Star Wars fans have been excited about the return of Boba Fett during Season 2 of The Mandalorian. The bounty hunter and cloned son of Jango Fett (played by Tamuera Morrison) finally got his armor back. Now Boba is teaming up with the Mandakorian to reunite with his foundling, the Force-sensitive Grogu (aka Baby Yoda). In addition to his return, we also saw a different side of the great bounty hunter in the galaxy.
We are seeing a man, thought to be merciless, who is honorable to the fellow warrior with whom he shares a heritage. However, The Mandalorian is not the only Star Wars medium where we see a different side to Boba Fett.
In addition to Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, which introduced a young preadolescent Boba Fett, Haden Blackman’s comic, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II, based on the video game (also written by Blackman) presents another different side to the bounty hunter.
The Force Unleashed series centers around Galen Marek (played by Sam Witwer). Marek is Darth Vader’s secret Sith apprentice and is code named Starkiller. Starkiller ultimately rebels against the former Jedi Knight. Marek sacrifices himself to help Bail Organa (Princess Leia’s adopted father) and his allies escape from Vader and the Emperor. Marek’s heroics inspire Princess Leia and the senators to establish the Alliance to Restore the Republic, or the Rebel Alliance. The sequel, Force Unleashed II centers around Marek’s clone, simply going by Starkiller (also played by Witwer). Starkiller is trying to make sense of who he is as he remembers Marek’s memories. Starkillwe rebels against Vader who has made other clones and joins the Rebel Alliance. However, the Force Unleashed II comic adaptation is told from Fett’s perspective.
The comic begins with Boba relaxing with a woman, who is also a bounty hunter, name Xasha. It is implied that Boba has a relationship with Xasha. However, Boba being himself is all business and rebuffs her advances. Fett is contacted by Darth Vader who offers him the bounty on Starkiller. He accepts the bounty hunter contract and is told that Starkiller is a clone of Galen Marek.
The bounty hunters travel to the planet Cato Neimoidia and see that damaged done by the Force-sensitive clone. Fett’s companion warns him that the assignment may be out of their league since a Force-user is involved. After killing a creature that Starkiller defeated earlier, the bounty hunters go their separate ways. Xasha pleads Boba to come with her and that they are good partners both professionally and personally. Fett refuses and says that he took the job given to him by Vader. Xasha tells Fett she hopes that “the job doesn’t take you.”
The comic shows a splash page of how the weight of Xasha’s words begin to take affect as Fett. Several panels in the form of Boba’s electrobinoculars show Xasha walking away and blowing the bounty hunter an affectionate kiss. Fett is show with a solemn look on his face probably pondering if there was some wisdom in Xasha’s words. This is very uncharacteristic of Boba who is usually man that does not express emotion.
After Fett leaves Cato Neimoidia, he has a homecoming of sorts when he heads back to his rain-drenched homeworld, Kamino. Kamino is also where Marek’s clone was also born. Darth Vader shows the Mandalorian a hologram of Starkiller using his powers. The Sith Lord instructs Fett to capture former Imperial-turned-Rebel Juno Eclipse, Marek’s love interest, so that he can trap Starkiller.
After interrogating a Rebel-sympathizing mechanic, Fett and a group Imperial commandos, are able to board Eclipse’s flagship, the Salvation. Before the boarding the flagship, Fett notices Marek’s ship, the Rouge Shadow dock on the ship. The bounty hunter successfully capture her while Starkiller pursues them. Fett leaves a couple of attack droids to monitor Starkiller’s abilities while he places Juno in his ship Slave I.
While aboard Slave I, Juno warns Fett that Starkiller would kill him and is not a Jedi. Fett tells Juno that “Starkiller” is a clone of the man she once knew and that man was dead. Eclipse correctly deduces that Fett knows how she feels since he too “must have loved someone, anyone…” and that he knows “how she aches just thinking about (Starkiller) being hurt.” Juno pleads Boba to not let Vader use her to destroy Starkiller. The comic shows a half-splash of Fett sitting in his cockpit feeling the weight of Juno’s words hitting him hard. It also shows that the bounty hunter may have some feelings for Xasha. It also shows that he may be thinking about the Xasha being right about the contract taking him.
Fett returns to Kamino and hands Juno over to Vader. The bounty hunter demands payment upfront for capturing Juno. The Sith advises Fett that he will receive his payment once Starkiller is captured. Fett tells Vader that he wants to be far away from Kamino since he witnessed what Starkiller can do. It can be argued that Fett was probably thinking about Xasha’s earlier warning. Vader demands the bounty hunter stay on Kamino and finish the job. The bounty hunter tells Vader that he does his job on his own terms while the Empire covers all expenses. Vader orders Fett to release Juno. Juno warns Fett that Vader will eventually hunt him down. Boba responds by saying that as a rich bounty hunter, there are places he could hide.
Eventually Starkiller arrives on Kamino with the Rebel Fleet and Fett notices the Salvation falling into the planet’s atmosphere. Vader orders Fett to finish his mission and the bounty hunter goes after Starkiller. However, Fett is met by a barrage of Rebel Y-Wings firing at him. After a run in with Jedi Knight Rahm Kota and a group of Rebel Soldiers, he retreats to a laboratory. At the lab, he encounters a deranged clone of Galen Marek and ends up killing him. Fett also finds that an Imperial scientist has been cloning him. The bounty hunter kills the scientist and his clones. Fett has another run in with Kota and Starkiller’s personal assassin droid, Proxy, who uses his holographic abilities to transform himself into Boba’s father Jango Fett.
The comic presents a splash that shows Boba thrown off course emotionally as he fights Proxy in the form of Jango Fett. Before Proxy kills Boba, the bounty hunter uses a device to negate the droid’s holographic ability.
Eventually, Fett witnesses Starkiller defeating Darth Vader from a far through the scope of his sniper rifle. Starkiller, with his blue-bladed lightsaber, is about to kill the former Anakin Skywalker but Kota stops him. Fett comments that Starkiller should take the chance to kill the Sith Lord but the clone relents. Fett is about to carry out his contract to kill Starkiller but he sees the clone of Galen Marek kiss Juno Eclipse. With his helmet off once more and the cold Kamino rain hitting his face, the bounty hunter decides to back off and let Starkiller have his tender moment. He promised that he will get Starkiller next time.
The comic ends with the Rebels capturing Vader. Boba is listening in on their plan to take the Sith Lord to the planet Dantoinne. While he is listening, he sees a hologram of Juno and touches it. There are several panels that show Fett being deep in thought . As Fett sees the Rogue Shadow jump to lightspeed, he utters the words “back to work,” and follows the ship.
Accepting the bounty, seeing clones of himself and seeing Proxy take the form Jango took an emotional toll on Boba. It was a clear reminder how much weight Xasha’ and Juno’s words had on Boba.
In addition to Blackman’s writing, the art done by Omar Francia, Manuel Silva, and Diego Rodriguez, capture Fett’s emotions. The writing and art shows a deeply conflicted Fett. The comic team had presented a more humanistic version of the galaxy’s greatest bounty hunter. This is proof that as callous as Boba Fett is, he is not an entirely villainous. This also shows that he is more than just a simple man making his way in the galaxy. Furthermore, the reader is reminded the little boy seen in Attack of the Clones that is still inside the Boba. The boy who caressed his father’s helmet after the latter died at the hands of Jedi Master Mace Windu. This comic told a story of a clone who has had to make sense of who he is.
Will the Mandalorian explore Boba’s more emotional side like the Force Unleashed II comic did? Or will he have a heart-to-heart with Din Djarin by talking about fatherhood when mentioning the latter’s relationship with Grogu? And, will Fett live long enough to be a father/mentor figure to the orphaned Djarin? We’ll have to see when the season two finale airs on Disney Plus. Reviews of the Mandalorian can be listened to on the Earth-16 Comics Wire Podcast hosted by Daily Planet contributors Brian of Earth-16 and Brendon Rooney.