In a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter, Kevin Smith tells a poignant story of his Star Wars playmate, the other young boy who’d let Smith play with his tie-in figures, and dream up wild new adventures for the saga’s characters. Most of their play, it seems, involved dreaming up new, time-travelling adventures for the bounty hunter Boba Fett.
But Smith’s friend Pete King was killed in an accident shortly after Clerks transformed Smith’s life, but this old friend was very much on his mind when Smith heard about the Lucasfilm-Disney deal.
Here are some excerpts from his story:
Not a summer goes by when I don’t think about Pete or our ongoing saga of Boba Fett lost in time. So when I heard about Disney’s $4 billion Lucasfilm acquisition, naturally I had a brief, one-sided conversation with my former best friend.
“We might finally get to see that Fett flick we always dreamed about, Pete,” I said aloud at my desk after I read the news.
It was about inexplicable fan-fave Boba Fett – the intergalactic bounty hunter who brings a carbonite-frozen Han Solo to Jabba the Hutt. The plot of our backyard adventure: Boba Fett gets trapped by robotic gunslinger IG-88 in a Star Wars universe time loop, sending him through all the movies as well as moments only referenced in the flicks.
In some eras, he’s a hero – even getting to kiss Princess Leia instead of Luke (this was before Return of the Jedi made ‘em relatives). Other times when the chrono-belt pulled him into another era, Fett’s the villain he’s always known as in the flicks.
The time-travel plot allowed us to touch on the well-told stories of the movies we so adored, but it also gave us a chance to mash ‘em up with the funkier flights-of-fancy Pete and I would manufacture. It was like an episode of Quantum Leap before that show ever existed, and it was our favorite Star Wars adventure.
Smith’s final advice to Disney is to make a Boba Fett picture. He’s not the only one to have this idea, of course. Captain America and Rocketeer director Joe Johnston admitted a couple of years back that he was trying to convince George Lucas to make a Boba Fett film. And then there’s the thousands of other Petes, and Kevins, who took a shine to Fett and wanted to see him out there, in the spotlight, and most likely acted out their own stories with action figures – and I guarantee that some of you reading this now will be amongst them.
I have a pretty good feeling that all of these folk will get their wish one. We’ve got Episodes 7, 8 and 9 first, most likely, but the new Lucasfilm will be looking for plenty more avenues to pursue, at least by then, and it’s really no secret how beloved that bastard Boba is.