Why Did Boba Fett Become So Popular, Even Though He Only Had Like 4 Lines?

Boba Fett

We’re weeks from the premiere of the long-awaited The Mandalorian spin-off The Book of Boba Fett which will follow one of Star Wars‘ most popular characters. Boba Fett has been beloved ever since he appeared in The Empire Strikes Back in 1980, despite having just a few lines.

If you’re wondering why exactly the almost always helmeted Boba Fett is so many fans’ favourite, you’re not alone: Google him, and “why is Boba Fett so popular?” will pop up as a suggestion. For those who get it, there’s no question: he’s one of the most mysterious and dangerous figures across the galaxies, the only figure who Darth Vader ever seemed remotely intimidated by in the original trilogy.

For those who aren’t quite across it, here’s your cheat sheet to why Boba Fett’s a legend.

He’s The Original Mysterious Badass

Even before Boba Fett made a splash in The Empire Strikes Back, he was the source of much-excited chatter among Star Wars fans. In the lead-up to the film, he was at the centre of promotional material, teased as a wild bounty hunter who could match Darth Vader’s villainy, and then popped up in the 1979 Christmas special.

When the film arrived, we learned Boba (Jeremy Bulloch) is a badass who deftly travels through the shadowy underworld always wearing colourful (what we now know to be) Beskar armour, an ultra-strong bodysuit and helmet that meant we never saw the man underneath. A man of few words, he had an intimidating presence: when Darth Vader calls upon bounty hunters for help, he directs his attention to Boba, who he seems slightly scared of, making Boba promise there will be “no disintegrations”. When the big baddie is nervous around someone, you know you’re dealing with someone special — plus, Boba’s few lines spoke volumes.

In response to Vader’s ask, he says “as you wish” with a sense of contempt. He may have been for hire, but that doesn’t mean he’d roll over, no matter how powerful they are. Later, he talks back to Vader and outsmarts Han Solo. We don’t learn the specifics, but between the armour and the sass, he caught the imagination of many fans.

Rumours Of His Death Were Greatly Exaggerated

In Return of the Jedi, Boba meets a less-than-satisfactory fate when Han Solo accidentally hits his jet-pack, sending Boba off into the mouth of a Sarlacc seemingly to his death. It’s an iconic, very funny moment, but fans didn’t love that it meant the end of one of the series’ most intriguing figures.

To feed the fan base’s thirst for more Boba, spin-off novels and animated series arrived detailing Boba’s bounty hunting adventures, also implying that he somehow fought his way out of the giant desert worm’s mouth. But of course he had!

It seems he can escape any danger, no matter how large, and in these side stories, he became more of an anti-hero than a straight villain, a complicated figure who kept his cards close to his chest and firstmost looked after himself. And the culture loves an anti-hero: you merely need to look at the past 10-20 years of prestige TV for proof of that.

Then, when it came to the prequel trilogy, we were given a little bit more backstory — turns out Boba’s an unaltered clone of the bounty hunter Jango Fett (Temuera Morrison), and takes his helmet after he witnesses Jango’s death in the Clone Wars. So he’s a vengeful clone whose dad/self was killed in front of him? No wonder he doesn’t say much.

His Return In The Mandalorian Was Everything

When The Mandalorian launched, we met a bounty hunter who wore very similar armour to Boba. We learnt they’re of the same people, a warrior community with high-tech Beskar armour which has a near-religious significance for some, where removing your helmet is paramount to death in certain circles. As we learned more and more about Mandalorians, fans couldn’t help but wonder where Boba fit into things, and when he’d pop up, if ever.

In S2, he appeared watching over our hero’s adventure, proof that yes, he did escape his fate in Return of the Jedi. Even better, he’s played by Morrison, and was just as mysterious and powerful as ever, even throwing Grogu and Mando for a loop. When the season ended, viewers were teased with a spin-off — and here we are, on the eve of a show that fans have dreamt of since 1979.

For The Book of Boba Fett, he’s teaming up with The Mandalorian standout mercenary Fennec Shand (Ming Na-Wen) as they return to Tatooine to take over the land once overseen by Jabba the Hutt. We also hope that the show will fill in the blanks of what happened between when we saw Boba swallowed by a Sarlacc and his current quest, and provide an insight into how he became one of the most feared bounty hunters across the galaxies.

Ultimately, He’s Just… Really Cool

Okay, this last point might be the simplest but most important one. Sure, Boba is potentially part of a strange fighting cult and has an odd, unnerving backstory, but let’s be honest: he’s a mysterious guy who exudes danger and confidence and rose from the ashes while wearing sick armour. What’s not to love?

The Book of Boba Fett is now streaming on Disney+.