I’m sorry. I don’t care if you didn’t like “Godzilla.” Gareth Edwards directing the first “Star Wars” spin-off is objectively great news. He’s a gifted filmmaker who knows how to handle big budget action and exactly the kind of director that you hand a “Star Wars” movie to.
Now that the film has a great director, it’s time to talk story. What is this thing about? Of the possibilities frequently batted about, Boba Fett, Han Solo and Yoda are the three characters singled out as likely candidates for origin movies, but the Edwards hire makes me think that there’s only one choice for the first spin-off.
The Boba Fett movie needs to happen now.
Even as someone who hung his early “Star Wars” fandom on the masked bounty hunter, I’ve been skeptical in the past of giving Boba Fett too much credit as a character. In the original trilogy, he’s better as set decoration than as a character, and the further Lucas delved into who’s underneath the mask, the less interesting he’s become.
But that’s exactly why “Star Wars” fans need this movie.
Lucasfilm would never admit it, but Boba Fett is in need of some serious image rehab, not unlike Godzilla before Edwards came along. For that reboot, Edwards’ restrained approach reestablished an aura around the film’s focus, initially showing him in small doses and making audiences anticipate the big brawls they came to see.
If a Boba Fett spin-off is ever going to work, it’s going to be with that same mentality. The bounty hunter found his fandom through small appearances. In the original trilogy, he speaks four lines, has no backstory, dies like a chump and he still managed to find a massive fanbase.
Edwards has already proven that he understands what’s best for an iconic (albeit shallow) character even if it means making creative choices that may seem counterintuitive, like not showing the Godzilla until 40 minutes in or keeping your main character’s face covered by a mask and limiting his dialogue.
Any successful spin-off for Boba Fett is going to understand that to remind people why they originally liked the character, the movies needs to tap back into the mystery — and if we’re lucky, ignore the Jango Fett of it all.
The first “Star Wars” spin-off (which is hopefully about Boba Fett) hits theaters on December 16, 2016.