No one expected Boba Fett to become as popular as he is, but here we are 40 years later, with fans still hoping that he’ll show up somewhere, alive and well after his infamous tumble into the Sarlacc Pit. That’s pretty impressive considering how little we see of him in the Star Wars film saga. We got a little bit of his backstory in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones and a few lines throughout the original trilogy, but his character is so much more than that, which is one of the reasons why he has consistently proven to be such a popular villain, despite never actually doing much.
We’re going to delve into his character. We’re going to dig into the expanded universe, the new canon, behind the scenes, the works, to show you everything you never knew about Boba, especially for those of you who are just fans of the films. After diving into this list, you’ll see that there’s so much more to this masked bounty hunter than meets the eye and you’ll see why after all these years, Star Wars fans still complain about the way Return of the Jedi gave Boba Fett such an unjustly anticlimactic end.
15. HIS FIRST KILL WAS A CLONE
As established in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, Boba Fett was an unaltered clone of the bounty hunter, Jango Fett, who provided the genetic material for the Republic’s clone army. With that in mind, it’s a little jarring to see that his first kill was actually a clone trooper in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode, “Death Trap,” in which Boba sets a trap intended to kill Mace Windu but ends up killing a clone trooper instead.
Already we can see how Boba Fett became the fierce bounty hunter older fans know him to be; however, at that age, Boba was still wary of taking lives. His only goal was to kill Mace Windu, not to hurt anyone else, which is why he felt guilty about the deaths of several prisoners his crew of bounty hunters executed even though he refused to personally take part in it.
14. STARTED BOUNTY HUNTING AS A YOUNG BOY
After his father was killed by Master Windu in Attack of the Clones, Boba was thrown into a violent life, more so than the one he had living with his father. During his campaign against Windu, Boba encountered a group of bounty hunters led by one Aurra Sing and Bossk, who took him away from the clone cadets and pushed him into a life of greater danger, one which he would dominate.
This was all before he hit 13. So much for a childhood. Over the course of Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series, we see him slowly turn from that vengeful boy we met in Attack of the Clones to that confident, feared bounty hunter we all saw in Empire Strikes Back. Thanks to the order in which the films were made, we all knew it was going to happen, it’s still just a little sad to see a kid turn into that villain, no matter how awesome that villain is.
13. HE WAS NEARLY GOING TO BE THE ONE TO KILL MACE WINDU
When the prequel trilogy was still in the early stages of development, George Lucas considered several ways of expanding on Fett’s character, none of which ultimately came to fruition. After having Mace Windu behead Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones, Lucas considered having Boba kill Windu in Revenge of the Sith. While that would have been great for the character, there were several issues with it.
Boba would have been 16 during Revenge of the Sith, far too young to be taking on a master Jedi like Windu in one-on-one combat. That story didn’t go to waste, however, as the crucial elements were used in Star Wars: The Clone Wars in which we see Boba Fett driven by a desire for vengeance. It allows him to organically grow into the silent hunter we recognize, despite the fact that he ultimately never achieves his goal, thanks to Palpatine.
12. HE FOUGHT AND LOST TO A BLINDED LUKE SKYWALKER
Far into his career as a bounty hunter, Boba goes toe to toe against Luke Skywalker, who, in Star Wars 6: Skywalker Strikes (written by Jason Aaron, illustrated by John Cassaday and others) has already begun to train in the ways of the Jedi. Fett, however, has been fighting and dueling his entire adult life and manages to blind Skywalker. You’d think that would guarantee Luke’s defeat, but you’d be wrong.
The fight takes place in Obi-Wan’s old home on Tatooine. After Boba throws a flash grenade, Luke is forced to fight without his sight and he still manages to get a few good hits in before he remembers Obi-Wan’s training and uses the Force, along with his other senses, to keep the fight going. Just when it looked like Boba would get his victory, a box flies across the room and knocks Fett unconscious, stealing his victory from him. Not a particularly impressive defeat but, well, that’s kind of what Fett is known for.
11. VADER FOUND OUT ABOUT HIS SON THANKS TO BOBA
One of the most incredible revelations in the new Star Wars canon is that Vader found out about Luke not because of the Emperor in Empire Strikes Back but Boba Fett in Darth Vader #6 (written by Kieron Gillen, artwork by Salvador Larroca). The only reason why Boba Fett began to hunt Luke was because he was trying to find Han Solo, who Vader wanted because of his connection to Obi-Wan (who had already become one with the Force at this point).
After Boba fails to bring Luke back, he reports to Vader and reveals that the young Jedi’s name is Skywalker. That name didn’t really mean anything to Fett so he didn’t know, especially since Vader stayed silent, but that name came as a surprise to the dark lord, who had just found out that his son was alive and well.
10. HE FOUGHT DARTH VADER
Boba Fett has always been an incredible character because of the fact that he takes on Force users with as much confidence as when he confronts smaller prey. Boba has taken on Luke Skywalker while the latter was training in the ways of the Force. Luke was barely a Jedi, so you might think that particular fight isn’t so impressive. Did you know that Boba has also taken on Darth Vader? Well he did… in the old canon anyway.
In Boba Fett: Enemy of the Empire #4 (written by John Wagner, artwork by Ian Gibson, John Nadeau and others), Boba and Vader face off for possession of a soothsayer’s head. Vader is able to deflect Boba’s blaster fire easily enough and almost compels Fett to fling himself over a cliff, stopping only because Fett was carrying the object Vader wanted. Fett makes the leap anyway, shocking Vader and prompting the dark lord to peer over the edge of the cliff only to receive a blaster shot to the face. Ultimately, Fett is able to walk away from this fight and while he doesn’t exactly defeat the dark lord, his survival is still an impressive feat.
9. HE DID NOT DIE IN THE SARLACC PIT
In what is now known as Star Wars Legends, Boba Fett escaped the Sarlacc Pit after the events of Return of the Jedi through sheer strength of will, coupled with the protection given by his Mandalorian armor. He escaped from the Sarlacc’s gut and was found by a group of Jawas who mistook him for a droid and abducted the unconscious Fett into their sandcrawler. When he awoke, he saw Han Solo attempting to rescue R2-D2, who had also been taken by the Jawas.
After a brief blaster duel, Solo escaped from the damaged sandcrawler, which was heading straight toward the Sarlacc Pit. Boba, still in the sandcrawler, found himself in the belly of the Sarlacc yet again. Still he didn’t die. Using his jetpack, Fett blew the Sarlacc sky high and escaped. While there’s no irrefutable evidence that Boba survived in the new canon, fans have theorized his survival based on little details like the glimpse of a Mandalorian flag in front of Maz’s castle in The Force Awakens.
8. HIS ORIGINAL ORIGIN
Decades ago, but long after Return of the Jedi, Boba Fett was given an origin story in the 1996 short story, The Last One Standing: The Tale of Boba Fett, by Daniel Keys Moran. In that story, Fett revealed his name to be Jaster Mereel, a former Journeyman Protector (essentially a cop) who killed his superior officer after discovering his corruption. For those murders, Mereel was forced from the planet. He went on to join the Mandalorians and become a bounty hunter.
After Attack of the Clones was released, Boba’s original backstory as Jaster Mereel was retconned. Jaster became his own character. Most of his backstory remains the same but after his exile, he becomes a mentor to Jango Fett. It seems like both in the story and behind the scenes, Boba Fett keeps fathering himself.
7. HE WAS THE ORIGINAL DARTH VADER
George Lucas explored a wide variety of ideas for Darth Vader. He considered making him an intergalactic bounty hunter before settling on having Vader be a former Jedi knight. Alongside those backstories, Lucas also had to consider a variety of costume designs. The earliest of these looked a little like a more ancient Stormtrooper.
Of course, as we all know, Lucas went with the fallen Jedi knight backstory for Vader, but the bounty hunter idea and the essentials of the costume, designed by Ralph McQuarrie and Joe Johnston, were used for Boba Fett. It might have been fitting then to depict Boba as being Vader’s brother, before Boba was given any kind of backstory. It was an idea Lucas toyed with in the beginning as well, only to scrap it because he felt it wouldn’t have worked well enough.
6. BOBA FETT’S MANDALORIAN ARMOR
The bounty hunter’s armor is iconic, but how much do you really know about it? The sleek grey, battered armor we see in the original trilogy was something Boba took from the Mandalorians, similar to his father, though neither of them were actually Mandalorian. The armor, made from beskar alloy, is equipped with a variety of weapons, including a flamethrower, a wrist gauntlet and of course, that awesome jetpack.
The helmet is also equipped with a HUD that effectively provides Fett with eyes at the back of his head, meaning it’s next to impossible to sneak up on him. You’ll also notice that the armor is also decorated with a shoulder cape one side and braids dangling from the other. Those braids aren’t just there to keep Boba pretty, they’re trophies from his kills.
5. THE MAN BEHIND THE MASK
Most people know Jeremy Bulloch as the man behind Boba Fett’s Mandalorian mask. Bulloch wore the suit in both Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi while Fett’s voice was provided by Jason Wingreen before it was eventually replaced by Temuera Morrison in updated versions of the films. However, Bulloch is far from being the only one to play Fett.
John Morton played Boba Fett on the day Bulloch couldn’t make it to set for the “he’s no good to me dead” scene and various other members of cast and crew played Boba in extra last-minute scenes which didn’t warrant flying Bulloch to set. In total, eight different actors have portrayed Boba Fett, including voice actors; the largest number for any Star Wars character.
4. BOBA FETT HAD A WIFE AND CHILD
Even before the majority of Boba Fett’s story was made non-canon, fans weren’t sure whether or not his life with fellow bounty hunter, Sintas, was part of the Star Wars canon. Star Wars Tales #7 features a story, “Outbid But Never Outgunned” (written by Beau Smith, illustrated by Mike Deodato Jr. and others), which revealed that at some point, Boba and Sintas were lovers and had a child.
It would later be revealed in the Legacy of the Force novel series that Fett and Sintas were indeed married as teenagers. They had a child thereafter and it was for them that Fett decided to become a Journeyman Protector. His superior officer assaulted and seemingly killed Sintas, which is why Fett murdered him and was forced to flee from the planet. If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s a slightly darker version of Jaster Mereel’s backstory, the character who was supposed to be Boba before Attack of the Clones. Fans could never be certain of whether or not that was canon, but it sure isn’t now.
3. HE TRAINED JAINA SOLO
In the Star Wars Legends universe, Han and Leia had three children, two of which became Jedi knights and one that became a powerful Sith Lord. Jacen Solo had fallen to the dark side and become Darth Caedus after years of fighting and warfare created a rift between him and his family. In his desperation to bring peace and order to the galaxy, he made many enemies out of old friends and family and fell completely when he killed Mara Jade Skywalker.
To defeat him, Jacen’s twin sister, Jaina, who had already received plenty of training as a Jedi knight, turns to none other than the ruthless Boba Fett for more training. Boba had experience killing Jedi and that experience proved to be just enough to ultimately save the galaxy from yet another tyrant.
2. HE MIGHT HAVE KILLED OWEN AND BERU
Boba has a reputation as a bounty hunter for turning his opponents to ash, as evidenced by Vaders’ comment in Empire Strikes Back when he explicitly tells Fett, “no disintegrations.” That’s just one of the reasons why some long-time fans have theorized that it was actually Fett and not stormtroopers that killed Luke’s Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru.
While there are of course many holes in this theory, a lot of it actually makes sense. He was on Tatooine at the right time, as we can see in A New Hope (albeit only in newer editions of the film), he uses a flamethrower and Owen and Beru were charred to the bone, unlike other victims of Stormtrooper attacks. Whether you actually believe that theory or not, it’s fun to think about.
1. HE WAS GOING TO BE THE MAIN VILLAIN IN RETURN OF THE JEDI
It was George Lucas’ original intent for the greater plot of the original trilogy to cover three trilogies but he ultimately decided against it and conflated the plot of the planned second trilogy into one movie: Return of the Jedi. This meant that while Lucas had originally panned to make Boba Fett the villain for that film, he had to quickly kill the character off to make way for the epic confrontation between Luke, Vader and the Emperor.
Lucas has said that if he’d known how popular the minor character would have become, he would have at least given Fett an appropriately climactic death instead of the quick fall into the Sarlacc Pit. However, he trusted the expanded universe to bring Fett back and they did. Hopefully the same will happen in the new canon and it won’t make the mistake of ending Fett’s story there in the desert, in the gut of a beast, defeated by a blind Han Solo.
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