It’s 2021, which means we can officially say that The Book of Boba Fett premieres this year. It may be twelve months out, but that doesn’t lessen the excitement about the new Disney+ series slated for December 2021.
In 2021 We are thankful for Fennec Shand and Ming-Na Wen
Sure, there are thousands upon thousands of fans who are excited that Boba Fett is finally getting his moment in the limelight (plus, it’s Temuera Morrison so of course we’re excited) but let’s be real here… we’re excited about Fennec Shand too. Like, really excited.
Ming-Na Wen is a gift to fandoms everywhere. Not only is she a literal Disney Princess, but she was kicking ass on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for seven years before her appearance in the first season of The Mandalorian. Her character, Fennec Shand, instantly captured the hearts of fans, who were rightfully outraged when it appeared that the (incredibly lame) bounty hunter Toro Calican had killed her.
Of course, some fans remained hopeful that someone — namely Boba Fett — was the mysterious figure who scooped up her limp body at the end of “The Gunslinger” in the first season. Little did we know what waited for us in the second season of The Mandalorian.
After Boba Fett’s cameo at the close of the season two premiere, “The Marshal,” no one could have anticipated that he would appear mid-season with Fennec Shand at his side. And what a glorious return it was. Fennec Shand even got to do the legendary Desperado backflip in “The Tragedy” because she’s just that cool.
While Fennec Shand may have said that she was in Boba Fett’s service because he saved her from certain death, Ming-Na Wen made it quite clear in a recent interview with StarWars.com that they’re on even ground. “There’s a dependency and a respect that they have for each other, for sure. It’s more like teamwork. He’s sort of like the front guy, right? The one that everybody sees. But behind the curtain, we’re more equal.” What could be better than two badasses teaming up together?
I’ll be honest, I was not excited about a Boba Fett spin-off series until this plot point was introduced. A bounty hunter and an assassin, who were both left for dead on Tatooine, finding a kind of solace and support with each other? Sign. Me. Up. Star Wars, if you’re listening, this is what we want more of.
All of that aside, Fennec Shand has the potential to become one of the best female characters in the Star Wars galaxy. It seems only fitting that she should be portrayed by Ming-Na Wen. From one episode in the first season of The Mandalorian, to three episodes in the second season, to starring in The Book of Boba Fett, and appearing in the upcoming Bad Batch animated series there are so many opportunities to learn more about this character's backstory and find out who she is.
We know that she’s an accomplished assassin, who can kick some serious ass (hello, can we talk about how talented she is on the scope and close-range?), and she works well alone and with a team.
Not to get too shippy with Boba Fett and Fennec Shand (aka Bonnec, it’s a thing you should get on board with) but I was a big fan of how she handled the occupants of Jabba’s Palace before Boba strolled in to take down Bib Fortuna. Boba Fett may be sitting on the seat of the throne in the final shot, but Fennec is sitting on the arm of the throne, visually higher than Boba, and very much in the same sort of “control” that he is. More. Women. In. Power.
It is a breath of fresh air to see a woman in her fifties kicking ass and taking names on television and even more refreshing to see it in Star Wars. Ming-Na Wen will become not only the first woman to appear in a lead role in Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars properties, but she will also be the first woman of color to appear as a lead in a live-action Star Wars series.
Star Wars doesn’t have a spectacular history with diversity in their female characters (I say this as a brunette white woman who has always been represented in Star Wars) and it is so encouraging to see a new series starring Ming-Na Wen and Temuera Morrison. Ming-Na Wen is also a lifelong fan of Star Wars, which makes her involvement in the franchise that much sweeter. Any time Star Wars fans get to live out their childhood dreams, it’s a win for the entire fandom.
So here's to 2021 and Ming-Na Wen portraying Fennec Shand in The Bad Batch and The Book of Boba Fett. Fennec Shand is a character who will undoubtedly be looked up to by people everywhere, just like Princess Leia is.