Boba Fett, one of the most iconic characters in the Star Wars universe, is a difficult man to work with. At least, that's what the latest rumors out of Disney World are saying. What was once a cause for celebration has now become a cause for worry, as the Mouse House seems to be having a problem approaching the concept of centering a film around a character that not only didn't have that big of a role in the films but also isn't the nicest guy in the Empire.
The fan site Making Star Wars received several tips from a recent "executive breakfast" in the park. Allegedly, the subject of a certain infamous Mandalorian was on the lips of many people mingling at the event. Particularly, their main concern was:
"Lucasfilm wants Boba Fett to remain menacing and scary but we have to make him the hero of the film and it is a real challenge."
This isn't really that big of a surprise. After all, the first time we saw Boba Fett, he was lined up with a murderer's row of bounty hunters hired by Darth Vader to track down his son. Fett, game for a good bounty, wrote this off as easy work and concerned himself only with one thing: collecting the bounty Jabba The Hutt put out on Han Solo. If a man can stand in front of one of the most psychopathic tyrants in the universe, and keep that level of goal focus, he's clearly someone who shouldn't be dealt with lightly.
Still, to make a film centered around a villain isn't that big of a stretch. The challenge isn't in making them likeable, the challenge is writing a story that doesn't have a predictable ending. This means, more than likely, that the talent behind the film would be well advised to stay out of pre-established events from the base universe that Lucas created. With Marvel Studios' ability to connect its universe rather effectively through individual projects, Disney's going to be rather pressured to stay within the universe. So, for the sake of argument let's stay within the established chain of the film's events.
What follows is purely an exercise in thought, and Star Wars geekdom. You've been warned.
The time frame between Attack of the Clones and The Empire Strikes Back is the perfect breeding ground within the canon, with Boba forging his path in life the hard way. His father dead, he serves alongside his old man's clones and learns to become the ultimate bad ass. He can run afoul of the Republic Commandos in the 501st, hunting them down one by one in the name of Order 66 and perfecting his killing skills. In fact, THIS should be the meat of the film. One gigantic cat and mouse game taking place in a time of turmoil and crisis in the universe, ultimately culminating in Fett earning the respect of Vader. The story ends with Vader summoning Fett to the Super Star Destroyer Executor. He's proven himself worthy to join the baddest and the bravest in the ultimate hunt. His father would be proud, and frankly – that's all he ever wanted.
It's not that hard to come up with a character who's a vicious killer, yet easily identifiable with the audience. Anyone who's excited for Bond 24 can tell you that while James Bond is painted as a "good guy", he still engages in morally gray behavior and kills more people than he interrogates. If we can sympathize with a realistic character that kills before he questions, we shouldn't have that much of a problem with a bounty hunter killing what are functionally his brothers. We can identify with him because he's the sad kid that lost his father senselessly, but we can hate him because he's killing heroes. In essence, take the Anakin Skywalker story structure, but actually tell the story instead of just glossing over it.
The only problems that Disney will need to sort out are the fact that this film will be a PG-13 on par with Revenge of the Sith, and they're going to have to once and for all make a decision on whether Expanded Universe canon is included or excluded. Once that's out of the way, it's time for Disney to step back and let the writers do their work, as this is still a potentially brilliant idea if done correctly. As for who should be put in charge of this project, there are two people who are excited and skilled enough to undertake such a project: Joe Johnston and Kevin Smith. Both have worked for Disney, and both would probably do it again for a character they know and love.