The amount of praise the Boba Fett character has received ever since his theatrical film debut in The Empire Strikes Back is matched only by the number of doubters who often ask what he has ever actually done (besides looking cool) to deserve such recognition. It’s certainly fair to admit that there just wasn’t much to the character in the original trilogy, but that was something that, fueled by the fan response to the character, would later be addressed in several prequel projects.
It ended up being through the prequels, where we met a young Boba still with his father Jango by his side, that the character was given enough background to allow audiences to fully grasp his role in the grand scheme of the Star Wars universe. Being the popular character that he was – and still is – he then went on to either being mentioned or even appearing in many other Star Wars properties, from comics to video games, from animated shows to novels, thus expanding his own story. But even if relevant details were added to it throughout, elements that made him play a more active role in the franchise as well as make him a more complex and therefore more interesting character, the bookend that Return of the Jedi represented to his life story would always be looming in the background.
Having him seemingly die in the final chapter of the original trilogy playing a standard (albeit very good) bounty hunter-type isn’t exactly allowing for much character growth throughout the years after having initially introduced him, as a child, in a very similar role. This meant that the character could never really escape his destiny of how he found himself when swallowed whole by a Sarlacc. That is up until The Mandalorian came along.
For the first time (?) Boba Fett’s future wasn’t set in stone. But even then we still saw a man trying to get back to his old ways, collecting his armor, his ship, and rebuilding his persona after being forgotten and left for dead on the sands of Tattoine. But now, having him return to the same planet where he was forgotten to take Jabba’s throne seems like the perfect occasion to finally start to deconstruct the character into what it perhaps was always meant to evolve into.
Being the one in charge will probably not live up to Boba Fett’s expectations. As with many things in life, when the chase is sometimes more gratifying than actually achieving one’s goal, it feels like it’s only a matter of time until Fett becomes disillusioned by the expectations of what a Tattoine crime lord is supposed to do and eventually become. His sense of honor and duty, both of which got a few glimpses of in The Mandalorian, will likely kick in as he moves to distance himself from everybody’s expectations of how he should behave in his newfound role. He already stated that, unlike his predecessor, he doesn’t torture and he does not plan to rule with fear; perhaps it’s also in his future to drop either the ‘crime’ or the ‘lord’ from the title he now holds. Either way, Fett is now free from all narrative shackles and can now break the mold of how everyone expected him to present himself.
Following Chapter 1: Stranger in a Strange Land we now wait for the next six episodes as The Book of Boba Fett hopefully answers its most pressing question: Who is Boba Fett meant to become?