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Chapter 6 of The Book of Boba Fett was loaded with returning Star Wars characters, so much so that once again Boba Fett himself was sidelined on his own show. The main storyline of the series continued however, and it is clear that the threat of the Pyke Syndicate on Tatooine is what everyone should be worried about.
Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) and Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) are expanding their tribe and adding muscle, but the Pykes have some muscle of their own. Their muscle made his arrival by sauntering down the main street of Mos Pelgo in a scene that was right out of a classic Western.
But for animated fans, he's someone we've seen in Star Wars before. He first appeared in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and recently appeared on Star Wars: The Bad Batch. He now has the distinction of following characters such as Bo-Katan Kryze and Ahsoka Tano in making the jump from animation to live-action.
Who is he? That’s a great question, we’d love to tell you.
***WARNING: From this point forward, there will be spoilers for Chapter 6 of The Book of Boba Fett. If you have not watched yet, then jetpack out of here.***
The moment that Cobb Vanth (Timothy Olyphant) saw a figure in a hat walking towards him through the desert, we knew. We knew that episode director and co-writer Dave Filoni was going to bring in one of the best bounty hunters in all of Star Wars, a red-eyed Duros who often proved to be better than Boba Fett himself.
Cad Bane has officially come to live-action.
In The Clone Wars, Bane was generally thought to be the best bounty hunter in the game. He made his debut in 2009, in the Season 1 finale episode "Hostage Crisis." We saw him take the Galactic Senate hostage, and he then went on to infiltrate the Jedi Temple. He worked for Darth Sidious, Count Dooku, and the Hutts. He took any job, as long as it was, as he said, “for the right price.”
Based on famed Western actor Lee Van Cleef, Cad Bane had one final arc planned for him on The Clone Wars. Animatics of a specific scene included in this arc have been shown by Dave Filoni before; young Boba, officially wearing his father’s armor, takes him down in a gunfight. The mantle of “best bounty hunter around” would have been passed, and we’d also get the tale of how Boba’s helmet got that trademark dent in it.
The arc was not finished, and it was not a part of The Clone Wars when the series returned for Season 7. Bane fans who wanted closure were saddened by this, until the character showed up last year in Star Wars: The Bad Batch. He was still in business, and he led the Batch on a merry chase when he kidnapped Omega.
His story had still not wrapped up, though, and now we know why. Some of us dared to hope that Filoni didn’t finish the Cad Bane arc because he was intending to bring him into live-action. The Mandalorian was the place where we thought he’d show up, but lo! He has instead become a part of The Book of Boba Fett.
His return is pretty much perfect. The slow tension of his standoff with Cobb Vanth (himself played by Deadwood/Justified star Olyphant) was pure Western glory. If anyone was going to take down Star Wars Seth Bullock (at least for now), then it had to be Bane. He’s working for the Pykes, and he tells everyone to be careful about where they’re sticking their noses.
It’s the first time that we’re seeing a member of the Duros species speak in live-action, getting a look at some sharp teeth in the process. Bane’s look is pulled right out of his animated ensemble, with his long coat, face tubes, and hat all in their proper places. Most importantly, he’s still voiced by the great Corey Burton. There’s plenty to love about Bane, but his chilling voice is central to who he is. There’s no way that anyone other than Burton could have done it, and that puts Bane in a different category.
Ahsoka made the jump to live-action, but Rosario Dawson took over the role completely from Ashley Eckstein. Bo-Katan Kryze made the jump too, but Katee Sackhoff continued to play the part in every way. With Bane, Corey Burton (who also voiced Count Dooku, Ziro the Hutt, and many others on The Clone Wars) performs his voice, but the credits list “performance artist” Dorian Kingi as being involved with the character.
So, the actor from animation has continued on, but he was almost certainly not dressed up in a Cad Bane suit. It’s something that could be done with Cad Bane that wouldn't necessarily have worked with Ahsoka Tano.
All of this is great news for Cad Bane fans, but it is bad news for the characters on The Book of Boba Fett. He made his entrance by shooting Raylan damn Givens, so he’s not someone that you want fighting against you. It seems very possible that the abandoned Bane vs. Boba scene from The Clone Wars will find its way into canon after all, only in a very different way. It’ll be happening many years further down the timeline, but it’s going to happen at some point. This also opens up other story possibilities for Cad Bane, because it means that he was alive for the entirety of the Original Trilogy. Where was he, and what the kriff was he up to? Comics and books are going to have a festival with this.
Boba Fett and Cad Bane will meet again, and they will meet in live-action. As always, he’s gonna make things “a little more interesting.”
The Book of Boba Fett streams on Disney+ every Wednesday.