SPOILERS AHEAD for Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Star Wars: Episode VIII will be coming out by the end of 2017, and at this point many fans are wondering who could star in the film. While many are excited about a wide array of characters, both new and old, there are four reasons a particularly beloved character, Boba Fett, should make a surprise appearance in the next Star Wars movie:
- Phasma was bad.
Most of us understand that Captain Phasma was a disappointment in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. She was overhyped and over-marketed, and she failed to fulfill the role that Gwendoline Christie (the actor for Phasma) said she’d take: “She is a Boba Fett-style character, which means she makes a lot of impact but she’s not at the forefront of the action all the time.”
Certainly, Captain Phasma made a lot of impact—she lowered the shields on her Supreme Leader’s base, allowing the destruction of an entire planet because of her overconfidence. However, that doesn’t mean she’s a Boba Fett-style character. Boba Fett got the job done in Episode V, looking intimidating and intelligent, and even when he was eaten alive in Episode VI, he only hurt himself and still retained a huge fanbase that demanded he survived in the Expanded Universe. It’s pretty clear that Phasma—at best an incompetent leader and at worst labeled a complete failure in The Force Awakens—didn’t come close to playing a Boba Fett-style character. Something has to change if we want a character that gets the job done in an intimidating way.
The writers and producers of Episode VIII have two options: keep Phasma at the forefront and drastically change the role she plays (see Phasma Must be a Bounty Hunter), or reduce her to a very minimal character and replace her with someone else. And who better to replace this “Boba Fett-style character” than Boba Fett himself?
- He’ll rake in money.
Admittedly, Boba’s old, and he’s been used enough. The writers for Star Wars: Episode 8 could let him be, and create a new “Boba Fett-style” villain to root for. But, while I’m all for creating some new villains, one must keep in mind that putting Boba Fett back in the movies isn’t lazy or limiting—it’s economically brilliant. If this fan-favorite were to show up in one of the teaser trailers for Episode VIII, the resulting hype, attention, and reaction on social media would be phenomenal.
Plus, there’s no better way to increase the anticipation of the possible Boba Fett movie than by marketing Boba along with all of Episode VIII’s advertising. And, if Boba’s in the eighth film, it exposes him to all the new Star Wars fans who haven’t seen him before. So, including Boba in VIII raises excitement for the eighth film, accomplishes marketing for a Boba Fett film, and increases exposure of new fans to this awesome character.
- It’s already set up.
Some fans might be concerned that Boba was eaten alive in Episode VI, and that all the once-canon novels explaining his survival have become “Star Wars Legends.” Plus, even if Boba somehow survived, one could make the case that he was older than Han Solo by the time of The Force Awakens—so he most likely wouldn’t be attempting the most exhilarating blaster fights or jetpack launches in Episode 8. But, given a bit of thought, Boba actually can easily return to an exciting, important role in the movie.
First, it’s easy for the writers of these films to reuse other stories that resurrected Boba from his death on Tatooine. It’s even emphasized in Return of the Jedi that the sarlacc that ate Boba devours its meals over a thousand years. If Boba had a thousand years of time, a fueled jetpack, and a wide assortment of weapons, it won’t be too hard for him to escape the monster that ate him. And those in charge of these stories might just have to offer an explanation for Boba’s survival anyway, if his spinoff film extends past Return of the Jedi.
Of course, even if he survived, Boba would probably be much older in Episode 8—but he doesn’t have to be. Like C-3PO said, the sarlacc devours its meals over a thousand years. It must have some way of preserving its food, of elongating a prey’s life, especially if the sarlacc is to offer the slow and painful death that Jabba promised its victims. If the sarlacc can hold onto a human’s life for a thousand years, perhaps a human escaping the creature’s gut after only thirty years will show hardly any aging at all—perhaps, if Boba escaped this monster just before Episode VIII, he could practically be the same age that he was in Episode VI.
Along with this, the actor for Jango Fett (and subsequently the clone template for Boba), Temuera Morrison, is only in his fifties, a much more manageable age for action sequences than Harrison Ford’s seventy-plus. Morrison’s already rumoured to be in a Boba Fett spinoff, and with a bit of makeup or explanation of the sarlacc’s effect on time, he could be the perfect age for Boba in Episode VIII. Temuera could fit the script, the sarlacc’s effect on time could keep Boba in a fit, combat-ready age, and it’ll be easy to come up with a survival story—perhaps we’d even get to see part of Patton Oswalt’s prediction come true. If the writers want Boba back, then he’s coming back.
- There’s plenty for him to do.
Between returning, marketing, fulfilling old Legends, and replacing Phasma, Boba’s got a ton of work he can do in this film. We could see him crawl right out of the sarlacc’s mouth, venture back to Mandalore, visit the family he had in the Legends, or team up with other Mandalorians. He might show up in a teaser, he might hunt down Finn, and he might even stand alongside Kylo Ren for a scene. My guess is that his presence will be heavily hinted at in the trailers—a Mandalorian helmet here, a jetpack there—and then he’ll show up next to Phasma in the film. Possibly one of the best things he could do in Episode VIII is show Phasma how she should’ve behaved—in fact, the most satisfying thing fans disappointed in Phasma could watch is Boba Fett, contracted for hire by the Resistance, essentially disintegrating Captain Phasma like the cool, calm slayer she should have been.
Boba is back.
We’ll have a much clearer guess where Boba will be in the next films once trailers come out, but for now, all we need to know is this: There’s plenty of reasons for him to return. Boba Fett could easily replace Phasma, rake in cash for Disney, reuse plenty of established setup, and have a ton of awesome things to do.