After decades of waiting the story of the galaxy’s most feared bounty hunter, Boba Fett, has arrived on Disney+ in the new series The Book of Boba Fett. The character has been a long time fan favorite, even though he only had under seven minutes of screen time in the original Star Wars trilogy. Today another chapter dropped for fans to devour.
The series, created by Jon Favreau, takes place after the events of Return of the Jedi where fans finally learn how Boba Fett saved himself the Sarlacc Pit where he was thought to have met his doom, being digested for a thousand years. In the series we learn that was not his fate. He is now crime lord on Tatooine filling the seat Jabba the Hutt once held, as established at the tail end of The Mandalorian season 2.
Playing Boba Fett is Temuera Morrison who is partnered with another tough character Fennec Shand (played by now Disney mainstay Ming-Na Wen). The pair were part of the Winter TCA Press Conferences where they discussed The Book of Boba Fett. Their chemistry on series is crucial and it spilled over into event where Morrison established their roles in the series – this definitely is not a one man show.
“You’re the brains. I’m the brawn,” explained Morrison. “She’s got to speak for me because I’m the silent, quiet kind. So Ming-Na’s there to do all my talking and be diplomatic. It’s a wonderful relationship.”
The dynamic between the two is quite fascinating to watch. Fennec is indebted to Fett after he saved their life, but the pair appear to have different approaches to diplomacy. Their partnership is a crucial element of the series, which is at its core a classic crime story.
“Boba Fett’s gone through an incredible life experience living with the Tuskens and learning their ways and being part of a real family. And she (Fennec) is someone who is used to just being a loner and getting things done and not questioning her choices,” said Wen.”There are some stumbling blocks while they’re trying to learn diplomacy. And Boba and Fennec respect each other very much. So there’s a lot of give and take. And he kind of reins her in sort of like on set in real life.”
Morrison’s first involvement in the Star Wars universe came as bounty hunter Jango Fett in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones. He is essentially the title character since his DNA was the basis of clone army. Boba Fett was one of those clones but had a special honor of being raised as Jenga Fett’s son. Being able to bring the beloved character to the screen was something Morrison had not anticipated. Luckily for him, in the era of Disney+, characters are now given the medium to tell fuller and more rewarding stories. These series come complete with top of the line effects, writing, casts and directors like Robert Rodriguez who helms several episodes.
“I never in my wildest dreams thought about playing Boba Fett or anything like that. It wasn’t until I started hearing about The Mandalorian, I was going, ‘Oh, gee, that sounds interesting.’ The Mandalorian kind of brings you into the bounty hunter world – it was just amazing,” said a grateful Morrison. “Twenty years later, and I must thank George, for making me Jango Fett. And since Boba is the clone, the clone son of Jango, somebody at a meeting must have said, ‘Well, he’s gotta look like Jango.’ It was just great news all around, really. It was just such a buzz to get the word to say, hey, we’re gonna make a show, and you’re gonna be working with Ming-Na. We were actually pinching ourselves.”
Ming-Na Wen is no stranger to the Disney or the Star Wars universe. Strong female characters fill her filmography. Starting back with Mulan in 2004 and continuing in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Mandalorian and now The Book of Boba Fett, she has paved the way for women on the big and small screen.
“I like representing the older, strong females. I don’t know. I’m very fortunate. I do have a certain set of skills, whether it’s with martial arts or whether it’s with kickboxing, or learning stunt fighting, which is another incredible art form. But this aspect is vital in just representing,” explained Wen. “It used to be when women were 40, they’d get put out to pasture. And I’m far beyond that now, and it’s great that I can still continue to do this. I feel very privileged and honored. And I’m living out my dream of being in a Star Wars project, so you know I’m gonna kick butt for as long as I can.”
When it comes to Star Wars universe knowledge the duo were surprisingly at opposite ends of the spectrum.
“Well, I’m not one of those guys that knew too much about it like Ming-Na who was the president of the fan club,” said Morrison. “And so she (Wen) knew a lot more of the intimate details and the history of the saga. I’m not one of those kind, so I rely a lot on people around me.” He leaned on Favreau and Executive Producer Dave Filoni who has a long history with Star Wars – even making up some of his character during his long stays in the makeup chair.
For Wen, the journey runs much deeper. “Let’s put it that way. The force was with me because I was so connected and moved and responded so vividly and strongly to the character of Luke Skywalker trying to figure out his life, and his dreams, and what his potentials were,” she explained. “For a little Chinese girl growing up and wanting to be an actor back in those days in America… the culmination of this show, being on The Mandalorian, and being here with Tem on The Book of Boba Fett, it’s truly the American dream.”
The Book of Boba Fett is now streaming exclusively on Disney+ with new episodes dropping each Wednesday.