Reports of Boba Fett’s death have been greatly exaggerated. I mean that literally—the character, supposedly killed off in Return of the Jedi all those years ago, reappeared very much alive years later in The Mandalorian—but also in that claims that the new Disney+ series ruins the character are overblown. Boba Fett, introduced in The Star Wars Holiday Special in 1978, has always been cooler in fan imagination than he ever was onscreen, and any remaining mystique about him was already quashed in the prequel trilogy. If you want a show about an enigmatic bounty hunter who never takes off his helmet, well, the first season of The Mandalorian is right there.
Still, The Book of Boba Fett is missing a lot of what made The Mandalorian fun. Each episode is padded with flashbacks documenting Boba’s journey from the belly of the Sarlacc to the head of a criminal enterprise (formerly belonging to Jabba the Hutt) who we already know he becomes. In the present day, the Big Bads are a bit of a snooze, a coterie of mostly interchangeable gangster types and a corrupt mayor with minimal screen time. And unlike on The Mandalorian, there is no Baby Yoda to distract from the series’ weaknesses by sipping soup or wandering into trouble or having the sweetest widdle gween face yes he does yes he does!
Ahem, so: The Book of Boba Fett needs a villain, and it needs a baby. Fortunately, there is a character who already exists in Star Wars canon that can fill both roles—a character with strong ties to Tatooine and its criminal underbelly. A character who has been a part of Star Wars for more than a decade and yet is unknown to most.
And he looks like this:
Meet Rotta the Huttlet. Like Boba Fett, he was introduced in a critically reviled, little-seen Star Wars movie—in this case, the Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie in 2008, where he was kidnapped in a plot to trick the Hutts into choosing a side in the galactic civil war. That’s where he earned the nicknames Stinky (because he smells) and Punky Muffin (because he’s a baby, and people say ridiculous stuff to and about babies). He was safely returned to his father by the Jedi, and that’s where things get interesting, because his father was none other than Jabba the Hutt.
That means that—no matter what those twin Hutts who showed up on The Book of Boba Fett say—Rotta is the rightful heir to Jabba’s criminal empire, the one Boba Fett has taken over. Like Yoda’s species, Hutts age very slowly, so it’s perfectly reasonable to assume that at the time of The Book of Boba Fett, Rotta is still a baby. He has not been seen in Star Wars canon since the Clone Wars movie, surely because the powers that be are saving his return for the perfect moment. And what could be more perfect than Rotta, now a pungent, squirming orphan, confronting the man sitting on his throne so he can reclaim his birthright?
The Book of Boba Fett has made its titular character into a big softie, and I get it: Disney+ prides itself on being family-friendly to the extreme, and a protagonist who cuddles rancors, dresses down greedy merchants, and defends indigenous rights is more palatable as a hero than the guy from the movies who froze Han Solo in carbonite. But come on! Whereas The Mandalorian used Baby Yoda to humanize its hero, I want The Book of Boba Fett to use Rotta to give Boba back some of his edge. Specifically, I want him to dropkick that little slug all the way to Nal Hutta. Sorry, Stinky.