The Mandalorian might be the only thing Star Wars fans can agree on. With its western vibe and intriguing cast, the adventures of this wandering bounty hunter and his adopted green baby have captivated the world and with Baby Yoda’s cuteness even drawing in a wider audience, it’s safe to say this has been a series that has thus far, stayed on target. Obviously, with this wider and more accepting fanbase comes much more speculation and theorising. In the UK we are slightly behind the times and are 7 episodes into the series while the rest of the world has long since finished.
Theories have run wild on even the tiniest details but I’m here to discuss just one, and its no bigger than the womp rats I used to bulls-eye with my T-16 back home. At the end of episode 5, “The Gunslinger” Mando has left Tatooine, his pockets lined with credits he has taken from Toro Calican after he dropped the traitorous rookie bounter hunter. Toro, to his credit, had just killed the shared quarry. Fennec Shand, a woman even Mando was taking very seriously. Leaving her body in the middle of the Dune Sea, Toro went to get the bigger fish. Come the end of the episode though, we see someone approaching the defeated assassin. This person is never shown in full and we only catch a glimpse of their boots and cape, all in shadow.
Who is this person? Why were they there? And why is it important? I think I can answer all three of those questions with one name, a name that Star Wars fans squeal with joy over and even non-fans have at least a vague understanding of… Boba Fett.
The most famous bounty hunter of all time (besides maybe Dog) Boba is an icon with his image alone. He introduced the whole world to the Mandalorian armour as he stood there silent and intimidating beside such threats as Darth Vader and Jabba the Hutt. Really when you watch back those original films, Fett never really does very much, in fact his one action scene leads to him getting beaten by a blind man who wasn’t even aware he was there and eaten by the a sarlacc… Not a very fitting end for a character with such a huge fanbase, but that’s the thing, during the original run George Lucas had no idea that Fett was so beloved, he just saw him as an expendable, albeit cool looking, flunky for Jabba. Only after death was his fame realised and we ended up with a sea of Boba merch and spin off books and comics! Even the prequels got in on the fun with Boba appearing as a child alongside his (potentially cooler) father Jango.
Pre-release many casual fans speculated that the Mando in the series would be Boba, not knowing much about the lore, they saw the T-visor and assumed. Obviously one episode in and this theory is soundly disproven, but what if the green armoured pretender survived his trip into the stomach of the beast? The old Star Wars canon loved to run with that theory. So, there’s a strong possibility that Fett could return now to appease the fans who want more.
Clone Wars taught us many things, but the key fact to remember now is that Boba and Jango are NOT Mandalorians. Obi-Wan discovers this during a trip to Mandalore where the Prime Minister reveals he is aware of Jango and can’t explain where he got his armour from. Being that our titular is clearly very proud of his heritage, it wouldn’t be surprising if he would butt heads with Boba, a man who wants all the glory that comes with being part of the clan, but with none of the sacrifice. Also, both characters being renowned bounty hunters suggests that they could come into conflict over a prize. If my theory is right, then I’d assume Boba approaches Fennec’s body because he was looking to claim her bounty. Finding her dead costs Fett his payday. Not cool among bounty hunters.
All of this is speculation obviously, all I have to go on are the location being Tatooine, the last place we saw Fett alive. The armour and cape, and that as this mystery character approaches, the sound of their boots on the ground matches the previously used walking sound effect of Boba from Empire Strikes Back, this could all be a red herring to throw super nerds like me off the trail, but I can’t help but hope. I’d love to see Fett back and watch as he goes to work against a foe who more or less matches him in skill, equipment and reputation.
The final episode of The Mandalorian releases May 1st on Disney+ in the UK