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How Boba Fett Came Back From the Dead—Again and Again and Again

When it comes to iconic helmeted characters in the Star Wars universe, Darth Vader’s only competition is Boba Fett. Introduced to most people in The Empire Strikes Back (he technically first debuted in the Star Wars Holiday Special of 1978, but the canonical importance of that tale is hazy at best) as one of many bounty hunters chasing the Millennium Falcon, Fett’s notoriety rests on his unique ability to best the biggest badass in the galaxy, Han Solo. Evocative as he was, Fett’s reputation was immediately torpedoed in Return of the Jedi when a malfunctioning jetpack sent him soaring into a Sarlaac pit to be swallowed alive.

How does a character this cool go out in such a lame way? Turns out, the rumors of his death were greatly exaggerated. After appearing in Season 2 of The Mandalorian last year, Fett will headline The Book of Boba Fett series, which hits Disney+ at the end of this month. As die-hard Star Wars fans know, this is just the latest attempt to revise the fate of this storied character after a string of fits and starts throughout a nearly four-decade period.

The show will focus on Fett (Temuera Morrison) and his partner Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) as they position themselves as the new crime lords of Tatooine, the planet where Luke Skywalker grew up—a move that places them in the crosshairs of the criminal underground of the Star Wars world, which has a history that’s just as complicated, complex, and expansive as Fett’s. Before we crack the spine on The Book of Boba Fett, it’s worth exploring the rich text of both worlds.

Fett’s overwhelming popularity as a toy inspired the Star Wars creative team to bring him back for more. His first resurrection came In December 1983, in issue #81 of the Marvel-published Star Wars comic, which continues the saga past the end of Return of the Jedi. In Mary Jo Duffy and Ron Frenz’s story, Han, Luke, and Leia return to Tatooine and cross paths with Fett, who has survived the Sarlaac, but not without consequence—he’s suffering from short-term memory loss and ends up captured by some Jawas, who believe Fett to be a droid. The trio discover Fett as he regains his memory and attacks Han, only to be defeated once again when he’s trapped on the Jawa’s Sandcrawler, which careens into, you guessed it, the Sarlacc.

The second revival came in 1996 from J.D. Montogmery’s “A Barve Like That,” which is part of a Tales From Jabba’s Palace anthology book. The story involves a telepath named Susejo, who first tries to basically troll Fett to death before mind-controlling the Sarlacc to kill him. Fett survives, using his jetpack to fly out of the monster like a bat out of hell.


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