Following the success of The Mandalorian on Disney+, Star Wars fans are on the verge of a bounty of new content that, interestingly enough, involves old fan-favorite characters. Before Lucasfilm brought back Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader in Obi-Wan Kenobi, the studio revived the mysterious original trilogy bounty hunter, Boba Fett; and with him, generations of legends and expectations also returned to everyone's minds.
While he technically made his debut in the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special, Boba Fett made his theatrical debut in The Empire Strikes Back as a mercenary of few words and an apparent reputation. Even though he seemingly met a comical and untimely demise in Return of the Jedi, the lack of information about the galaxy's best gun-for-hire only yielded itself to fan theories.
In the wake of these expectations impacting the reception of The Book of Boba of Fett, and ahead of Darth Vader's return on Disney+, Lucasfilm executive and George Lucas apprentice Dave Filoni shared his thoughts on the character and why he disagrees with fans.
Why Filoni's Boba Fett Opinions Differ from Fans
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Dave Filoni explained why he thinks fans have overhyped Boba Fett's reputation.
In regard to Boba Fett's interactions with Vader in The Empire Strikes Back, Filoni recounted the events, reminding fans that Boba Fett "doesn't capture Han Solo," but rather "calls Darth Vader to capture (him)," alluding to Boba Fett's cautious and reserved nature:
"Boba Fett calls Darth Vader to capture Han Solo, he doesn’t capture Han Solo. He gets on the phone and he says, ’Come here and get Han Solo, I found him.'"
As for the fan belief that Boba Fett could defy Darth Vader, Filoni says he never bought into the hype, so he wasn't disappointed when Boba Fett fell into the Sarlaac pit in Return of the Jedi because "the story is not about him:"
“It’s funny when you say (Boba Fett) stands up to Darth Vader. Does he do that? I think he was hired and Vader tells him, ‘No disintegrations,’ and he’s like, '...Okay.' I love Boba Fett but even when I was a kid, the idea that he fell into the Sarlacc pit actually never disappointed me because I’m like, 'The story is not about him.’”
As to the importance of Boba to the Star Wars fan base, director and executive producer Jon Favreau acknowledged that the bounty hunter "is a lot of different things to a lot of different people:"
“Boba Fett is a lot of different things to a lot of different people. I grew up with Boba Fett as a faceless, quiet, mysterious bounty hunter. All we knew was that he was scary enough that Darth Vader saw him as somebody to set out after Han Solo. Then by the time you hit the second movie that Boba was in, Return of the Jedi, that was a different version of the character. He got knocked into the Sarlacc pit and passed away. I think people assumed he would’ve lasted longer in that situation.”
Will Boba Fett Meet Disney+'s Darth Vader?
What's interesting about Boba Fett, and what has caused fans to hold him in such high regard, is that who the character is and what he's capable of is initially communicated through Darth Vader himself. Vader is so determined to find the Rebels in The Empire Strikes Back that he calls in backup. And, the fact that the most feared villain in the galaxy calls these particular bounty hunters instantly elevates their status.
Boba Fett's stock goes up even higher when Vader stops in front of him to say, "No disintegrations," as it accomplished two things. For one, it suggests Vader has worked with Boba in the past, instantly making him even more impressive; and two, it leaves audiences to imagine his ruthlessness and to fear for Han Solo, since Boba Fett's abilities are apparently having to be restrained by Darth Vader.
With such an entrance, it's easy to understand why fans - as well as the comics and books - would continue to revisit this character. In fact, Dave Filoni did just that in The Clone Wars animated series where he showed what happened to young Boba after his father's death in Attack of the Clones.
Where Filoni appears to differ from certain corners of the fan base is that he believes Boba's success stemmed from his intelligence, and maybe even self-preservation, as opposed to prowess. Filoni's philosophy is actually more in line with what audiences saw in The Book of Boba Fett, where the older bounty-hunter-turned-crime-lord relied on respect and establishing connections as opposed to brutality.
However, that's not to say that Fett fans haven't gotten what they wanted. In fact, The Book of Boba Fett supported the fan theory that Boba survived the Sarlacc pit on Tatooine, and even showed him doing so on-screen. The question now is whether Favreau and Filoni intend to reunite Vader and Boba in Obi-Wan Kenobi or in another one of Lucasfilm's upcoming Disney+ shows; and if so, will their exchange be another win for the Boba fan theories or more in line with Filoni's philosophy?
The Book of Boba Fett is available to stream on Disney+; the first two episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi are set to premiere on Disney+ on May 27.