It’s time to move away from the Jedi — the ‘Star Wars’ universe is bigger than the force

Courtesy of Disney Platform Distribution

“Star Wars” fans are ecstatic that Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) will be getting his own spinoff on Disney+, “The Book of Boba Fett,” after having appeared on a few episodes of “The Mandalorian.” Temuera Morrison, the face of the clone army, will probably be appearing all over the “Star Wars” universe with the release of several other “Star Wars” Disney+ TV shows, including “Ahsoka,” “Obi-Wan Kenobi” and “Rangers of the New Republic.” These new programs will explore multiple eras of the “Star Wars” galaxy. Boba is the perfect character for a spinoff because as an antihero, he has the potential to be complex, unpredictable and compelling all at the same time. 

Bounty hunters in the “Star Wars” universe are not bound by codes of morality like the Jedi. Characters like Aurra Sing and Cad Bane are more attuned to Samuel Jackson’s characters in “Pulp Fiction” and “The Hateful Eight.” A Boba Fett TV series is the closest thing we will ever get to a “Star Wars” spaghetti Western directed by Quentin Tarantino. Boba Fett breaks our traditional understanding of what a science fiction protagonist is supposed to be. The Jedi are boring. They always do the right thing, unless they’re name is Anakin Skywalker. While the Jedi occasionally travel through the underworld, they don’t exist in a seedy underworld where scum and villainy abode. Their world is clean, prestigious and filled with Trade Federation Senate negotiations. It’s boring. The “Star Wars” universe is so much bigger than the Jedi. Let’s get away from lightsabers and explore the criminal underworld of this ever-expanding universe. 

Antiheroes’ storylines are less predictable, and Boba’s character as a protagonist is unpredictable. He has the ability to do the right thing, which is not outside his character arc. But Boba is also written in such a way that he could very well do the wrong thing, and that too would feel deserved. When Tobey Maguire played black suit Spider-Man in “Spider-Man 3,” fans revolted at the sight of Spider-Man trying to kill his best friend and watching civilians get mugged and doing nothing but shrugging his shoulders and chuckling to himself. It’s hard to break character molds once you’ve established a character as the ultimate do-gooder. When you make your protagonists these one dimensional sticks who can do no wrong, it’s not only unnatural and unrealistic, it’s boring.

Antiheroes are more compelling as they remind us more of ourselves because they are internally flawed. When a good guy like Superman does the right thing, we feel like we’ve been given a generic ending, or we feel satisfied that the film ended in the predictable superhero fashion. If a bad guy does the right thing, like in “Baby Driver” or “Guardians of the Galaxy,” we feel emotionally jarred. We see ourselves in these flawed antiheroes. Our hearts break when they do the right thing. It makes us see the human side of ourselves, the part of us that’s flawed but has the potential for good. It makes us feel like maybe we’re not passed that point of redemption in our own lives. Traditional heroes can’t make us feel like this because they always do the right thing. Our protagonist doing the right thing is only emotionally impactful if we are used to seeing them do the wrong thing. That hits home. That hits the heart.

“The Book of Boba Fett,” set to premiere in December 2021, has the potential to expand this universe. Most protagonists in the “Star Wars” universe aside from Lando, Han and Anakin follow a strict moral code. Boba Fett also doesn’t have a lightsaber, which is a new trait in the “Star Wars” universe. Bringing in Ahsoka to Mando’s lightsaber-less series was a bad move, for just as the “Star Wars” universe was starting to move away from the Jedi, it took a full swing back into its traditional tropes. Boba Fett, a lightsaber-less and morally questionable bounty hunter, has the potential to eternally change the face of Star Wars forever. Hopefully, a successful Boba Fett TV series will show future “Star Wars” writers that the “Star Wars” universe is so much bigger than a glowing sword. 

 

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