Boba Fett… The galaxy’s most feared bounty hunter, smart, efficient and dangerous. Or is he? I’ve always been a sucker for the armour wearing hunter but after rewatching a few of the films and getting myself hyped beyond hype for the Disney+ series The Mandalorian, I’ve taken some time and actually realised… Fett might not be as amazing at his job as we all thought he might be.
For anyone who’s been stuck on an asteroid for a few years, Boba is the “son” of legendary bounty hunter Jango Fett. Jango isn’t under scrutiny here since his abilities are clearly shown in the films and recognised by someone as powerful as Count Dooku! Plus, Jango drops a Jedi in four shots… A council member Jedi… Suck it Coleman Trebor, you learned a hard lesson about trying to kill Dooku while he still had plot armour!
So with his payment for being the DNA template of the Republic’s grand army Jango was given an unaltered clone which he named Boba. You’d think with a father as amazingly famous as Jango that Boba would learn a thing or two. However, it looks like the little Fett wasn’t paying attention most of the time, the biggest clue being weapon choice, Jango packs a pair of Westar-34 blaster pistols and fires them with frightening accuracy, in fact every shot he takes lands on target, sure the Jedi he fires on manage to deflect them most of the time (not you Coleman) but that doesn’t excuse the fact those shots are arrow straight! Boba trades the dual wielding for a single blaster rifle which he was suspiciously inaccurate with, his shots going around targets more often than not, even when he had the jump on Luke Skywalker during the events on Cloud City, he missed!
Speaking of Skywalker, readers of the Marvel comics Star Wars series might remember an early plot point. Luke returns to Tatooine after a battle with Vader where he is severely out matched. Taking a trip to old Ben Kenobi’s home Luke digs around for anything that could make him a better Jedi. It’s there that he is ambushed by Boba Fett! Flashbanged and on the deck, Skywalker is out of commission. Boba only has to cuff him and get him out of there but he doesn’t he shows off and threatens… If he’d gotten the job done then he would have Skywalker locked up on board the Slave 1 immediately and be on his way back to Vader for those sweet sweet credits! So not only does Boba lose to an untrained Jedi, he loses to a BLIND untrained Jedi. Come the hell on!
Jumping back in time, during the Clone Wars series we can see the earliest days of Boba’s bounty hunting career. He’s a vengeful little bastard and his sole focus is to kill Mace Windu, the Jedi who killed his father. To do this we see the one thing Boba seems to excel at. He forms a team. Boba has a natural ability for leadership which is in contrast to his Dad who exclusively worked alone. He forms his own team of power rangers consisting of Aurra Sing, Bossk and Castas. Sure his plan fails but at the very least he proves he’s a capable leader and is decent at networking. Is that enough though? No definitely not.
Boba seems to get by almost entirely on his father’s reputation, in his first few solo missions Boba wears his own set of armour and is shown to be fairly ineffectual as a hunter, failing once again and ending up captured and imprisoned by the Republic. Not long after this Boba sticks on the same Mandalorian armour his Dad wore, though neither are truly from Mandalore (which you’d know already if you’d read Lance’s article on the history of the Mandalorians). Of course a good clear indicator of Boba’s lack of skill over his dad is in their armour, Jango’s is spotless and undamaged while Boba’s is a mess of blaster burns and dents; dodge much?! Much like his pops, Really Boba is just a pretender. He pretends to be a legendary Mandalorian and he pretends to have inherited all of his old man’s skills!
All of this lying and play acting comes to a head during the events of Return of the Jedi. Luke is in the midst of saving his friends and is making mince meat of the guards on one of Jabba the Hutt’s skiffs, Boba joins the fray by jumping aboard. Almost immediately he gets decked by the young Jedi… Managing to tangle him in a grappling hook is about the most successful Fett is during the “fight” since not long after this he’s taken down by a BLIND Han Solo and launches himself wildly into Jabba’s sailbarge and slides down into the waiting mouth of the Sarlaac pit.
… And so ends the story of an awesome looking and iconic, but overall ineffective bounty hunter; in the grand scheme of things Boba didn’t do much to honour his father’s legacy, but like I said, he still became an icon, and as much as I’ve spent the last 700 words railing on him, I still have a print of him on my living room wall. He’s still my favourite character in that universe, and will continue to be for the immediate term… Despite his inefficiencies.Become a Patron!