Warning: This post contains major spoilers for the Season 2 premiere of The Mandalorian
One year ago, the series premiere of The Mandalorian introduced a new fan favorite into Star Wars canon: The Child, aka Baby Yoda. For the opening act of the blockbuster Disney+ show’s second season, creator Jon Favreau has gone and resurrected an old fan favorite — someone who vanished into the Great Pit of Carkoon 37 years ago in terrestrial time. That’s right, we’re talking about noted peacetime Mandalorian Boba Fett... or at least, his helmet. First glimpsed in animated form in the the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special, that Beskar steel-enhanced bit of headware is revealed to have a new owner in the Season 2 premiere, “The Marshal,” which also happens to be the first episode of the series that features Favreau behind the camera.
Specifically, Boba’s helmet is in the possession of Cobb Vanth, a small-town Tatooine marshal played by noted TV lawman, Timothy Olyphant. (For more on Vanth’s backstory, pick up the Aftermath book trilogy, written by Chuck Wendig.) Our Mando, Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), and his little green sidekick make Cobb’s acquaintance when they follow a trail of rumors about another Mandalorian that leads them to the remote outpost of Mos Pelgo. Visiting the local saloon, he inquires after a local who might be wearing Beskar steel only to see Boba Fett himself standing in the doorway seconds later. When the helmet came off to reveal Olyphant’s familiar face, fans felt... uh, justified in engaging in a collective Twitter freak-out.
As explained in the episode, Cobb acquired the surviving pieces of Fett’s armor after being rescued by jawas from certain death in the middle of the Tatooine desert. Armed with Mandalorian weapons, he protects and serves the tiny population of Mos Pelgo — although he’s desperately in need of assistance in taking on the town’s biggest threat: a rampaging subterranean Krayt dragon who made a meal of a nearby Sarlaac years ago and has been feasting on random Mos Pelgo citizens, Tusken Raiders and banthas ever since. So Din and Cobb strike a deal: if they slay the dragon, the armor returns to the Mandalorians, and he’ll continue his quest for information on Baby Yoda’s origins.
But guess what? That helmet isn’t the only thing that survived a close encounter with the Sarlaac. In the closing moments of “The Marshal,” Favreau made official what fans had long suspected: Boba Fett himself is alive and kinda well. Actor Temuera Morrison — who played Boba’s “father” Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones, where it was revealed that the elder Fett provided the template for all of the clone troopers, plus his own clone offspring — appears onscreen as Boba Fett for the first time. (He’s previously voiced the character in video games, as well as the revised 2004 version of The Empire Strikes Back.) While he’s only onscreen for seconds, it’s long enough to see that Boba hasn’t emerged from the Great Pit of Carkoon without scars.
Fett’s return was inevitable, as the Force has always been strong within the Cult of Boba. At one point, Lucasfilm even tasked Chronicle director Josh Trank with writing and directing a solo Boba Fett adventure, until Fantastic Four got in the way. “One of my all-time favorite movies, which I've seen a billion times, is Unforgiven,” Trank recently told Yahoo Entertainment about his plans for that never-made movie. “I'm a massive fan of Clint Eastwood's filmography and the arc of his characters as a gunslinger — specifically in the Sergio Leone films — obviously had a huge influence on sort of the look and demeanor of Boba Fett. If you look at Star Wars in general, all of the characters from the original trilogy by George Lucas are these archetypes of big cinematic characters that have existed for a long time, so there was a lot there that I was very drawn to.”
If they can’t have a Boba Fett movie (yet), his fanbase is ecstatic that he’ll presumably be causing trouble for Mando and Baby Yoda over the course of Season 2.
At the same time, other Star Wars aficionados had a bad feeling about Boba Fett’s resurrection, likening it to the latter-day returns of Darth Maul in Solo and Emperor Palpatine in The Rise of Skywalker.
In case you’re worried that Favreau used up all of his firepower in the season premiere, there are still plenty of cameos left to come — including the return of those pesky Jedi. Beat faster, fans hearts will.
The Mandalorian is currently streaming on Disney+
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