When Disney Plus first announced that it was launching The Mandalorian on its streaming platform and released its first stills from the series, many Star Wars fans assumed that the show would explore the life of the popular bounty hunter Boba Fett. Once Disney confirmed that the show was not about Boba Fett and would actually focus on a new character to help tell the history of the Mandalorians, fans immediately began to debate whether or not Boba Fett was indeed a part of the sacred order of warriors.
The debate is not a new one. For years, fans have wondered how Boba Fett was able to acquire the Mandalorian armor and many have attested that Boba Fett’s father, Jango Fett, must have been a Mandalorian since he was the first to wear the armor before passing it down to Boba.
On several occasions, that argument has been put to rest by both Disney and George Lucas himself, but fans still seem to be having trouble figuring out whether or not Boba Fett is a Mandalorian. So what’s fact and what’s fiction?
Is Jango Fett a Mandalorian?
First let’s address the assumption that Jango Fett is a Mandalorian. In the second season of the animated series Star Wars: Clone Wars, Obi-Wan Kenobi visits Mandalore and brings up Jango Fett to the planet’s Prime Minister, Almec, after hearing how New Mandalore has shed its violent warrior reputation. Upon hearing Jango’s name, Almec quickly retorts, “Jango Fett was a common bounty hunter. How he acquired that armor is beyond me.”
Some fans may disagree with this scene after seeing how other stories in Star Wars’ expanded universe depict Jango Fett as a former Mandalorian, but George Lucas says otherwise. According to Screen Rant, Clone Wars director Dave Filoni made no secret of the fact that Lucas informed him that Jango was not a Mandalorian.
Of course, fans unwilling to accept that still have their own theories as to why Jango is not a Mandalorian. Some have even included the possibility that Jango may have once been Mandalorian but was dismissed or exiled from Mandalore for an unexplained reason. Thanks to Disney’s acquisition of the Star Wars franchise, fans believe that Disney and Lucasfilm may still reveal why Jango was excluded as a Mandalorian and how he came to have his Mandalorian armor in the first place.
If Jango Fett is not a Mandalorian, then Boba isn’t either…right?
Many casual fans have probably assumed that because the Mandalorians act like a secret and sacred tribe of space warriors that there are strict conditions for becoming one, but that’s not necessarily true. Based on the expanded universe of the comics, novels, and video games, if a man, woman, or any other being wanted to become a Mandalorian, they could, regardless of what family, planet, or species they came from.
You can see elements of this concept in The Mandalorian. In season two, it’s established that the Fetts are considered foundlings ⏤ children adopted by the warriors of Mandalore ⏤ with armor gifted by Mandalorians. Therefore, Boba is a Mandalorian in the same way that Mando is a Mandalorian. But here’s where things get a little murky.
In episode eight of The Mandalorian‘s second season, Boba himself claims that he’s not Mandalorian. Dave Filoni expounded on why Boba was correct in his declaration in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
“Boba Fett is a clone, according to Attack of the Clones, and by asking George Lucas, he would say Boba Fett is not Mandalorian, not born on Mandalore. He’s more of a person indoctrinated into it, into the way of life, and gets a hold of the armor.”
That’s twice that George Lucas has shot down the idea of a Fett being Mandalorian. Even Boba himself agrees. There are, of course, several arguments that can still be made thanks to The Mandalorian’s unique take on the Fetts being foundlings and becoming Mandalorians through adoption. It’s definitely a clever workaround that allows for Jango Fett to be Mandalorian, but it may not work as well for Boba to be a clone who was never adopted by a true Mandalorian. Then again, there’s always room for debate.