Boba Fett holds a special honor as the first character to get his start in the Expanded Universe -- in this case, as part of a short cartoon in the Star Wars Holiday Special -- and go on to appear in the Star Wars films. He only said twenty-nine words in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi combined, but, like other minor Star Wars characters, he quickly became popular with the fans. Expanded Universe writers resurrected Boba Fett from his apparent death on Tatooine, and George Lucas explored his backstory in Attack of the Clones.
What is it that makes Boba Fett so intriguing to creators and fans alike? Perhaps it's the mystery surrounding the character -- faceless and laconic in his first few appearances. Perhaps it's how his self-serving morality provides a contrast to both the noble Jedi and the evil Sith. Or perhaps it's just because Boba Fett is, next to Darth Vader, the biggest badass in Star Wars.
Origins, Childhood, and Training
Boba Fett was "born" on the planet Kamino, a clone of the Mandalorian bounty hunter Jango Fett. Jango's DNA served as the basis for the Republic's clone army, but Boba did not receive the same growth acceleration and military training. Instead, his father raised him as a son, training him from a young age in the ways of bounty hunting.
When Boba was ten, he witnessed Jedi Master Mace Windu behead Jango on Geonosis and immediately swore his revenge. With the help of bounty hunter Aurra Sing, he infiltrated the Clone Youth Brigade, but his attempt to kill Windu failed, as did a second attempt several years later.
By the age of thirteen -- the traditional Mandalorian mark of adulthood -- Boba Fett was on his way to becoming the best bounty hunter in the galaxy. He briefly attempted to settle down into a normal life; at sixteen, he married bounty hunter Sintas Vel and had a daughter with her, Ailyn. His past quickly caught up to him, however, and he abandoned his family for his former life.
Best Bounty Hunter in the Galaxy
Boba Fett's exploits soon passed into legend. According to some, he was a Stormtrooper deserter; others thought he was the Mandalorian Jaster Mareel in hiding. Fett's traditional Mandalorian armor certainly added to his mysterious and fearsome appearance.
It is certain, however, that he helped Darth Vader track down Han Solo, then brought the carbonite-frozen Solo to Jabba the Hutt. During Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker's mission to rescue Han, Fett fell into the Pit of Carkoon and was presumed dead.
The Pit of Carkoon was home to the Sarlacc, which kept its victims alive through a torturous, thousand-year-long digestion. Fett managed to escape by using the Sarlacc's telepathic abilities against it, then escaped from Tatooine with the help of fellow bounty hunter Dengar. He eventually became Mand'alore, the leader of the Mandalorian Protectors.
For a time, he continued to hunt his nemesis Han Solo, but was eventually forced to work with Solo during the Second Galactic Civil War. During this time, he reunited with his family: his granddaughter, Mirta Gev, and his wife, who had been frozen in carbonite. Ultimately, Boba Fett helped end the civil war: his training in Mandalorian fighting styles gave Jaina Solo the upper hand against the new Sith threat to the galaxy.
Behind the Scenes
Boba Fett has been portrayed by a number of different actors in various Star Wars media, including Jeremy Bulloch (The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi), Jason Wingreen (voice-overs in the Original Trilogy), Temuera Morrison (voice-overs in the Original Trilogy Special Edition), Daniel Logan (Attack of the Clones, The Clone Wars), and Dee Bradley Baker (The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition).
In the Return of the Jedi Special Edition, George Lucas altered the scene where Boba Fett falls into the Pit of Carkoon in an attempt to make his death seem more final. But this effort was too little, too late; Fett's popularity had long since exploded, and he had already been officially resurrected for the comic Dark Empire (1991-92). Later works featuring Boba Fett include the Bounty Hunter Wars trilogy and Legacy of the Force.