Boba Fett has long been a favored character among Star Wars fans, and while the bounty hunter ostensibly met his end in the earliest scenes of Return of the Jedi, it turns out that scene wasn’t George Lucas’ original intention. Now, one of Lucasfilm’s earliest employees, who was there while the iconic space opera was being produced, has revealed that the director initially planned for Boba Fett to take on a much larger role at the end of the original Star Wars trilogy.
Craig Miller served as an unofficial adviser of sorts to Lucas, eventually becoming the company’s first fan relations officer. His duties included drumming up enthusiasm for Star Wars among sci-fi fans prior to the release of A New Hope, traveling to the biggest conventions in the country in the summer of 1976. Miller was also charged with driving interest in The Empire Strikes Back, working with Starlog magazine to disseminate fake rumors in order to pique the interest of rabid Star Wars fans.
— Geek Outpost News (@GeekOutpost) May 5, 2016
Speaking to Inverse, Miller noted that he did release some accurate information as well, including one of the earliest descriptions of the soon-to-be iconic bounty hunter. According to Miller, Boba Fett’s prominent place in Empire Strikes Back has much to do with the fact that the character was originally supposed to be a much larger threat in the trilogy’s final act, instead of just ending up as lunch for the Sarlacc.
“Originally Boba Fett was set up in Empire as a character, and the third movie’s plot was going to be more about Boba Fett rescuing Han Solo and all of that. Boba was gonna be the main villain… That was set up, why he was taking Han Solo away, why there was a thing with him in the Christmas special.”
— MovieWeb (@movieweb) May 5, 2016
While fans might initially be taken aback by the revelation that Boba Fett was supposed to be the main villain of Return of the Jedi (which was originally titled Revenge of the Jedi, until late into the production schedule), they will likely be even more surprised to learn that the climactic battle between Luke Skywalker and the Emperor wasn’t scheduled to appear in that movie. Instead, Miller claims that the epic confrontation between the last remaining Jedi and the Sith was set to take place in a sequel trilogy that Lucas planned, but never followed through on filming.
“When George decided not to make a third trilogy, he completely jettisoned that story line, which is why in the first ten minutes, Boba Fett gets bumped into and falls into the mouth of a giant monster. So he took what was planned for the third trilogy, which was the confrontation between Luke and Darth Vader, and the battle with the Emperor, and that got squished down from three movies to one movie. And that became the plot of Jedi.”
— Comic Book Resources (@CBR) May 5, 2016
Lucas originally planned to release a series of 12 Star Wars films, according to the Independent, before paring that offering down to nine. With the benefit of nearly four decades of history separating the release of the original films and The Force Awakens, the core Star Wars saga is now set to reach nine films, albeit in a very different way than Lucas originally imagined. With a Boba Fett solo film to be part of the Star Wars Stories anthology, the series’ favored bounty hunter will be resurrected as well, returning to the screen 30 years after he disappeared in the deserts of Tatooine.
[Photo by Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images]