THE MANDALORIAN SEASON 2 RECAPS
Spoilers follow for The Mandalorian season 2. This article has been updated to reflect the most recent episode of the show, ‘Chapter 14: The Tragedy’.
When Disney confirmed its new streaming service would land with The Mandalorian, the show’s hero looked very familiar. That’s because his iconic armor has been a beloved staple of Star Wars lore for decades, first worn by a fan-favorite bounty hunter who had Han Solo in his sights. Boba Fett: The TV Show was as close a thing to a surefire hit as you could get for a fledgling streamer.
Then, after months of speculation and rumors, The Mandalorian season 2 episode 1 confirmed what we’d all expected – Boba Fett is back in action in the Star Wars universe. After town marshal Cobb Vanth had turned up on Tatooine’s wearing Boba Fett’s trademark battle armor, the final shot of the episode revealed a familiar face – that of Temuera Morrison, the actor who played Boba’s ‘father’, Jango Fett, in Attack of the Clones. Boba Fett is still a player in that galaxy far, far away.
Then, in ‘Chapter 14: The Tragedy’, the legendary bounty hunter turned up again, this time in his Slave I ship – this time demanding his armor back from Mando, and becoming the titular protagonist’s makeshift ally in a brutal encounter with the Empire.
Of course, last time we saw Fett, he was being swallowed by the almighty Sarlacc in Return of the Jedi. So how did he manage to escape? What’s he up to now? And why is Fett so important to Star Wars mythology? Answers lie below…
Who is Boba Fett?
Around the time of the original Star Wars trilogy, Boba Fett was the most feared bounty hunter in the galaxy. As well as being a favorite of Jabba the Hutt, Fett was one of the six mercenaries hired by Darth Vader to find Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back. Ultimately he’s the one who tracks the Millennium Falcon to Bespin, and earns the bounty on Solo, taking his prize (frozen in Carbonite) back to Jabba’s palace on Tatooine.
Is Boba Fett a Mandalorian like Din Djarin?
Although they share similar dress sense, Boba Fett’s origins are different to those of Din Djarin, the titular Mandalorian from the Disney Plus TV show. Djarin is a foundling who was raised by Mandalorians to follow the ways of that famous warrior creed from the world of Mandalore – for example, he must never remove his helmet in front of others.
Boba Fett is a bounty hunter who just happens to wear the customized Mandalorian armor that he inherited from his ‘father’, Jango Fett.
Like Din Djarin, Fett Sr was a foundling taken in by the Mandalorians. They gave him his armor and he went on to fight in the Mandalorian Civil Wars.
By the time of the prequel trilogy, Jango was one of the most feared bounty hunters in the galaxy. His DNA was used as the model for the Clone Troopers who fought for the Republic in the Clone Wars. Jango’s ‘payment’ was the unconditioned clone who’d grow up to become Boba Fett. Jango was killed by Mace Windu on Geonosis, at the battle that kicked off the Clone Wars.
Why is Boba Fett so popular?
Boba Fett is a man of few words, so it’s mostly about the suit.
Fett’s animated debut in 1978’s Star Wars Holiday Special is one of the few worthwhile moments in a TV show that George Lucas more-or-less disowned, and he went on to become one of the most iconic additions the Star Wars universe in The Empire Strikes Back. Despite speaking only four lines of dialogue in the movie, his enigmatic style, ruthless approach to getting the job done, and incredibly stylish armor made him an instant hit among the Star Wars fanbase. His was an action figure you had to own, even without the rocket-firing capability of an unreleased prototype that’s since gone on to fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars at auction.
His ship, Slave I (which also appeared in ‘Chapter 14: The Tragedy’, and was seemingly heard briefly in season 2, episode 1), was also extremely iconic.
What happened to Boba Fett in the movies?
The Empire Strikes Back may have established Boba Fett as one of the coolest characters in that galaxy far, far away, but his fate in Return of the Jedi didn’t quite live up to the hype.
With Jabba the Hutt having ordered Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Chewbacca’s execution at the Great Pit of Carkoon (home of the Sarlacc), Skywalker mounted an audacious escape plan. Fett flew in from Jabba’s sail barge and tried to use his armor’s in-built box of tricks to stop the aspiring Jedi.
He was stopped in the most unlikely way, however, when Solo accidentally hit his jetpack, initiating a misfire that sent Fett tumbling into the pit – effectively sentencing him to 1000 years of pain and suffering, being slowly digested in the Sarlacc’s belly.
That a feared warrior could go out in such a cheap way never rang true.
Why do we think he’s back in The Mandalorian?
It turns out we’d already seen (and heard) Boba Fett in The Mandalorian season 1 episode 5, ‘The Gunslinger’. The characteristic sound of spurs (and some familiar beeps) led many to speculate that the shadowy figure who found Fennec Shand’s body was Fett himself. That proved correct when we met a partially cybernetic Shand, now serving Boba Fett, in Chapter 14 of The Mandalorian.
There was something incredibly familiar about the armor Cobb Vanth, marshal of Mos Pelgo, sports in The Mandalorian season 2 premiere. While he didn’t wear the outfit quite as well as its original owner – the chestplate is a bit like an ill-fitting tank top – it was unmistakable as Boba Fett’s old suit, albeit with a bit of extra wear and tear.
We later discovered that Vanth bought it from a group of Jawas. We don’t know how it came into their possession but it’s reasonable to assume that they scavenged it in the Tatooine desert. And, seeing as they’re unlikely to have been raiding the Sarlacc’s stomach, it’s reasonable to assume that Fett somehow escaped from the beast’s digestive tract.
This assumption was confirmed by the final shot of the season 2 premiere, where we saw a familiar-looking man dressed in dark robes. The man is played by Temuera Morrison, who played both Jango Fett and the Clone Troopers in the prequel movies – as well as lending his voice to Boba Fett in the more recent re-releases of the original trilogy.
In Chapter 14, we discovered that this figure was indeed the real thing: Boba Fett returned to get his armor back from Din Djarin, and identified himself as the son of Jango.
How did Boba Fett survive the Sarlacc?
That’s the million-dollar question. While fans have long speculated that the Sarlacc wouldn’t be enough to hold Fett indefinitely, The Mandalorian provides the first in-canon confirmation that he survived.
Nonetheless, this isn’t the first time Boba Fett’s made it out alive, as he lived to fight another day in both the Dark Horse comic book line, and the old Expanded Universe novels – now relegated to the non-canon Legends line.
The early ‘90s Dark Empire comics by Tom Veitch and Cam Kennedy revealed that Fett was alive, as he told Han Solo: “The Sarlacc found me somewhat indigestible.” Meanwhile, J.D. Montgomery’s 1996 short story ‘A Barve Like That: The Tale of Boba Fett’, from Tales from Jabba’s Palace, went into a bit more depth.
There, an immobilized Fett makes telepathic contact with the first of the Sarlacc’s victims, Susejo, who can exert some influence over their captor. The injured Fett then gets the Sarlacc to contract its stomach so he can use his jetpack and concussion grenades to blow a hole in its insides and escape. Fett was subsequently discovered by Jawas, who mistook him for a droid.
Whether any of this backstory makes it into The Mandalorian remains to be seen – though Disney-era Lucasfilm does have a habit of plucking plum moments from the old expanded universe and reinventing them.
Is Boba Fett a good guy now?
That’s the strange thing about Boba Fett’s appearance in ‘Chapter 14: The Tragedy’ – the former bounty hunter was happy to battle the Empire, and pledged to help Mando in retrieving Grogu (you know, The Child) from Moff Gideon and the Empire. With the Razor Crest destroyed, too, Mando really needs the help.
But does this mean he’s now a good guy? As we learned in The Empire Strikes Back, Boba Fett used to be partial to disintegrating his targets – it’s possible he’s changed his ways since being eaten by the Sarlacc. No doubt we’ll find out more in this week’s ‘Chapter 15’, as the show nears the conclusion of its second season.
New episodes of The Mandalorian are available to stream on Disney Plus every Friday.