After years of debate amongst fans, Boba Fett surviving the events of The Return of the Jedi now seems to officially be Star Wars canon.
In the final scene of the season 2 premiere of The Mandalorian, the galaxy far, far away’s most infamous bounty hunter—or at least an unmasked Temeura Morrison, who played Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones—was shown watching Mando (Pedro Pascal) and The Child journey across Tatooine’s Dune Sea following the battle with the krayt dragon. Since Boba Fett was a clone of Jango rather than his actual son, it makes sense for Morrison to play him.
The Mandalorian first teased Fett’s return when the appearance of a mysterious figure at the end of the series’ fifth episode, which also took place on Tatooine, was accompanied by the sound of the bounty hunter’s signature jangling spurs. The evidence started piling up when it was announced in May that Morrison had been cast in the show’s second season.
Leading up to his cameo in Friday’s episode, “Chapter 9: The Marshal” dropped a few hints that we’d soon be seeing Boba Fett. For one, the cave where the krayt dragon was living was an abandoned sarlacc pit—just like the one that Fett falls into in Return of the Jedi. The trick Mando uses to defeat the krayt dragon—blowing it up from the inside—also seemed to be a nod to the way in which Fett escapes the sarlacc in the non-canonical Star Wars Legends, also known as the Expanded Universe. And finally, there was the matter of the abandoned Mandalorian armor that the Marshal (Timothy Olyphant) bought off the Jawas.
In the timeline of the Star Wars universe, we last saw Boba Fett in Return of the Jedi, when Han Solo blindly knocked him into a sarlacc pit on Tatooine during the sail barge assault. Prior to that, we knew him primarily as a bounty hunter working for Jabba the Hutt, and later Darth Vader, during the Galactic Empire’s tyrannical rule. The Mandalorian is set five years after the fall of the Empire.
Although Fett was taught the ways of the Mandalorians and once wore their traditional armor, as a clone, he was nowhere near as committed to their order’s creed as Mando—which is why we have no way of knowing how Fett will react to Mando and The Child crossing his path.