With the rich and diverse cast of characters that populate the Star Wars universe, it’s not surprising that practically every one of them has their own fans and stories written about them. Everyone has their own favorite secondary personality that they wished got more attention before the story moved on to the main characters. However, they all pale in significance to Boba Fett, the fearless intergalactic bounty hunter. Despite only having a handful of lines in the Original Trilogy, people took to the Fett fiercely. It’s not just the cool armor and sweet gig, it’s the respect that big bad Darth Vader gives him and the fact that he’s one of the only characters that have mouthed off to the Sith Lord and not received a force choking in return. He’s a badass that does a lot with very little screentime.
Since appearing in Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Boba’s story has been expanded on tremendously. It started with the various Expanded Universe books and comics (now Legends), continued with Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and has been added to ever since. With a rumored Boba Fett/bounty hunter spin-off movie in the works at Disney, it’s never been a better time to be a fan of the Fett. Here are the 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Boba Fett
15. He’s fallen into the Sarlacc Pit twice (at least)
For such a badass character, Boba Fett makes a rather embarrassing exit in Return of the Jedi. Put simply, he goes out like a punk. However, the Legends books have portrayed him as not only escaping an agonizingly slow digestion once, but later falling into the exact same pit again.
In the comic Star Wars #81: Jawas of Doom, Boba is shown escaping the Pit of Carkoon, having rocketed his way to safety. The dazed Boba is picked up by some Jawas and stored inside their Sandcrawler. However, the hooded Jawas have also stolen R2-D2, prompting Han, Leia, and Luke to stage a dramatic high-speed rescue. Han finds the amnesiac Boba Fett inside and attempts to help him. However, Fett attacks, leaving Han no choice but to jump clear of the speeding Sandcrawler as it topples into the toothy maw of the Sarlacc. When Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012, the Expanded Universe was mostly done away with in favor of a new canon. Star Wars author and historian Jonathan Rinzler confirmed in a Reddit AMA that Boba does indeed survive the Pit in the new continuity. It’s been suggested that his trademark armor has been recovered, but there’s no sign of the man himself…yet.
14. He was intended to be the main villain of Return of the Jedi
At one point in time, George Lucas had envisioned a three trilogy epic Star Wars saga. After Empire Strikes Back, the original plan was to have Boba Fett be the main antagonist of the third film, with Luke’s second confrontation with Vader being part of the follow-up trilogy. In retrospect, this makes a lot of sense. It explains why Boba takes the frozen Han Solo away at the end of Empire and it also explains the character’s appearance in the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special. They were clearly teasing greater things for the character, which makes his ignoble “death” in the opening of Return of the Jedi all the more jarring.
According to Craig Miller, Lucasfilm’s first Director of Fan Relations, George Lucas had a change of heart when it came to the issue and decided to cancel the plans for another trilogy. In an interview, Miller said: “he (Lucas) took what was planned for the third trilogy, which was the confrontation between Luke and Darth Vader, and the battle with the Emperor, and that got squished down from three movies to one movie. And that became the plot of Jedi.” It’s a shame we never got to see Boba come into his own in the movies, but as the Disney machine is constantly working overtime in the background, who knows what the future holds.
13. His first appearance was at a county fair
Many will tell you that Boba Fett debuted in 1978 in an animated short as part of the awful Star Wars Holiday Special. This is sort of true, as it marks the character’s first “proper” appearance, but he actually first showed up in full armor next to Darth Vader at the San Anselmo County Fair Day on September 24th, 1978 – several months before the Holiday Special aired on TV.
The assistant film editor on both Empire and Jedi, Duwayne Dunham was the man who first suited up as the bounty hunter and braved the sweltering heat to give the public their first glimpse of Vader’s “right-hand man”. In an interview with StarWars.com, Dunham describes his experience with the suit and marching alongside Vader in scorching weather: “The two of us were about to die at that point. Sweat was just pouring. I remember telling [producer] Gary Kurtz: “Gary, I gotta get out of this suit or I’m going to pass out!” We were drenched.”. Little did the residents of San Anselmo know that they were witnessing a huge part of Star Wars history.
12. He was the lead in the canceled Star Wars 1313 video game
Of all the casualties of Disney’s takeover of Lucasfilm, the cancellation of the awesome-looking Star Wars 1313 is up there with the ones that hurt the most. Star Wars 1313 was to be a Mature-rated game set in the galaxy far, far away. Little was known of it outside of the 2012 E3 announcement. We knew it was a departure from the usual Star Wars games and that it was a step away from the usual lightsaber and force powers formula, choosing to focus on more grounded cover-based shooting and big cinematic sequences.
Once the game was canceled, however, details about it started to emerge. It soon transpired that the unidentified bounty hunter depicted in the early gameplay footage was actually a mislead, and that the game was going to be about Boba Fett exploring the seedy criminal underbelly of Coruscant. Not only that, but the game was intended to crossover with the proposed live-action TV series Star Wars: Underworld, which was also cruelly never produced. In 2015, Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy suggested that both projects may not be completely dead, but we’re not holding our breath.
11. There’s an ultra-rare Boba Fett figure that’s been described as “The Holy Grail of Star Wars Collectables”
For many, the Star Wars toys are synonymous with the movies. When the original film released and became a worldwide phenomenon, the tie-in line of figures became the must-have toys for children everywhere. Despite not being in the first movie, Kenner advertised a Boba Fett figure with a launching missile as a mail-away item. The toy was almost immediately recalled due to safety concerns, but a select few managed to make it out into the hands of collectors.
As the toy was never officially released, it’s incredibly rare and highly sought after. One such figure was sold at auction in 2013 for $22,500, and in 2016, another surfaced on eBay for the eye-watering sum of $150,000. It even featured on the TV show Pawn Stars, where host Rick Harrison offered the princely sum of $100,000 for it, but was declined. In any case, it’s easily one of the most valuable Star Wars figures ever produced.
10. In his original origin story, Boba was a man named Jaster Mareel
1996 novella The Last One Standing: The Tale of Boba Fett aimed to flesh out the backstory of everyone’s favorite bounty hunter. It contained many revelations about Fett’s early life, his exile, and his ongoing rivalry with Han Solo. One of the more interesting points was the fact that it stated that Boba Fett’s name to be Jaster Mareel, or at the very least, that’s the name Boba identifies himself as in one passage. The book doesn’t focus too much on this aspect, but several publications after The Last One Standing corroborated the information.
When the second prequel Attack of the Clones came out, this backstory was pretty much ignored. Boba was revealed to be an unaltered clone of legendary bounty hunter Jango Fett, who raised him like a son. Jaster Mareel was later retconned in Jango Fett: Open Seasons to be a mentor and father figure of Jango’s, who dies after he’s betrayed by Montross, a Mandalorian warrior resentful of Mareel’s fatherly relationship with the young Jango. When Boba Fett becomes a Journeyman Protector (a sort-of space cop), he uses the alias of Jaster Mareel as a nod to his father’s fallen mentor.
9. He married a fellow bounty hunter and had a daughter
The story Outbid But Never Outgunned featured the first appearance of a female bounty hunter named Sintas (later Sintas Vel), whom Boba meets while on assignment. Both bounty hunters are after a mysterious canister in the possession of Pizztov, a sleazy businessman. Once they catch up to him, Pizztov escapes, but only momentarily. Sintas shoots him in the back and grabs the canister. She’s about to open it when Boba shoots her in the arm with his blaster. He informs her that it could have blown up in her face without Pizztov’s retinal scan. Fett activates the canister and the holographic image of him holding Sintas who is cradling a baby is revealed (seen above), suggesting a much deeper backstory between the two.
This was later expanded on. It turns out that the pair used to be married and had a daughter together. Boba gave up the hunting business and became a Journeyman Protector. However, when his superior officer rapes his wife, Boba kills him and is subsequently arrested, tried, and eventually exiled from his new home on Concord Dawn. Their daughter, Ailyn, grew up and took on the family business, hoping to one day run into her father and avenge her mother’s death (spoiler: Sintas didn’t die, but was frozen in carbonite for 40 years).
8. His helmet gives him 360-degree vision
Boba Fett has all the cool toys. For starters, he’s got that awesome jetpack, a flamethrower, a grapple, and that isn’t even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the impressive tech he uses. One of the more obscure facts about his armor and his helmet in particular, is that it grants him full 360-degree vision thanks to the advanced built-in HUD and information readouts. He’s almost literally got eyes in the back of his head – perfect for the cut-throat world of assassination and bounty hunting.
However, Boba is just as capable without all of his badass gear. He’s a skilled unarmed combatant and an expert marksman. He’s a force to be reckoned with no matter what he’s equipped with, as demonstrated when he’s sent to take in Kardue’sai’Malloc (aka the devil guy briefly seen in the cantina in A New Hope). Fett is forced to go full Rambo and abandon his armor due to the planet’s detection systems. He goes after the Devaronian armed only with a bow, some arrows, and a knife. Boba gets his man and hauls him in, leading him to a grisly execution where he’s eaten alive by vicious reptilian monsters known as Quarra. Nasty.
7. He trained Han and Leia’s daughter, Jaina Solo, to fight her twin brother
Sticking with Legends, there was a point where Jaina Solo, one of three children in the Solo household, had to turn to her father’s former nemesis for help. It all starts when Jacen Solo, her twin brother, starts going off the rails. Once a promising student of the Jedi, Jacen slowly starts to turn to the Dark Side. He seizes control of the Galactic Alliance, murders his aunt Mara Jade Skywalker, and takes on an apprentice of his own, becoming Darth Cadeus in the process.
Jaina realized that she had to stop her brother and turns to Boba Fett and his Jedi-killing expertise. Fett agrees and trains her up to do battle with Cadeus. Eventually, the two siblings meet on the Star Destroyer Anakin Solo (named after their late brother) and have a climactic lightsaber battle. Jaina manages to triumph and restores order to the galaxy in a deeply emotional and somewhat hollow victory. It’s nice to think that Boba’s history of killing Jedi ended up saving the galaxy.
6. He’s fought Darth Vader twice
Despite being described by some as Vader’s right-hand man, Fett is an equal-opportunity bounty hunter. His assignments have occasionally brought him into direct conflict with Big Daddy V himself a couple of times. The first takes place in Star Wars Tales #11 in the story Prey, where Grand Moff Tarkin hires Fett to bring in Han Solo. Vader disagrees with the decision, and Tarkin offers him the chance to prove his superiority and complete the mission himself. Both men track Solo to the Mos Eisley Cantina and fight over the bounty, with Fett drawing a lightsaber of his own. The pair duel, but it doesn’t last long before Vader disarms him and Solo gets away.
The second fight is perhaps the more interesting. In Boba Fett: Enemy of the Empire #4, the pair clash again over the matter of a chest containing the living head of Selestrine, a soothsayer with precognitive future-telling abilities. Fett is hired to return the head to Vader, but doesn’t, leaving the Sith Lord to confront him. Boba fires a few blaster shots at the man formerly known as Anakin Skywalker, but they are easily parried. The fight comes to a head when Vader apparently mindtricks Fett into walking over a cliff. Vader advances and peers over the edge, only to receive a blaster shot to the face. Fett throws the chest over the edge and Vader abandons their battle to retrieve it, leaving Boba to declare himself the victor.
5. Famed director Joe Johnston designed the iconic armor
Star Wars wouldn’t have half its famous and instantly iconic designs without conceptual artist Ralph McQuarrie. However, the design of Boba Fett’s armor is widely credited to Joe Johnston, who worked as a concept artist on Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Both McQuarrie and Johnston originally worked on the concept of an elite supertrooper army (similar to the Imperial Super Commandos that appear in Season 3 of Star Wars Rebels). The original design was all white, with the troopers all looking exactly alike. Budgetary concerns prevented this from becoming a reality, but the design was tweaked for Boba Fett’s armor, with Johnston coloring it and making it unique.
Due to his involvement, Johnston is often referred to as “the father of Boba Fett”. After working on the Star Wars sequels, Johnston went on to become a major Hollywood force, directing Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, The Rocketeer, Jumanji, Jurassic Park III, and the movie responsible for bringing Steve Rogers into the MCU, Captain America: The First Avenger.
4. His armor has a braid for a reason
When Joe Johnston was questioned about his design for the Fett armor, he stated that he wanted to make it look like it was scavenged from a number of different sources. Eagle-eyed viewers of the movies will have noticed that Boba rocks a rather curious braid that seems to serve no discernible purpose.
However, this braid tells a story all of its own. Boba has a history of collecting trophies from his various targets, and the braid is apparently made from Wookiee scalps. Ew. Perhaps darker still is the notion that in the new canon, the braid is either made from Wookiee scalps or Padawan braids. Considering his hatred for the Jedi and the ritualistic importance of a Padawan’s hair braid, it seems completely in-character that Boba would re-purpose the Jedi learners’ hair and wear it symbolically with a sick sense of pride. No matter the origin, it probably smells absolutely terrible.
3. The origin of the “Fett” name
When stacked against some of the other exotic-sounding names in the Star Wars universe (such as the previously mentioned mouthful Kardue’sai’Malloc) the name “Boba Fett” doesn’t seem quite as odd. Much like most things in the now non-canonical Star Wars Legends sagas, Boba’s name has quite the history. “Fett” is actually a corruption of the Mandalorian word “Vhett”, meaning “farmer”. Yup – the badass bounty hunter, feared across the galaxy, is basically named “Bob the Farmer”.
Clan Fett is one of the oldest Mandalorian families around, with a rich and storied history. The lineage is responsible for people of all walks of life, from simple farmers to powerful war leaders. The Fett name soon became legendary for producing skilled and fearsome warriors that had epic battles against the Jedi. Perhaps one of the biggest bones of contention amongst fans is whether Jango and Boba are actually Mandalorians to begin with. The new canon seems to suggest that they aren’t, and that Jango merely assumed the name and armor. Apparently, George Lucas was never a fan of the lineage idea, and as such, Jango (and his kid Boba) are never referred to as “Mandalorian” in the prequels.
2. There are multiple origins for the dent in his helmet
Boba Fett’s armor looks like it’s been through the wringer a few times (and it has). Perhaps one of the more noticeable defects on his armor, amidst all the scuffs and scratches, is the prominent dent in his helmet. Originally, this was explained as a result of Boba’s fight with Vader in Enemy of the Empire #4, in which Fett fires a blast at the Sith Lord, who reflects the blasts with his lightsaber, causing one to ricochet and hit the bounty hunter’s armored dome.
The more recent (and to date, the only canonical) reason for the dent appeared in an unused animatic for the Star Wars: The Clone Wars series, in which Boba confronts top bounty hunter (and former mentor) Cad Bane. The two square off in a classic Western-style showdown and fire at the same time, flooring both bounty hunters and leaving Boba’s helmet to roll towards the camera, still smoking and now sporting a familiar-looking dent. It’s a great sequence, and a real shame that it never made it into the show. As the clip was unfinished, we don’t know what happens to Cad Bane, but it’d be all kinds of awesome if they brought him back.
1. Jeremy Bulloch could barely see out of the helmet
There have been many actors responsible for bringing Boba Fett to life. However, one of the men with the strongest claim to the role is Jeremy Bulloch, the guy who suited up as the bounty hunter in Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
According to Bulloch, the costume came with its own challenges. In an interview with Thrillist, he describes that merely walking and talking was difficult- “You could see through, but breathing in it… it started to mist up. I remember counting steps: “one, two, three, four, go to your right.” I had to count the steps I had because it’s not easy to walk about, and when you breathe in, it just mists up. And yet you have to try and look as cool as possible.” He also recalls the time during the shooting of Empire where he kept accidentally treading on Darth Vader’s cape and flubbing what few lines he had. So there we have it. From a man who could barely see, tripping over his lines and his own feet, to one of the coolest characters in the Star Wars galaxy. That’s the magic of movie making, folks.
Do you know of any other obscure factoids surrounding the famed bounty hunter? Do you think a Boba Fett solo movie will ever see the light of day? Let us know in the comments.