Boba Fett started out as a pretty minor character in the Star Wars™ universe. He was one of six bounty hunters commissioned to hunt down the heroes in The Empire Strikes Back. He didn’t say much – he was mainly there to look cool. The next film showed off his skills and gadgets, though he didn’t speak at all this time.
But somehow, Fett has become one of the most recognizable figures in pop culture. His story was greatly expanded in movies, games, and comics due to fan interest.
Part of the reason for his popularity is his design. He looks edgy and lethal, and he’s got the combat abilities to back it up. Equipped with a jetpack, a flamethrower, a laser, a whip cord launcher, and various other gadgets, he was one of the most dangerous things in the galaxy – even without the benefit of Force abilities.
Fett’s design and abilities led Star Wars writers to create a comprehensive backstory for the character. This also led to the creation of the Mandalorian society to explain where his armor originated. Recently, his mysterious, lone ranger persona and a desire to further explore the path of bounty hunters in the galaxy led to the creation of The Mandalorian™ web series on Disney+.
What is his story? Where did he come from, and how did he become such a force to be reckoned with? Let’s explore his history (taking into account the canon only).
ATTACK OF THE CLONES
A few years before the rise of the Galactic Empire, the scientists on Kamino bred an army of clones for the Republic. These would later be used in a carefully orchestrated coup by the Sith, becoming the precursors to Imperial Stormtroopers.
All the clones were made from the genes of a bounty hunter called Jango Fett. He was a skilled, ruthless mercenary who wore the armor of a Mandalorian warrior. Fett requested that one clone be reserved for his own purposes. That clone was Boba, an unaltered clone that Jango raised as a son. Boba idolized his father, wanting to follow in his footsteps and become a warrior. He looked forward to continuing his training, but that aspiration was cut short by the Jedi.
During the Battle of Geonosis, Mace Windu decapitated Jango Fett. Boba witnessed his father’s death, and his rage boiled ever hotter for the rest of his life. He became a hater of Jedi, a hater of the Republic, and a hater of most things righteous and noble. His soul was calloused, and it eventually turned him into one of the most feared warriors in the galaxy.
THE CLONE WARS
The orphaned Boba joined a group of bounty hunters led by Aurra Sing. Though he was part of the team, he was looked down upon by his partners as a bratty child. This, of course, made him even angrier.
Boba and company hatched a number of dastardly plots, traversing numerous systems with Jango’s ship, the Slave I. Boba infiltrated a group of young clones on a Republic ship, with the ultimate aim of killing Mace Windu. Boba looked just like the other clones, so it was relatively easy at first. Being trained by Jango, he was more tactically accurate than any of his clone brethren. In spite of their genetic enhancements, he easily outclassed them in training sessions.
Boba had planted a bomb in Windu’s quarters, but it killed a Clone Trooper instead. This put the ship on alert, and Boba was trapped in an escape pod with some clone cadets. Eventually, he was reunited with Sing’s gang, though he did seem to consider joining the clones instead. He had also expressed an aversion for killing anyone other than Windu.
Boba and the hunters arrived at Vanqor, the planet where the Republic cruiser had crashed. Boba set up a trap for Windu using his father’s Mandalorian helmet, but it failed to kill the Jedi, instead trapping him and Anakin Skywalker under a pile of rubble.
The Jedi were eventually rescued, but the bounty hunters had taken Admiral Kilian and two clones hostage. Once again showing his potential for morality, Boba refused to kill a clone commander, saying he only wanted to kill Windu. He also took pity on the hostages, deriding their treatment by his friends.
From the beginning of the mission, Boba had felt a connection with the clones. After all, they were brothers genetically, and it’s easy to imagine Boba thinking of his father whenever he looked at them.
The hunters arrived on Florrum, seeking help from pirates. Boba soon began to see the truth about his criminal friends. One of them, Castas, had attempted betrayal, and was executed by Sing. Soon, the Jedi intervened. Ahsoka Tano and Plo Koon charged to the rescue. Boba was eventually captured, and Sing simply abandoned him.
Boba Fett and another hunter, Bossk, were taken to prison. Mace Windu met with the child, who said he was sorry for the destruction he had taken part in. Even so, Boba still clung to his hatred – he would not forgive the Jedi Master.
In prison, Boba made the acquaintance of many disreputable people, including bounty hunter Cad Bane. Also in jail was an undercover Obi-Wan Kenobi, disguised as a criminal named Hardeen. Kenobi briefly fought with Boba, and then a riot opened up an avenue for escape. Now free, Boba went on to form a bounty hunter group called Krayt’s Claw. One of his recruits was his old friend Bossk, who had worked with him under Sing and then orchestrated the riot that led to their escape from prison.
Joined by former Sith apprentice Asajj Ventress, they took a job on Quarzite protecting a valuable chest on a tram underground. The chest ended up holding a young girl taken against her wishes to become a wife for the Quarzite ruler. Boba’s morality had essentially degraded to nothing by this point in his life, and he was adamant about finishing the mission. Ventress, surprisingly, acted as the voice of decency, tying Boba up and placing him in the chest instead.
CANON COMICS/A NEW HOPE
Boba Fett grew up and became feared in all corners of the galaxy. If Fett was on your tail, it would only be a matter of time before you were taken. He eventually rebuilt his father’s Mandalorian armor, adding several enhancements and also took possession of Slave I.
Many mistook the bounty hunter for a true Mandalorian. Though he didn’t follow the creed, he was certainly skilled, and he handled the weapons and jetpack just as well as any follower of “The Way” could have. He often worked alone, but at least once cooperated with his longtime partner, Bossk.
Boba Fett became a legend in his own right. He was hired by multiple villains, including Darth Vader. The Sith Lord wanted Boba to capture a pilot from the Rebel Alliance, but his identity was unknown. The bounty hunter initially searched Tatooine, leaving dozens of dead bodies in his wake as he investigated the target’s whereabouts. Boba eventually learned the target’s name – Luke Skywalker.
Boba confronted Luke at Ben Kenobi’s abode. The young Jedi defeated him with a little help from a trap set by Kenobi. The bounty hunter then returned to Lord Vader, revealing the boy’s name.
Now, Vader knew that the target was his own son, long-presumed to have died at birth.
THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
A few jobs later, Boba Fett was enlisted, among other hunters, to track the friends of Skywalker on a ship called the Millennium Falcon. The ship’s pilot and owner was Han Solo, a swashbuckling smuggler and Rebellion ally.
Boba successfully followed his prey to Cloud City, arriving alongside Vader before the targets did. Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca and a couple of droids were quickly captured, and Vader would use them to attract his long-lost son.
Vader had Solo frozen in carbonite. He did this to test the carbonite system, as he actually wanted to use it on Skywalker. After he survived the freezing, Solo was transferred to Boba. He would bring the smuggler to notorious gang leader Jabba the Hutt, thereby fetching a handsome bounty.
Leia and the others escaped with the help of Lando Calrissian, but by then, Solo had been loaded onto Slave I.
RETURN OF THE JEDI
Now a piece of wall décor, Solo stood frozen in carbonite in Jabba’s palace until his friends could rescue him. Boba remained near Jabba, apparently one of his most trusted bounty hunters.
After Leia was captured as well, Luke Skywalker arrived to save the day. At first, Luke himself was taken prisoner. But when they were transported to be executed among the sands of Tatooine, a vicious fight broke out. A lightsaber-wielding Luke, a blinded Han Solo, and a chain-wielding Leia defeated Jabba and his henchmen. The heroes were due to be fed to the Sarlacc, a hideous monster that dwelled in a massive desert pit.
Boba put up a pretty good fight against Luke, but he was ultimately no match for the forces of good. Due merely to blind fortune, Han Solo struck out with a stick weapon and activated Boba’s jetpack. The bounty hunter fell into the Sarlacc pit, presumably never to be seen again.
A few years after the demise of the Empire, a Mandalorian bounty hunter named Din Djarin™ sought to re-unite a Force-sensitive child with the Jedi. His travels led him to Mos Pelgo, a village on Tatooine. He came across Cobb Vanth, a human male serving as the marshal of the village.
Vanth’s familiar armor told an interesting story. Apparently, Vanth had purchased the Mandalorian gear from a group of Jawas, and this armor had belonged to none other than Boba Fett, the forgotten warrior believed to have been killed by the Sarlacc. It is unknown how the Jawas recovered the armor from the pit. They may have killed the Sarlacc, or else it merely spat up the unpalatable metal.
Vanth used this armor to re-take Mos Pelgo from a group of bandits, and he became the de facto leader of the town. He enlisted Djarin’s help to take down a Krayt Dragon, vowing to give the Mandalorian the armor after the beast was defeated, as Djarin didn’t believe Vanth should own the ancestral garb of the Mandalorian. They succeeded in subduing the dragon with the help of villagers and Tusken Raiders, and Vanth gave up the armor.
As Djarin departed with the Child, a strange, scarred figure watched from afar. He bore a striking resemblance to Jango Fett and the clones- including Boba Fett.
The ninth episode of The Mandalorian confirms that Boba somehow survived the Sarlacc pit. The actor who portrayed the stranger, Temuera Morrison, is in fact the same actor who portrayed Jango and the clones in the prequel films.
After this reveal, fans certainly have questions. How did he survive? What has he been doing over the last few years?
We can expect The Mandalorian series to reveal more as time goes on.
Why do you think Boba Fett is such a popular Star Wars character? Are you looking forward to seeing what happens next in The Mandalorian? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!