Boba Fett made his live-action debut in 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back and immediately became a favorite among fans. The faceless bounty hunter didn’t have many lines, but he was the epitome of Star Wars cool, a competent mercenary who would do any job that needs doing, no questions asked.
Fett was quickly killed off in 1983’s Return of the Jedi, but his legend only grew in the years to come. Once Disney bought Lucasfilm, they brought Boba Fett back in The Mandalorian, now portrayed by actor Temuera Morrison, who played Fett’s clone-father in the Star Wars prequel series. And now he’s getting his own series in The Book of Boba Fett, which sees him take over the criminal underworld once managed by Jabba the Hutt.
But there's one person who isn’t happy with the way the character returned: art director and filmmaker Joe Johnston, who worked with concept artist Ralph McQuarrie to design the look and feel of Boba Fett for the original trilogy. Johnston talked to The New York Times about how he would have treated the character differently:
"I never would have shown his face. I would never have had an actor underneath where he takes the helmet off and you see who it is. I think that eliminates a lot of the mystery. Before that helmet comes off, he can be anybody."
Original Boba Fett designer wouldn’t have removed his mask
Johnston’s original idea for Boba Fett was for him to be a sort of anonymous mercenary, “neither a hero nor a villain…You could hire Boba Fett to do whatever job you wanted him to do.” That is pretty far from what he’s becoming, which is a complex character in his own right. With Disney in charge and hoping to squeeze every Disney+ subscription they can out of the Star Wars universe, it was never a question of whether they’d open up Boba Fett, but when.
The first episode of The Book of Boba Fett is now available on Disney+.