Boba Fett: An in-depth history of the original Mandalorian bounty hunter

Dickey Beer and Jeremy Bulloch in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983). Photo: Lucasfilm.
Dickey Beer and Jeremy Bulloch in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983). Photo: Lucasfilm. /
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empire strikes back
David Prowse, Billy Dee Williams, Jeremy Bulloch, and John Morton in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980). Photo courtesy of Lucasfilm. /

Vader’s right-hand man

During the time of the Galactic Civil War between the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire, Boba Fett was in high-demand as one of the greatest bounty hunters in the known galaxy. His most frequent employers during this time period were Jabba the Hutt of Tatooine and the Emperor’s fist, Darth Vader.

As a matter of fact, Boba became such a frequent contractee of the Empire that he earned the moniker of Vader’s right-hand. He also earned a reputation for disintegrating his bounties.

One of the earliest contracts that Boba Fett had in service to the Dark Lord was an undercover mission on the Panna moon, Panna Prime. It was here that he had his first encounter with the rebel heroes Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia Organa, Han Solo and Chewbacca. Although he posed as an ally, Fett’s true nature was revealed thanks to the help of R2-D2 and C-3PO.

A second encounter with Luke Skywalker occurred later on after Darth Vader hired Boba to uncover the identity of the rebel hero who destroyed the first Death Star. Luke barely survived this ambush at Obi-Wan’s home on Tatooine except for some help from R2-D2. Even though Boba failed to capture Luke he did succeed in gaining the information his employer sought to know, the name of Vader’s young nemesis: Skywalker.

Boba’s greatest victory during his service to Jabba the Hutt was the capture of the smuggler-turned-rebel ally, Han Solo. Jabba had held a bounty on the former smuggler’s head since the latter dumped a load of spice that belonged to the Hutt. Fett wasn’t too thrilled with Darth Vader’s decision to use Solo as a proxy to test the carbonite freezing process he intended to use later on Luke Skywalker. His fearless statement: “He’s no good to me dead” was a brazenness afforded to virtually no one outside of the Emperor and Grand Moff Tarkin. The fact that he wasn’t force-choked for saying this was a testament to the respect that Fett had earned for his prowess.