This could be interesting and fantastic. It could also be horrible.
Yesterday, The Walt Disney Co. unveiled plans to make a number of spin-off movies set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away — in addition to the post-Return of the Jedi trilogy that had already been announced.
Entertainment Weekly has learned details on two of the spin-off projects: A young Han Solo saga, focusing on the wisecracking smuggler’s origin story, and a bounty hunter adventure with Boba Fett at the center of a rogue’s gallery of galactic scum.
The Han Solo story would take place in the time period between Revenge of the Sith and the first Star Wars (now known as A New Hope), so although it’s possible Harrison Ford could appear as a framing device, the movie would require a new actor for the lead — one presumably much younger than even the 35-year-old Ford when he appeared in the 1977 original.
The Boba Fett film would take place either between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, or between Empire and Jedi, where the bounty hunter was last seen plunging unceremoniously into a sarlacc pit. Exactly who would play him isn’t much of a complication – in the original trilogy, he never took off his helmet. And in the prequels, we learned he was the son of the original stormtrooper clone, played by Temuera Morrison, who’s still the right age for the part if his services were required.
On the plus side, Han Solo and Boba Fett are two of the most interesting characters in the SW universe. Movies featuring their backstories have massive potential. On the double-plus side, George Lucas won’t be directing, so the actors may come off as living, breathing human beings. That’s something we haven’t seen in a Star Wars film in a long, long time.
The Star Wars empire is running on fumes. If Disney doesn’t get this right, the galaxy far, far away could collapse.
Disney could do this right, or they could Disney-fy it. Will we get the gritty Republic Commando treatment that both of these characters deserve, or will we get a more candy-coated take aimed at reviving the Star Wars video game and toy empire? A gritty treatment, especially of Boba Fett, could be amazing. I hope for that but dread and fear the Disneyification of the whole thing. Another way they could screw this up, in typical Star Wars fashion, would be to have some extremely unlikely connection between the two characters revealed in the movies. There’s no need for that. Darth Vader didn’t need to build C-3PO for the Star Wars saga to work. Han and Boba Fett don’t need to be schoolyard buddies or enemies, or fellow recruits at the imperial academy.
I’m trying not to write that I have a bad feeling about this, but honestly, I do.
Updated February 9: See Bryan’s photos from today at the Dallas Sci Fi Expo