Jon Favreau Explains Why Boba Fett Couldn’t Break Bad

An article from the online version of Vanity Fair has Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni explaining why Boba played by our guy Temuera, couldn’t be completely a bad guy. I agree with them in that Boba had to change. i’m more than a little mad. Accompanying the article there was a behind-the-scenes video of photographer Annie Leibovitz taking a cover shoot with the STAR WARS Disney+ shows. The cover has Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian/Din Djarin), Rosario Dawson (Ahsoka Tano), Diego Luna (Cassian Andor), and Ewan McGregor (Obi Wan Kenobi), but no Temuera Morrison as our favourite bounty hunter. I hope he’s in the actual publication, if not it’s a gross miscarriage. More below.

Star Wars: Jon Favreau Explains Why Boba Fett Couldn’t Break Bad

There’s an old maxim that states, “Never meet your heroes.” It may also apply to villains. The person behind a legend can never match that larger-than-life image, even when it comes to fictional characters. You have to accept them as human beings.

That was always the challenge with Boba Fett, the intimidating bounty hunter from 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back, whose masked face and reticence to speak gave Star Wars fans permission to imagine the worst—which actually made him more ominous and alluring. The more fans learned over the years, particularly about his origin in the prequel films, the more they questioned if they preferred the mystery. Fett seemingly met his demise in 1983’s Return of the Jedi, clumsily knocked into the maw of a giant sand-sphincter with teeth. He died like a chump. Debate about his legacy raged on.

Almost four decades later, The Mandalorian revealed that Boba Fett escaped being digested for a thousand years in the Sarlacc pit, and though gravely wounded, was eager to reclaim a seat of power in the galaxy. Then the recent Book of Boba Fett series followed his efforts to take control of the crime syndicate previously overseen by the late, great Jabba the Hutt. But instead of being a bloodthirsty capo, Temuera Morrison’s reborn Fett proved to be a godfather of a more measured nature: one seeking power, but also peace and honor among the lawless.

As usual with a fandom as vast as Star Wars’, there was discord in the discourse. Some fans vented frustration: Boba Fett survived all that, only to go soft? Others saw much to like in the show. A midseason shift of focus back to the lead character of The Mandalorian was widely praised, but also seen as an abrupt change in POV. All the while, the arguments continued: Should Boba Fett be more ruthless, or was his soulful self-reflection the right call?

Now series creator Jon Favreau and executive producer Dave Filoni are speaking out for the first time about why they felt Fett had to be more Don Corleone than Walter White. In an interview for Vanity Fair’s new cover story, “Star Wars: The Rebellion Will Be Televised,” they outlined their intentions and the logic they followed while making The Book of Boba Fett.

Basically, Fett was born to be bad:

Basically, Fett was born to be bad: He was raised as the clone of a ruthless bounty hunter, orphaned at an early age, and forced to fend for himself or die trying. He lived outside the law for most of his existence, and wasn’t above siding with the dark side to get ahead. So for him to have a real journey later in life, the producers decided he should venture in a different direction.

“You think about Don Corleone,” Favreau says. “There’s a tremendous amount of restraint because he knows that to be sustainable, there has to be [peace]. You don’t do well unless there’s some political balance, because if you keep going to the mattresses, nobody’s earning.”
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The elder Corleone in The Godfather also rejects the drug trade and resists calls to “do murder.” Stability and safety are more important to the boss at that point in his life. “You think about what things are off limits. Don Corleone wasn’t just doing everything to line his pockets as he got later into his career,” Favreau says. “You look at De Niro, in the flashbacks in The Godfather: Part II, as he’s walking down the streets. He’s seen as somebody who’s actually creating, someone the people respect because of the way he conducts himself. There’s lots of different ways to run an empire. There’s the Sonny Corleone way, there’s the Michael Corleone way, and then there’s the Vito Corleone way.”

One is hotheaded, the other is cold-blooded. The last one is even-tempered—even if that moderation endlessly divided longtime Star Wars obsessives.

While Favreau turned to Francis Ford Coppola’s mob saga for inspiration, director Robert Rodriguez, who helmed multiple episodes of The Book of Boba Fett, drew inspiration from the sword and sorcery barbarian tales of Robert E. Howard. “We would talk to Robert about Conan,” Favreau says. “Conan starts off as a young warrior and then ages up through the books until he’s Conan the King. So how is Boba the crime lord going to be different, knowing what he knows, than what he would’ve been when he was a younger man?”

The short answer, according to Favreau: “I think he’s just wise…. He’s also a much older character because now we’re after the original trilogy. He’s at a different point of his life, having experienced what we had seen in all the previous films.”

While this may or may not satisfy viewers who wanted Boba Fett to be more ferocious, it does finally reveal what was in the minds of the storytellers behind The Book of Boba Fett. Until now, they’ve been as tight-lipped as their title character in his early movie appearances.

There’s no shortage of possible kingpin models—James Gandolfini’s mob boss in The Sopranos was a charming sociopath, Al Pacino’s Scarface was a frenetic madman, Javier Bardem’s hitman in No Country for Old Men was an emotionless force of nature. Ultimately, The Book of Boba Fett tried to take the more soulful approach to a man haunted by his past wrongdoing, but unable to exist in any other world.

The legend of Boba Fett may have simply overtaken the reality George Lucas presented onscreen. “Boba Fett is a lot of different things to a lot of different people. I grew up with Boba Fett as a faceless, quiet, mysterious bounty hunter. All we knew was that he was scary enough that Darth Vader saw him as somebody to set out after Han Solo,” Favreau says. “Then by the time you hit the second movie that Boba was in, Return of the Jedi, that was a different version of the character. He got knocked into the Sarlacc pit and passed away. I think people assumed he would’ve lasted longer in that situation.”

But no, he didn’t.

ecades later, Favreau devised a new story in which Fett claws his way out of the Sarlacc’s belly, and that same desperate survivor instinct is what became the core of his ascension in The Book of Boba Fett as a criminal with a code of honor.

Filoni, who got his start at Lucasfilm creating the animated Clone Wars series with Lucas, agrees that fans buy into the myth of Boba Fett rather than accept that he was often more clever than he was combative. “Boba Fett calls Darth Vader to capture Han Solo, he doesn’t capture Han Solo,” Filoni notes of Fett’s big moment in Empire. “He gets on the phone and he says, ‘Come here and get Han Solo, I found him.’”
Star Wars: The Rebellion Will Be Televised

He also disagrees with the popularly held notion that Fett was one of the few characters who could defy Darth Vader. “It’s funny when you say he stands up to Darth Vader. Does he do that? I think he was hired and Vader tells him, ‘No disintegrations,’ and he’s like, ‘…Okay,’” Filoni says. “I love Boba Fett but even when I was a kid, the idea that he fell into the Sarlacc pit actually never disappointed me because I’m like, ‘The story is not about him.’”

With The Book of Boba Fett, the story finally was about him. Even so, the man inside the mask continues to live in his own shadow.

SOURCE: VANITY FAIR

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