The Mandalorian: Is Boba Fett’s return good or bad for the Star Wars franchise?

The Mandalorian season two chapter nine, exclusively on Disney+. © 2020 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved
The Mandalorian season two chapter nine, exclusively on Disney+. © 2020 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved /

Boba Fett is back from the dead in The Mandalorian. Is his return sensible storytelling or cheap fan service?

Boba Fett has been a legendary character in science fiction iconography for decades. In fact, Disney Plus‘ The Mandalorian series borrows some of what made Boba Fett so alluring in the original Star Wars trilogy: He never shows his face and he is a man of few words.

Boba Fett does not mess around and is there simply to complete his mission. Whether or not he is the most intimidating person in the room, he has had the ability to at least make audiences feel that he is a formidable figure.

So now that the most famous Mandalorian has shown up in The Mandalorian, what is the problem? Well, you are probably not a big Star Wars fan if you didn’t know that Boba Fett died. Or at least, that is what George Lucas’ team intended to convey to viewers when he had the bounty hunter get swallowed up by a sarlacc. How easy is it to believe that he made it out alive?

Is Boba Fett’s Mandalorian return believable?

Let’s just look at the visual evidence, without dusting off a copy of The Anatomy of Star Wars Creatures (not a real book) to study the sarlaac’s digestive system. First, Boba Fett was wearing his strong Mandalorian armor when the sarlaac attempted to devour him. Then, no one ever actually witnesses him getting chewed up into pieces. And now scars are visible all over his face, and likely everywhere else on his body, which lessens the implausibility a bit by accentuating that, although Boba Fett survived a highly improbable situation, he did not walk away unscathed. Din Djarin’s escape from the giant sand worm’s mouth in “The Marshal” is perhaps the most significant proof that a durable Mandalorian can get out of such a deadly predicament.

Okay, Boba Fett’s return is pragmatically possible, but the more a story (or in this case, a massive franchise) does something like this – makes audiences think someone is dead and then brings them back – the more their credibility gets slowly stripped away. And Boba Fett is not the only Star Wars villain to have been definitively considered deceased only to miraculously re-emerge afterwards.

Star Wars has been here before

Obi-Wan Kenobi vengefully sliced Darth Maul in half after the sith lord killed his master. Maul’s torso was separated from his legs as he fell down a deep dark pit. Years later, he crawls out of his hole and wreaks havoc across the galaxy with a pair of mechanical legs. Another infamous example is Darth Vader overpowering Emperor Palpatine, throwing him down a shaft in the Death Star, which then explodes. Palpatine’s entity endured and, we later found out, he was mainly responsible for The First Order’s war against the New Republic.

Both Maul and Palpatine were powerful force wielders, while Boba Fett was just a bounty hunter, although a prominent tactical expert. The writers and filmmakers had their reasons for bringing back all three, but is Boba Fett surviving the sarlacc pit a prudent narrative decision or the ultimate fan service?

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His thrilling action sequences in the latest Mandalorian chapter, “The Tragedy”, certainly gives fans what they would want from the bounty hunter; initially with his helmet-shattering staff and more emphatically when he is suited up in his armor. He drops bucket heads just as easily as Ahsoka single-handedly demolishes the magistrate’s men in the previous episode. Both Boba Fett and Ahsoka were adored by fans before Baby Yoda was ever dreamed up.

It is not completely disgraceful to purposefully provide viewers more of what they generally express favor for, as long as it capably fits within the larger storyline and doesn’t unreasonably contradict or betray the principles of what has already been established. At least Mandalorian armor is acknowledged as being much sturdier than the stormtroopers and Boba Fett first returns on the same planet where he was thought to have been killed.

Once you accept that Boba Fett did not die, it is very enjoyable having Temuera Morrison restored in Star Wars content; he is the first actor from the movies to make the jump to the live-action series. And ultimately, it is extremely exciting to watch Boba Fett take down opponents in a way we have never seen before.

With the resurrections of Darth Maul, Emperor Palpatine, and now Boba Fett, is Star Wars devaluing beloved characters? Or are we fine with it this one last time since it means Boba is back?

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Are you glad to see Boba Fett back in The Mandalorian season 2? Let us know in the comments below!