The Book Of Boba Fett Is Finally Giving Us A Star Wars Crime Story, And It's About Time

The brand new trailer for "The Book of Boba Fett" series that Disney+ dropped this morning gave us a good idea of what to expect from the "Mandalorian" spin-off, namely a gangster epic full of political intrigue ala "The Godfather." In the Original Trilogy, the character of Boba Fett was something of a blank slate, merely a stock bounty hunter character with a cool outfit and laconic demeanor. Now that he speaks — and frequently takes his helmet off! — in the form of Temeura Morrison, we're getting a better sense of what Fett is capable of. He clearly has ambitions to take over Jabba the Hutt's criminal empire after dispatching Bib Fortuna, but will it be as easy as all that? Is Fett a criminal mastermind, or merely a pretender to the throne? We will find out starting December 29 when the series debuts on the streamer.

In the meantime, we only have Fett's three modest appearances in "The Mandalorian" season 2 to go off of. In "Chapter 14: The Tragedy," Fett revealed himself as a scarred older version of the little Jango Fett copy we saw in "Attack of the Clones," as well as the armored bounty hunter who got swallowed by the Sarlacc in "Return of the Jedi." He brutally mowed down some stormtroopers, then made a bargain with Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) to help him get Baby Yoda back. In "Chapter 15: The Believer," he mostly just flew Slave One and let loose a seismic charge (yay, Prequel reference!), and in "Chapter 16: The Rescue," he did more fancy flying and sorta got his middle-aged ass handed to him by Koska Reeves (Mercedes Varnado). From that we know, he's still a badass, albeit a fallible one, and he lives by his own code of honor distinct from the Mandalorian creed. So what's in store for him next now that he's a bonafide crime lord?

Early Attempts

Before we get into speculation, it's important to remember how long we've been waiting for Lucasfilm to finally give us a crime story set in the galaxy far, far away. George Lucas first announced the proposed live-action series titled "Star Wars: Underworld" at Star Wars Celebration way back in 2005. The idea was to do a show set amid the Coruscant crime world between Episodes III and IV, with then-producer Rick McCallum at times comparing it to "Deadwood," "The Wire" and "The Godfather," while Lucas himself likened it to a noir from the 1940s. Last year, some visually arresting test footage from 2010 leaked, showing off a shaky-cam style anathema to the usual "Star Wars" cinematography. Writer Ronald D. Moore of "Battlestar Galactica" fame was brought in to write scripts, and a staff reportedly produced 50 teleplays with an eye towards ABC picking it up, but budget considerations kept "Underworld" from taking off. 

While this show never got off the ground, many concepts were pilfered from it for other projects. For instance, the character of Saw Gerrera was conceived for "Underworld" but eventually made his way to "The Clone Wars," "Rebels" and "The Bad Batch," as well as live-action in "Rogue One." That latter movie also began as an idea John Knoll had for an episode, and plans to show the origins of Han and Chewie's relationship from "Solo" were also originally meant as "Underworld" episodes. There was even a planned video game tie-in from LucasArts titled "Star Wars: 1313" featuring Boba Fett in the underworld that was eventually canceled when Disney took over the brand. 

However, in 2015 Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy told us that those projects were still being pilfered for the new "Star Wars" projects in development:

"Interestingly enough, thats an area we've spent a lot of time, reading through the material that he developed is something we very much would like to explore. And there was 1313 the game... Our attitude is, we don't want to throw any of that stuff away. It's gold. And it's something we're spending a lot of time looking at, pouring through, discussing, and we may very well develop those things further. We definitely want to."

More Teases

Even after Kennedy took over "Star Wars," there were many false starts in mining this less-than-savory corner of the galaxy. Right from 2012, she began fielding interest from directorial talent, including Jon Favreau, Zack Snyder (whose "Seven Samurai"-inspired pitch eventually morphed into his forthcoming Netflix movie "Rebel Moon"), and Guillermo del Toro, who told Collider that he wanted to make a Jabba the Hutt movie:

"I have talked to Kathleen Kennedy and John Knoll about ideas. I would do the sort of Godfather saga of what Jabba the Hutt had to go through to gain control. One, because it's the character that looks the most like me, and I like him. I love the idea of a Hutt type of mafia, a very complex coup, you know? I just love the character."

While del Toro got too busy to work on a "Star Wars" project, some of his ideas may have transferred over to "The Book of Boba Fett," as evident in today's trailer. Those ideas may have been part of a "Star Wars Story" spin-off feature for Boba Fett, originally planned with Josh Trank at the helm before he was fired. There was a short teaser produced for the project, but it was never shown. Afterwards, James Mangold briefly flirted with taking over the project, but the idea was dropped after the failure of "Solo: A Star Wars Story" in 2018. That film introduced Darth Maul's criminal syndicate Crimson Dawn, and promised a potential gang turf war in future sequels that will likely never happen. 

Can Disney+ Do a Crime Story Justice?

Yet many of the ideas for all these Fett-centric projects got folded into Favreau's "The Mandalorian," which introduced a new bounty hunter from a fundamentalist sect of the title order. While some of the scum and villainy of the universe were given face time, it seems as though "The Book of Boba Fett" may finally give us the exploration of the "Star Wars" underworld we've been teased with for over a decade. But will Disney+ stick the landing? More importantly, can they?

So far "The Mandalorian" has featured a level of violence that is potent, but never comes close to the edge you would get from shows like "The Wire" or "The Sopranos." While there will probably be a ton of gambling and heists portrayed onscreen, the inherent family friendliness of both the "Star Wars" and Disney brands precludes shocking moments like a space gangster waking up with a Tauntaun head in his bed. It probably also precludes any direct references to drug-running and prostitution... Or does it? It's very possible the "Boba Fett" series could get away with more antisocial themes by nature of it being violence perpetrated against aliens as opposed to humans. See "The Lord of the Rings" and imagine the kind of rating it would have received if those heroes weren't covered in black Orc blood. 

Don't count on it, though. If the new Lucasfilm content has taught us anything so far, it is that the stakes are fairly low, and when certain major characters die it is under as narratively safe of circumstances as possible. Even the kamikaze heroes of "Rogue One" were essentially red shirts from the get-go, and some of them will still come back in prequel form for next year's "Andor" show. But we're ready to be pleasantly surprised.