No Star Wars Fans, Boba & Jango Fett Are NOT Mandalorians
The Star Wars universe is getting a brand new adventure in The Mandalorian TV series. But as fans continue to wonder about the possible connection between the show's 'gunslinger' hero and the most iconic bounty hunter, Boba Fett, it's becoming clear that most have forgotten: Boba Fett isn't actually a Mandalorian at all.
That isn't a personal opinion, a Mandalorian theory, or even a technicality that trivia-loving Star Wars fans can use to one-up the more casual fans. Even if his Mandalorian armor seems to be all the proof fans need of his lineage, his role as a pretender isn't up for debate. The new Star Wars canon has stated it as a simple fact that Boba Fett, like his father Jango, is not a member of the Mandalorian people.
So we're doing our part to keep this misconception from being spread, once the warrior culture is thrust into the spotlight when details come out of The Mandalorian's panel at Star Wars Celebration. There's no better time for fans to understand WHY Boba Fett doesn't qualify.
- This Page: Jango Fett is NOT Mandalorian in New Canon
- Page 2: Why Boba Fett isn't a True Mandalorian, Either
If fans want to take exception to the claim that neither Jango nor Boba Fett are true Mandalorians, then they should take it up with Star Wars: The Clone Wars directly. It's important to remember that before facts were committed to canon, both Boba Fett and his father Jango Fett were assumed to be true Mandalorian warriors based solely on their iconic armor. Obi-Wan Kenobi made that exact deduction in the animated Clone Wars, specifically Season 2, Episode 12. When heading to the planet to investigate "The Mandalore Plot," Obi-Wan objects to the claims that the 'New Mandalore' is a far cry from its violent, warrior past. He uses Jango Fett as an example, and learns that the man's reputation is known by Prime Minister Almec who angrily spits that "Jango Fett was a common bounty hunter. How he acquired that armor is beyond me."
To some, this will seem like an unnecessary line of dialogue--basically throwing out Jango Fett's entire expanded universe history. But in the show's defense, it was George Lucas himself who first made the call to do exactly that. The longtime Clone Wars director Dave Filoni made no secret of the fact that George Lucas informed him the Fetts were not Mandalorian, no matter what stories the expanded Star Wars universe had come up with. So as disappointing as it may be to accept, this Clone Wars confirmation that Jango Fett only looks like a Mandalorian is hard to dispute (without disputing Lucas personally... and he did invent the entire thing).
But fine: Jango Fett isn't technically a Mandalorian, for reasons that are intentionally left wide open for interpretation. That doesn't mean the Boba Fett is equally disqualified, just be being his son, does it? In all honesty, it would still be possible for Boba Fett to join the Mandalorians on his own... but Star Wars fans already know that he didn't.
Page 2 of 2: Why Boba Fett isn't a True Mandalorian, Either
There is room for fan theories to spin an explanation for Jango Fett being dismissed by Mandalore. The Clone Wars may have introduced the fact from George Lucas' direct input, but with his leading role in the Star Wars lore no longer a given, the reason for Jango's exclusion can be revealed at a later date. The same goes for how he came to own his Mandalorian uniform, if he didn't acquire it through traditional rite of passage. And while we're at it: no, Boba Fett's armor isn't Jango Fett's either.
On the one hand, Jango being a true Mandalorian wouldn't actually make Boba one by default. In the version of Mandalore explored in the now-Legends comics, novels, and video games, the culture wasn't like most in the Star Wars galaxy (or our own). If a man, woman, or any other being wanted to become a Mandalorian, they could--no matter what family, planet, or species they came from. So the explanation for Boba Fett not being Mandalorian is even simpler, because... he never became one.
While fans can assume that Jango passed on some of his culture and Mandalorian ways to his "son" before he was killed, Boba Fett was forced to find his own path. But instead of taking a step into the Mandalorian way of life, Boba Fett took up with cutthroat bounty hunters and hired guns, instead (a childhood chronicled in Clone Wars). For George Lucas, that might actually be the life and legacy that Boba was meant to follow, since Jango never comes across as 'heroic' in the films. So we suppose there is some poetry in Boba actually growing up to become "a common bounty hunter" just like father. And the kind of killer that true Mandalorians, like the one now getting his own Star Wars TV show, would see as an imposter in a more honorable warrior's armor.
At their best, the Mandalorians are a a strong, intelligent, and honorable re-imagining of the iconic gunslingers, samurai, or sellswords of modern legend. The code of honor that dictated those ways of life also shaped the Mandalorian way. And if you believe the rumored plot of The Mandalorian TV show, the new hero may be on his own mission to restore those very values to the Mandalore of the Star Wars future. It's an incredibly promising corner of the Star Wars universe to explore, but one that fans should recognize has absolutely no connection to the bounty hunter Fetts whatsoever.
These questions and subverted expectations would possibly have been addressed in the now-canceled Boba Fett origin movie, or possibly even in the long-canceled Star Wars 1313 video game, also starring a young Boba Fett. With two down, fans must now hope that The Mandalorian TV show can offer some insight or fuel for fan theories... and pray that a third strike won't mean the end of Boba Fett's legacy altogether.