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Boba Fett's New Weapon Explained

Contains spoilers for The Mandalorian season 2, episode 6 — "Chapter 14: The Tragedy"

He's back in beskar, ill-tempered, and for the first time in live action Star Wars history, actually hitting the stuff that he shoots at. The acclaimed bounty hunter and ambitious disintegration enthusiast Boba Fett made his long awaited, non-cameo debut on The Mandalorian this week in "Chapter 14: The Tragedy." Fans were left with plenty of questions — how did he get so good at sticking pneumatics into people's tummies? How did he get out of the sarlacc pit? If he was always such a rock star at killing folks, why did he get dropped like an uncomfortable subject at the beginning of Return of the Jedi?

And while audiences will have to wait at least another week to get closure on these issues, there's one aspect of Boba's return to the fold that we can still sink our teeth into: that stick that he used to tenderize the armor off of a bunch of stormtroopers. Whether you're a longtime fan of Star Wars or a casual viewer, you probably recognize the weapon's distinctive curve and intimidating bonk-and-poke club head. It's the same sort of implement that Luke Skywalker got a noggin full of when the Sand People hit him with a jump scare in A New Hope. It's called a gaffi stick, or "gaderffii," and it's as iconic a Star Wars weapon as you're likely to build out of big old hunks of garbage.

Boba Fett sticks with what works

Like most aspects of Star Wars, gaffi sticks got hit square in the continuity when Disney called "do-over" on the series' extended universe, so a lot of what we know about them is apocryphal, even by space opera standards. They were first spotted in Episode IV way back in 1977, but their use dates back to at least 4,000 years before the rise of the Empire, with Sand People utilizing the weapons in Knights of the Old Republic. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

And the gaderffii ain't broke. According to Wookieepedia, these preferred melee accoutrements of the Tusken Raiders feature four separate weapons rolled into one. There's a spiked bludgeon for clubbing, a hook for snagging, a spearhead for jabbing, and a four-bladed ax/mace for giving foes a merciless slap-chop. Some accounts had Tuskens dipping the ends of their weapons in venom to paralyze their enemies, in case getting clobbered with a four-foot sand shillelagh didn't do the trick already.

Gaffi sticks were (nebulously canonically) prized possessions of Tatooine's howling Dune Sea nomads, who would build them from whatever scrap metal they could find. Their status as beloved personal effects implies that, in order to get his hands on one, Boba probably killed a Sand Person. Hopefully not as many as Anakin did.

"The Tragedy" marks the second time this season that gaffi sticks have taken the spotlight on The Mandalorian. The season 2 premiere saw Tuskens using them as tools to clean their banthas' teeth in a nice piece of world building.