The Mandalorian has become a fan favourite in the Star Wars universe. But for many fans new to Star Wars, the history of Mandalorians in the Star Wars movies is unclear. This article seeks to answer the question: Are Mandalorians In Star Wars Movies?
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Who are the Mandalorians?
In the Star Wars universe created by director George Lucas, the Mandalorians are a warrior people. They are originally from the planet Mandalore and other nearby worlds.
They were famous throughout the galaxy for their almost indestructible beskar armour. Their armour included a distinctive helmet, breastplate and wrist gauntlets. Mandalorians were also sometimes equipped with jet packs like those used by Boba Fett and his father/clone host, Jango Fett.
The Mandalorians were originally conceived as a group of white armoured ‘super commandos’ who would battle the main protagonists in. However, this idea was distilled into a single bounty hunter character in ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ named Boba Fett.
Although the character wasn’t identified as a Mandalorian in the movie, his popularity led to other creators fleshing out his background in novels, comics, television series and video games.
In two later television series, ‘The Clone Wars: Rebels’ and ‘The Mandalorian’ more was revealed more about Mandalore’s history. This added Mandalorian lore as part of official Star Wars canon.
Most importantly, the two series established the Mandalorians as a human species rather than an alien race with a stoic, spartan warrior culture.
Which Star Wars movies have Mandalorians?
The Mandalorians made their cinematic debut in ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ (1980), which introduced the mysterious bounty hunter Boba Fett as a formidable antagonist.
This character had previously appeared in the widely ridiculed ‘Star Wars Holiday Special’ (1978) on television. Fett then returned to meet a cruel fate in the 1983 film, ‘The Return of the Jedi’.
In 2002, the prequel film ‘Attack of the Clones’ revealed more about the character’s backstory. It established Boba Fett as a clone raised as a son by the man whose DNA made his existence possible, the infamous Jango Fett.
Jango, who was not explicitly identified as a Mandalorian in the film, was also a bounty hunter. His roots on Mandalore are hinted at by his armour (with Boba Fett later making substantial alterations to it it for his own use). It wasn’t until ‘The Mandalorian’ television series, which debuted Disney+ in 2019, that the character’s roots were established as canon. Boba Fett referrs to his father as a Mandalorian foundling in the 2nd season of the series.
Boba Fett, a human bounty hunter, was the unaltered clone of the infamous Jango Fett, who plied the same trade before him. The younger Fett’s career would span decades, from the fall of the Galactic Republic through the rise of the Galactic Empire.
The younger bounty hunter emulated the style of the man who raised him by altering and using his suit of customized Mandalorian armour. He chased his bounties in the Slave I, a Firespray-31 class patrol and attack ship that he inherited after Jango Fett fell in battle.
Boba Fett was created on a planet named Kamino, where Jango’s genetics were used as the template to clone the Grand Army of the Republic. The elder Fett had struck a deal with the Sith Lord, Darth Tyranus to provide his DNA for this project in return for an unaltered clone of himself that he could raise as a son.
Near the end of the period called the Separatist Crisis, Jango and a young Boba Fett retreated to a planet called Geonosis, where the elder Fett was killed by the Jedi Master Mace Windu. Left an orphan, Boba sought revenge on Windu but was ultimately unsuccessful in his assassination attempt.
After doing some time in prison on the planet Coruscant, a completely urbanized planet that would serve as the capital of the Galactic Empire, Fett took up his father’s profession. He often worked alongside or in competition with other bounty hunters like Bossk, Dengar and Asajj Ventress.
In the aftermath of the Clone Wars, the bounty hunter continued to make a name for himself while working for the Hutt crime lord Jabba Desilijic Tiure and the Sith Lord Darth Vader. During the Galactic Civil War, Fett captured and transported the smuggler Han Solo to Jabba’s palace on the desert world Tatooine.
When his friends from the Rebel Alliance came to Solo’s rescue, Fett was sent careening into the Great Pit of Carkoon after the smuggler accidentally slammed a pole into his jet pack during the fight. The bounty hunter would survive his ordeal with the flesh eating Sarlacc but at some point his armour was found and sold to Marshal Cobb Vanth, an ex-slave, by Jawa scavengers.
Fett eventually got his armour back from the Mandalorian, Din Djarin, who was given the armour by Vanth. After Djarin gave him his armour back, Fett helped him rescue the Force sensitive infant Grogu.
The bounty hunter then returned to Tatooine with his partner Fennac Shand and killed the gangster Bib Fortuna, seemingly taking the criminal throne of the deceased Jabba the Hutt for himself in the process.
Why is Boba Fett so popular?
A man of few words, a major factor in Boba Fett’s popularity has to be his impressive suit of armour. For many years Boba Fett was the only example of Mandalorians in the Star Wars Movies.
One of the only worthwhile parts of the televised Star Wars Holiday Special (1978) that George Lucas pretty much disowned after its release was an animated sequence that featured the bounty hunter’s debut.
Fett would go on to become one of the most iconic characters in the Star Wars universe when he appeared in ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ soon after.
Despite having only four lines of dialogue in that film, the mysterious antagonist with his stylish armour and ruthless approach to getting the job done became an immediate fan favourite.
The action figure based on him was one that just about every kid had to have, even without the rocket firing capacity of an unreleased prototype that now fetches hundreds of thousands of pounds at auction.
Fett’s spaceship, Slave I, most recently seen in ‘The Tragedy’, an episode of the Disney+ series ‘The Mandalorian’, was also a fan favourite vessel and popular toy.
Jango Fett was a human bounty hunter whose roots trace back to the planet Mandalore. He also had the distinction of being the genetic template of the Grand Army of the Republic.
An extremely proficient marksman, Fett was also a master of unarmed combat, a skill set that earned him a reputation as the best bounty hunter in the galaxy during the final years of the Galactic Republic.
Equipped with Mandalorian armour featuring various gadgets and weapons including a flamethrower, dual WE-STAR-34 blaster pistol and a jet pack, Jango tracked his bounties using a Firespray-31 class patrol and attack craft named Slave I, a ship his clone son would go on to inherit.
Hailing from the planet Concord Dawn, during his younger years, Jango Fett fought in the Mandalorian Civil Wars. Prior to the Clone Wars that took place some 20 years later, Fett, by then a bounty hunter, was hired by the Sith Lord Darth Tyranus to serve as the genetic source material for an army being secretly bred on the extra-galactic water world of Kamino.
Jango Fett’s DNA was used to create millions of cloned soldiers who shared his face, voice and other physical characteristics.
Included as part of his payment for providing the building blocks to create the cloned army, Jango was given an unaltered clone he named Boba and raised as a son.
During the final days of the Separatist Crisis, Jango Fett was involved in the failed plot to assassinate Senator Padme Amidala on the Republic’s capital world, Coruscant. The Jedi Order investigated this incident and Obi-Wan Kenobi eventually confronted Fett on Kamino, forcing the bounty hunter to flee to another world, Geonosis.
After tracking him there, Kenobi discovered the bounty hunter’s connection to Count Dooku and the Confederacy of Independent Systems. This led Jango to a fight with a Jedi assault team during the First Battle of Geonosis at which time he was beheaded by Jedi Master Mace Windu. The year this took place in canon is 22 BBY.
Jango Fett’s legacy was not just the millions of clone troopers that formed the backbone of the Republic’s military but also his clone son, who became a bounty hunter like his father before him.
By the time of the Galactic Empire that followed the fall of the Republic, Boba Fett possessed the same set of Mandalorian armour originally worn by Jango, although its appearance had been significantly altered.
Is the Mandalorian TV show connected to the movies?
We have sen above the examples of Mandalorians in the Star Wars movies. But how is the Mandalorian TV show connected?
When Disney confirmed its new streaming service would land with a show set in the Star Wars universe called The Mandalorian, images of the series’ protagonist looked very familiar to fans of the franchise.
This was because his iconic armour was a beloved staple of Star Wars lore almost from the beginning, first seen worn by a fan favourite bounty hunter with Han Solo in his sights: Boba Fett. On the basis of this alone The Mandalorian seemed as close a thing to a surefire hit as Disney could expect for its fledgling streaming service.
Among the many reasons viewers were eagerly anticipating the show’s 2nd season were promises it would open up larger corners of the franchise’s mythos and bring back fan favourite characters including Boba Fett, Bo-Katan and Asoka Tao in the process.
The Mandalorian takes place 5 years after the events related in the 1983 film ‘Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi’.
Per some ancillary material considered official Star Wars canon, the main antagonists of the most recent trilogy of Star Wars films beginning with ‘Episode VII: The Force Awakens’, the First Order, were already recognized threat a half decade before this, meaning about 20 years pass between the stories told in The Mandalorian and the Order’s rise.
Before the show had even aired, Lucasfilm hinted that the series would deal with the birth of the First Order.
The main plot of the show follows the Mandalorian bounty hunter Din Djarin, sometimes referred to as Mando, trying to get the Force sensitive infant Grogu to his people, the Jedi.
This quest is all the more perilous because the protagonists are being chased by the leader of an Imperial remnant led by Moff Gideon, who wants to take possession of the child for unknown reasons.
Given what viewers learned in Episodes VII through IX of the film series, fans are already speculating about how what’s happened in the first two seasons of The Mandalorian connects to the larger events in the galaxy.
Boba Fett in The Mandalorian
Episode 1 of The Mandalorian’s 2nd season confirmed that Boba Fett is back in the thick of the action in the Star Wars universe.
After Marshal Cobb Vanth turned up on Tatooine wearing Fett’s trademark body armour and was joined by the titular Mandalorian in a battle against a Krayt dragon. A mysterious figure watches Djarin from a distance as he’s making his way back to Mos Eisley.
When the figure turned to the camera, fans recognized him as Temuera Morrison, the actor who portrayed Boba Fett’s father, Jango Fett in ‘Attack of the Clones’.
Viewers would have to wait 5 episodes to see Morrison return in ‘The Tragedy’, this time as Boba Fett. He demands his armour back from Mando, who Cobb Vanth had given it to after their fight with the Krayt dragon. Djarin hands it over and Fett repays him by helping him rescue Grogu from the Imperial remnant led by Moff Gideon.
Once the smoke cleared, fans were still left wondering how Fett had survived his seeming demise after being swallowed by the Sarlacc pit in ‘The Return of the Jedi’.
How did Boba Fett survive the Sarlacc?
There’s been a debate among Star Wars fans for many years over whether Boba Fett died after being swallowed by the Sarlacc or would have found some way to escape this fate. The 2nd season of The Mandalorian finally put this argument to rest when it confirmed that the bounty hunter had, in fact, survived.
However, this wasn’t the first time Fett was shown to have survived the Sarlacc pit but it is the only instance showing that he escaped in current canon. In a line of comics published by Dark Horse and in short stories and novels set in the Star Wars universe, fans in the 1990s found out what happened to the bounty hunter after his seeming death in ‘Return of the Jedi’.
In a comic by Tom Veitch and Cam Kennedy called Dark Empire, Fett told Han Solo that, “The Sarlacc found me somewhat indigestible.”
Soon after, in a 1996 short story called ‘A Barve Like That: The Tale of Boba Fett’ by J.D. Montogomery, readers were given a much more in depth view into what happened.
Finding himself inside the monster, Fett makes telepathic contact with the Sarlacc’s first victim, Susejo, who is able to exert some influence over it.
The still injured Fett has Susejo get the Sarlacc to retract its stomach and he uses his jet pack and concussion grenades to blow a large enough hole in it to make his escape. He is then discovered by Jawas who mistake him for a droid.
At present both the comics and this story have been relegated to the Legends line which is not considered canon.
Having said this, Montgomery’s story is interesting enough that some parts of it could be used in The Mandalorian or some other project in canon that utilizes the character.
Is Boba Fett a Mandalorian like Din Djarin?
As we have sen Boba Fett is the first time fans met Mandalorians in the Star Wars Movies, but is he really a Mandalorian like Din Djarin?
Although they’re outfitted with similar armour, Boba Fett has very different origins to Din Djarin.
In the Disney+ show that follows his exploits, Djarin was raised by the Mandalorians to follow their famous warrior creed. Following such rules as maintaining his anonymity and the mystique of Mandalore by never removing his helmet in front of others.
Like Din Djarin, Jango Fett was a foundling brought up by the Mandalorians who gave him his armor. He then went on to fight in the Mandalorian Civil Wars.
Boba Fett is a clone of Jango Fett, who was a Mandalorian and fought in their Civil Wars. Boba wears customized armour he inherited from the elder Fett, who raised his clone as a son.
During the time period portrayed in the prequel trilogy, Jango Fett was one of the most feared bounty hunters in the galaxy. His DNA was used to create the Clone Troopers who fought for the Republic in the Clone Wars. As part of Jango’s payment for providing his DNA he was given an unconditioned clone to raise as his own, this child grew up to become Boba Fett.
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