The Iconic Original ‘Star Wars’ Character That Barely Got Any Screen Time

For 40 years now, Boba Fett has captured the imaginations of Star Wars fans. Such is his appeal that fans have been waiting for him to appear in The Mandalorian ever since it premiered last year, and now, maybe he has. 

At the same time, his popularity somewhat mystifies people who are not fanatical about Star Wars. “He doesn’t do anything,” the argument goes. Not to mention he made his first appearance in a Star Wars product even George Lucas hated. 

Just what did Boba Fett do?

Mandalorians on Day One of Disney's 2015 Star Wars Celebration
Mandalorians on Day One of Disney’s 2015 Star Wars Celebration | Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

Most people saw Boba Fett for the first time in The Empire Strikes Back, as one of a group of bounty hunters whom Darth Vader tasks with finding the Millennium Falcon. Boba Fett is the only one of the group who has any lines at this point. When Vader admonishes him that there be “no disintegrations,” Boba Fett replies, “As you wish.” 

When Han Solo is about to be out into carbon freeze, Boba asks “What if he doesn’t survive? He’s worth a lot to me.” Han does and Boba takes him away to collect his bounty. We next meet him again in Return of the Jedi, at Jabba’s palace.

He has no lines this time, and is rather quickly dispatched in the fight over the sarlacc pit, into which he falls. That appears to be his end.. Digital Spy estimates he has a grand total of five minutes of screen time in the original trilogy.  He may get more screen time as a kid in Attack of the Clones.

And yet, in those five minutes, a legend has grown up around Boba Fett. The character actually made his first appearance before Empire Strikes Back in animated sequences of the legendarily awful Star Wars Holiday Special, and that bit of trivia alone makes the character unique. 

What do fans say about Boba Fett?

RELATED: ‘Star Wars’: Why George Lucas Decided Not to Make Boba Fett a Woman

Reddit threads provide insight as to Boba Fett’s appeal. In a recent Reddit discussion, one fan asked, “Boba Fett became so popular and iconic despite so little screen time. I wonder if the prequels might have been different if he hadn’t been so popular.” Another fan replied, “I mean at any given time it appears they could have been different. It seems that for the longest time Lucas had no concrete idea for what the Clone Wars actually was, and it just served as a little bit of background detail in the OT, mentioned once by Kenobi provide some quick detail to the world.”

An older Reddit thread cut to the heart of the matter when a fan asked, “I consider myself a pretty serious Star Wars fan, but I’ve never understood why everyone loves Boba Fett so much. I mean sure, his costume is cool and all, but beyond that…why?” 

A fan replied, “It’s pretty much just because he looks cool. Beyond that, it’s because he’s the only bounty hunter that was clever enough to track down and capture Han Solo, which makes him a badass in his own right. ROTJ screws this up by making him die like a punk, though it isn’t universally accepted that he actually died (even when you count out Legends).”  And that brings us to The Mandalorian

So was that Boba Fett in ‘The Mandalorian?’ 

From the time that Disney first revealed The Mandalorian was in the works, fans were intrigued by the title character, who looked very much like Boba Fett. Maybe it really was Boba Fett, some thought, although soon enough, the show made it clear that was not the case. 

Now, however, there is a new wrinkle, so be mindful of spoilers if you’re not caught up with the second season. The end of the first episode mentioned Boba Fett by name and included Temuera Morrison in the cast as the strange figure at the very end of the episode. Morrison was who played Jango Fett, Boba’s Father  in Attack of the Clones. Said clones all originated from Jango, and in the Empire Strikes Back Special Editions, Boba Fett’s voice was re-tracked with Morrison. 

It is not yet clear if Morrison is actually Boba Fett in The Mandalorian  but it’s a good bet we’ll find out who he’s playing before we find out where Baby Yoda came from.