EDITORIALS

The Dangers of Disney Making Young Han Solo and Boba Fett Films

by
February 7, 2013

Boba Fett and Han Solo

After the disasters that are now known as the Star Wars prequels sullied many a childhood memory of the classic sci-fi trilogy from George Lucas, it's truly amazing to see the rabid fanbase generally be so thrilled and excited with the prospect of a new trilogy with director J.J. Abrams kicking things off in Episode VII from screenwriter Michael Arndt. And it's even more interesting that in the face of what is essentially pure commercialism and money milking, that many fans are behind the idea of spin-off films featuring characters like Han Solo and Boba Fett (maybe even Yoda). While the prospect of films featuring some of our favorite characters in their own movies seems promising, we must not forget the shortcomings of the past.

Don't get me wrong, I'm just as thrilled as mostly any other fan to be getting more stories from the Star Wars universe. And while going straight for established characters seems just like recycling old ideas and pandering to the fanbase, the return of Han Solo and Boba Fett is very exciting. But what has me cautiously optimistic is the prequel approach to these characters and getting rid of almost any mystery they their past might hold. This was a problem in the prequels that directly affected the history of one these characters in a way that essentially can't be undone.

That character in question is Boba Fett. In all his infinite wisdom, George Lucas decided to try and please fans by showing the origins of some of the saga's most loved characters. Who wouldn't want to see how Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader, built C-3PO, was trained by Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi and turned to the Dark Side. It sounded like a great idea. But then Phantom Menace ruined the party.

Boba Fett

So George Lucas figured he would try to make a bigger and better party by bringing another beloved but sparsely seen character into the mix. Boba Fett was then introduced in Attack of the Clones in 2002 as the non-genetically modified version of Jango Fett, who served as the foundation for the Clone Army secretly being manufactured by the Republic. But again seeing the childish origins of this character did nothing more than weaken what was one of the most revered supporting elements of the entire trilogy. And again, as Mace Windu says in Attack of the Clones, "This party's over."

Sadly, no matter how exciting it is to have Boba Fett back in the mix for a new film, his story will have to be a slave to the origins Lucas set up in Attack of the Clones. It's not a crippling issue to get around, but it does make for some difficult decision to make. For example, will the filmmakers of this new Boba Fett film have to adhere to casting someone who resembles a young Temuera Morrison? The actor played Jango Fett as well as provided the voice for the entire Clone Army and also Boba Fett in the modified version of the original trilogy on Blu-Ray and DVD. Considering Boba Fett's history, it would be weird if he looked completely different than what the established mythology would otherwise indicate. It's pretty nerdy stuff to think about, but it's a valid question.

Either way, we're talking about defining the origin and basis for a character who was better served living in the shadows and having adventures play out in the novels and comic books taking place between episodes of the original trilogy. And herein lies the problem with the Han Solo movie as well. For a character who is already so well-established, liked and essentially perfect, why must audiences know where he came from after all this time? You might be thinking that this is no different than Batman Begins, but no one really knows much about Han Solo's past as they do with Bruce Wayne and Batman, and it just might be better to keep it that way. Comedian Patton Oswalt might have said it best when talking about Star Wars origins:

Funnily enough, audiences were actually spared from a shitty, contrived origin of sorts that would have thrown a young Han Solo into Revenge of the Sith. SlashFilm recently called attention to a small tidbit in The Art of the Revenge of the Sith book that reveals the Han Solo cameo. While on Kashyyyk, Yoda would have encountered the young Solo, apparently being raised by Chewbacca (which seems weird considering their later relationship). Solo was about 10-years old, and quickly helped Yoda figure out how to find the location of General Grievous by way of a transmitter droid (see some concept art right here). Does every kid in the Star Wars universe have to be precocious and good with gadgets?

Thankfully, the scene was cut out of the script, and Han Solo was left untouched. But now we're confronted with another Han origin story, and while this time it won't have Lucas trying to force Solo's involvement in the later saga just for a little wink to the audience, it does make us a little worried. Anytime the origin of Lucas' characters has been explored, it's resulted in disappointment. From "The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones" to the Star Wars prequels themselves, it's done nothing but taint some stories that were just fine. Why not just go back a few years and have an isolated adventure where Solo and/or Fett already have established reputations? It'd be like another Indiana Jones adventure but in the Star Wars universe.

When it really comes down to it, as giddy as we are to see these new Star Wars movies, clinging to these established characters just feels all about money and safety. However, we're hoping that Disney and Lucasfilm will create some worthwhile stories while still trying to rake in money at the box office. Hopefully Han Solo and Boba Fett are given their due diligence and aren't sullied by weak writing and greed.

Ideally, Han Solo should be on a standalone adventure and somehow he has his first encounter with Boba Fett. Then Solo escapes, and Fett is left with the bounty that got away. Then the Boba Fett film could start with him preparing to chase Han Solo again, but he gets sidetracked by other pressing bounty hunger business. Otherwise, "I've got a bad feeling about this," but am trying to be optimistic. Thoughts?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/dan.weinberger.16 Dan Weinberger
    Agreed. After the initial shock of the awesomeness of Boba Fett getting his own movie I've had to step back and think about the prequels and also about what makes Boba Fett so great. I think you were right in that he's a great shadowy character and giving him too much back story might ruin his allure. This can all be avoided though by great stories for both characters. If the movies are great then it will only enhance our love for these two characters. And after seeing where Disney is getting talent for for Episode VII, it seems like they want to make good movies. I'm keeping optimistic.
  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.groves.507 Chris Groves
    I say they can still play Boba Fett as cold, cool, and mysterious. Do something like Dredd, never show his face, and have Morrison do the voice. If it's occurring between Episode 4 and 5, or between 5 and 6...then Morrison's voice is fine. Also, if they HAVE to show his face at some point, they could get a lookalike(with Morrison still doing the voice) OR do some prosthetic/digital work so that Morrison can play the part for that scene. I'd rather see them ADHERE to what has been established than say 'Screw his origins, screw the special editions, he will look and sound like we want him' and take it from there. I'd rather have consistency and continuity.
    • Greedo
      The reasons many of us are fans and not actually writers and directors is that we have a hard time thinking outside the box. They say young, we think kid. A "young" Han Solo could be 20, or 25, or 30. Ford was 34 when he made SW, I believe. As far as Fett, the helmet should never come off. While he would be the main character, there would be many others around him to move the story forward.
      • http://www.facebook.com/chris.groves.507 Chris Groves
        Agreed. I never for a second thought that 'Young Han Solo' meant child. I was thinking 20-25...young enough to justify him not looking like Ford did in Episode 4. A younger version of the character. Show how he met Chewbacca, and show how he got the 'Harrison Ford Chin scar' that marks every one of his roles.
        • HTH
          I'll tell you who looks (and has quirks) like Harrison Ford: an actor named Matthew Davis. He's currently on the CW's Vampire Diaries, and maybe he's getting too old for the "young Han Solo" role, but if you watch him in Legally Blonde, where he plays Reece Witherspoon's love interest, it is INSANE how much he looks like a young Harrison Ford. Just watch the first 15 minutes of that film, specifically the scene where he and Reece are on a date, and tell me that he doesn't act just like Ford. He's got the squinty eye smile, a teeth-filled grin, and a slight mischievous look to him.
          • pipo
            Nah, he has a squarish German skull, Harrison was a bit more American. He who has a natural scar on his face shall be the winner.
  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.groves.507 Chris Groves
    As long as the young Han Solo film does it the right way, it'll be fine. We don't need to see him as a kid. How about a story that details how he met Chewbacca,and perhaps how Solo got that infamous 'Ford chin scar'? Who wouldn't dig that? I do agree that Fett having a cameo or appearance of SOME kind in the Solo film would be a cool way to sort of set up Boba Fett's own film later on...even if the plot-lines aren't connected directly.
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Trevor-Gerzen/503307430 Trevor Gerzen
    I think I would be less interested if it was about a single character. One of the things I liked most about the original trilogy was how the relationships unfolded throughout. There were so many unique and great characters that were able to all fit together without seeming too crowded. If they did an Episode VII I would also hope that it wouldn't be any sort of backstory as all of the other 6 episodes were in some kind of chronological order. Some of the books that were written taking place after Episode VI showing Skywalker and his academy of sorts as well as other's exploits would be very interesting in my opinion. I think the clone wars stuff has been over done so I hope it doesn't focus on that so much.
  • http://www.facebook.com/cpurdy111 Chris Purdy
    I would prefer they leave everything and everyone from the original trilogy alone in these new films, and instead focus on telling a new and original story from some other time and place in the Extended Universe. I don't want to see young versions of any Star Wars characters, I don't want to see old versions of any Star Wars characters, I want new characters with new stories, new conflict, new planets, new everything. Setting it during the time of the Old Republic might be the best thing they could do.
    • Angry Lester Jr.
      I agree totally!! Finally someone else thinks the same way. The Old Republic like the game trailers would kick ass!!
    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brad-White/1458067169 Brad White
      Be ready to not get your way...
  • Cody W
    The movie media really needs to turn it down a notch on this star wars madness, I understand its fun to think about the possibilities but seriously the hype machine is already running strong and the movie is still 3-4 years out. We are just asking to be letdown here.
    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brad-White/1458067169 Brad White
      Last time I checked 2015 is less than two years away...
      • Cody W
        There is no confirm released date and there was a rumor(posted on FS actually) that they may push it back to 2016.
        • DAvid Banner
          My guess was May 25th, 2016......40 years since.....
  • si1ver
    No to a young Han Solo movie. We already know everything we need to know about him. A Boba Fett movie could be good though because his character can be 100% disconnected from the Original Trilogy. That's the important thing, these need to be self-contained stories. The OT is perfect. The only reason to go back to Star Wars is to create new stories and explore the universe more. We saw from the prequels that cameos and nodding to events just make SW look silly. Fett has enough for a feature length movie, just expand his badassness. Make it about an interesting story instead of exploring his motivations or a character study. Who cares about what motivates him? I want to see a dark action thriller where the main character will destroy anything that gets in his way. It would be awesome to see a badass bounty hunter explore the dredges and dark alleys of the Star Wars universe. They can't make him an anti-hero though. That's the fun of spin-offs, you get to do something new and completely different than the new trilogy and show an entirely new side of the universe. Chris Groves is right don't show his face.
  • guy
    I think they should make a spinoff of the force unleashed games, while they weren't great they had good ideas. A new film could just show off awesome force powers and have epic jedi fights, that's what people want. The idea where a starship was brought down by a force pull was the most awesome thing to come out of star wars in a while. this image says it all http://photos.imageevent.com/afap/wallpapers/videogaming/theforceunleashedstarwars//star_wars_the_force_unleashed1.jpg
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christopher-Philip-Cinquegrano/100000932639147 Christopher Philip Cinquegrano
    You can't really go wrong with the STAR WARS universe. Even though Lucas did a shit job on the prequels, their still fun to watch an have their moments but i think any director and screenwriter now can't do worse than Lucas did when we were expecting so much more. The prequels are definately an example of what not to do. The voice acting was just friggin horrible. How can u get Liam Neison an Ewan MacGregor and have what happened. Ian McDiarmid was what kept those movies afloat. Its too bad he was practicaly not even in AOTC
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brad-White/1458067169 Brad White
    All the naysayers & negativity...really? It's happen folks, Disney will make back the 4+billion, only one way to do it....make a ton of movies...Let me tell you why it's a good idea...Fett, so many screaming for this, for a long time, now its a reality...And Han, even young late 20's Han will be great, tell the story how he & Chewie met, trouble they got into...run ins with Jabba, Greedo, other Smugglers, the Kessel Run, winning the Falcon away from Lando...Great Stuff....Can't Wait!
  • http://thechatcast.com/ 福 赐 天上
    I trust Disney more that I trust George Lucas.
    • http://thechatcast.com/ 福 赐 天上
      But I've never seen Star Wars.
      • David Banner
        Ah, well you should. Start with Episodes IV-V-VI, Hope, Empire, Jedi. If you skip everything else that has been released up to today, that's OK, as the first movies are the best.
        • http://thechatcast.com/ 福 赐 天上
          oh no, i just haven't seen "star wars"
  • Blkstar
    Attention DISNEY, Please go back and watch episodes 1-3 and understand we are tired of shitty Star Wars movies. Now insert the old trilogy, take notes, study the greatness, and bring back that old magic. Making stand alone origin type movies are worthless and non appealing to TRUE STAR WARS FANS. The reason why such characters like Boba Fett, Yoda and Han Solo are great characters is because their back stories are a mystery. By taking Star Wars and making these origin stories would be ruining what the Star Wars universe is about. If you don't believe me please go pick up a copy of Wolverine Origins. I am huge Star Wars fan since the age of four. I'm tired of having my childhood memories tainted by Hollywood's money machine. Why is it so hard to make a good fucking film and have it be just that. Star Wars is more then money why can't Hollywood see that. Lucas, as much as I love you for creating the Star Wars Universe, I hate you for making it all about money.
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7YGEVuJ4mM Carpola
    The dangers? It'll be shit. That's one danger. But honestly no-one cares, they just keep going to watch the films, buying the toys and moaning about how their childhoods were ruined.
    • http://www.facebook.com/chris.groves.507 Chris Groves
      Well, like it or not, those experiencing childhood when the originals came out don't matter any more. The generation that has grown up not hating the prequels out of nostalgia for the originals, the generation that has grown up with the occasional quality video game or novel, the generation that has lived with Star Wars as a multi-media entity from the get-go is now dominant in the movie-going population. THEY are the ones that matter and they/we are excited for new stories as long as they are interesting and of a certain quality. Disney isn't making these films for people in their 40s and 50s, they are after the 'under 30' crowd.
      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7YGEVuJ4mM Carpola
        I'm so old.
    • Bl00dwerK
      I'm 42 and my childhood is fully intact...
  • Bl00dwerK
    Boba Fett? I say screw the origin story and do a one-shot adventure film...
  • David Banner
    Lucasfilm and/or Disney have NOT confirmed a Han Solo or/and Boba Fett movie. Some guy(soon to be "that douche at EW"?) at EW said these were going to be made, therefore the world erupted in joy. If you were a betting man, would you not bet on the two most popular characters in the SW universe would get their own movies? It's rather good odds that one/both will get a movie, so why not just write about it and say it is so? If we all were to write an essay on which characters and what time period, 95% of us would have said these two and between E:III and E:IV; after all that is the most logical time period. I remember reading in foreign papers that Kevin Smith was going to direct the new Boba Fett movie. Wut? See, when someone tells a story to someone, and they pass it along, it changes quite a bit. Maybe that douche at EW heard that the kids liked Boba, so he wrote about it. Maybe Firstshowing could be so bold to not follow the herd, and start off these articles with: "RUMORS:..." when it comes to the new Star Wars movies? The fans want these movies so bad, we all forgot again it was just rumors and were merry. Then someone started checking the "source", and was sad. Soon, we will be sad, as the report now seems to be that "they were only kicking around ideas".....
    • Cody W
      BORING! maybe you could limit your post to only a couple of meaningless thoughts instead of writing 3 paragraphs?
      • David Banner
        This ain't Twitter, punk. Short enough for 'ya?
    • http://www.firstshowing.net/ Ethan Anderton
      EW doesn't run stories without having solid sources. They were also supposed to be the place that ran the exclusive about J.J. Abrams directing Star Wars before The Wrap found out a few days before it was to be release officially. If it came from an unreliable, untested source, it would be a rumor, but when stuff like this comes from Deadline, EW, THR and Variety, it's about as official as you can get without a press release. Also, I know the guy at EW, and Anthony Breznican is not a douche, and he's a very good, responsible reporter. Sorry you're such a spiteful curmudgeon.
      • dangeer
        Deadline reported that Disney/Lucasfilm are only "kicking around ideas" at this point, and nothing is set in stone. The EW article made it soul like it's official. The only official thing we know is that there WILL be spinoffs. We do NOT know what they will be about. http://www.deadline.com/2013/02/star-wars-spinoff-films-not-set-yet-disney-still-just-kicking-around-ideas/
      • David Banner
        And yet most sites(several you mention) are now reporting it's actually not true.....adding an "Update: Kicking around ideas"
      • Guest
        You know, David has a point, it is just a rumour. I only drop by here once in a while, but have noticed last weeks you have been posting Star Wars rumours as news, almyed you way through the day. Dont you guys check anything?
  • crystaltowers
    Turning Jango and Boba Fett into a schmaltzy dad/son story played by Maori actors (sorry but the accents just didn't fit) was one of the top 5 worst decisions in the prequels. "Get 'em, Ded!" says Boba, during the asteroid field chase scene. A true howler. That kid was a worse actor than Jake Lloyd by a country mile. So I agree with all of the above. I would prefer no prequels at all. But if they must, please don't make them childhood origin stories! It will RUIN the mystique of any character it is applied to.
    • http://www.roamandthink.com/ PBGray
      Truth in what you're saying. That's what makes Nolan's film interesting imho. He creates mysticism around his characters and doesn't reveal everything. We've seen too much with Boba at this point. Let's pull that back and bit and see less origin, more kicking some ass.
  • http://www.roamandthink.com/ PBGray
    What I find interesting is how many directions Disney could go with this. They could go back to our beloved characters or create new ones. Or, they could do both at the same time. I'm really intrigued by what is coming. Disney is in a unique position with this franchise. They could go anywhere with it. The big question is: will audiences like everything they produce? Are we so Jedi obsessed that seeing a stand alone film focused on a bounty hunter or a smuggler satisfy our Star Wars craving? For me, I'll take any and all of it. JJ directing the first gig is a big step in the right direction.
  • OfficialJab
    Disney is really just footing the bill, aren't they? May have a producer hang around the set, but I doubt they'll have any significant negative influence.
  • Tomuchofagoodthing
    We DON'T NEED THESE BOBBA FETT HAN SOLO MOVIES. MASSIVE OVERKILL!! To much of a good thing. Overexposure. Dumb ass move...
  • Tomuchofagoodthing
    Besides. Darth Maul would be more interesting. If they do these side movies, at least include him in some way..
  • pipo
    Han Solo is younger, and what about Chewbacca? Will they take a Chow Chow standing on his hind-paws?
  • Jeff Metzger
    I think this is just a BS rumor mostly. But if it has a hint of truth at all I think it might be more likely that its a single movie with both a young Han Solo and Boba Fett in it. Considering they both had earlier dealings with Jabba. Although I'm really hoping they don't make these movies at all. I'm one for seeing something new and exploring stories beyond what we have seen before.
  • Gabe
    theyre putting a spotlight on a "shadowy character", this can't be good

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