The Mandalorian season 2, episode 1 ends with a surprising character appearance, but who is he and what does his appearance mean for Star Wars?
Warning: SPOILERS for The Mandalorian season 2, episode 1, “The Marshal”.
Boba Fett has returned in The Mandalorian season 2, episode 1, “The Marshal”. The Mandalorian season 2 began with Din Djarin searching for other Mandalorians, which led him back to Tatooine. Although no one’s seen a real Mandalorian on Tatooine – other than Mando himself, of course – there have been at least two people who’ve worn Mandalorian armor on the planet in recent times. One of those people happened to be Timothy Olyphant’s Cobb Vanth.
This is the first time that Cobb Vanth has appeared in any version on screen. He was first introduced in the Aftermath novels as a sheriff of sorts who wore Boba Fett’s armor. According to Cobb Vanth in The Mandalorian season 2, episode 1, he used the sillicax crystals he stole from the local mining company and traded it with the Jawas for Boba Fett’s Mandalorian armor. Granted, it’s unclear how the Jawas got the armor in the first place – this may yet become another instance of Lucasfilm not filling in its plot holes, like Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber – but Star Wars fans know that Boba Fett was last seen falling into a sarlacc pit. What happened to him after that has been unknown… until now.
With Cobb Vanth wearing Boba Fett’s Mandalorian armor, it could’ve been seen as Boba Fett being officially dead. How else could the Jawas get the armor if the person wearing it wasn’t killed? However, The Mandalorian season 2, episode 1 ends with Boba Fett appearing in the flesh – unmasked for the first time since the Star Wars prequels. Temeura Morrison, who appeared as Jango Fett (the template for the Republic’s clone troopers) in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, appears here once again but as Boba Fett. Remember, Boba Fett was a non-modified clone of Jango, who wanted a son.
The Mandalorian season 1 teased Boba Fett’s return in episode 5, when someone wearing spurs (the classic sound associated with Boba Fett) approached Fennec Shand’s body. It was never confirmed who that mysterious figure was, but everyone has assumed it was Boba Fett. Given that we’ve now seen him on screen and on Tatooine, The Mandalorian season 2 supports that theory, though it may not be fully addressed right away. Mando came back to Tatooine only to find another Mandalorian and instead he found Cobb Vanth; he’s accomplished what he set out to do on this planet, so he may be leaving. Considering the series of events in season 1, it stands to reason Mando will return to Tatooine – and therefore, find Boba Fett – later this season.
The biggest thing here is that Boba Fett is confirmed to be alive in Star Wars canon – despite the multitude of Expanded Universe stories, this is the first time it’s been addressed in the official continuity in decades – not to mention that he’s still on Tatooine. The Mandalorian season 2 doesn’t appear to have any significant time jump yet, so it still takes place five years after the events of Return of the Jedi. Why Boba Fett remained on Tatooine for this long remains to be seen, but judging by his garb, he seems to have become a hermit living out in the Dune Sea similar to the Tusken Raiders; he even has the same weaponry as the Tuskens.
What’s even more interesting, though, is that although Boba Fett technically isn’t a Mandalorian, he still knows the Jedi. He knew Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, and he was alive to see the First Battle of Geonosis (from Attack of the Clones). He’s arguably one of the best-suited characters in this era to inform Mando about the Jedi and who Baby Yoda might be. But he may not be willing to give up that information so readily; he was still a bounty hunter, after all.
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