It was recently announced that Temuera Morrison has a part in season two of The Mandalorian.
Boba Fett is finally coming back to the Star Wars universe.
This is a big deal, considering the fact that there are some fans who typically question his emergence from the Sarlacc Pit post-Return of the Jedi (not me, I’ve been holding out hope on this one for years), and the fact that Boba Fett story lines have been thin on the ground since the prequels. Needless to say, the comeback of any Fett prompts a lot of questions for The Mandalorian. Here are just a few…
Is Boba Fett a True Mandalorian?
During The Clone Wars, the Prime Minister Almec of Mandalore was openly derisive of Boba’s father, Jango Fett, suggesting that the bounty hunter stole his beskar armor rather than inheriting it. That’s a pretty big accusation, given the importance of said armor to the Mandalorian people, and also casts light on a particularly important question: Are the Fetts actually Mandalorian?
In the pre-Disney “Expanded Universe” canon now known as the Legends, Jango Fett was not born on Mandalore—he was adopted after his planet was ravaged by a war with the Mandalorian people. According to the Legends background, adoption effectively makes a person Mandalorian by their laws. This would seem to align with what we were shown in The Mandalorian in regard to Din Djarin’s relationship to his little yodaling, though this could be due to a reemergence of old traditions now that the Mandalorian people are all but extinct. Still, it is possible that this original background will be re-canonized, and we will learn that Jango Fett was an adopted Mandalorian. Conversely, we could learn that Prime Minister Almec was full of it (he was not a good dude) and that the Fetts are native to Mandalore.
We could also come to find that Almec was telling the truth and Jango did steal his armor. But this question is paramount because it establishes Boba Fett’s loyalties in this scenario; he used to work with the Empire, but that was ostensibly before they wiped out the Mandalorian people. Does Fett care about this? Or will he be working with Gideon, or perhaps other bounty hunters, against Din Djarin and his cohort?
Does Boba Fett Need a New Set of Armor?
The only suggestion within the new canon that Fett might still be alive after his tumble into the Pit of Carkoon was an aside in Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath trilogy. In Aftermath, a Tatooinian named Cobb Vanth bumped into a member of the Red Key Raider crime syndicate named Adwin Charu, who was looking through a lot being sold by Jawas. There, they both come across an acid-pitted set of Mandalorian armor. The Jawas would never venture into the Sarlacc for a haul given how deadly the creature is, which can only mean one thing—Boba Fett made it out of the pit and left the armor behind.
Cobb Vanth ends up with the armor, and uses it once declaring himself sheriff of Freetown, Tatooine. (Yeah, that’s a whole… thing.) Would Boba Fett return and take the armor back eventually? It wouldn’t be a tall order for him to manage, given his training and abilities. Then again, it’s possible that he left it behind because the acid irrevocably compromised the armor; as beskar is a made up metal (and Sarlacc stomachs are also made up), we have no way of knowing how gastrointestinal acid would effect its molecular structure. We also can’t be sure why the armor was left behind in the first place—in the original EU story, Fett was found by the bounty hunter Dengar, who nursed him back to health, and had to divest him of the armor in order to treat him. My personal attachment to the story aside, I’m guessing that’s not what happened here.
If the point is that Fett’s armor is no longer viable, he’ll probably want another set. And if Jango did steal their first stash of Mandalorian armor, it’s hard to believe that Boba would have much compunction about stealing all over again. Which means that anyone with Mandalorian armor would have to watch out. On the other hand, it would be pretty great if Boba got his original armor back, and that was the permanent mark of his look now—the acid-pitted plates and helmet.
Where Does Cloning Come Into This?
While it hasn’t been made explicit yet, there’s a chance that cloning technology is central to The Mandalorian’s story. We already know that Dr. Pershing (the man in the Client’s employ who was testing the Child) had a symbol on his uniform that could be found in the cloning centers on Kamino where the Republics clone army was built. That army was based on Jango Fett, and the reason for Boba’s existence—Jango negotiated to have a cloned son made as part of his payment for being the base genetic template of the clones.
It’s possible that Boba Fett is lending a hand to the Imperials with their cloning tech by offering himself up for study, or that he’s got another angle on all of this, maybe concerning the clones themselves. (There aren’t many of them left, but it’s possible that Boba has been seeking them out.) Certainly, he has a unique perspective on the situation, being the only unaltered clone out of Jango’s batch. If the Child is similarly situated, Fett might have a better idea of what that will mean for the little one’s future.
Is Boba Fett Still a Bounty Hunter?
Mandalorians still have reputations for being excellent hunters, an assumption made both on what little the galaxy knows of their heritage, and on the fact that both Jango and Boba were renowned as bounty hunters. But the rumors to that tune aren’t quite what they used to be. Knowing that, it’s possible that Boba Fett isn’t bounty hunting anymore. He doesn’t seem present enough to the public hivemind to make a case for that. It’s possible that he’s working behind the scenes in a bounty hunting guild or a crime syndicate, but it doesn’t seem likely that he’s been up to his usual tricks all this time.
If Boba Fett is no longer a bounty hunter, the question of his loyalties and heritage come into play again. We know that Din Djarin was living with a small cell of Mandalorian people on Nevarro—is it possible that others exist elsewhere in the galaxy? And if so, does Boba Fett know about any of them?
Will Boba Fett Be a Good Guy or a Bad Guy in All This?
This is the real question, the one that determines the future of the Fett legacy in Star Wars. The Legends canon had Boba Fett do all sorts of fun things, including becoming the de facto leader of the Mandalorian people. He also had a daughter who essentially disowned him, and a granddaughter who he eventually formed a begrudging attachment to. Boba Fett learned to tolerate people as he grew older, and the character became more interesting for it. Granted, at this point, Star Wars doesn’t need him to do many of these things, particularly on the leadership front—I’m still holding out hope that Sabine Wren returns and becomes the leader of the Mandalorians, the long arc of her story from Star Wars: Rebels finally playing out as she deserves.
But is it more interesting for Din Djarin to face off against Fett, or for them to work together? Or perhaps some combination of the two? Maybe when all of this starts, Fett is eager to get his hands on the Child and turn him in for some Imperial credits before realizing that the kid is being used to fuel experiments that relate far too closely to his own birth to be comfortable?
Granted, it would make sense to use Boba Fett as a Level 2 villain for a new season, and it would be so exciting to see a beskar-on-beskar armor face off between two heavily kitted out Mandos. But that also seems like an easy way to squander such a well-known and beloved character. In a time when the Mandalorian people have nearly vanished from the galaxy, it is far more enjoyable to imagine people wearing the iconic armor that the Fetts popularized working side by side to rebuild what the Empire took.
At the end of the day, Star Wars has Temuera Morrison to play Boba Fett nearly two decades after he first donned the helmet. He’s a fantastic actor, one whose abilities they should be keen to take full advantage of. Here is an opportunity to give the Fetts more history, more nuance than they’ve been allowed on screen in Star Wars. Why would you bring back someone with so much to offer the role and not allow them to really sink their teeth into the part? With that in mind, I’m hoping for something truly dramatic and meaty from Boba Fett’s return.
Anything else would be a waste of our time.