The Star Wars franchise has produced one of the greatest villains in the history of movies and television. Some people will place Batman’s Joker at number one and others might argue for Hannibal Lecter, but they need to watch Episodes four through six again. From the sinister voice, the imposing stature, the black suit and what sounds like a menacing case of asthma, Darth Vader is terrifying.
Of course his boss Palpatine (Sidious, the Emperor) is less outwardly violent but vastly darker; manipulating and influencing those near him rather than just pushing people around. Outside of these two dark side figures however, the series has other awesome, memorable villains including Darth Maul, whose saber skills were a welcome treat in the otherwise terrible The Phantom Menace. Count Dooku had a short tenure in the films, but defeated Anakin and Obi Wan with impunity and ruthlessness, before taking on Yoda. Of course, we’ve only named the force users so far, but these films wouldn’t be what they are without Jabba the Hutt and to a much lesser extent the Nemoidians of the Trade Federation.
Of course, sitting apart from the Sith, the political figures, and the gangsters are two bounty hunters: among the best in the galaxy. Neither Jango nor Boba Fett had a particularly large part in either movie, but for reasons including their armor, fighting ability, and weapon arsenal these two have cemented themselves in a special place among Star Wars fans. While they are beloved, they are also relative unknowns. Here are twenty little-known tidbits of information about these two iconic bounty hunters.
20. The Mandalorian Armor
There is some speculation among creative minds and fans over whether Jango Fett (and therefore his clone Boba) is actually Mandalorian by blood. For those who are unfamiliar, the Mandalorian clans are an ancient warrior culture who laid waste to much of the galaxy and were influential in the events that made up the Jedi Civil War (experienced in the Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic video games). The plating and T-shaped visor on the helmet are among the traits of this style of armor. While traditional Mandalorian plating is made of Mandalorian iron (called Beskar in Mando’a), the Fetts’ suits are both made with Durasteel. In the expanded universe, specifically during the Second Galactic Civil War, Boba’s armor was replaced with a Beskar based suit.
19. Their Ages At Death
The life of a bounty hunter isn’t quite as awesome as Duane Chapman’s former show Dog the Bounty Hunter might make it seem. In the Star Wars universe, this occupation is difficult, and often comes with a short life span. Neither Jango Fett or his son Boba, make it past 45 years old.
Jango was 44 when the Clone Wars started and as we discussed earlier, he squared off with one of the finest swordsmen in the Jedi Order and ended up headless in a matter of seconds. If Boba was about ten years old in Attack of the Clones, that makes him about 36 at his death in Return of the Jedi, as there is 26 years between those two films.
18. In The Expanded Universe, Boba Escaped The Sarlacc
That’s right, among the wealth of interesting fiction that surrounds the main story of Star Wars, there is a book among the mass of text covering the Expanded Universe (now called Star Wars: Legends by Disney, we’ll use Legends and expanded universe interchangeably) called A Barve Like That in the Tales from Jabba’s Palace series. In this short story, Boba Fett manages to fight his way out of the Sarlacc’s digestive tract, managing to use his jetpack as an improvised explosive. There’s more to it obviously, but we won’t give away too much of the story here because it is a good read.
17. Both Became “Mandalore” (Expanded Universe/Legends)
While the actual films don’t deal with much of Jango Fett’s backstory, we know that he is an experienced bounty hunter; the expanded universe has far more information in terms of his early life. Jango was born into a farming family, and his parents were murdered during a civil war among the Mandalorians. He was adopted by a prominent clan leader and ultimately becoming Mandalore, the leader of the Mandalorian clans, prior to the time when he solidified his deal to provide DNA for the clone army.
In the Legends/expanded universe, we previously explained that Boba Fett escaped the sarlacc. He returned to his life as a bounty hunter but served low profile clients. One job saw him sent after a prominent Mandalorian who attacked Kamino during the Clone Wars; Fenn Shysa. Shysa was killed and Fett assumed the title of Mandalore, finally leading the clans after decades of bounty hunting.
16. There Is A Theory That Says Boba Killed Owen and Beru
Early on in A New Hope, while the Empire is searching for C-3PO and R2-D2, Luke comes to a harsh realization when he finds out how important his droids are. He recognizes that the Empire has been led straight to his guardians, and returns home to see their farm destroyed and their bodies burned. It is automatically assumed that the stormtroopers combing the desert would have carried out this act, but some fans are convinced that Boba Fett did it.
In the 1997 version of the movie, we see Boba Fett in the docking bay at Mos Eisley, proving that he was on the planet at the time. Furthermore, if Darth Vader was intent on finding these droids, it makes sense to imagine that he would have offered a reward to skilled bounty hunters along with giving his own men orders for the search. There are a few reasons for which some Star Wars “fanalysts” don’t think that stormtroopers could have done it, including the fact that Vader would probably have rather taken them prisoner for interrogation purposes and that Vader would have known that the Lars’ would have lived there and would have put his team on alert for their farm.
Possibly the most convincing reason however, is that in The Empire Strikes Back, as Vader is having his bounty hunter meeting, he insists that the crew of the Millenium Falcon be brought back alive, pointing at Boba Fett and saying “no disintegrations”; clearly a reference to the brutality on Tatooine.
15. Why Jango Couldn’t Escape Mace Windu
In Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Jango Fett is introduced as a career bounty hunter whose most recent job involves using his DNA to assist the Republic in building their clone army on Kamino. He has a tense but uneventful initial meeting with Obi Wan Kenobi, and later fights him in a welcome duel that involves more hand-to-hand than lightsabers or blasters. Later in that film however, he meets his match and is killed by Mace Windu.
This may not be news to die-hard fanboys who have watched the scene many times, but it was a jetpack malfunction that led to his death. During the major battle in the arena on Geonosis, Fett was acting as a bodyguard of sorts for Count Dooku, and at one point, used his jetpack to soar to the ground in the arena, in the thick of the fighting. Shortly thereafter he was trampled by a Reek, the large horned monster. Fett got back up, relatively unscathed and delivered a precise kill shot to the animal’s head. When Windu confronted him on the battlefield however, he tried to engage with his pistols, only to have his shots easily deflected by the advancing Jedi Master. He could have used his jetpack, but it had been damaged and he was unable to escape Windu, who then decapitated him.
14. The Fett Clan Lineage Goes Back A Long Time
If you’re a fan of the Star Wars expanded universe, you’ve likely heard the Fett name elsewhere and with other first names. Khomo and Vorten are two who appeared in some of The Old Republic comics and Vorten in the video game of the same name. Before them however, was one of the major commanders of the Mandalorians during the Mandalorian War that took place before Knights of the Old Republic; Cassus Fett, whose armor and pistol one can find in that game. This indicates that the family is at least 4,000 years old.
13. Many Actors Have Portrayed Boba
As of right now, there are actually two characters in Star Wars that have been played by a bunch of actors. Darth Vader has been played by over ten actors, if we include the men inside the suit and all the voice actors, the gents who have played Anakin and the voiced for the canonized The Clone Wars animated series. Similarly, Boba Fett has been portrayed by over fifteen people, of course, we include both the guys who wore the suit along with the men providing the iconic voice (despite the small amounts of lines the guy actually uttered), and the voices in The Clone Wars.
12. Temuera Morrison Played Both Fett Characters
Maori actor Temuera Morrison is the man most of us know from playing Jango, Commander Cody, and the clone troopers in Attack of the Clones. While he isn’t a huge name in North America, he’s a much more significant talent in the southern hemisphere, and recently played Chief Tui, the titular character’s father in Disney’s recently released film Moana. In the 2004 re-release of the series, Morrison’s voice was used in place of Jason Wingreen’s for Boba Fett. He also played both Jango and Boba in several video games throughout the early and mid 2000s.
11. Unknown Language In Attack of the Clones
When meeting with Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Jedi and Jango discuss his participation in the clone program, exchange pleasantries and the bounty hunter denies any knowledge of Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas, who was originally ordered to build the clone army. During their discourse, Jango quickly and sternly tells Boba something in another language. While it has been suggested in the past that he was speaking Mando’a (Mandalorian) or Huttese, there is no decisive answer to what language was spoken or to exactly what was said. It is likely something to the effect of “get out, Boba” or “close the door, Boba”, but either way it worked to get the kid out of the room for the conversation.
10. Boba’s Book Series
The Boba Fett book series is primarily aimed at a much younger audience, but decent light reading for an adult-aged Star Wars enthusiast. The six book series takes place between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, telling the story of Boba’s pre-teen years (approx ages 10 to 13). Readers experience the young Fett’s journey from a child whose father has just been decapitated right in front of him, to a fully capable, determined, violent, bounty hunter (we know him as). While his training was underway during Episode II, Jango leaves him behind a journal with notes and lessons to later help him develop his skills.
9. The Name “Jango”
The most recent Django that most of us think about is the former slave Django Freeman in Quentin Tarantino’s ultra-violent 2012 western Django Unchained. Long ago however, in 1966, there was a Spaghetti Western simply titled Django. It featured a young Franco Nero and was directed by Italian film icon Sergio Corbucci. For its time, Django was a shockingly violent, gritty film, and is considered one of the best Westerns of its time.
Jango Fett’s name is an homage to this film, in which Django is depicted as a drifter with violent tendencies, up against a bunch of bandits and Confederates around the United States/Mexican border shortly after the U.S. Civil War.
8. Boba’s Anthology Film
There is strong (but not conclusive) evidence that one of the upcoming anthology films will feature a tale of Boba Fett. It is currently listed on IMDB, as “Untitled Star Wars Anthology Film”, and the rumor that it will focus on the younger Fett is just that, a rumor, at this point. Cinema Blend has reported that this film will definitely be about Boba and have also said that Temuera Morrison has been hired to play him, The Wrap has reported much of the same (although they did so in 2015), but included the fact that a rep from Disney made no official comment at that point, so take this with a grain of salt. These sources can publish whatever they want, but as of right now, the Boba Fett anthology film is an intriguing, and somewhat likely rumor, but little more: nothing has been confirmed, but it looks like there is a good chance that a 2020 release will feature a Boba origin story post Episode II.
7. Boba’s First Appearances
If you ask most casual fans of the Star Wars franchise, they will likely tell you that the first appearance of Boba Fett was back in 1980s The Empire Strikes Back. This is not true.
Some other fans who have suffered through one of the worst 98 minutes in television history: The Star Wars Holiday Special may say that this was his first appearance. This televised space abomination featured a quest by the main characters of the series to get Chewbacca home to Kashyyyk for the Life Day celebration. It put new meaning to the words “low budget” and featured poor performances across the board, on top of bad writing and a story that just didn’t work. But it did introduce us to Boba Fett on-screen. He was featured in a brief cartoon segment of this “masterpiece”. With that said however, the character was unveiled prior to the Holiday Special, which aired in November 1978. A couple of months prior to this, Duwayne Dunham suited up in the green armor for the San Anselmo County Fair Day, sweating his way through a parade next to Darth Vader. This was the first public appearance of Boba Fett.
6. Boba Was Originally Intended To Be The Main Villain
It is fairly well known that the Star Wars story as we know it is not quite what George Lucas had originally intended. He had created a far larger universe and at one point had actually planned to make a full other trilogy between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Of course this never happened, but there was a time when the showdown between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader was planned for a much later date in the series and Boba Fett was going to be the primary villain of Episode Six. The fact that Lucas’ plans changed is one of the main reasons for the character’s abrupt and unspectacular death scene.
5. Jango Hits His Head
This is a tough Easter egg to catch in Attack of the Clones, but at the end of Jango Fett’s duel with Obi-Wan on Kamino, the escaping bounty hunter bumps his head while entering the Slave. There is some speculation among the Star Wars community that the door of the ship didn’t actually make contact with his helmet, but two essential pieces of information disprove this. First of all, in the film there is an audible noise when the closing door hits Jango’s helmet, George Lucas has talked about it in his own commentary on the prequel films, as it stands as a shoutout to the scene in A New Hope when the stormtrooper hits his helmet on an opening door in one of the Death Star scenes.
4. Jango Killed A Member Of The Jedi Council On Geonosis
This isn’t news to anyone who has seen the films, but Jedi are among the elite fighting forces (no pun intended) in the galaxy. In Revenge of the Sith, we see Jett Lucas (George’s kid) playing a young Padawan, Jett Jukassa, who puts up an impressive fight against a squad of clones, taking many of them with him before he is killed in front of Senator Bail Organa. It’s an impressive showing and an example of the power that even a Padawan can wield. There is a scene late in Attack of the Clones in which Jango kills a lightsaber-wielding attacker. That is no Padawan or newbie Jedi Knight however, that was a full-on Master.
While Jango was unable to best Obi-Wan Kenobi on Kamino, he would later take down a powerful member of the Jedi Council during the battle on Geonosis. Standing over seven feet tall, Jedi Master Coleman Trebor went after Count Dooku in the arena, but the latter was defended by Jango Fett, whose pistol accuracy was too much for the Jedi Master to handle.
3. Their Weapons
While lightsabers are impressive, versatile weapons, and likely the strongest overall in the Star Wars universe, there is certainly something to be said for the arsenals of Jango and Boba Fett.
Jango’s battle kit included two WESTAR-34 pistols, a Czerka Corporation flame projector, a dart shooter equipped with Kamino “saberdarts”, and a left wrist gauntlet that could fire various kinds of rockets. Of course he also had wrist and ankle blades and a grappling hook, which we saw in Attack of the Clones. He carried two additional pieces of interesting tech: a field security overloader to disable security systems, and electromagnetic inserts in his gloves that allowed him to pull his pistols to his hands over some distance (not as effective as a Jedi using the force, but still an advantage).
Boba’s primary weapon was an EE-3 carbine; basically a modified and improved version of what stormtroopers used. He had it tricked out with a scope and a modified stock. His sidearms included a blaster pistol and a concussion grenade launcher. He also utilized a wrist laser and a gauntlet similar to his father’s that could launch a few types of rockets. He also had his knee pads outfitted with rocket dart launchers and of course a grappling hook. In the expanded universe/Legends, Boba carried and operated lightsabers (one of few non force sensitives to do so) that were taken off the Jedi he killed, but this was never seen in the movies.
Finally we can’t really talk about their weapons without mentioning that ship, Slave I. It is a Firespray-31-class patrol and attack craft (interceptor). We saw what this craft was capable of in Attack of the Clones, but its armaments are expanded on in the expanded universe. While it was Jango’s ship it had blaster cannons and rapid fire laser cannons, proton torpedo launchers, a mine layer and seismic charges (seen in the movie). Boba extensively upgraded the ship when it came under his control, outfitting it with rotating blaster cannons, concussion missile launchers, a tractor beam projector and an ion cannon.
After his (Legends/expanded universe) escape from the sarlacc, Boba purchased Slave II. While it had less in the way of firepower, it was a relative unknown and looked far different from Boba’s former ship, allowing him to remain undetected.
2. Boba’s Controversial Popularity
As we said earlier, while Boba Fett was originally intended to be one of the main villains, he eventually became a minor character in the series. Despite the fact that his presence in the first three films includes just a few scenes and very little in the way of dialogue, he has become one of the most beloved characters in the series… by some fans. On the other hand, there are plenty of enthusiasts who think his character is among the series’ most overrated due to little in the way of fighting scenes and no memorable lines. One can say that Fett is among the most polarizing characters in the Star Wars universe.
In his own reflections on the series, George Lucas has said that he initially had no idea Boba Fett would become a popular character, and has also lamented that had he known how fans would respond to his death scene, he would have come up with something more interesting than accidentally falling into a pit in the desert after a jetpack related crash.
1. The Inspiration For Boba
The actor who played Boba Fett in the fifth and sixth movies was Jeremy Bulloch. Bulloch said that when he was coming up with the inspiration for Boba Fett’s body language and mannerisms, his main inspiration was Clint Eastwood‘s character “the man with no name”, in the westerns A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, made between 1964 and 1966. Bulloch said that the two characters wore a similar cape, that he tried to emulate the slow, deliberate movement of Eastwood, along with how he held his head when stationary and even the way in which the character carried his gun.