Boba Fett — Badass or Loser?


Before there was The Mandalorian, there was Boba Fett — the original bounty hunter with a sleek helmet, rocket pack, and boots that jangled like the spurs of an Old West gunfighter. A debate has raged for decades: Does he live up to his fearsome, intimidating visage? Or was the character actually an overhyped galactic failure?

It’s an argument among Star Wars fans that’s almost as intense and enduring as “did Han shoot first?” Fett was a striking presence in The Empire Strikes Back, stalking the Millennium Falcon and helping Darth Vader trap Han Solo in carbonite. But then the bounty hunter died awkwardly in Return of the Jedi after Solo blindly knocked him into the maw of a slimy desert monster.

The Mandalorian, which fashioned its title hero after Fett’s armor and strong-silent-type demeanor, may be weighing into the discussion — and reshaping it — when season two debuts later this year.

The first suggestion that Fett may make an appearance on the Disney+ show came midway through the first season, when Pedro Pascal’s title character makes a trip to the desert world of Tatooine (where Fett met his untimely end). They look similar, and they come from the same tribe of masked warriors that give the show its name. But otherwise, Pascal’s bounty hunter and Fett don’t know each other.

Then, at the end of the episode, viewers saw a shadowy figure approach the fallen form of Ming Na‘s assassin, Fennec Shand. We never saw who it was, but the person’s boots jangled with the same sound Fett’s made in the original Star Wars trilogy—heavily implying that the character might be making a comeback. For years, expanded storytelling in the Star Wars universe has theorized that Fett escaped digestion in the Sarlacc pit, but it has never been confirmed one way or the other.

Now comes word via The Hollywood Reporter that season two of The Mandalorian will mark the return of Fett, to be played by Temuera Morrison, who played Fett’s father, Jango, in the 2002 prequel Attack of the Clones. Jango Fett was such a powerful soldier that he served as the raw material for an army of clones, but he kept one clone to raise as his own: Boba (played in the movie by Daniel Logan.)

British actor Jeremy Bulloch, now 75, played the character in the original Star Wars trilogy, but those films never showed him without his mask. If we saw Boba without the helmet, he would obviously look exactly like his late father.

Lucasfilm did not respond to requests for confirmation about the Hollywood Reporter story, and it’s possible Morrison could even be coming back to the Star Wars universe to play a different character. (He was cloned many times over, after all.)

But if he is bringing back the original bounty hunter, it would show that Fett was a survivor, and maybe a better warrior than his laughable and clumsy “death” suggested. We’ll see when the second season premieres in October.

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