How Elizabeth Hand Turned Boba Fett Into a Fully Rounded YA Hero

Illustration for article titled How Elizabeth Hand Turned Boba Fett Into a Fully Rounded YA Hero

We’re anxiously awaiting Elizabeth Hand’s next novel, Hard Light. But in the meantime, did you know she was also a prolific author of tie-in novels? In an article for the Washington Post, she explains how she wrote the novelization of Twelve Monkeys, and that opened some doors.


In particular, it led to Hand writing some X-Files and Millennium books, among others, and then she got an even better offer—to continue a series of YA books starring the 10-year-old Boba Fett. Hand writes:

I loved “Star Wars,” and my 10-year-old son was a huge fan. He had a Boba Fett helmet! How could I say no?

Those books were a delight to write. David Levithan, my editor at Scholastic and himself a successful Y.A. writer, introduced me to Lucasfilm’s Jonathan Rinzler. They both offered encouragement and very little in the way of restrictions. With each story, I was given a title and a character or place that had to come into play: Aurra Sing; Jabba the Hutt; Mace Windu; the planet Aargau (which existed in the “Star Wars” universe only as a name, so I got to create an entire planet’s history, ecology and culture).

Otherwise, I pretty much had free rein to create the plot, characters and young Boba’s own sensibility. Boba Fett grows up to be a bounty hunter, the nemesis of Han Solo, but as a mom, I felt I had a responsibility to show him as a resourceful, sensitive, sometimes frightened orphan who overcame his fears and even made a few friends his own age.


The best part is where she describes the fan mail she got, including one kid who had to write a book report about a great American—and it was down to Thomas Jefferson, or Elizabeth Hand. [Washington Post]

Contact the author at and follow her on Twitter @CharlieJane

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I remember these books as the first time (SPOILER I guess) I realized Palpatine was Sidious when he told Fett the Jedi were their common enemy. I was ten and thought that was such an amazing WHOA WAIT WHAT moment. Cemented that series as awesome in my book.

Although, in hindsight, that was the dumbest thing Sidious ever did. You’re going to tell a TWELVE YEAR OLD the greatest secret in the galaxy and hope he just stays quiet?