Intergalactic bounty hunter Boba Fett is one of the most iconic characters in all of Star Wars. The no-nonsense Mandalorian is a fan favorite, despite dying in the early moments of Return of the Jedi with hardly a fight.
That, it appears, wasn't always going to be the case. In a new interview with Inverse (via Game Informer), Lucasfilm's fan relations officer during the time of Empire Strikes Back, Craig Miller, reveals that George Lucas originally planned for Boba Fett to be the main villain of the Return of the Jedi. It was for that reason the character was introduced in the now-infamous Star Wars Holiday special and seen toward the end of Empire Strikes Back.
"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," Miller says. "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."
He goes on to say this was because Lucas originally planned for Star Wars to span multiple trilogies. However, when Lucas decided to simply do one trilogy of films (at least for the time being), Boba drew the short straw.
"When George decided not to make a third trilogy, he completely jettisoned that story line, which is why in the first 10 minutes, Boba Fett gets bumped into and falls into the mouth of a giant monster," Miller says. "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."
It certainly helps to explain why one of the coolest characters in all of Star Wars dies with such little fanfare after a whack on the back by a blind and defenseless Han Solo. It's not entirely clear what Miller means by "Boba Fett rescuing Han Solo," considering Boba is the one who takes Han to Jabba in the first place, but it's still interesting to think about a film where the notorious bounty hunter would be allowed to carry the movie. Perhaps we'll get to see a Boba Fett-focused film in one of the new Star Wars spin-offs, but until then, fans can dream about the Return of the Jedi that never was.