All Treats, No Tricks
Patsy’s Guide to Fixing Star Wars
I know how to fix the Star Wars problem. It’s so simple. It should please both new fans and those who were called nerds in school because they spent so much time learning about the expanded universe (now referred to as “Legends”), even if some of those stories are slowly being made canonical. With so much content that combines new characters with Legends characters (like The Mandalorian and Boba Fett), and so much to keep track of, I think I’ve got the answer.
The coolest-looking characters have always been the bounty hunters. From the aforementioned Boba Fett to Zuckuss, IG-88, Bossk, Dengar, and 4-LOM in the original trilogy. It got me thinking, because there was an expanded universe story about the bounty hunters, led of course by fan-favorite Boba Fett. Why can’t we see something new? I mean, there was even a Playstation 2 game about the Bounty Hunters, so there is some appeal. The Mandalorian proved that a new, interesting character could really revitalize dwindling interest. That’s where we find our new story and the character around whom we build our tale.
Gekko. We see him briefly amongst the denizens of the cantina in the three opening episodes of the first season of The Mandalorian, most prominently featured standing at the left hand of Greef Carga in the third episode during the standoff with our eponymous hero over The Child. Gekko, played by veteran actor Dominic Pace, stands at nearly seven feet tall, with massive forearm guards that house all kinds of fun surprises for his unwary quarry, and a unique weapon was a standout character because of something rarely seen in Star Wars these days – he has a distinct look, like no other character we’ve seen before.
Pace is also the only one for this role, and he’s proven this. From his most recent turn as Damian Gries in Lifetime’s “Secrets of a Celebrity Nanny” to his role as Romero Scaranelli in “Anonymous Killers” which truly puts his emotional range on full display. His rage, his ferocity, and his intensity and determination that show through in his characters are all hallmarks of what’s needed for a good bounty hunter character. But there’s more to him and his characters than anger and ferocity. There’s an emotional drive behind his actions, a rationale for what he did, and a belief that drove him to desperate acts, and Dominic is able to connect to these characters to bring them to life in a way that no other actor could. The fact that Dominic is not yet a household name borders on the criminal. He also has a humorous side, as seen with his character Dom from “Superstore” and everyone knows that humor is a prerequisite for any Disney character, no matter their role in their respective narrative.
I think that having a story that doesn’t revolve around lightsabers or well-known characters could be an incredibly good move by the creatives at Disney. Give an unknown character a series, and show the grimy underworld of the Star Wars universe. Let’s see more of the crime bosses outside of the Hutts, let’s see some stories that maybe don’t have a happy ending. Let’s follow a villain for once, there’s nothing wrong with that. I’d love to see a story about a bounty hunter with no redeeming qualities. Force people to root for a bad guy by putting him up against an even greater evil, but don’t have him do what he’s doing to help a child, or save a village. Have him go up against a bigger bad simply because it’s something that’s causing him problems. Have him fight alongside rebels not for some altruistic ideal, but because it serves him personally to do so.
Honestly, I think if given the right story, Gekko could follow in the footsteps of Hannibal Lecter in “Silence of the Lambs”. In that story, we’re somehow rooting for Lecter, despite everything he is and everything he’s done because he helps Clarice catch a killer that he created as a contingency plan (but that’s a theory for another day).
I’m all for Gekko being a villain and utilizing the myriad skills Dominic Pace has at his disposal. Through Pace, Gekko can bring a stoicism born from the confidence that he has from knowing who he is as a bounty hunter, and when necessary, that stoicism can transition into a white-hot rage rivaled only by the violent eruption of a once-dormant volcano. I think it would be a reflection of the rage shown by Anakin Skywalker during his fall to the Dark Side, and having a non-Force user being able to harness both stoicism and rage to fuel himself is the perfect rhyming couplet to Anakin. As George Lucas says, “It’s like poetry; it rhymes.”
That’s what Star Wars needs right now, new poets, and new poetry. Dominic Pace and Gekko can, and should, create the next sonnet.
Dave Filoni, Jon Favreau, and anyone else at Lucasfilm who might see this – give me a call, I’m available to chat about this.