jedi?”

Back in 1999, Justin Dix submitted the fan film “Bounty Trail” to TheForce.Net featuring just such a storyline. It worked pretty well as a short film and actually helped get Dix hired on for “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith” as one of the droid technicians. You can check it out below.

The Professional

Another tactic to take would be showing the redemption of Boba Fett. In a story much like “The Professional,” the cold blooded killer could find a soft spot for someone. After all, his father Jango was a single parent whose greatest treasure was his son. Maybe show a similar style of story.

Whatever the final story is, you need four key ingredients:

1. Flesh out the character of Boba Fett beyond what is seen in the films. Give him some depth.

2. Action. We need to see Boba Fett fully unleashed like the Mandalorians in the recent Clone Wars episode The Lawless

3. Match the tone of the films – the proper mix of action, adventure, drama, and humor

4. Strong support characters – you need new characters that Boba Fett can play the straight man against

I think if you do any of the above, you can have a workable Boba Fett film.

For a more detailed look at the history of Boba Fett, visit the Star Wars Wiki!

Around The Web – Learn about the amusing and interesting design of Max Rebo from Jabba’s Palace and his amazing disappearing legs.

Etsy – Check out some custom dresses inspired by R2-D2 and C-3PO!

Kitbashed – Find out more about the origin of Princess Leia’s iconic hairdo and its origin in real world history. – Hasbro reveals their 2013 Star Tours exclusive action figures.

Comic Book Resources – Dark Horse gives details on the upcoming comic “Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin.” – Who better to talk about a sequel trilogy than the authors who have been playing in the post-ROTJ universe for the last few years? asks Star Wars authors Aaron Allston, Troy Denning, and Drew Karpyshyn what they think about the new movies.

Conan O’Brien offers the first trailer for the Yoda standalone movie – via Topless Robot

Jay Leno talks to Josh Gad, who is gunning to play the part of Han Solo’s son in Episode VII – via The Hollywood Reporter

A mash-up of the Powerpuff Girls at Star Wars via Matt Busch and Lin Zy!


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