Boba Fett is the most fearsome bounty hunter in the "Star Wars" universe. Although he has a notorious reputation, Fett doesn't see a lot of action in the original trilogy -- he might be the only bounty hunter who fulfills Darth Vader's mission in "The Empire Strikes Back," but Fett is quickly dispatched in "Return of the Jedi" when a disoriented Han Solo sets off his jetpack, sending him flying into the Sarlacc Pit.
While the upcoming Disney+ series "The Book of Boba Fett" will expand on the character's adventures after his memorable run in Season 2 of "The Mandalorian," fans of the Star Wars Expanded Universe have been reading exciting Fett-centric adventures for years. The enigmatic character inspired many comic book writers and artists to tell stories showcasing Fett's ruthless tactics and cold morality. The Expanded Universe established that Fett survived his presumed death in "Return of the Jedi," as the Sarlacc was unable to digest his Mandalorian armor. Fett may have had little dialogue in the films, but the comics offered more insights into his complex's psychology.
The "Star Wars" prequels laid out Boba's origins, establishing that he was a clone of his father, Jango Fett, who also became a favorite of comic creators. Storylines featuring Jango bonding with Boba showed him passing on his Mandalorian training to the son that would inherit his armor and ship, Slave 1. Here are Boba Fett's 10 greatest comic book appearances, all of which fans should add to their reading list.
War Of The Bounty Hunters
Although Star Wars comics released before 2015 are now considered non-canon, this miniseries, which Marvel Comics launched in 2021, exists in the same continuity as the most recent films and television series. "War of the Bounty Hunters" is an ambitious crossover that explores the events immediately following "The Empire Strikes Back." In addition to the core series of the same name, "War of the Bounty Hunters" also includes issues of "Doctor Aphra," "Darth Vader," "Star Wars," "Bounty Hunters," and the upcoming "Crimson Reign."
Now that Fett has a carbonite-frozen Han as his hostage, he finds himself a target. Qi'ra, the character Emilia Clarke played in "Solo: A Star Wars Story," emerges from the shadows to steal her former flame with help from Crimson Dawn's mercenaries. Forced to retrace his steps, Fett contends with the nastiest players of the criminal underworld, all of whom aim to steal the bounty on Han for themselves. Fett's temporary alliance with the Empire is tested when Darth Vader decides that taking the smuggler captive might lure Luke to his side, and joins the search himself.
Underworld: The Yavin Vassilika
The 2001 miniseries "Underworld: The Yavin Vassilika" brought together many of the original Star Wars trilogy's most iconic rogues for an epic treasure hunt set one year prior to the events of "A New Hope." Three competing Hutts vie for the mythic treasure of the Yavin Vassilika and assemble teams of scoundrels to hunt for the prize. Among the competing players are Han Solo, Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, Bossk, Dengar, 4-LOM, Zuckuss, IG-88, Greedo, and Boba Fett.
Han and Chewie are paired with Greedo by Jabba, who also hires Fett as a back-up option. Fett's mission is not to find the Vassilika, but rather to protect Jabba's team from the other bounty hunters. Fett dispatches with the other contenders and comes to Han's rescue when he's nearly killed in the crossfire. In the unlikeliest of alliances, Fett works alongside Han, Chewie, Greedo, and Lando (who also manages to join the madcap adventure).
Eventually it's all revealed to be a ploy: The Rebel Alliance wanted a key hidden in the Vassilika to unlock the temple on Yavin IV, where they plan to base their operations. The Rebels sent Han's former love interest Bria Tharen to take the key, but Fett still manages to make a profit. Between delivering the credits from the fake Vassilika to Jabba and protecting Han, Fett collects rewards from two different contracts.
Marvel Comics' Star Wars
Lucasfilm and Marvel have a long history together. Marvel Comics published the long running "Star Wars" companion series from 1977 to 1986, producing 107 issues. The book began with an adaptation of the original film before following the events in between the movies of the original trilogy, giving fans monthly updates on their favorite characters during the laborious three-year gaps between "A New Hope," "The Empire Strikes Back," and "Return of the Jedi."
"Star Wars" #42, the fourth chapter of Marvel's adaptation of "The Empire Strikes Back," features Fett's first appearance in the Marvel run, although whether or not it was Fett's comic debut is surprisingly a heated debate. Later, "Star Wars" #68 introduced the Mandalorians. According to Marvel's backstory, the armored warriors hailed from the planet Mandalore and fought as a clan of super commandos in the Clone Wars. Only three survived the conflict: Boba Fett, Tobbi Dala, and Fenn Shysa. Shysa emerges as an ally to the New Republic.
It wasn't until "Star Wars" #81 that Fett's escape from the Sarlacc Pit was officially confirmed for the first time. An amnesiac Fett is discovered by Jawas and transported across the desert in their sandcrawler. Fett encounters Han, who is surprised by his survival. Convinced that Fett doesn't pose a threat without his memories, Han rescues his former enemy.
After Marvel concluded its run of "Star Wars" comics in the mid '80s, the rights were purchased by Dark Horse Comics. Dark Horse's storylines were darker and more ambitious, kicking off in 1991 with a miniseries called "Dark Empire." That story, along with its sequels "Dark Empire II" and "Empire's End," saw the freshly formed New Republic face off against an Imperial fleet led by a reborn Emperor Palpatine, who had transferred his consciousness to a clone. Palpatine's clone attempts to turn Luke Skywalker to the dark side, and briefly succeeds.
Palpatine wasn't the only character to return with a vengeance. Like the Marvel comics before it, "Dark Empire" confirmed that Fett had survived the Sarlacc Pit. The Hutts still lusted after the bounty on Han's head, and wanted vengeance on Leia for strangling their leader, Jabba. So, they hired Fett to once again stalk his old nemesis. Readers finally got to see an epic space battle between Slave 1 and the Millennium Falcon, after Han's ship was once again caught by Fett's tracking device.
In "Dark Empire," it is Chewbacca who faces off against Fett. The Wookiee sends Fett's jetpack flying out of control, but this time it's intentional. Fett flees into a mysterious cloud formation, once again presumed dead -- but "Dark Empire" is savvy enough to show that, this time, Fett is purposefully faking it.
Twin Engines Of Destruction
In 1996, readers of the "Star Wars Galaxy Magazine" were treated to an exclusive bounty-hunter mashup. "Boba Fett: Twin Engine of Destruction" saw Fett fighting for something more valuable than any bounty: his reputation. The comic opens with a cameo by "The Empire Strikes Back" favorite Dengar, who tells Fett that a young bounty hunter named Jodo Kast has claimed a suit of Mandalorian armor and gained a reputation for his theatricality.
Kast boasts that his skills rival those of Fett himself, who decides to lay a trap for his prideful young rival. Fett tests Kast's ignorance and seeks him out under the pseudonym, Sava Brec Madak. "Madak" promises a plentiful bounty following a meeting on Nal Hutta, and the imposter comes to claim it.
Fett and Kast brawl. Even equipped with a custom suit, Kast is no match for Fett's expert marksmanship. Fett uses his grappling hook to trip Kast and obliterates his jetpack, then mercilessly strips him of his helmet and armor -- the ultimate sign of dishonor in Mandalorian culture. Fett gives one final test to his aspiring doppelgänger and leaves him strapped to a detonation device. Unfortunately for Kast, he's unable to disable it in time.
Death, Lies, & Treachery
One of the best sources for Fett-centric stories was the ongoing Dark Horse series "Star Wars: Boba Fett," which ran from 1995 to 2006. These books explored the various missions Fett embarked on before, in between, and after the events of the original Star Wars trilogy. Three of Fett's most thrilling adventures were collected together in the 1998 trade paperback "Death, Lies, & Treachery."
"Bounty on Bar-Kooda" followed Fett's reappearance in "Dark Empire" with a mission that saw him dabble the forces of magic. One of Jabba's former rivals, Gorga the Hutt, hires Fett to track down the pirate Bar-Kooda. He's forced to enlist the help of an illusionist, who uses his abilities to compliment Fett's threats. The comic ends with a battle that would make John Wick proud.
"When The Fat Lady Swings" sees a joyous Gorga thankful to Fett for recovering his would-be-bride Anachro, the daughter of his rival Orka the Hutt. Suddenly, Anachro is kidnapped by competing crime lords, who Fett must contend with. Fett also has other problems, as slaying Bar-Kooda inspired his brother Ry-Kooda to seek revenge.
"Murder Most Foul" sees Fett once again caught up in the Hutt family rivalry. Gorga hires Fett to kill Orka, then calls it off when he discovers his wife is pregnant. The return of a not-quite-dead Ry-Kooda makes it a particularly confusing adventure for the bounty hunter, who is mostly bemused at the lover's quarrel.
Shadows Of The Empire
"Shadows of the Empire" was one of the most ambitious early storylines in the Expanded Universe. The 1996 multimedia project promised "a movie without a movie," exploring the events between "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi" through a video game, a novel, a young adult book, an official soundtrack, various pieces of merchandise, and a comic book miniseries. The comic leans into the "scum and villainy" side of the Star Wars universe through the introduction of Prince Xizor and the Black Sun syndicate, with many memorable appearances by bounty hunters. Fett plays a prominent role in the comic as his jealous rivals from "The Empire Strikes Back" seek to claim the carbonite-frozen Han Solo for themselves.
IG-88 had followed Fett since Cloud City, tracking down Slave 1, leading to an epic space battle. After Fett damages his ship, the droid assassin is left searching for spare parts. However, Zuckuss, Bossk, 4-LOM, and their new ally Furlag board Fett's vessel and attempt to take him hostage. Unfortunately for Han's new would-be captors, Fett laces the interior of the ship with a series of traps and overwhelms them. He even takes Zuckuss hostage in order to fool his other pursuers, using Zuckuss' stunned body as a distraction once reaching Tatooine.
New "Shadows of the Empire" hero Dash Rendar tracks Fett throughout and follows him to Jabba's palace. Luke, Leia, Chewbacca, and Lando are desperate to find Fett and rescue Han before he's delivered to the Hutt gangster, but they're unsuccessful in cornering the evasive bounty hunter.
"Blood Ties" is one of the most emotional Fett-centric storylines. The four-part miniseries "A Tale of Jango and Boba" told a multigenerational father-son story and explored Fett's deepest anxieties about being a clone. Although he shared many bonding moments with Jango, Boba is uneasy about the army of soldiers who bear his face. The series showed intimate father-son moments during which Jango exposed Boba to the risks he takes in his profession, explaining to Boba why he must learn to survive at an early age.
Count Dooku tasks Jango with assassinating a helmeted man who he claims is trading secrets about the cloning operation on Kamino. After a battle with his target, Jango kills the masked man and discovers that he is an escaped clone. Even more shocking, that clone also had an infant son, Connor Freeman. A grim Jango starts an inheritance fund for the boy, but perishes at Mace Windu's hand before explaining everything to Boba.
Years later, Boba and Connor have both grown up believing that Jango was their father. Connor's inheritance makes him a target of the League of Bounty Hunters. Upon learning of their connection, Boba decides to take Connor in alive, forcing the two into a hasty alliance in order to evade the other hunters. Boba manages to collect his reward and decides to let Connor go free. It's a heartbreaking storyline about two sons trying to please their departed fathers.
The Force Unleashed II
2008's "The Force Unleashed" was an exciting multimedia project that told the story of Darth Vader's secret apprentice Galen Marek (also known as Starkiller), who ultimately joined the Rebel Alliance. The story was told as a video game, a novel, and a comic book series. In the 2010 sequel "The Force Unleashed II," each medium took a different approach to the story -- the comic retold the main plot from Boba Fett's perspective.
After killing Starkiller at the conclusion of "The Force Unleashed," Vader clones his former protégé, which produces disastrous results. The unstable clone of Starkiller breaks out of confinement on Kamino, and Vader hires Fett and his partner Xasha to track him down. Fett and Xasha see the aftermath of Starkiller's path of destruction and must deal with what remains.
The storyline showed the complex nature of Fett's heart. Xasha yearns for Fett romantically and offers him a chance to run away with her. Instead, Fett decides to leave her behind. Fett is unsympathetic when he captures Starkiller's love interest, Juno Eclipse, and transports her to Vader. However, Fett ultimately chooses not to interrupt Juno and Starkiller when they're reunited. In addition, returning to Kamino is emotional for Fett. When the shapeshifting droid PROXY transforms into his father Jango, it's a rare moment in which Fett is caught off guard.
Enemy Of The Empire
Although he's employed by Darth Vader in the original trilogy, Boba Fett was not always working alongside the Dark Lord. Fett can't stand being crossed by anyone, even a Sith. "Enemy of the Empire," a four-part arc in "Star Wars: Boba Fett," showed the grudging respect that developed between two of the most dangerous characters in the "Star Wars" universe.
Vader hires Fett to track down the insane Imperial Colonel Abal Karda on the planet Vestar. He's given few details on how this famed war hero lost his grip on reality, committing shocking acts of genocide. Fett discovers that Karda was under the influence of a casket containing the severed head of the ancient Queen Selestrine, which provides mythological powers of insight. It's an object that Vader personally desires, and he's so cautious that he doesn't trust just one bounty hunter to complete the assignment.
Vader places a tracking device on Slave 1 and hires assassins to follow Fett down in case he attempts to take the casket for himself. Fett doesn't have any challenges battling his would-be murderers and killing Karda, but when Vader arrives the stakes are raised. In an unlikely battle, Vader and Fett duke it out. It's a close fight. When Vader's Force powers let him gain the upper hand, Fett diverts Vader's attention by nearly destroying the casket and escapes.