Everything You Need To Watch Before The Book Of Boba Fett

After maybe Darth Vader, Boba Fett is widely regarded as one of the most popular and recognizable characters in the Star Wars universe. Now, thanks to Disney's expansion of the Star Wars canon, the infamous bounty hunter is getting his moment to shine — "The Book of Boba Fett," a live-action series spinning off from "The Mandalorian," will debut on Disney+ in December 2021. 

But the quiet and imposing bounty hunter, who was originally introduced to audiences on the big screen in 1981's "Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back" in 1981, has spent the past four decades amassing both an incredible fan following and a long, convoluted history in the Star Wars canon. If you want to catch up, this is a comprehensive guide to everything you need to watch, listed in chronological story order, before diving in to "The Book of Boba Fett" on Disney+.

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

"Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones" may not have been a critical success, but it establishes a lot of important history in the Star Wars universe. While the primary focus of the film is Anakin's slow turn to the dark side as he falls in love with Padme, "Attack of the Clones" also reveals the convoluted beginnings of the Clone Wars and the backstory of the Imperial stormtroopers. 

In essence, at this point in the Star Wars timeline, all stormtroopers are clones who fight for the Republic, created through a scheme by then-Chancellor Palpatine. Oddly enough, "Attack of the Clones" reveals that young Boba Fett is a clone himself. His father, a Mandalorian bounty hunter named Jango, is the original genetic template for the clone army; as payment, he asks for a clone he can raise as his own child. And thus, we have young Boba, as well as his ties to bounty hunting and Mandalore. Boba also witnesses the Jedi's violence against his father, laying the foundation for the character's ongoing arc.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 2 Episode 20 — Death Trap

As it did with many other elements of Star Wars canon, "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" fleshed out the story of what happened to Boba Fett in the immediate aftermath of "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones." Namely, in this episode we learn that Boba holds a major grudge after witnessing his father's brutal murder at the hands of Jedi Master Mace Windu. 

In "Death Trap," young Boba sneaks his way onto a Republic ship with the help of his father's friends and fellow bounty hunters in order to kill Mace. Posing as Cadet 372, aka Lucky, in the Clone Youth Brigade, Boba makes multiple attempts on Mace's life, destroying the ship's reactor core in the process. Of course, he fails in his mission, and escapes with the other cadets on a pod. Poor Boba feels morally conflicted about the tactics he's employing even as he leaves his fellow cadets behind.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 2 Episode 21 — R2 Come Home

"R2 Come Home" picks up immediately after the events of "Death Trap," with the Republic ship crash landing on the planet Vanqor. As Anakin and Mace search for the mysterious assassin who is after Windu, Anakin finds a Mandalorian helmet scattered among the clone trooper bodies. As he picks it up, Mace figures out who is after them and why — it's Boba Fett, looking for revenge. The realization comes a moment too late, though, as the helmet is rigged with an explosive device and the Jedi are trapped under the ship's crumbling remains. 

While R2 discovers their plight, he can't save them alone, and has to both get out alive and return to the Jedi Temple for help. Meanwhile, although Boba Fett simply wants to avenge his father's death, the other bounty hunters spiral out of control, suggesting that they kill both Anakin and Mace for the bounty Separatist leader Count Dooku would surely pay — and, even worse, consider taking survivors from the Republic ship hostage.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 2 Episode 22 — Lethal Trackdown

The Season 2 finale of "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" picks up right where "R2 Come Home" left off, with Anakin's padawan Ahsoka Tano and Jedi Master Plo Koon rescuing Anakin and Mace from the remains of the Republic ship before pursuing Boba Fett and the other bounty hunters. As the bounty hunters use their hostages to trap Mace Windu and the Jedi, Boba becomes increasingly confused about what to do. While the bounty hunters are his only family, he doesn't agree with their utilitarian and violent methods — that's not the way his honorable Mandalorian father, Jango, lived. 

Ultimately, Boba tells Plo Koon where the hostages are as Ahsoka follows the bounty hunters, who seemingly go down in Fett's ship. While the hostages are rescued, young Boba is captured by the Jedi for the attempted assassination of Mace Windu, leading to another tragic chapter in young Boba's eventful and traumatic life.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 4 Episode 15 — Deception

Deception picks up a few years after Boba Fett's initial appearance in "Star Wars: The Clone Wars." The episode follows Obi-Wan, who fakes his own death in order to go undercover and expose a Separatist plot against Chancellor Palpatine. After using some sort of space technology to transform his face and voice, Obi-Wan's disguise work is convincing enough even Anakin buys the ruse, believing his Master has died and sending Obi-Wan to prison. 

Inside, Obi-Wan befriends the criminal he's trying to expose and learns that he has a plan to break out. The plan begins when a teenage Boba picks a fight with the disguised Obi-Wan and incites a prison riot. Although the rest of the episode focuses on Obi-Wan's escape with the criminal he's investigating, we can assume Boba also got way, due to where he next crops up in "The Clone Wars."

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 4 Episode 20 — Bounty

"Bounty" marks the last canonical on-screen appearance of Boba Fett until "The Empire Strikes Back," leaving viewers with plenty of questions about the fan-favorite character. This episode is told from the point of view of Asajj Ventress, Count Dooku's former Sith apprentice who lost her position after she failed to assassinate her master. 

After Ventress kills one of their crew, a group of bounty hunters takes the one-time Sith back to their leader — Boba Fett, at some point after his stint in prison. Needing to replace the member they lost, Fett recruits Ventress for his crew's next mission, but fails to impress Ventress, who quickly overpowers and outsmarts the young bounty hunter. Given that this is the last we see of Boba before "The Empire Strikes Back," "The Book of Boba Fett" has room to fill in a number of blanks, including how Boba found and reclaimed his father's armor and ship.

Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back

Generally considered to be the best of the Star Wars films, "Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back" follows Luke as he takes a mission from Obi-Wan, now a Force ghost, to find Jedi Master Yoda and complete his training. With Luke gone, Leia and Han have to fend for themselves as Darth Vader and the Empire continue to grow stronger. 

Boba Fett makes his first canonical appearance in this film, as one of many bounty hunters hired by both the Empire and the Hutts to track and capture Han. Fett tracks Han to Cloud City, and serves as a de facto bodyguard for Vader when Han's onetime friend Lando Calrissian betrays the roguish smuggler and turns him over to the Empire. Even with minimal dialogue, Boba's cool costume and no-nonsense attitude was enough to inspire a generation of ardent supporters who would clamor for the character to return again and again.

Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi

The final installment in the original Star Wars trilogy, "Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi" primarily focuses on Luke's rise to power as a Jedi and Rebel Alliance's defeat of the Empire. However, "Return of the Jedi" is also where Boba Fett makes his grand return after a quiet debut in "The Empire Strikes Back." 

The first act of the film sees Luke and Leia working to rescue Han from Jabba the Hutt. As they break in to Jabba's palace, we finally meet the Hutt, who had only been referred to up to this point (at least in the original versions of films), and learn that Boba is his right-hand bounty hunter. As Luke breaks everyone out, there's a fight on Jabba's sail barge — the last we see of Boba is when he falls into the Sarlacc pit, presumably dying. 

For years, fans assumed that Boba's tale ended here (although the old Expanded Universe found ways to prolong his story) until "The Mandalorian" picked it up about 35 years later.

The Mandalorian Season 1 Chapter 5 — The Gunslinger

"The Mandalorian" follows Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), a Mandalorian bounty hunter not unlike Boba Fett who embarks on a mission to collect a bounty, but is unable to complete the assignment when he finds out who the target is: a small, adorable child who looks like a baby Yoda. Mando sets off on a mission to return the Child to his people while outrunning the bounty on his head, picking up side missions, and fleeing the crumbling remains of the Empire. 

"Chapter 5: The Gunslinger" sees Mando working with a young man who wants to claim the prize on legendary bounty hunter, Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen). The episode ends with the duo leaving Shand for dead and Mando escaping with the Child. While Boba Fett doesn't fully appear in the episode, the final shot shows someone coming to help Fennec, who we later learn is Boba.

The Mandalorian Season 2 Chapter 9 — The Marshal

The 2nd season of "The Mandalorian" sees Mando re-dedicating himself to finding both the Child's people and his own. "Chapter 9: The Marshal" finds Mando returning to Tatooine, thanks to a lead that a Mandalorian lives there. Djarin immediately butts heads with the town's marshal, Cobb Vanth (Timothy Olyphant), who isn't a Mandalorian, but who wears Mandalorian armor that looks suspiciously like Boba Fett's. However, the two have to put their differences aside when a monster attacks the village — Vanth agrees to give Mando his armor if Mando helps him defeat the creature. 

After besting their opponent, Mando gets the armor and leaves for his next mission. When the camera pans out and stops following Din, we see a mysterious figure wearing a dark robe watching him. As he turns to the camera, we see it's Temuera Morrison, who played Jango Fett, the clone template, in "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones."

The Mandalorian Season 2 Chapter 14 — The Tragedy

As the 2nd season of "The Mandalorian" unfolds, Mando gets closer to finding the Child's people — the Jedi. This leads them to an ancient Jedi homing beacon, with Moff Gideon and his stormtroopers hot on their tail. To make matters even more complicated, Boba Fett makes his full appearance at long last, with Fennec Shand at his side. 

With the Child locked into his ritual and unable to leave, Din Djarin has to figure out how to protect his young charge. Thankfully, Boba offers his and Fennec's protection in exchange for his armor, just in time for the Empire to descend. Fennec and Mando are accosted by a never-ending stream of stormtroopers, but Boba saves them just in time, suiting up in his classic armor. 

Fans may have had to wait over 30 years for Fett's return, but it was well worth it, as "The Mandalorian" finally showcases the depths of Boba's fighting prowess. Even though the Child is kidnapped, Boba tells Mando that he and Fennec are still in Mando's debt, and pledge to help until the Child and Din are safely reunited.

The Mandalorian Season 2 Chapter 15 — The Believer

The penultimate episode of Season 2 of "The Mandalorian" sees Mando reunite with a former Imperial soldier, Mayfield (Bill Burr), in an effort to break into an Imperial facility and learn the location of Moff Gideon's ship so that he can rescue the Child. Mando's ship was destroyed by Gideon's troopers in the previous episode, so Boba Fett provides transport and muscle for the mission. 

"The Believer" primarily focuses on Mando and Mayfield's quest and the tense time they spend inside the Imperial facility — Mando is forced to remove his helmet, and Mayfield has to confront his past. Meanwhile, Boba and Fennec Shand are on watch, keeping their word to protect the Child until he's returned. While it's not as Boba-centric as the previous episode, "The Believer" sets things up for the finale, which is an important episode for Boba's character.

The Mandalorian Season 2 Chapter 16 — The Rescue

The 2nd season finale of "The Mandalorian" sees Boba Fett and Fennec Shand follow through on their promise to protect the Child, accompanying Din on his mission to save Grogu from Moff Gideon. Although Boba doesn't appear in many of the episode's action sequences, he helps Mando convince Bo Katan (Katee Sackhoff) to back them up in the fight, setting up a potential future conflict over the future of Mandalore. 

While Mando, Fennec, and the rest rescue the Child and defeat Moff Gideon, Boba stays behind in his ship, serving as lookout and getaway driver. As far as Boba is concerned, however, the episode's post-credits sequence is the most important part. While we don't see what happens immediately after Boba and Fennec part ways with Mando, the sequence shows the two bounty hunters returning to Jabba's palace. While Jabba's former advisor Bib Fortuna now sits on the Hutt's throne, it's not for long — Fennec quickly kills everyone in the room, before Boba enters behind her and takes the throne, setting up "The Book of Boba Fett."

Bonus: The Star Wars Holiday Special — The Story of the Faithful Wookiee

While Boba Fett's first canonical on-screen appearance was in "The Empire Strikes Back," the character actually made his debut two years earlier in the "Star Wars Holiday Special." The "Holiday Special" is notorious in the Star Wars fandom and beyond for how much it missed the mark, and the fact that it only aired one time. A variety show with numerous guest stars, musical numbers, and animated segments, the general premise of the "Holiday Special" is that Han Solo is trying to get Chewbacca home in time to see his family for Life Day, a Wookiee holiday.

About halfway through, "The Holiday Special" takes a detour to tell "The Story of the Faithful Wookiee," an animated short that introduced Boba Fett to Star Wars fans. The cartoon features Boba Fett befriending Luke and Chewie, only to reveal that he's secretly working for the Empire. While the "Holiday Special" was a critical failure, the short itself was a success, and led to other animated Star Wars spinoffs, not to mention the rise of our favorite bounty hunter.

Bonus: Star Wars: Visions Season 1 Episode 2 — Tatooine Rhapsody

The newly released Disney+ original series "Star Wars: Visions" reimagines the Star Wars universe from an anime perspective, with each episode telling a unique story directed by an influential anime creator. The second episode, "Tatooine Rhapsody," follows a young punk rock band on Tatooine that is in the middle of a concert when Boba Fett shows up to claim a bounty on one of their members for Jabba the Hutt, placing the episode somewhere before "Return of the Jedi." 

After Boba captures their bandmate and friend, the rest of the band strikes a deal with Jabba to let them perform together one last time in the Mos Espa Grand Arena. Though things seem a bit tense at first, the power of music overtakes everyone, including Boba and Jabba, and saves the day. Temuera Morrison voices Boba Fett in the episode, further cementing the fact that the character is now his.