The Mandalorian season 2, episode 1 revealed Boba Fett survived the sarlacc – but why didn’t he ever reclaim his armor from Marshal Cobb Vanth?
The Mandalorian season 2 premiere revealed Marshal Cobb Vanth has been using Boba Fett’s armor – but why didn’t Boba ever come to reclaim it? George Lucas originally created Boba Fett with the plan of making him a key player in the third film in the original trilogy, but plans changed. Consequently, the bounty hunter came to an ignominious end in Return of the Jedi.
Or so it seemed. The Mandalorian season 2 premiere featured the return of Boba Fett, who had somehow survived his encounter with the sarlacc – but had lost his trademark Mandalorian armor. This had been claimed by Marshal Cobb Vanth, a former slave who had become Tatooine’s first lawman. As revealed in Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath trilogy, the Marshal successfully pushed back slavers like the Miners’ Guild, and he’d then become sworn protector of the town of Mes Pelgo. The final scenes of the premiere revealed Boba Fett had been living nearby, but for some reason had never claimed his armor.
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There’s clearly an untold story here, exploring both how Boba Fett survived the sarlacc and what he’s been doing since. He appears to have become something of a hermit, living in the wilds of Tatooine, wearing clothing and using weapons reminiscent of the Tusken Raiders. There was some scarring on Boba Fett’s face, though not as much as might be expected, and the brief scene saw him turning around with visible ease, suggesting he had not suffered any grievous long-term injuries as a result of his encounter with the sarlacc. This means Boba Fett was presumably physically healthy enough to confront Cobb Vanth, and yet he seems to have chosen not to do so.
It’s difficult to say for certain at this stage why Boba Fett has never come looking for his armor; some have theorized he felt he was too weak to take it from Cobb Vanth, but frankly that seems unlikely, simply because in that scenario his return as an ally or enemy of Din Djarin would be rather unsatisfying. The most reasonable scenario is that Boba Fett sought to end his career as a bounty hunter, perhaps taking advantage of the sarlacc incident to throw off rivals and enemies; that would even explain why the armor was dumped near to the sarlacc, because it was too identifiable. What’s more, given Boba Fett regularly worked for Jabba the Hutt, he may well have had resources secreted away on Tatooine. Famously described by Luke Skywalker as the planet farthest from the bright center of the universe, Tatooine would be the perfect place for a former bounty hunter to go to ground, especially with countless witnesses telling everyone he had died with Jabba.
Of course, it seems pretty clear Boba Fett will return to action on a galactic scale. This may be because of setup in The Mandalorian season 1, where a mysterious figure – most likely Boba Fett – discovered the unconscious Imperial assassin Fennec Shand dumped on Tatooine’s sand. Shand claimed to have come to Tatooine for a rendezvous, perhaps with Boba Fett himself. It’s possible her message or news – whatever it may be – will be enough to tempt Boba Fett back into action. If so, The Mandalorian could soon find himself facing the galaxy’s most legendary bounty hunter.
More: Boba Fett Armor Retcon: The Mandalorian Changes Disney’s Star Wars Canon?
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