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It’s certainly safe to say that the fate of beloved bounty hunter, Boba Fett has always been a sore Sarlacc-strewn spot among the Star Wars fanbase over the years. While there’s always been subsequent novels and comic books showcasing a narrative of his survival, it seems that his chances of returning to the continuity are better than they’ve ever been, thanks to the current methodology of the Disney-sized Lucasfilm.
This past weekend’s Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, California did not disappoint in its preponderance of property previews. However, a less-heralded narrative would also come about from the event’s array of interviews; namely one from Slash Film regarding Lucasfilm’s long-term strategy with the Star Wars Expanded Universe canon. It’s something that actually holds the fate of Boba Fett directly in the balance. According to Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo, Fett’s future all depends upon finding the right story. As Hidalgo abstractly explains,
Boba Fett is both simultaneously alive and dead in the Sarlaac Pit until a story pulls him out.
This statement might be vague, but makes sense when viewed in the context of Lucasfilm’s new structure. When Disney acquired the company for $4.05 billion in late 2012, taking the reins of the entire property, they would eliminate the canonical place of Expanded Universe works; including the ones that depicted Boba Fett using his gear and his hard-to-kill toughness to emerge from the Sarlacc pit. The company is now classifying that mooted material as "Legends." However, while they stand as non-canon, a new revelation implies that they still exist in the Star Wars ether and could still actually provide inspiration for canon-adhering works. This is especially notable regarding the long-rumored spinoff film said to focus on Boba Fett with names like Michael Fassbender recently added to the mix.
Thus, while Hidalgo’s statement is certainly odd and almost seems dismissive in a "you know it’s all fake, right, fanboy?" kind of way, it actually reflects the new philosophy over at Lucasfilm veering towards verisimilitude. Hidalgo represents a group of writers that are kept tightly-wrapped over at Lucasfilm, created by Kathleen Kennedy and headed by Kiri Hart called The Lucasfilm Story Group. As previous reports indicated, their job as property ombudsmen is to ensure that all works that carry the Star Wars branding not only meet certain authenticity, but also adhere to the long-term continuity. This group, enviably enough, are essentially in-the-know regarding where all the storylines are heading, and it’s their job to keep the novels, comic books, video games, etc. on Disney’s newly-codified canonical track.
Of course, Boba Fett met his assumed ignominious end in 1983’s Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, when a freed-from-carbon-sleep Han Solo unwittingly damages his jet pack, sending Fett flying into the Pit of Carkoon to be "slowly digested over a thousand years" in the belly of the Sarlacc. As far as anticlimactic deaths go, it’s high on the list, and never sat well with fans as the myth and mystique of the Boba Fett character continued to grow over the ensuing years. Thus, there is plenty of material in the fan-friendly Legends continuity depicting his survival from that folly-filled fate. With news of some EU elements being reintroduced, Fett’s survival is clearly not off the table.
Based on Hidalgo’s words, it’s only a matter of finding the right angle that "pulls him out" from enzymatic endangerment. While he would explain that not everything that gets the Story Group’s stamp, especially with video games, are considered canon, it does show that the Star Wars property is currently being run by fans for fans. That’s clearly good news for Boba Fett enthusiasts.