It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving Mandalorian – or a
Corelian, for that matter.
For those of you who haven’t yet graduated from The George Lucas Academy of “Star Wars” Geekdom, I’m referring to the home planets of Boba Fett and Han Solo – two of the more popular characters in the Star Wars Universe. And what has “happened” to them since they hung up their keys to the Millenium Falcon and Slave I, respectively? Well, they’re apparently getting their very own spin-off movies sometime in the near future.
According to an article by Entertainment Weekly, The Walt Disney Company (who now owns Lucasfilm Ltd, along with every other important and popular entertainment license since the Golden Age of Cinema) has announced that the two spinoff movies will occur right in-between “Episode III: Revenge of the Sith” and the “Episode IV: A New Hope” on the Star Wars timeline – with both the Han Solo and Boba Fett movies focusing on their younger days. You know what it is I speak of: the all-inclusive, mandatory “origin story.”
The announcement comes at the heels of the unveiling of the next Padawan in line for Jedihood, J.J. Abrams. Which translated to non-geek speak means that Abrams was recently announced as the director for “Episode VII” in the Star Wars saga – which will obviously take place in the post-“Episode VI: Return of the Jedi” era. The film, which is slated for a 2015 release, will also feature “Toy Story 3” scribe Michael Arndt penning the screenplay.
According to Walt Disney Company chairman/CEO Bob Iger, two screenwriters for the spinoff films are already in place – Simon Kinberg of the upcoming “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and “Sherlock Holmes” fame and veteran Lucasfilm contributor Lawrence Kasdan, who was responsible for writing two of my personal favorite films, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and yes, “Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.” There is no indication as to whether the two were hired to co-write both films together or whether they’ll try to handle them singularly.
At this point, if you’re familiar with the two characters, you may have either or both of the following reactions to this Death Star-shattering news.
First off, maybe you’re around my age (I’ll never tell, but I’ll bet you can figure it out) and you had a Boba Fett and Han Solo Kenner action figure up in your shiny, black, plastic Darth Vader helmet-style action figure carrying case and your inner-child is just excited for anybody – seriously, ANYBODY – besides George Lucas to handle the troubled lives of these two misunderstood, intergalactic tough guys.
Or…. you might be thinking realistically and pondering the question, “How are they going to make a movie based on one character that barely says a word in Episodes IV, V and VI, wears a mask, and shows zero emotion at any given time and how are they make a film surrounding the escapades of a young Han Solo when that Harrison Ford last played almost thirty years ago in 1984?”
Before I go any further into the fanboy abyss, I must address the non-fanboy – a.k.a. the person reading this who didn’t have Star Wars bed sheets and/or “Return of the Jedi” Luke Skywalker Underoos (If you don’t know what Underoos are… then I truly feel sorry for the lack of 80′s in your life) when they were younger and certainly haven’t seen the movies 824 times each. Basically, if the names of Han Solo and Boba Fett don’t set off any alarm bells, here’s a quick glimpse into who they are and what they represent.
Han Solo is a snarky, sarcastic smuggler – the kind of guy that has “I grew up in foster homes” written all over him. He wears some nifty black space boots, some blue jean-looking pants or some black khaki-style pants with a stripe down the sides, an open collar, nylon shirt and -get ready for the best part – he ties it all together with an awesome, black fishing vest with multiple pockets for his smuggler stuff. It’s a much nicer vest than that tool from the commercial who wants to buy your old cell phones. You know the dude I’m talking about, but that’s another topic for another day. Did I mention he has roguish good looks and a can-do (when I get around to it, that is) attitude. Oh yeah – and his best friend is eight-feet tall, hails from a sasquatch-like race called the Wookies, and goes by the name of Chewbacca.
On the other hand, Boba Fett was Han Solo’s nemesis. I say was, because he did wind up in the stomach of a revolting entity that lives in a pit on the desert planet of Tatooine known as the Sarlacc – by the hands of Han Solo, no less. Interstellar irony – as the Sarlacc would say, “It’s delicious!”
Boba Fett was introduced to us in 1980’s “Episode IV” – although we did see a young Boba with his pops, Django (my bad, I meant Jango – the “D” was apparently silent… and non-existent) in 2002’s “Episode II: Attack of the Clones” - when he took a bounty contract from Darth Vader, on behalf of The Emperor, to go after Luke, Han, Leia and the rest of the rebels, and instantly became a fan favorite – gaining a monster cult following to boot. He was mysterious, brooding, had a sick outfit with a color-scheme that just said, “Look at me” – not to mention his awesome jet pack and laser rifle. Boba Fett was just a bad-ass dude.
So, of course George Lucas decided to kill him off in “Episode VI.”
Fans were understandably upset. So upset, in fact, that they invented crazy theories and scenarios as to how Boba Fett wasn’t really eaten by that kooky Sarlacc – who incidentally takes a thousand years to digest its food (don’t ask how ANYONE could POSSIBLLY know that) – but he was spit back out or somehow escaped using his trusty jetpack. Fans were extremely distraught and grieved the loss of their favorite Mandalorian mercenary.
They wanted more Boba.
And now it seems that they’re getting their wish. Of course it comes decades too late, but still – getting their wish.
Star Wars have been through a lot of pain and heartache. From Jar-Jar to Ewoks to Canadians named Hayden, things have not gone completely smooth for those of us (notice I say “US”), but we keep coming back for more. George Lucas gave us “The Phantom Menace” and we STILL stood on line for days and weeks (well, not me – I drove up to the theater and got tickets THAT day) to buy tickets for “Attack of the Clones.” You’d think after getting nut-punched by George TWICE, we’d have learned our lesson, but noooooo – there we were doing the same damn thing for a third time with “Revenge of the Sith.” Don’t forget the re-released “Special Editions” (in the theaters and on Blu-Ray/DVD/VHS), all of “The Clone Wars” stuff, plus we suffered through countless terrible video games through the years – although some of the newer ones either have been or look like they might be great, such as “Star Wars: The Old Republic,” “1313,” and (of course) “Angry Birds: Star Wars.”
Now, here we are. It’s been 35 years since we fell in love with “Star Wars” and its bespectacled creator George Lucas. And it’s been almost 15 years since we turned on Lucas and demanded reparations and retribution for that garbage that he served us in the last three pictures.
Now, sans George Lucas, we’re ready to give it another shot to awe us like it did when we were kids. The “Star Wars” franchise is hitting unfamiliar territory with these so-called “spinoff” movies. Like I’ve already stated, we’ve seen the “spinoff” books. We’ve seen the “spinoff” video games, the cartoons, the TV shows, comic books, and even the countless spoofs and playful jabs. We’ve even seen the characters we love get critically destroyed, due to some bad creative decisions. But yet we’re still here, waiting for the new Rebel Army to lead the fight against the Galactic Empire.
And for now, it’s Boba and Han – working together – right on the frontlines.