Boba Fett was definitely dead. We’ve all seen it: A partially blinded Han Solo unknowingly hit him with a stick in Return of the Jedi, his jetpack malfunctioned, and then he fell into the mouth of a massive sand monster. You could tell by the way he swallowed and burped.
Yet in The Book of Boba Fett, the spin-off series from The Mandalorian currently airing on Disney+, it’s expected that the iconic bounty hunter (now played by Temuera Morrison) actually survived in the belly full of acid from the sarlacc, having siphoned oxygen from a stormtrooper’s helmet, before blasting his way through with the flamethrower on his wrist, then blindly weaving through several meters of sand. Unlikely, you might think, but no one ever really dies in Star Wars. There are figurines and suites for sale.
There is precedent for Boba’s unlikely resurrection: numerous novels, comics, and non-canon short stories have already depicted his escape from the sarlacc. But little did we know this show was bringing it back to kill it again. And by killing him, I mean systematically dismantling everything that made him the coolest, most mysterious character in a galaxy far, far away.
In The Book of Boba Fett, the once menacing freelancer has become a sweetheart with a heart of gold. He renounced his bounty hunter title, became so oddly indulgent that he actually released a Wookiee assassin moments after he attempted to assassinate him in his sleep, stroked a grudge behind his ear like if it was his oversized house cat and called a “companion” raider Tusken.
It all started during an episode of The Mandalorian, in which Boba was properly reintroduced to the public, where he opened up about his fear and disapproval of the Empire – one of his old and frequent clients. Within minutes he was fighting for the very first time on the light side, having been inexplicably rebranded as a “good guy”. Or a guy with a moral compass, at least. Whatever he is now, he’s unrecognizable from the character that once fascinated Star Wars fans.
He’s the same Boba who previously had no problem working for famed strangler Darth Vader and famed strangler Jabba the Hutt. When we were introduced to the live-action version of the character in The Empire Strikes Back (he actually made his first appearance in the animated segment of the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special in 1978), he was obviously a gun. cold-blooded- for hire with the sole purpose of reaping his next bounty. It might just be business, but he certainly wasn’t petting monsters or making friends. So why this sudden transformation?
What originally made Boba the franchise’s most interesting and mysterious character was the fact that we knew absolutely nothing about him. Back then, he was just this cool, armored guy who stood to the side and looked tough. He never took his helmet off and he barely spoke – he had a grand total of four lines in The Empire Strikes Back, and none in Return of the Jedi. And yet, he became one of the most popular and talked about characters in the original trilogy. So much so that creator George Lucas even briefly considered making him the main Jedi villain, with the ambitious intention of expanding Luke Skywalker’s story into a number of later trilogies.
Making Boba Fett the main villain, or even a central character, would have diminished his primordial mystique, something that eventually ended up happening when he was horribly reintroduced as a clone child in Episode II: The Attack. clones.
And now it all starts again. As this Disney+ series continues to examine its softer side in excruciatingly uninteresting detail, it feels like the circle of bastardy is almost over. All we need now is a subplot in which he adopts a baby version of Yoda and spends at least two episodes wiping his sick chin.
Thanks to its treatment of the once badass and nihilistic bounty hunter, The Boba Fett Book proved to be just another bitterly disappointing and franchise-tarnishing piece of tosh. Proof, if you ever needed it, that it is better not to explore certain parts of the galaxy.