What a difference five years makes. When Return Of The Jedi saw renowned slug-gangster Jabba The Hutt go down in flames on his exploding sail barge, it marked a heroic moment for Luke Skywalker and friends – and a changing of the guards in the criminal underworld of the Star Wars galaxy, blowing a much-feared figurehead to smithereens, and setting the stage for all kinds of scum and villainy to take his place. As we saw in the post-credits sting of The Mandalorian Season 2, none other than Bib Fortuna had ascended to that throne – before being swiftly dispatched by Boba Fett, with the help of Fennec Shand. Now, in The Book Of Boba Fett, a new era of galactic crime is about to begin.
Picking up where that teaser left off, the series – from The Mandalorian creators Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, and director Robert Rodriguez – will depict the bounty hunter’s foray into crime-boss territory. “There is a power vacuum,” explains Favreau, “because Jabba is gone. Jabba was clearly a very strong and imposing leader, who people were very scared of, and who seemed to rule with an iron fist. You pull somebody like that out of the ecosystem of Tatooine – and Hutt Space in general – and you have the opportunity that’s ripe in the gangster genre.”
Since the dearly departed Fortuna was no Jabba, Boba Fett isn’t exactly inheriting the tightest ship (or, sail barge) – and will have his work cut out trying to carve out some kind of honour among thieves. “Although Boba Fett is a very experienced bounty hunter, he’s not experienced at running a criminal syndicate or managing forces,” Favreau says. “He’s not normally a newcomer. He’s an expert as we see him in most areas. But in this case, he’s trying to transition to another position.” And since the trailer depicts Fett crunching skulls (shortly after declaring his intention to “rule with respect”), we can expect his actions to do a lot of the talking.
“We’ll see a lot more of his true character in this season,” promises Rodriguez, seen swinging some heavy weaponry above in a behind-the-scenes snap. “And you’ll definitely see him have to turn ‘barbarian mode’.” Boba is well and truly back.
Read Empire’s full The Book Of Boba Fett feature – speaking to Favreau, Rodriguez, Dave Filoni, Kathleen Kennedy, Temuera Morrison and Ming-Na Wen, with world-exclusive new pics – in the new issue, on sale Thursday 25 November, and available to pre-order online here. The series begins streaming on Disney+ from 29 December.