First dazzling cinema screens in 1980 with The Empire Strikes Back, despite having only four lines of dialogue and six minutes of screen time in the mainline films, renowned and dangerous bounty hunter Boba Fett has gone on to become one of the most beloved characters in Star Wars with a crucial place in its lore.
It was the stoic and mysterious nature of the acclaimed bounty hunter that makes him so compelling to watch, after all he is the first character we see who shows no fear when face to face with
While many presumed Boba Fett to be dead with his tumbling into the sarlacc pit in Return of The Jedi, since as early as 1983 comics and other star wars media have detailed how Boba escaped the sarlaccs clutches and returned to his adventure. (The Book of Boba Fett)
But is Boba Fett a Mandalorian?
Boba Fett is not a Mandalorian, He says so himself. The Mandalorian Armor Boba Fett wears is gifted.
Whether he was assisted by unlikely ally Dengar in the Dark Empire and Bounty Hunter Wars comics, or he burnt his way through the stomach with a wrist flamethrower as seen recently in The Book of Boba Fett, the esteemed bounty hunter is very much alive and with new live action shows giving us new information of the planet Mandalore and the bounty hunters who lived there.
Fans still ask many questions about the mysterious lone wanderer, was he responsible for the burning of Beru and Owen on Tatooine?
Does he like Vader because he killed his fathers murderer? and more recently does he classify as a Mandalorian?
We have compiled all the information we have so far to try and narrow this down.
Since the mainline films, several comics, animated and live action series have emphasized Mandalorians as a much more important part of Star Wars lore and has granted insight to some of the mysteries boggling fans minds ever since they saw Boba’s suit of ‘Mandalorian’ armor back in 1980.
Mandalorians are a mixture of tribes, clans and groups hailing from the planet Mandalore, which unfortunately has had a very violent and divisive past.
As a militant planet with battle ready citizens, Mandalore’s religion and culture were deeply rooted in war and conquest with the Mandalorians quickly colonizing other worlds not just in Mandalorian space, but across the galaxy to forge an empire.
These ventures led to inevitable conflicts with the Empire, the Jedi and even civil wars between Mandalorians vouching for peaceful reforms, and those who preferred militant traditionalism.
To prevent further galactic expansion, in the year 738 BBY the Jedi and Republic bombarded the Mandalorians core planets, including Mandalore itself, crushing their empire and leaving the planet in ruin.
By the time of the Clone Wars the Mandalorians were even more divided with some staying on Mandalore that now had a pacifist government, and others escaping to the Concordia moon who wanted to remain militant.
The homeland Mandalorians did eventually rise against the Empire but this ended in tragedy as almost all were wiped out with any survivors now being scattered across the galaxy.
Defining what exactly it means to be a Mandalorian can therefore be difficult because of how fractured the planet and its people have always been, however many stay true to their religion and teachings and always honor their past conflicts with traditions or symbols.
Many also possess an understandable resentment for the Jedi given how ruthlessly they blocked Mandalore’s galactic expansion.
Is Boba Fett A Mandalorian?
Because of how mysterious Boba is and the lack of information he likes to give away, there is no definitive answer, however there are some factors that could narrow this query down.
There are certainly some hints that Boba could be considered a Mandalorian, Jango Fett who was like a father to Boba was a foundling himself and fought in the Mandalorian Wars so he could have passed much of the teachings and culture down to Boba, this is probably the reason he can read Mandor’a.
The more likely answer however is that he is not Mandalorian and is simply wearing the armor designed by them.
For starters, Jango may be a father figure but Boba is still his clone, meaning he lacks a homeworld and is not technically a ‘descendant’ of Jango and if he was, every clone would be a Mandalorian.
Throughout The Mandalorian show, Boba also makes clear that he rejects the religious, cultural and political trappings of Mandalore, in season 2 when Bo-Katan Kryz asks “You are not a Mandalorian?” he bluntly replies “Never said I was”.
This has similarly been expressed in other media like The Clone Wars animated series where Prime Minister Almec states that Jango, and in extension Boba, are not considered Mandalorian.
It is also revealed in season 2 of The Mandalorian that the Fetts were gifted their armor by the Mandalorians so while the Jedi tuned armor and dotted symbols may seem like confirmation, it is more so Boba just using the armor because of its efficiency.
Is There More Evidence?
So Boba himself may not claim to be a Mandalorian, but is there any evidence for it outside of the shows and comics?
Back in the 1980’s and 90’s Boba was generally known as Mandalorian as one action figure label put it “He’s either a Mandalorian shock trooper or he adopted their armor, hard to tell” however more recently this has seemed far less likely.
Dave Filoni who directs The Mandalorian stated that because he was not born on Mandalore, Boba is not a Mandalorian – “He’s more of a person indoctrinated into it, and gets a hold of their armor” and since 2016 Pablo Hidalgo of the LucasFilm story group has tweeted several times “Boba’s not Mandalorian” with figures and games also now making the distinction, with most outside evidence therefore also making it seem unlikely.
So, when narrowed down with all the evidence we’ve been given, Boba Fett is more likely not to be considered a Mandalorian, however to know for sure we will have to wait for any new exciting revelations regarding the lonesome bounty hunter, in future seasons.