As soon as Disney acquired Lucasfilm back in 2012, it became immediately clear Dark Horse's time with the Star Wars comic license was coming to an end. Since the House of Mouse had previously acquired the Marvel comic publisher, it made natural sense for them to take over the Star Wars comic series.
It's safe to say the publisher has made good use of the rights as they've run multiple main flagship Star Wars comic series taking place during the original trilogy. Alongside these, a whole host of writers has explored different characters in standalone miniseries including Darth Vader, Kylo Ren, and Poe Dameron.
But, with all this already under their belt, it seems as if the publisher is just getting started with the world of Star Wars as they announced a brand-new crossover event, exploring a previously untold tale in bounty hunter Boba Fett's Journey...
BOBA FETT STARS IN WAR OF THE BOUNTY HUNTERS
The official Star Wars site revealed a new crossover event, War of the Bounty Hunters , which will be published by Marvel Comics, spanning multiple comic series and running from May to October.
The event will star the iconic Boba Fett in a previously unexplored journey taking place between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi . The series will tell the story of how the bounty hunter ended up taking Han Solo to Jabba's Palace after he was frozen in carbonite in the concluding moments of Episode V .
War of the Bounty Hunters is a concept that was first pitched to Marvel in 2019 by writer Charles Soule as he also first pitched his flagship Star Wars comic series. Soule said that "something had to happen" in-between the two previously mentioned films:
“Boba Fett clearly doesn’t take Han Solo directly to Jabba’s palace. Something had to happen in between that intervening time between Empire and Jedi . And I was like, ‘I would like to tell that story, and I would like it to be about Boba Fett and what happens to him.”
Instead of a traditional series, War of the Bounty Hunters will be told across multiple comic series involved in the post- Empire Strikes Back world, which Marvel has explored heavily recently.
The story will begin with War of the Bounty Hunters Alpha #1 on May 5 before spinning out into several other series including Star Wars, Bounty Hunters, Darth Vader, and Doctor Aphra. The central mini-series will be written by Soule and Luke Ross with art from Steve McNiven.
Soule commented on McNiven's art — showcasing several pieces of art from the first issue — saying “I think it’s the best work he’s maybe ever done.”
The main mini-series is set to span five issues beginning in June, showing Fett's journey from Cloud City to Tatooine in what “wasn’t exactly smooth space sailing.”
Alongside the cover art, the article showcased a series of interior images from the first installment of the event featuring McNiven's depictions of Boba Fett, Slave One, and a carbonite frozen Han Solo.
Additionally, the art confirms the appearance of Jabba the Hutt's chief of staff, Bib Fortuna, who may have played a role in procuring Solo's frozen body from Boba for Jabba's palace.
Furthermore, other panels offer close-up looks at both characters as Boba is shown to be in possession of Han Solo. The writer confirms Fett is not in possession of Solo as the story begins and “is going to do everything he can to get him back, no matter what,” suggesting these panels are from later in the story.
According to Soule, the event is set to place the bounty hunter against a series of the galaxy's toughest antagonists throughout his journey, including Darth Vader:
“The main story that we’re dealing with is a Boba Fett-focused crime epic, that involves Boba Fett going up against some of the heaviest hitters in the galaxy. It’s Jabba the Hutt. It’s Black Sun. It’s Darth Vader. And a bunch of others — factions and so on — that I think will be really interesting for the fans. It’s basically Boba Fett, by himself, against all of these people.”
Soule's description seems to indicate the plans to span the series into a lot more as it opens “new doors” for the future, just as “the best comic crossovers and big stories do :"
“ War of the Bounty Hunters is a story about Boba Fett doing his thing, but it builds into something much bigger, and that’s what the best comic crossovers and big stories do. They tell a great story in and of themselves, but they’re also the start of something, and they open a lot of new doors. And this story will absolutely do that.”
While the War of the Bounty Hunters stems from Soule's vision, however, is a collaboration with many of Marvel's other Star Wars creators whose own series will tie into the event. These include Darth Vader writer Greg Pak, Doctor Aphra 's Alyssa Wong, and Bounty Hunters lead Ethan Sacks. Soule praised his team and what they're all adding to the event:
“My co-writers on this story, and all of the great artists that we’re working with, it’s a fantastic team. This might’ve come from my brain to a degree, but we’re all adding things to it, and we’re all adding really interesting things to it. Everybody’s getting to tell their own story within this over-arching plot of Boba Fett trying to get what’s his.”
MORE BOBA FETT IS NEVER A BAD THING
As always, it's exciting to see more of Boba Fett's story in the world of Star Wars. The character was just reintroduced to the world of live-action of the latest season of The Mandalorian and will spin-off into his own Disney+ series later this year with The Book of Boba Fett .
The huge focus Disney is currently placing on the character makes it clear they're very aware of how much of a fan-favorite he is. With Fett's series right around the corner and a release set for December, now seems like the perfect time to dive deeper into the bounty hunter's past stories.
Soule has promised the series will open “new doors” for the Star Wars comic world, likely indicating the publisher intends to continue to explore the era between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi .
While it's always great to see more from the original trilogy era, Marvel hasn't spent anywhere near enough time in the prequel or sequel eras. A huge time gap exists between The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones as Obi-Wan trained Anakin as his Jedi apprentice, a period which seems ripe for the picking.
Additionally, the Star Wars world is strongly lacking any non-movie content in the sequel era. The Clone Wars animated series was famously used in the past to redeem the prequel era through the exploration of its characters, something which seems needed for the lackluster sequel films.
For now, fans can get excited for more of their favorite bounty hunter as War of the Bounty Hunters begins in May with plans to run the story for six months through October.