Fans were immensely excited when they learned that director Robert Rodriguez would helm an episode of The Mandalorian, as the filmmaker has shown off his impressive directing ambition with films like Sin City, Alita: Battle Angel, and Planet Terror, though it sounds like the only one more excited about the opportunity was Rodriguez himself, as he felt as though he was living his 12-year-old dreams merely by seeing the names in the script. Given that his episode of the series, "Chapter 14: The Tragedy," saw the first live-action exploits of Boba Fett following his seeming demise in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, he isn't the only one who waited decades to see such an adventure brought to life.
"It was my 12-year-old dream," Rodriguez detailed to Collider. "When I was 12 was when [Star Wars: The] Empire Strikes Back came out and I was a huge Boba Fett fan. You know, they would tease him out before the movie came out. You already knew he was going to be a character to watch. The marketing was really great, like, 'This character Boba Fett,' and so when you saw the movie, you couldn't wait to see him. He captured your imagination before the movie even came out; it's all we were talking about at school. I still remember that, how mysterious that character was. You got a little taste of him but you were waiting to see more."
As far as official canon goes, there was no reason to suspect that Fett had survived his encounter with the sarlacc in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, despite a number of Legends stories exploring such a trajectory for the character. In that regard, Rodriguez was seemingly bewildered at the notion of getting to bring such a character to life.
"When I saw the script (on sent me the script) and it said 'Boba Fett' and 'Darksaber' and 'Mando' and 'Fennec,' I was just like, 'This doesn't even feel like a real script. It feels like a fan wrote this in a fever dream hoping that this would be an episode,'" Rodriguez joked. "And yes, this was the script. It had all the good stuff in it. It was like a 'Greatest Hits' of all the good stuff; I couldn't believe it. To go play in Star Wars with all the toys and to get to play with Boba Fett as one of your main [characters] — I just thought, 'I gotta go in there and just have him be... I don't know if he's going to show up in any more episodes or what, so I just gotta make him super badass in this moment [and] be that character that I imagined him being when I heard about him when I was 12. That was my mission, just to go satisfy that 12-year-old fascination with the character."
While the premiere episode of this second season teased at Fett's return, Rodriguez's episode will surely go down as a historic moment for the character, as it marked the first time fans saw the bounty hunter in his armor in live-action since 1983, minus his addition to a deleted scene of Star Wars: A New Hope in 1997.