It only takes ten minutes for Boba Fett to meet his demise in Return of the Jedi, but it wasn’t always supposed to be that way. In fact, the popular bounty hunter was originally going to have a complete arc and act as the main villain in Episode VI, but plans were eventually axed once director George Lucas decided not to do an additional trilogy.
According to former Lucasfilm fan relations director Craig Miller, Lucas originally meant for Fett to have a much larger part in the original Star Wars trilogy, with Episode VI acting as his big swan song. Unfortunately, the character’s arc was completely ditched once Lucas decided to focus on the Skywalker family.
Here’s what Miller had to say:
Originally Boba Fett was set up in Empire as a character, and the third movie’s plot was going to be more about Boba Fett, rescuing Han Solo and all of that. Boba was gonna be the main villain… That was set up, why he was taking Han Solo away, why there was a thing with him in the Christmas special.
When George decided not to make a third trilogy, he completely jettisoned that story line, which is why in the first ten minutes, Boba Fett gets bumped into and falls into the mouth of a giant monster. So [Lucas] took what was planned for the third trilogy, which was the confrontation between Luke and Darth Vader, and the battle with the Emperor, and that got squished down from three movies to one movie. And that became the plot of Jedi.
Despite not factoring into the original trilogy very much, Fett remains one of the most popular characters in Star Wars lore, largely because of his badass outfit. No wonder we keep hearing rumors about Disney wanting to make a standalone film about the bounty hunter.