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The entire Boba Fett story finally explained

He's a ruthless bounty hunter responsible for the capture and near death of a beloved Star Wars character, but there's still something about Boba Fett that's managed to capture the hearts of millions. With only a few minutes of screen time in the blockbuster franchise's original trilogy, he's risen to the same level of fame as more prominent Star Wars characters, complete with his own fan club, collectible action figures, and comics series.

In 2018, Disney and Lucasfilm announced that Boba Fett would be getting his own standalone film, written and directed by Logan's James Mangold. Later that same year, rumors surfaced alleging that the Fett film had been scrapped; still, hope remains strong that the mercenary will someday have his moment in the sun. With appearances in dozens of (now non-canon) Star Wars series and a huge backstory created for the early '00s prequel trilogy, Boba Fett has gone from having a few minutes in the spotlight to an entire legacy. So who is he, really? This is everything you need to know about Boba Fett's (in-canon) story.

Son of a legend

Boba Fett may have made his official first onscreen appearance in 1980's The Empire Strikes Back (if we aren't including the 1978 animated Star Wars Holiday Special, that is), but thanks to the 2002 live-action prequel Attack of the Clones and the 2008 animated series The Clone Wars, he's been given a pretty in-depth history. Prior to the start of the Clone Wars, there was Jango Fett, a bounty hunter in Mandalorian armor who may or may not have been behind the assassination attempt on Senator Padmé Amidala.

In The Clone Wars, Jango is described by the Mandalorian Prime Minister as a "common bounty hunter" who was able to get a hold of their armor but is not, in fact, Mandalorian himself. Opinions here are somewhat split. When The Clone Wars came out in 2008, Jango Fett was indeed Mandalorian, and the planet's officials were desperate to hide it. In 2014, when Disney announced that the Star Wars Expanded Universe was no longer canon, Jango lost his backstory, but The Clone Wars stayed in. So he may or may not be a true Mandalorian, but he is every bit a notorious bounty hunter and assassin.

Weapon in the Clone Wars

Following the attempt made on Padmé Amidala's life, Jango Fett makes his return to the planet Kamino, where he'd donated his genetic material to form a clone army, supposedly on orders from the Jedi High Council. There was one clone, however, who remained unaltered at Jango's request. This unaltered clone is Boba Fett, and he's been raised to believe that he is Jango's actual son.

When Obi-Wan Kenobi arrives on Kamino to question Jango about his involvement in the assassination attempt, it becomes clear that the Fetts' relationship with the Jedi will never be on great terms. Obi-Wan knows that Jango is the killer he's been looking for, and Jango realizes he and his son will need to make a quick getaway.

It's at this point that Boba Fett's hatred for the Jedi Order begins — even as a child, he's witnessed their distrust of his father, a man he very clearly looks up to.

Escape from Kamino

On orders from the Jedi Council, Obi-Wan Kenobi returns to apprehend Jango Fett and bring him to be officially questioned. By the time he gets back, however, Jango and Boba are in the process of making their escape from Kamino. When a fight breaks out between Obi-Wan and Jango outside Jango's ship, the Slave I, it leaves Boba in the position of having to defend his father against the Jedi.

The Fetts escape, but not before Obi-Wan is able to secure a homing device to the hull of their ship. He catches up to the pair outside Geonosis, and the battle continues in an asteroid field. Thinking they've outrun Obi-Wan, the Fetts take refuge on the planet, along with Count Dooku and his separatist army. This entire sequence serves two purposes: It demonstrates just what the Fett starship can do in combat, and it sets up Boba to be his father's replacement in the universe — clearly, he can handle a ship's controls, even at a young age. But he's also pretty bloodthirsty, especially when it comes to the Jedi.

Death of his father

When the Jedi storm Geonosis to come to Obi-Wan's aid, a battle ensues that brings them face to face with the full force of Count Dooku's army. Boba Fett watches from the sidelines as his father enters the fray, acting first as Dooku's personal bodyguard and eventually going head-on against Jedi Master Mace Windu and an unruly reek (think the space version of a rhino).

After a not-so-impressive fight, Windu takes Jango out with a single swing of his lightsaber, separating his head from his body and leaving Boba with nothing left of his father except a Mandalorian helmet that he should definitely have someone else clean before taking it with him. He vows revenge on Mace Windu for his father's death and disappears into the vastness of the Star Wars universe just as the new Grand Army of the Republic swoops in to save the Jedi and usher in an all-out war that would last for the next three years.

Boba Fett teams up with Aurra Sing

It's during this time that Boba Fett meets up with several intergalactic bounty hunters, including — most notably — Aurra Sing, a ruthless Palliduvan bounty hunter and former acquaintance of Jango's. Aurra essentially adopts Boba, allowing him to work on her crew while teaching him the ins and outs of the trade. 

In The Clone Wars, Boba's real introduction to his father's line of work is rough, made all the more difficult by Aurra's heartless approach to business. Anyone who crosses her is killed without a second thought, and although Boba sees himself as part of her inner circle, it becomes clear as time goes on that he serves no other purpose to her outside of advancing her own personal interests. When he's no longer of any use to her, Aurra turns on Boba the same way she's turned on countless others in her past. But before all that, she does offer Boba help in one very specific regard…

Posing as a clone cadet

Part of Boba Fett's arrangement with Aurra Sing comes down to helping him exact revenge on Mace Windu for his father's death. Boba's first attempt on Mace Windu's life is the result of an intricate plan which first involves him posing as a clone cadet to gain access to the Endurance, a Republic cruiser that houses the Jedi Master.

Boba plants an explosive device in Windu's quarters, but the assassination attempt fails when an unlucky stormtrooper trips the device instead. At this point, Boba decides the best cause of action would be to take out the ship's reactor, escape alongside a group of clone cadets, and then completely abandon them in the middle of space the second Aurra shows up to rescue him. Boba's come pretty far in his bounty hunter training by now, so while the idea of leaving his friends to die takes a minute to accept, ultimately he does — the bounty hunter life is a hard one, and it doesn't allow room for such trivial things as friends.

A second assassination attempt on Mace Windu

Not willing to just let things go after his first failed attempt, Boba Fett decides to have another go at Mace Windu, this time by leaving a sabotaged Mandalorian helmet in the wreckage of the crashed Endurance. Again, his plan fails, although it isn't because of some random expendable stormtrooper. Mace is able to put two and two together seconds before the device is set to go off and Force throws it just far enough to keep the blast from being lethal.

Thinking his plan has succeeded, Boba convinces Aurra Sing to return to the crash site by telling her that Count Dooku will pay a higher bounty if they're able to turn over the Jedi's head. He also picks a fight with another bounty hunter and asserts himself as the guy who's been taking all the risks — if being around an unruly teenager sounds bad, imagine being around one with a homicidal streak. Unfortunately, they're stopped by R2-D2, who's able to pull Mace Windu and a young Anakin Skywalker to safety before Boba and the gang can finish what they started.

Boba Fett is forced to face the consequences

At this point, Boba Fett knows he's failed twice to kill the man responsible for his father's murder, and it's starting to get to him. Aurra Sing decides the best thing to do is to murder one of the clone hostages they've been saving for Count Dooku and send the footage to the Jedi Council, along with a demand that Mace Windu face Boba. In response, the Jedis dispatch a couple of their own to track down the bounty hunters.

On Florrum, Boba, Aurra, and the rest of the crew are confronted by Plo Koon and Anakin Skywalker's Padawan apprentice, Ahsoka Tano (who also happens to be an incredibly underutilized character in the Star Wars universe). After a quick skirmish, Boba does what he does best and sets another bomb off, but the blast only allows for Aurra to escape, essentially abandoning the kid in order to save her herself. 

Realizing he's been deserted by the only person he had left in the universe, Boba comes to understand that maybe vengeance isn't the best life path. He's arrested, and although he admits his wrongdoing, he refuses to ever forgive Mace Windu.

Building a reputation as a ruthless bounty hunter

Fast forward a couple of years, and Boba Fett is the head of his own bounty hunter outfit that includes the likes of Bossk, Latts Razzi, and Oked, the latter of which is killed in a seedy Tatooine bar when he tries to make a pass at Asajj Ventress (a former Jedi Padawan and Sith assassin). Bossk convinces Ventress to take Oked's place in an upcoming assignment, and she does — but she and Boba immediately butt heads, because she thinks he's too young and inexperienced to actually know what he's doing.

It turns out Ventress is sort of right about Boba, because over the course of their assignment, the other bounty hunters are lost, and the pair wind up fighting over what to do with the actual bounty once it's been acquired. Boba by this time still has no idea how to best someone with Force abilities, so he's overpowered, left to spend the following years wallowing in his hatred. 

Hired hand for the Empire

As the Galactic Empire comes into power, Boba Fett and his crew become one of the most sought-after bounty hunting outfits in the galaxy. He has a reputation for ruthlessness and is generally not known to bring in live bounties. It's something that's hinted at in The Empire Strikes Back, when he's hired by Darth Vader to track down the Millennium Falcon — "But I want them alive," he tells Boba. "No disintegration."

It's at this point in time as well that Boba has taken up wearing the same sort of Mandalorian armor that his father used to wear, albeit with some minor changes. Instead of the silver and blue that Jango Fett was seen in, Boba's armor is green and gold, and while it's been beat up and battle-worn over the years, it's got a working rocket pack and flamethrower. He's also managed to reacquire the Slave I, making him a near identical copy of his Clone War-era father.

Capturing Han Solo

One of Boba Fett's top clients is Jabba the Hutt, a gangster with deep ties to both the political and criminal world, in spite of also being one of the most disgusting creatures in the entire Star Wars universe. When Han Solo's debts to Jabba became too much for the crime boss to excuse, he hires Boba to retrieve him.

Han tries to make an escape in a cluster of space trash, but Boba successfully tracks him to Bespin. Then, after setting a trap for the rebels in Cloud City (how could you, Lando?), Boba does what any shrewd businessman would and takes in two bounties for the price of one. He turns the rebels over to Darth Vader, but he does so under the condition that he can take Han as prisoner, to be delivered to Jabba. This, of course, means freezing him in carbonite first, thereby creating one of the most stylish wall pieces in the galaxy.

The final battle on Tatooine

But Boba Fett's days are short-lived. In Return of the Jedi, the bounty hunter seems to be at first enjoying his victory over Han Solo, hanging out with Jabba the Hutt in his palace on Tatooine, making sure no crazy bounty hunters set off any thermal detonators in the near vicinity. But things start to go awry when Luke Skywalker attempts to stage a rescue and fails, getting himself sentenced to die in Jabba's Great Pit of Carkoon.

On the way to being fed to Jabba's favorite sand monster, the Sarlacc, Luke breaks free and Boba steps in to try and thwart the rebels' escape. Call it being unlucky, dumb, or just plain outmatched (you really can't take on the Force here), but in spite of Boba's high-tech gear and solid attempts to subdue the Jedi and his friends, a freak accident puts an end to his life and infamous career. It's kind of incredible, really. After all that, he gets unknowingly knocked into the side of Jabba's barge and falls into the Sarlacc's mouth.

The end of Boba Fett?

Boba Fett survived his tumble into the pit and went on to have a long and illustrious career post-Sarlacc in the Star Wars expanded universe, but its removal from canon has left many wondering what exactly happened to the famed bounty hunter. As it turns out, he may have actually made it out alive after all.

The 2015 novel Star Wars: Aftermath sheds some light on what happened to Boba in the time following the events of Return of the Jedi. When two travelers come across a Jawa Sandcrawler on Tatooine, they discover the wreckage of a Sail Barge, reminiscent of the one used by Jabba the Hutt. Their other big discovery? Damaged Mandalorian armor that looks as though it's been in contact with acid. Since Sarlaccs use acid to digest their food, and it can take up to 1,000 years to do it, the amount of time between when Fett fell into the pit and when the Mandalorian armor was found suggests that he was able to make it out before being completely consumed by the creature.

So where does that leave Boba Fett? His current whereabouts remain unknown, but there's every possibility he's still out there somewhere in that galaxy far, far away.