This Star Wars: The Mandalorian article contains spoilers.
Boba Fett is officially back, armor and all, in Chapter 14 of The Mandalorian, “The Tragedy.” It’s an action-packed return for the beloved bounty hunter too, as we watch him take down stormtroopers with all of his high-tech weapons as well as a Gaderffii stick most often used by Tusken Raiders. Despite being a bit older and left heavily scarred from his time in the sarlacc pit, Boba Fett has lost none of his skill, as that platoon of stormtroopers quickly learns. Fortunately, he turns out to be a friend to Mando by the end of the episode and vows to help him save Grogu from the Empire.
While we don’t learn anything about what Boba Fett has been up to for the past five years, or why he spent so much time on Tatooine despite clearly having access to Slave I, Mando does learn more about Boba’s Mandalorian roots. Fans’ ears likely perked up when Boba referenced his father Jango Fett, who was first introduced in Attack of the Clones. Like his son before him, Jango Fett only has a few scenes in the Prequel Trilogy, just long enough for a duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi, a chase sequence through an asteroid field, and his decapitation at the hands of Mace Windu.
But Jango Fett has a much more important role in the Star Wars universe than as Boba’s dad or the guy who tried to have Padme Amidala killed in Episode II. He’s also the source of the clones that made up the Republic’s army during the Clone Wars. Jango was hired by Count Dooku to travel to the planet Kamino and donate the DNA needed to create the Clone Army, the same one that would one day turn on the Jedi and help destroy the Order. In that way, Jango is a pivotal player in the chain of events that led to the rise of the Empire and the events of the Original Trilogy.
During this time, Jango also asked the Kaminoans to create Boba Fett, who is an unaltered clone of the bounty hunter, meaning that his genetic structure was not tampered with like the other clones. Among other things, this meant Boba Fett aged normally like a regular human as opposed to his other clone counterparts. As we learn in Attack of the Clones, Jango is raising Boba as his own son before being cut down on Geonosis.
We also learn in “The Tragedy” that, like Boba Fett, Jango wasn’t a Mandalorian of conventional origin. He wasn’t born on Mandalore. In fact, Jango was a foundling just like Mando. This detail is a big deal.
Ever since the character was first introduced in 2002, there was some debate as to whether Jango was a true Mandalorian, and the old Legends canon went back and forth on this over the years, but “The Tragedy” settles the debate once and for all. Born on the war-torn planet of Concord Dawn, Jango was brought up by the Mandalorians, and Boba reveals that his father even played a part in the conflict that shaped much of Mandalore’s future even before the start of the film saga.
Jango fought in the Mandalorian Civil War of 42 BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin), a conflict that saw a group known as the New Mandalorians seize control of Mandalore from the traditional warrior clans that had waged war against the galaxy for centuries. The New Mandalorians won and established a pacifist government that aimed to rebuild the planet instead of conquering others. Fans of The Clone Wars will undoubtedly remember New Mandalorian leader Duchess Satine Kryze, who ruled the planet during the galactic conflict until she was killed by Maul.
While it’s not entirely clear which side Jango fought for in the Mandalorian Civil War, the logical guess is that he fought on the side of the warrior clans trying to stop the New Mandalorians from taking over the planet. This would explain why New Mandalorian prime minister Almec later disavowed Jango’s status as a Mandalorian, claiming the bounty hunter had simply stolen the race’s traditional armor for his own gain. By the time we meet Jango in Attack of the Clones, it seems he lives on Kamino not just because he’s been hired for a job but because he’s been banished from Mandalorian society by the ruling party.
Boba seems proud of this heritage, though, telling Mando that he’s out on his own and not necessarily part of any Mandalorian group. But when the fighting is done, he does show Mando the armor’s chain code, which confirms his father’s roots as a Mandalorian. Jango was every bit a member of the warrior race as Mando, even if their stories are vastly different.
Keep up with all of The Mandalorian season 2 news here.