THEORY: Why ‘The Mandalorian’ is Hunting Boba Fett

For the last forty-two years, Star Wars has captivated fans in all mediums. From films to books, comics, video games, and even animation, Star Wars has seemed to have a story for every platform. However, one area where Star Wars has lacked in content is in live-action television, until now. On November 9, 2017, Disney and Lucasfilm announced that a live-action Star Wars series was being developed for Disney+, the streaming service launching this fall. In March 2018 it was announced that the series, now titled The Mandalorian, would be written and executively produced by Jon Favreau. Dave Filoni (Star Wars: The Clone Wars), would also direct and executively produce the series alongside Favreau, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, and Colin Wilson (Avatar) with Karen Gilchrist (Iron Man) co-executively producing. Directors for the series include Taika Waititi, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa, and Deborah Chow.

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A year after the initial announcement, Disney and Lucasfilm confirmed long-standing rumors that Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, and Nick Nolte had been cast in starring roles. A month later in December 2018, it was announced that Giancarlo Esposito, Carl Weathers, Emily Swallow, Omid Abtahi, and Werner Herzog had joined the main cast. Yet, despite all of this information, we still know very little about the plot of The Mandalorian.

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In April 2019 I was able to attend The Mandalorian panel at Star Wars Celebration Chicago, in which Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, Kathleen Kennedy, Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, and Carl Weathers were able to give some more information about the series. For this piece, the only important information to come from that panel is the confirmation that the series takes place five years after the events of Return of the Jedi.

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Also released during this panel was a large amount of footage shown exclusively to fans in attendance. Leaked footage from the panel can be found online, although I will not share it here. During one of these clips, fans got to see what appears to be the catalyst that starts the Mandalorian’s quest. For those who have not seen the clip, the quick summary is the titular character receives a bounty request from Greef Carga (Carl Weathers), who runs the Bounty Hunter’s Guild. This takes the Mandalorian to Werner Herzog’s character, who is revealed to be an Imperial Officer. Working with Herzog’s character is Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi) and together the two request the capture of a fifty-year-old man alive, however when Herzog offers a lower price for a kill, Dr. Pershing panics, saying “That is not what we agreed upon.” The clip keeps the character very coy, making it seem like the person the Mandalorian is hunting may be someone Star Wars fans will be familiar with. Based on the footage and my understanding of the Star Wars universe, today I present why I think the Mandalorian is hunting Boba Fett.

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Before we break down why I think Boba Fett is the target, many fans might be asking “But I thought Boba Fett was dead?” However, there is a good amount of evidence to prove otherwise. In the Chuck Wendig book Aftermath, which takes place before 5 ABY (four years prior to The Mandalorian and a year after Return of the Jedi) there is a segment in which two travelers enter a Sandcrawler on Tatooine and discover the wreckage of a sail barge. Alongside the wreckage the travelers find Mandalorian armor, and describe it as such:

From the box, he withdraws a helmet. Pitted and pocked, as if with some kind of acid. But still– he raps his knuckles on it. The Mandalorians knew how to make armor, didn’t they? “Look at this,” he says, holding it up. “Mandalorian battle armor. Whole box. Complete set, by the looks of it. Been through hell and back. I think my boss will appreciate this.

On top of this, from a production standpoint, fans know that Lucasfilm has had their eyes on Boba Fett even before Disney took over the franchise. Another live action television series titled Star Wars: Underworld was in development from 2005 to 2010 that was spearheaded by George Lucas. The plot consisted of adventures in the underworld of Coruscant between Episode III and Episode IV. Boba Fett was rumored to play a large role in the series. More Boba Fett content came and went including Star Wars: 1313 and a rumored Boba Fett film directed by Josh Trank. It is clear that Lucasfilm still has plans for the character.

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Now, evidence that Boba Fett is alive and knowledge that Lucasfilm likes the character in no way connects the character to the upcoming series. However, when putting all the pieces together with my next point: the remnants of the Empire want to create another clone army. After the events of the Aftermath trilogy, most of the Empire has been destroyed, with the small faction growing in the Unknown Regions that would eventually become the First Order. But small remnants like the one we see in The Mandalorian footage are still at large, scheming to reconquer the galaxy. With a shortage of troops and the knowledge of his survival, the Empire might be trying to replicate the days of old. Fans know from Attack of the Clones that Jango Fett needed to be on location and alive for the Kaminoans to extract samples of his DNA. With Dr. Pershing playing a role in the series, I have to assume the target is needed for medical purposes.

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Some more supporting evidence of this clone theory is when Kylo Ren references the clone army in The Force Awakens. Perhaps Kylo was referencing the times of the Republic, but perhaps he was considering a plot the Empire considered only a couple decades prior.

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Perhaps the Mandalorian was chosen specifically for this task due to his experiences with Mandalorian armor and combat. Star Wars fans know that Boba Fett was not of Mandalorian descent and the titular character’s history is still up in the air, but to someone like Herzog’s character who is unfamiliar with Mandalorian history or customs, it could be a connection.

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The one piece of evidence that can detract from this entire argument is the age difference between Boba Fett and the target. In canon, Boba Fett at this point would be around forty-one years old and the target is described as being fifty. However, with the Sarlacc Pit experience as well as long term genetic deficiencies as a result of the cloning procedures, this could be explained away. While I have my doubts, I hope that this theory reigns true when The Mandalorian debuts November 12, 2019.

What do you think of this theory? Is it possible the Mandalorian could be hunting Boba Fett? Let us know in the comments below or on social media!

 

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