Tuesday, February 02, 2021

Thinking of Boba

Disney's announced so many new Star Wars and Marvel shows for Disney+, it seems like I hear about a new one every week. So far, though, I'm more eager to see The Book of Boba Fett than any of the others. It's almost entirely due to the presence of Robert Rodriguez as co-showrunner though I think I'm also interested in Boba's continued story, especially since I've been watching his story arc on Clone Wars lately. Although the mystery surrounding him was one of the coolest things about Boba Fett when he was first introduced in the original trilogy and animated short, I like the story George Lucas wove around him in Attack of the Clones and Clone Wars--Though the ordinary man just trying to make his way in the galaxy retains some mystery for how, in fact, extraordinary his life is.

In any case, I doubt anyone would argue the Robert Rodrguez episode was the best episode of The Mandalorian. And yet, Rodriguez was a last minute replacement, which might seem astonishing to many people. Aside from Jon Favreau and Taika Waititi, he's the only director who worked on the series who'd established a name for himself as a director prior to working on the series, and his credentials for action filmmaking far exceed Favreau's and Waititi's. El Mariachi and Desperado are classics while From Dusk Til Dawn, Sin City, Machete, and Planet Terror all have strong followings. Rodriguez should have been the elusive luxury, not the last minute replacement. Few directors alive are more perfectly suited to take the reins of Star Wars. Why doesn't Disney act like it?

There are a lot of reasons. There's reason to play your cards close to your chest when you're negotiating as we saw when it looked like Sony was going to take Spider-Man away from the MCU. So Disney might not want to look desperate and be forced into giving Rodriguez a bigger paycheck. But there are more issues than that. There are the political issues--and I don't mean Rodriguez being a potential target of his MeToo icon ex-girlfriend, Rose McGowan. I mean the politics that forced Disney to hire so many untalented directors in the first place, like Bryce Dallas Howard, who seems to be payback for her father coming in to take over directing Solo. The relationship there is obvious, but how many relationships do you suppose aren't obvious? How many people are hired as a result of negotiations for seemingly completely unrelated matters?

Some people would be inclined to cast everything in the light of Disney pandering to SJWs or conservatives, and I do think there is a little of that happening, on both sides, but less than the politically rabid may think. Some creative choices will be forced based on a conception of an overall Disney vision unique to the company. Some choice are about guessing and second guessing just what people want. Really, it's a miracle any lucrative material ever gets matched up with the optimal artist.

I hope Robert Rodriguez directs most if not all of the episodes.

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