Director Robert Rodriguez is one of several enamored by the original Star Wars trilogy growing up. The franchise in part helped him in part on his way to filmmaking. While promoting his latest Netflix film We Can Be Heroes, Rodriguez spoke to Collider about his experience in his first foray into the franchise in The Mandalorian episode "The Tragedy", which featured the return of fan-favorite Boba Fett, played by Temuera Morrison, who was originally his father Jango in the Star Wars prequels.
Living Star Wars Dream via The Mandalorian
"It was my 12-year-old dream," Rodriguez said. "When I was 12 was when Empire Strikes Back came out and I was a huge Boba Fett fan. You know, they would tease him out before the movie came out. You already knew he was going to be a character to watch. The marketing was really great, like, 'This character Boba Fett,' and so when you saw the movie, you couldn't wait to see him. He captured your imagination before the movie even came out; it's all we were talking about at school. I still remember that- how mysterious that character was. You got a little taste of him but you were waiting to see more."
The opportunity arrived when his friend Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau showed him the script for "The Tragedy". "When I saw the script (on sent me the script) and it said 'Boba Fett' and 'Darksaber' and 'Mando' and 'Fennec,' (Ming-Na Wen)I was just like, 'This doesn't even feel like a real script. It feels like a fan wrote this in a fever dream hoping that this would be an episode.'" Rodriguez explained. "And yes, this was the script. It had all the good stuff in it. It was like a 'Greatest Hits' of all the good stuff; I couldn't believe it. To go play in Star Wars with all the toys and to get to play with Boba Fett as one of your main [characters] — I just thought, 'I gotta go in there and just have him be… I don't know if he's going to show up in any more episodes or what, so I just gotta make him super badass in this moment [and] be that character that I imagined him being when I heard about him when I was 12. That was my mission, just to go satisfy that 12-year-old fascination with the character."
When it came to leaving anything out, Rodriguez admitted he actually had to add to the episode. "The script was really short," he said. "The script was much shorter than the episode. The script was, like, 19 pages so that suggests 19 minutes. I added a lot of action to this [episode]. I even asked Jon [favreau], I said, 'Is it okay that my script is only 19 pages? Because I cut really fast and it's probably going to end up being 16 minutes. Do we need to add more pages?' and he goes, 'No, that's what you're here for! You need to fill that out.' I said, 'Oh, okay, I'll try and make that battle longer.' So that's where that extra battle came from. I know my tendency is to cut things pretty tight. If I have a 100-page script, it's a 90-minute movie. So I had a 19-page script [and] I thought, 'Whoa! I'm gonna run out of things to do, so I added a lot of action."