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Looked dead, didn't he? Well, not really, because everything is coming up Boba Fett. The fan favorite Star Wars bounty hunter made a return to the galaxy far, far away in 2020, when The Mandalorian revealed that he had escaped his fate in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Boba sneered at doom and is now ready to star in his very own Disney+ spinoff, The Book of Boba Fett. To use a classic expression, he's come "out of the Sarlacc and onto a streaming service!" That's not a classic expression but with time, it could be.
How exactly did Boba (originally played by Jeremy Bulloch, now played by Temuera Morrison, who played the cloned warrior's "dad" Jango Fett in Episode II,) escape being slowly digested over the course of a thousand years? The new series will hopefully answer that, because... we don't know. However, we know all about his life before he went into that sentient hole, as well as a little of what happened afterwards.
Fett featured heavily in the books and comics in the Star Wars "Legends" roster, and there are tons of stories out there that feature him. Series creators Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau could always take some of those Legends stories and canonize them — they love doing that — but for the purposes of this article we're sticking with Boba's canonical history. It starts with the original trilogy, it goes back in the timeline to the prequels, then into animation, comics, before coming full circle. We'll treat it as a straight timeline. Bounty hunting is a complicated profession.
Where did he come from, and where did he go? Dodge that seismic charge and strap in. Boba Fett, this is your life!
Son of Jango
There was once a Mandalorian foundling named Jango Fett, who fought in the Mandalorian Civil Wars. Though some characters (such as the sleemo Prime Minister Almec on Star Wars: The Clone Wars) have claimed that Jango was not a true Mandalorian, they're either ignorant or were lying. Jango's foundling heritage means that he was a Mando through and through, and Season 2 of The Mandalorian cleared that up for good.
Jango became a bounty hunter, as all of his Mando tools and tricks lent themselves well to the profession. He was recruited by Darth Tyranus (Count Dooku) to be the template for a clone army, one that Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas was creating for the Republic. Jango went off to the cloners on Kamino, and aside from his payment he asked for one additional thing; he wanted an unaltered clone for himself. The entire clone army that would be created in his image would have behavioral modifications and growth acceleration, but the clone that Jango was asking for would have none of that.
Whether Jango was aware of it or not, two unaltered clones was made. The clone that Jango requested was a pure genetic copy, codenamed "Alpha." An additional pure copy was made as well, a female who the Kaminoans code-named "Omega." She is a major character on Star Wars: The Bad Batch. Jango named his pure clone "Boba" and treated him as his son from that point forward. Boba grew up and learned from his father while the Grand Army of the Republic grew up around him.
Around 10 years after Boba was cloned, Obi-Wan Kenobi visited Kamino in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. He discovered the clone army and met Jango (Temuera Morrison), who referred to himself as a simple man trying to make his way in the universe. He also met Boba (Daniel Logan), and when Obi-Wan tried to capture them, a fight broke out. Jango and Boba escaped on Jango's ship, Slave I.
Kenobi tracked and pursued them, and little Boba was very enthusiastic about his father gunning Kenobi down. After playing hide and seek with an asteroid, Kenobi followed the Fetts to Geonosis. The Separatist Alliance was mustering there under the leadership of Count Dooku, and soon enough Kenobi was captured along with Padmé Amidala and Anakin Skywalker. A flock of Jedi arrived to free this trio, led by Mace Windu. Jango entered the fray and Windu chopped his head off with his purple lightsaber. Once the fight was over, little Boba crouched and held his father's helmet to his forehead.
Climbing the Ranks
In Season 2 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, we pick up with Boba again after he fell under the tutelage of the bounty hunter Aurra Sing. With the help of both Sing and another bounty hunter, Bossk, Boba enacted a trap to get vengeance on Mace Windu. Because he looked just like young clone cadets, he was able to get aboard a Republic cruiser. He used the downed ship as bait for Windu, and the whole thing almost worked. Windu and Anakin Skywalker were trapped, but Plo Koon and Ahsoka Tano came to their rescue. The latter two went after Boba and company, and when confronted, Aurra Sing left Boba to save herself. Boba told Windu that he'd never forgive him, and Windu pretty much said, "yeah LOL you're gonna have to, snakes you later."
In Season 4 of the series, Boba and Bossk escaped from Republic prison thanks to a disguised Obi-Wan Kenobi moving forward with a completely different storyline. Kenobi was disguised as a bounty hunter named Rako Hardeen, and the slightly older Boba (still voiced by Daniel Logan) was paid off by the merciless hunter Cad Bane to stir the pot in order to start a riot. A few episodes later in Season 4, Boba started his own crew for a job on the planet Quarzite. The ever-evolving Assaj Ventress joined his team, and ended up double-crossing him when she decided that the ethics of his mission didn't scan for her. Boba got force choked and thrown in a trunk, so it's not a good episode for him.
Had this series gone on as originally planned, Boba would have officially donned his father's armor and taken the title of "best bounty hunter in the galaxy" away from Cad Bane. The show came back from the dead twice, but neither season included Boba or this moment. Another arc that was written but never made for this series turned into the novel Star Wars: Dark Disciple by Christie Golden. Boba popped up in a few scenes, first giving intel to the Jedi Quinlan Vos on Ventress. In a complete turnaround, he gave Ventress intel on Vos later in the book. Though there's no love between the two, Fett and his crew joined with Ventress in a failed attempt to rescue Vos from Count Dooku.
At some point after this, Boba grew to his full height, repainted and started wearing his father's armor, and learned to be the best. He was hardly ever seen with his helmet off, which probably had something to do with the enormous clone army who all looked like him and were initially helping the Republic transition into the Empire.
No good to me dead
During the Galactic Civil War, Fett was one of the best bounty hunters money could buy. Marvel's Bounty Hunters #1 shows him working an early job with a character named Nakano Lash, whose choices damage Fett's reputation a little. Despite this, Fett's services were often paid for by the notorious gangster, Jabba the Hutt. When Jabba visited docking bay 94 to threaten Han Solo in Star Wars: A New Hope, Boba was there.
The Marvel canon comics Star Wars and Darth Vader feature Fett being enlisted by Darth Vader after the Battle of Yavin. The objective was to find the pilot who destroyed the Death Star, and Fett was able to discover that the pilot's name was Luke Skywalker. He laid a trap for him in Obi-Wan Kenobi's abandoned house and the two fought, but since Luke was temporarily blinded, he didn't get a good look. Luke barely managed to get away from Fett, who took Slave I to go and report to Vader. Fett was able to pass on the name that he had learned, and this was the moment when Vader first found out that he had a son.
Cut to the events of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, and Darth Vader was once again enlisting bounty hunters. Fett was in the bunch, and Vader was especially careful to tell him, "no disintegrations." After borrowing a trick from Obi-Wan Kenobi, Fett managed to find and track the Millennium Falcon.
Jeremy Bulloch was playing the role here, but the voice has since been dubbed over with Temuera Morrison in order to ensure maximum clone consistency. Once Han Solo, Leia Organa, and Chewbacca were captured on Cloud City, Vader gave Solo over to Fett. Jabba had a huge bounty put out for Solo at this point, and Fett was gonna claim it. He was uneasy with Vader's plans for carbon freezing, but wound up stowing a frozen slab of Solo on Slave I all the same. Despite Leia's best efforts, Fett took off with Solo in custody.
Slow boat to Tatooine
Before this year, we'd have said that Fett flew to Tatooine, handed Solo over to Jabba, and the next movie eventually started. That was before the massive Marvel comic initiative War of the Bounty Hunters made everything a lot more complicated.
It wasn't smooth sailing to Tatooine in any way. Boba ended up in a galactic game of hot potato with Han, starting with him deciding to delay his drop-off to first settle his resentment with Nakano Lash. Fett called up Jabba's majordomo, Bib Fortuna, and let him know that he was coming.
Unfortunately for him, Solo's carbon freeze was unstable. Fett had to detour to Nar Shadda to get it stabilized, and in order to pay for it he took a job as an arena fighter. He temporarily painted his armor black and went by the name Jango. While he was doing this, someone stole Solo out from under him. Fortuna called Fett to tell him that Jabba was getting impatient. Not great, Bob.
Fett went on a rampage to recover Solo, and here began a massive interconnected comic story that involved Jabba putting a bounty on Fett himself, other bounty hunters such as Zuckuss, 4-LOM, and IG-88, Darth Vader, Doctor Aphra, and an auction for the frozen Solo held by the reborn crime syndicate, Crimson Dawn. Who was in charge of them in this time period? None other than Q'ira (Emilia Clarke) from Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Vader decided that he wanted Solo after all, so Fett reluctantly teamed up with a bounty hunter named Beilert Valance (an old friend of Solo's) to take him back. He eventually succeeded, and at long last he got Solo to Jabba's Palace. The bounty on Fett was cleared, and Fett got his damn money.
Way down in the hole
Then comes the events of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, and... yeah. Boba hung out at Jabba's palace and was present when Luke Skywalker came to bargain. When Skywalker and Solo were taken to the Sarlacc for execution, the temporality blind Solo smacked Boba's jetpack. Boba went sailing into the side of Jabba's sail barge and fell into the maw of the Sarlacc. The Sarlacc burped.
For all we knew, that was the end of the great and glorious Boba Fett. An inglorious end for such a beloved character was an odd choice, but George Lucas underestimated how much everyone had come to love the guy in the helmet who had roughly four lines. Because of Boba's popularity, there was talk for years about his story continuing in a movie. No matter what you may have heard, there was never anything actually in development. Things were discussed, but James Mangold, for instance, was never at any point actively making a Boba Fett movie.
Fett's actual return came in Season 1 of The Mandalorian, though we didn't know it at the time. Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) is taken down in Episode 5, but in a tag at the episode's end, we see a figure approach her body in the Tatooine sand. Who was this figure? Season 2 of the series let us know.
Return of the Fett
Somehow Boba Fett returned. The first episode of The Mandalorian's second season makes it sound like a Krayt Dragon may have eaten the Sarlacc, but that's unconfirmed. What we know for sure is that Fett's spit-up armor (thought to be durasteel, may be beskar, jury is out) was found and salvaged by Jawas. A man named Cobb Vanth picked it up from them — and this happens in both the canonical novel Star Wars: Aftermath and was seen via a flashback sequence in The Mandalorian. Vanth (Timothy Olyphant) passes the armor off to Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) after Djarin helped him with a Krayt Dragon issue, and a scarred (but very much alive) Boba (now played by Temuera Morrison in body, voice, face, everything) watched Djarin speed away from Mos Pelgo.
Fett caught up to Djarin on the planet Tython while Grogu attempted to commune with another Jedi. Fennec Shand, saved and patched up by Fett, is there to back Fett up. Fett reveals his "chain code" to Djarin, sharing that his father Jango was a foundling. Like Jango, Boba is a simple person trying to make his way in the universe. He's somehow regained possession of Slave I, and he now fights with Tusken Raider weapons. After kicking some stormtrooper butt, he takes his armor back and lays out even more of them. Both he and Fennec are on Din Djarin's side for the rest of the season, helping with the rescue of Grogu.
Boba hasn't gone completely tame, though. In a post-credits scene from The Mandalorian's Season 2 finale, Boba enters Jabba's Palace where Bib Fortuna was sitting on a throne, assuming the dead Jabba's position. Boba guns Fortuna down, tosses his carcass off of the throne, and sits on it himself. Fennec uncorks a Spotchka bottle with her teeth, takes a swig, and sits on the throne's arm.
What happens next? An entirely new book in the history of Boba Fett, that's what. According to trailers for the new series, Boba is going to rule with respect, not fear. The legendary scoundrel Hondo Ohnaka once told a very young Boba that Boba's father was a man of honor. The Book of Boba Fett will show us whether or not Boba will truly follow in those spur-sound footsteps.
The Book of Boba Fett premieres on Disney+ on December 29th.