With his dusty cape, battle-scarred armor, a trusty disruptor pistol, and stylin' T-visored helm, Boba Fett is easily one of the most instantly recognizable characters in the Star Wars franchise. His reputation is so renowned in the galactic underworld that Darth Vader himself hand-picked him to collect a bounty on his own son. And his very presence simply radiates so much badass, fans easily and consistently overlook the fact that he barely had any speaking lines in the movie.
Plus he was killed off in possibly one of the most underwhelming displays of embarrassment in the trilogy -- [spoiler alert] by having a blind Han Solo stumble into him and set off his jetpack, sending him hurtling into the maw of a giant pit beast.
But nevermind that. Boba Fett is awesome. So awesome that, according to entertainment news leaks, there are rumors that Disney is sorta-kinda-maybe giving the most notorious bounty hunter in A Galaxy Far, Far Away his own solo film. But how much do you actually know about the Mandalorian behind the mask?
1. He's Been Portrayed By Eight Different Actors
Vader comes close, since we see him portrayed by several different actors throughout his childhood as a whiny Padawan podracer through adulthood as a whiny Jedi Knight who turned to the Dark Side. But Boba Fett outdoes the dark lord himself by having a total of eight different actors playing his role.
Part of this is due to Boba Fett's relatively minor role in the movies; he's barely more than a speaking extra. Essentially, anyone who could fit into the armor got to adopt his on-screen persona.
Jeremy Bulloch is credited as the actor who portrayed Boba Fett through most of his on-screen appearances, while stuntman John Morton filled in during Bulloch's single sick day. In the Star Wars Special Editions, his voice was dubbed over by Temeura Morrison, the actor who would later play Jango Fett in the prequel movies.
When filming additional footage for the Special Editions, Boba Fett was played by numerous random Industrial Light and Magic employees – literally, anyone on the payroll who could squeeze into the armor, such as creature animator Mark Austin, and Nelson Hall, assistant manager of the model shop. And in the prequel movies, we meet a Little Boba portrayed by Daniel Logan, who also voices the character in the Clone Wars animated series.
2. The Braids On His Shoulder Are Wookiee Scalps
If we were to put together a list of the "Top 10 Ways to Show You're a Cold-Hearted Murderer-for-Hire," taking the scalps of your victims would rank way up there, possibly at #3 or so. Displaying the scalps of your victims prominently on your armor? Yeah, would be #2. But the #1 spot? That would have to go to 'These Scalps Are Actually Wookiee Scalps.'
While there isn't very much backstory as to how Boba Fett got around to claiming these scalps, the fact that we know they'd been taken from Wookiees speaks volumes. If Chewbacca's any indication, and he is, Wookiees are a large, ferocious, and incredibly powerful species prone to fits of berserker rage that could lead to them tearing off the arms of people they don't like.
The fact that Boba Fett adorns his armor with not one, but two distinct Wookiee scalps...well, you don't really need to say "don't mess with him, this guy's crazy" any other way.
3. He Comes from A Culture of Badasses
Boba Fett is a Mandalorian, but unlike Ewoks, Wookiees, and Twi'leks, the term “Mandalorian” doesn't necessarily refer to a particular biological species. Instead, think of being Mandalorian as similar to having been raised in ancient Sparta; you're still human, but you grew up in a culture that's distinct from the rest of the galaxy in that you were trained since birth to be a badass.
Indeed, like the ancient Spartans, the Mandalorians were traditionally a culture of warriors whose forebearers landed on a planet infested by carnivorous, city-sized dinosaurs. Instead of packing everyone back onboard the ship and flying off to a more hospitable place to settle--say, a planet not infested by giant, man-eating dragons--the early Mandalorians instead brought out their spears and killed off all the dragons. After that, they laid claim to the planet, named it Mando'a, divided themselves into clans, and made brutal civil war with each other for generations...probably because they ran out of city-sized dragons to kill.
There was a period in the Old Republic where a violent schism emerged between a group of pacifist Mandalorians and those wanting to return to their warrior roots, with the net result of proving that even in the pursuit of peace, the preferred Mandalorian form of conflict resolution is to murder everyone who disagrees with you.
We're not yet sure how this schism plays out in defining Mandalorian culture by the time of Episode V, but it's obvious that in Boba Fett's day, being Mandalorian still commands a great deal of badass street cred.
4. He Survives the Sarlaac (Probably)
In the Legends continuity, Boba Fett survives getting unceremoniously shoved into the giant fang-lined sand trap that is the maw of the sarlaac pit beast. Since it's essentially immobile, hiding under the sands and consuming whatever happens to stumble into its jaws, the sarlaac prefers to slowly digest its prey.
Protected by his Mandalorian armor and armed with an arsenal of gadgets, Boba Fett is eventually able to cut his way free from the sarlaac's grasp and jetpack to safety. While the Legends continuity is no longer officially accepted as canon, this reasoning is still a plausible explanation for how the bounty hunter would be able to survive such an inglorious end.
5. He Was Supposed to Be Darth Vader
During the earliest planning and concept designing sessions, George Lucas had only a rough idea of what he wanted for the villain of his trilogy.
At first, Lucas drafted an idea of Vader being “an intergalactic bounty hunter,” and concept artists rendered the idea in sketches of a bounty hunter dressed in all-white armor meant to be “ancient Imperial Shocktrooper” armor. Interestingly, the all-white armor look was adopted by the Stormtroopers, Vader switched careers and inverted his color scheme to all-black, and the bounty hunter got a paint job and became the Mandalorian Boba Fett.
On-set legend has it that the actors playing Boba Fett were only ever given their lines on the day of filming, but even they were rueful that such a cool character had been killed off.
George Lucas himself expresses regret at the missed opportunity to give everyone's favorite bounty hunter a more epic send-off. For decades, fan reaction echoes these sentiments, so much so that Boba Fett has been brought back in numerous novels and even has his own comic series set in the Expanded Universe.
With his enduring popularity, iconic look, and legendary badassitude, Boba Fett makes for an obvious choice for his own spin-off film. But will this bounty hunter live to terrorize the galaxy again?
We'll just have to wait and see.