Television

The Casual Star Wars Fan’s Guide to Boba Fett’s Return

Didn’t he die in Return of the Jedi?

Boba Fett and an Imperial stormtrooper.
Boba’s back, baby! Disney+

Remind me what Boba Fett’s deal is, again?

Boba Fett was introduced in, of all places, the extremely goofy Star Wars Holiday Special in 1978. You more likely remember him from The Empire Strikes Back, where he teams up with Darth Vader to capture Han Solo. Boba is a bounty hunter who was hired to track Han down and bring him back to Jabba the Hutt on Tatooine. In Return of the Jedi, Boba Fett is kinda just chilling at Jabba’s Palace and then dies a very silly death while our heroes escape—or so it seemed, anyway. The character appeared briefly in the first episode of Season 2 of The Mandalorian, our first canonical tease that he did in fact survive falling into the pit of the hungry Sarlacc.

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This is an exciting development because, despite playing a relatively minor role, Boba Fett became a fan favorite in the original trilogy due to his cool armor and aura of mystery—like the hero of The Mandalorian, he never removed his helmet in those movies. Now he returns in “Chapter 14: The Tragedy,” having lost his cool armor, and he wants it back, thank you very much.

If he never takes his helmet off, how come this actor on The Mandalorian looks so familiar?

That’s Temuera Morrison, who played Jango Fett, Boba’s “father,” in the prequel movies. Jango Fett, you may recall, was the template for all of the clones in the Republic army, who were also played by Morrison. He asked for one of those clones as a baby to raise as his own son. That’s Boba, who was played as a child by Daniel Logan.

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Boba watched Mace Windu kill his father in Attack of the Clones. His quest for revenge and his journey to becoming a bounty hunter in his own right is portrayed in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

How did Boba Fett survive the Sarlacc pit?

In the Legends books that are no longer officially part of the Star Wars canon, Boba outsmarts the Sarlacc and triggers an explosion using his jetpack, allowing him to escape, though seriously injured. It’s not totally implausible! Let’s not forget, the Sarlacc takes a thousand years to digest somebody. And as The Mandalorian has pointed out again and again, beskar, the material Mandalorian armor is made of, can withstand just about anything. Even in “Chapter 14,” Mando’s entire ship is disintegrated, but a beskar spear that was onboard is completely unharmed.

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If Boba Fett wears Mandalorian armor, does that mean he is Mandalorian?

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This has been a controversy for years, because Jango Fett wore Mandalorian armor, but on The Clone Wars, Mandalore’s prime minister insists that the bounty hunter is not Mandalorian. The Mandalorian has since made a distinction between people who are born Mandalorians (like Bo-Katan) and people who become Mandalorians (“foundlings” like Mando himself), showing the tension between the two groups. Mando accepts that Jango was a foundling like himself and gives the armor to Boba, recognizing that being Mandalorian is a part of his heritage, too.

What are the Mandalorian Civil Wars that Jango Fett supposedly fought in?

The Mandalorians are constantly fighting amongst themselves, forming splinter groups, changing allegiances, it’s a whole thing. The war Jango fought in was presumably the one that took place before even the prequel movies, a conflict that had led most of Mandalore’s warriors to be exiled to a nearby moon by the time of the Clone Wars. That would explain the prime minister’s haste to dismiss Jango as a Mandalorian, as well—Mandalore’s terrorist past threatened its peaceful revival.

How did Mando get Boba Fett’s armor, again?

He took it from Cobb Vanth in exchange for helping his town. Mando objects to Cobb Vanth wearing the armor because Cobb is not a Mandalorian and only Mandalorians are supposed to wear the armor. As portrayed in the Chuck Wendig book Aftermath, Cobb got the armor from some Jawas, who are scavengers. Given what we know about the Sarlacc digestive system, let’s hope they washed it really well.

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