The first episode of The Mandalorian‘s second season ended with quite the bang, as Star Wars fans around the world were surprised with the apparent return of classic original trilogy character Boba Fett – played by Temuera Morrison – in the final scene.
Already, Mandalorian viewers are theorising what’s next for Boba, how he’ll cross paths with the Mandalorian (aka the series’ lead character Din Djarin, played by Pedro Pascal) and how he survived his death in Return of the Jedi in the first place – but are we getting ahead of ourselves?
It might sound strange, but we have to wonder – what if it’s not Boba Fett who appeared in that final scene? What if instead Morrison’s playing an entirely new character with deep ties to Star Wars’ past and present?
Bear with us, because we’re about to spill the Boba tea.
To begin with, the reasons why we should think this is Boba Fett in the episode are numerous. The character appears to have turned up looking for his distinctive Mandalorian armour, which is recovered by Din Djarin in the episode following its use by local Marshal Cobb Vanth (Timothy Olyphant). Why would anyone except Boba be after it?
The character is also played by Temuera Morrison, who starred as Jango Fett in the Star Wars prequels and whose clone “son” grew up to follow in his father’s bounty-hunting footsteps. As a clone, Boba would obviously look like Jango, and so Morrison, as well – and while he was played by a different actor in his original appearances (Jeremy Bulloch wore the costume and John Morton provided the voice) we never saw beneath his distinctive Mandalorian helmet.
In other words, we may assume Boba canonically has always looked like Morrison, even if we never saw him, supported by the fact that in more recent media (including updated editions of the original Star Wars trilogy) Morrison has dubbed Boba’s voice.
So far, so cut-and-dried – were it not for one little quibble. You see, Boba wasn’t the only clone made of Jango Fett – in fact, he was one of over a million created by the Republic for their war against the Separatists, aka The Clone Wars. Every single one of these clones was also an exact duplicate of Jango Fett, so who’s to say Morrison couldn’t be playing one of them in live-action?
After all, we know quite a few clones survived the war, with many of them appearing in spin-off TV series like Star Wars Rebels and upcoming series The Bad Batch (with the characters played by voice actor Dee Bradley Baker across the different series). One clone has even been retconned into Return of the Jedi, with a random extra on Endor retrospectively credited by LucasFilm as Captain Rex, a popular character from the Clone Wars TV series.
In other words, Star Wars has been telling clone stories for a while, so what if they’re doing the same thing here? What if one leftover clone decided to track down what he considered his birthright – the armour of his “father” Jango Fett and “brother” Boba Fett – on Tattooine, with his continued efforts causing him to clash with The Mandalorian in future episodes.
This could fill in a few plot holes, like how Boba survived his fall into the Sarlacc pit in Episode VI, as well as how he lost his armour and also why he took so long to get it back. If this was a clone, he’d never have had the armour – with it falling into another’s hands after Boba’s death.
Plus, the presence of a clone could tie in nicely with Star Wars’ animated series, including the upcoming The Bad Batch. Dave Filoni, the creative mind behind The Clone Wars and its successors (including Rebels, Star Wars Resistance and The Bad Batch) is a key figure working on The Mandalorian with Jon Favreau, and is already rumoured to have brought animated favourite Ahsoka Tano into live-action for season two (played by Rosario Dawson). If anyone was going to centre a Star Wars storyline around a clone, it’d be him.
Of course, there are some issues with this theory, mostly to do with age. To get them ready to fight in the war quickly, the “normal” clones aged twice as fast as a normal human, which would mean any surviving members of the Grand Republic Army would be physically in their eighties by the time of The Mandalorian season two.
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Morrison, at 59, is a little young to match this – but on the other hand, considering Boba Fett would only be around 41 by the time of The Mandalorian season two (check out our When is the Mandalorian set article for the full Star Wars timeline), that doesn’t quite line up either. Who’s to say he’s not playing older than he looks?
Some fans on reddit have also noted that in some (now decanonised) Star Wars novels, we met clones who’d managed to reverse their accelerated ageing. In upcoming series The Bad Batch, we’re also set to follow a crew of clones who have various mutations and differences from the norm. With that in mind, it may be possible for a clone to have been made whose ageing wasn’t quite as speedy as that of his brothers.
Or the answer could be simpler: this theory is nonsense, and that The Mandalorian has done exactly what it appears to have done and brought back Boba Fett for grateful fans. But something about that just doesn’t sit right…
This wouldn’t be the first time The Mandalorian has done a Boba Fett misdirect , after all– in season one, a character wearing his armour was teased, but revealed to be Olyphant’s Cobb Vanth in season two – and as a twist, this new development would be a great way to keep fans guessing. By making Morrison come back as a clone the series could play around with the legacy of Boba Fett while still leaving the door open for a later return, without completely rewriting his original death in Return of the Jedi.
Fundamentally, the question of whether Boba Fett survived the Sarlacc Pit has been one of the longest-running arguments among Star Wars fans for years. We’d almost be disappointed if the answer was revealed this easily.
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