The first chapter in The Book of Boba Fett takes a page out of the book of George Lucas with an unused idea from Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi. After a sail barge skirmish with Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and a half-blind Han Solo (Harrison Ford) in Return of the Jedi, director Richard Marquand's 1983 finale to Lucas' original trilogy sends the hired gun Boba Fett (Jeremy Bulloch) unceremoniously into the jaws of death. For decades, the story of the bounty hunter's escape from the Sarlacc pit was one of Legends, lost to the times of sand (and Tatooine) in the decanonized expanded universe of Star Wars.
In The Book of Boba Fett, a flashback to 4 ABY (After the Battle of Yavin) tells the untold story of Fett's (Temuera Morrison) escape from the belly of the beast during the events of Jedi. Director Robert Rodriguez and writer Jon Favreau canonize an idea Lucas considered for Return of the Jedi in "Chapter 1: Stranger in a Strange Land," where the armored bounty hunter climbs out of the Sarlacc pit in the Dune Sea of Tatooine.
On the 2004 DVD release of the Special Edition version of Return of the Jedi, Lucas says he considered retconning Fett's apparent death with a shot that would ultimately surface years later in The Book of Boba Fett.
"In the case of Boba Fett's death, had I known he was gonna turn into such a popular character, I probably would've made it a little bit more exciting. Boba Fett was just another one of the minions, another one of the bounty hunters and bad guys," Lucas says of the fan-favorite, who appeared in an animated sequence in the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special ahead of 1980's Empire Strikes Back. "He became such a favorite of everybody's that, for having such a small part, he had a very large presence. And now that his history has been told in the first trilogy [Lucas' Star Wars prequels], it makes it even more of a misstep that we wouldn't make more out of the event of his defeat because most people don't believe he died anyway."
"I'd contemplated putting in that extra shot in [Return of the Jedi] where he climbs out of the hole," Lucas says on the 2004 commentary, "but I figured that it doesn't quite fit, in the end."
After an issue of the now-Legends series Dark Empire comic book confirmed Fett survived the Sarlacc, the anthology Tales from Jabba's Palace recounts Fett's escape in the short story "A Barve Like That: The Tale of Boba Fett." That decanonized story sees Fett making telepathic contact with an earlier Sarlacc victim before using his armor's weapons, including his jetpack and grenades, to blast his way to freedom.
New episodes of The Book of Boba Fett premiere Wednesdays on Disney+.
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