I’ve made it no secret that I absolutley and unequivocally love the animated Galaxy of Adventures shorts that have been coming out on the Star Wars Kids Youtube channel for the last several months, and often these shorts add to our understanding of scenes by showing us a slightly different perspective.
Recently, it seems that many of the shorts have focused on Jabba’s Palace from the beginning of Return of the Jedi, as we got a short about Leia rescuing Han, Jabba the Hutt, Luke fighting the Rancor, and Luke’s heroics on the sail barge. Of this group the one about Jabba was kind of lacking, but it did something that I really appreciate: it showed that Boba Fett had a reason for being at Jabba’s Palace in ROTJ.
Of course, the real reason why Boba Fett was present at the beginning of the film was because George Lucas wanted him to be (and Lucas apparently may have initially had even bigger plans than that for the character), but in canon, the reason isn’t very well explained in the film itself. Basically, as a bounty hunter Fett would take on contracts from people to hunt bounties, and Fett worked especially for Jabba the Hutt. This is shown in the brief sequence from A New Hope (the 1997 edition) where Fett makes a cameo appearance with Jabba. But in The Empire Strikes Back we saw Fett working for Darth Vader, so we know that the bounty hunter isn’t exclusively working for Jabba, even though by working for Vader Fett is actually helping Jabba. Yeah, it’s a bit undefined, but it works.
Here’s the point I’m making, though: the casual fan might be led to believe that Fett is just an underling for Jabba the Hutt, which is why he has just hung around at Jabba’s Palace for several months since bringing in Han Solo, almost like he completed his mission and now just hangs around as one of Jabba’s guards. That has never been the case, but it’s not something that the film dives in to (nor should it, really).
In that Galaxy of Adventures short, however, we see Boba Fett bringing in an Aqualish captive, presenting him before Jabba – who proceeds to feed his new prisoner to the Rancor. It’s added to give us a better feel for Jabba’s underworld dealings, but it also addresses the issue I was outlining above. Boba Fett is at Jabba’s Palace at the beginning of ROTJ because he had just recently completed another bounty for Jabba, for whom he often works.
It’s really not a big issue nor is it something I think ROTJ should have spent time answering, but it’s nonetheless a small but noteworthy touch by Galaxy of Adventures.