*** Be warned that SPOILERS ARE AHEAD for season two of The Mandalorian, so if you haven’t watched this episode, don’t read this article. Trust me, you want to go into this one without spoilers. ***
The first episode of season one of The Mandalorian ended with a massive reveal, as it was shown that the asset was actually a child of Yoda’s species! How could the second season possibly top that?
Well, if it’s at all possible to do so (given the Child’s enormous popularity), they managed to do so in the first episode of the second season. After a very fun and exciting episode seeing Din Djarin and Cobb Vanth team up to hunt a Krayt Dragon on Tatooine, the episode ends with a figure staring out at the twin suns on Tatooine, watching Djarin ride away on his speeder bike.
Who is it?
It’s almost certainly Boba Fett.
With the role, Temuera Morrison makes his triumphant return to the Star Wars franchise, making a live-action appearance for the first time since Revenge of the Sith. Morrison played Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones, and since the clone troopers were all clones of Jango, Morrison also played the clones in the prequel trilogy. Since Jango’s son, Boba Fett, was also a clone, Morrison was also brought to re-record the lines for the character in the updated edition of the original trilogy. He has also lent his voice to a number of other Star Wars projects, which most recently include voicing Boba Fett in Battlefront and Battlefront II. Though he obviously wasn’t the original Boba Fett, Morrison has come to be the definitive voice to the character, voicing him in the current editions of the original trilogy and Star Wars video games. But here, Morrison portrays the character in live-action for the very first time. It was reported months ago, but now it’s confirmed.
To me, there is absolutely ZERO doubt that this is Boba Fett. Why? Well, a whole lot of reasons:
- Temuera Morrison is the guy who has voiced Boba Fett in pretty much everything.
- It was previously reported by very credible outlets that Morrison was returning to the show to play Boba Fett. With Morrison’s return confirmed, I think it’s pretty safe to say that those outlets also got right who he’s playing.
- The location is Tatooine, which is just so obviously connected to Boba Fett. If we were to discover Fett again, this is where it would be.
- This figure has the look of a person who has been on Tatooine a while. He looks rugged and worn, but also carries several weapons, including a gaffi stick, which is used by Tusken Raiders.
- The episode heavily features Boba Fett’s armor, so story-wise, this is BY FAR the most logical and natural conclusion to reach. Oh, Cobb Vanth just gave up the armor, Din Djarin rides away with it, and a mysterious figure played by Temuera Morrison looks on? Seems pretty obvious it’s all connected.
- The show takes place five years after the Battle of Endor, meaning that Boba Fett would be approximately 41 years old at this point. That’s perfectly in line with how Morrison looks here, and fits well. According to Wookiepedia, both Boba Fett and Rex were born in 32 BBY, 41 years before The Mandalorian – but only Fett was an unaltered clone. The other clones had rapidly accelerated aging that would make Rex considerably older by this time. Even if they were able to pause the effects of that accelerated aging, Rex would figure to appear far older than the figure here.
For these reasons and more, I think it’s totally obvious that this is Boba Fett. I’m not alone in that, either, as pretty much every major outlet talking about this episode shares the same conviction.
Perhaps, though, you’re thinking, “Wait a second, didn’t Boba Fett fall to his death in Return of the Jedi?” It’s certainly understandable how you’d come to that conclusion, but Star Wars has a long history of this very principle: if you don’t actually see a person die, they might not be dead. Maul, Palpatine, Boba Fett – the list can go on. The reveal in The Mandalorian that Boba Fett survived the sarlacc pit is massive in the sense that it’s been unconfirmed for years in the new canon, but it’s not new to Star Wars. In fact, it was a common story told in legends material.
In legends, Boba Fett escaped the Sarlacc at the Great Pit of Carkoon. But actually, in a very hilarious moment, Boba Fett’s first escape attempt ended with him almost immediately being eaten back up. In case you’re curious, check it out (and let it serve as a reminder that a lot of legends material was dumb). But anyway, Fett escaped the sarlacc once more, and he went on to have a number of other adventures in the years to come.
In canon, however, nothing had been confirmed, and Boba Fett’s fate had been left suspiciously vague. The fact that there was so much uncertainty, and some hints about his possible survival, led many (including myself) to think that he did survive the Sarlacc and that Lucasfilm was waiting for the right opportunity to tell that story. This show sense as the way to do that, especially now that we’re in season two and the main characters have already been established.
Back in May, following the report that Morrison would be playing Boba Fett in the show, I wrote about some of the hints that have been dropped in canon material about Fett’s survival. Most notable were the mentions in the Aftermath books. In those books, we are told:
- That the Sarlacc at the Great Pit of Carkoon had been greatly damaged by the explosion of Jabba the Hutt’s sail barge. It’s large body was uncovered and split open, and it was left to be pillaged.
- That Jawas had pillaged the Sarlacc and retrieved a number of items.
- That Jawas recovered a set of Mandalorian armor that was worn, scarred, and damaged by acid. When Malakili, Jabba’s rancor keeper, saw Cobb Vanth wearing the armor, he thought it looked eerily familiar.
All of these things led many to wonder if Boba Fett was alive. Think about it: if the Sarlacc had been damaged by the sail barge explosion, that would have been almost immediately after it had eaten Fett. So there would have been plenty of opportunity for him to live, and the only question would become why he no longer had his armor. I doubt he would willingly leave it, so perhaps he was unconscious or wounded or something like that, and the Jawas took the armor?
In any case, it seemed like Lucasfilm was setting up the potential for future stories to be told, and that they were just waiting for the chance to do so. Now, it looks like they’re beginning to do just that.
And remember, in the fifth episode of the first season of The Mandalorian, a mysterious figure approached Fennec Shand’s body in the Tatooine desert, and many wondered if it was Boba Fett. Perhaps it actually was.
I’m not sure where the show will go from here with Fett’s character, but it’s undoubtedly a thrilling return. It’s great to see Temuera Morrison back in Star Wars, it’s an exciting reveal, and it’s a huge moment for Star Wars fans who have been waiting for years to get official confirmation in canon of the bounty hunter’s survival.
But what was Fett up to over the past five years? Why didn’t he retrieve (or at least try to retrieve) his armor back from Cobb Vanth? What’s going to be his next course of action with Din Djarin? These are questions left to be answered, and I can’t wait to begin to explore them!