The Mandalorian Vs Boba Fett: Who's The Better Bounty Hunter?

The first episode of "The Book Of Boba Fett" has dropped on Disney+, finally giving us a deeper look into the longtime fan-favorite bounty hunter. We've seen Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) make a splash in the original "Star Wars" trilogy (before seemingly dying in the Sarlacc pit), return as Jango Fett's young cloned son in "Attack of the Clones" and "The Clone Wars," and be probably the best part of the infamous "Star Wars Holiday Special," but Boba Fett's return as a seasoned adult in "The Mandalorian" sent waves through the "Star Wars" fan community, revealing that there's more Boba Fett story to tell. 

In "The Book Of Boba Fett," that story will finally be written.

With "The Mandalorian" showcasing the increasingly popular Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), the Mandalorian warrior and bounty hunter, it's hard not to compare the two fearsome fighters since they've been put in the same cinematic world, but "The Book Of Boba Fett" will be catching us up to a more rounded out Fett. Here's your exhaustive, definitive, once-and-for-all look into which bounty hunter is truly better, Mando versus Boba Fett. Each week we'll be adding new comparisons as "The Book Of Boba Fett" gives us more detail on the mysterious hunter-turned-crime lord, so stay tuned for more.

Spoilers ahead for "The Book of Boba Fett." Proceed with caution.

Boba Fett is Better at Finishing a Job

Before "The Book Of Boba Fett," we've had ample backstory to suggest that Boba Fett was one of the most feared bounty hunters in the galaxy, arguably second to only his father, Jango (from whom he was cloned). With that sort of lineage and some training before Jango's untimely demise, of course you're going to be thrown into the Bounty Hunters' Guild with a strong pedigree and a lot to live up to — and Boba Fett does. While the character was first introduced in the "Star Wars Holiday Special," he's best known from the original trilogy, where the bounty hunter was hired first to inform Darth Vader of the pilot who destroyed the Death Star (Luke), then later to famously track the Millennium Falcon and deliver the resourceful smuggler Han Solo to Jabba the Hutt (so wonderfully preserved in carbonite). 

Han eventually escapes carbonite and execution, while Boba Fett flies unglamorously into a Sarlacc pit when Han accidentally damages his jetpack (it's a little embarrassing, really). At the same time, he finished the job, delivering one of the most resourceful anti-heroes of the "Star Wars" universe for execution. What happened after the job was complete doesn't really affect his track record.

What we learn of Mando is that he also begins "The Mandalorian" with a fearsome reputation as a bounty hunter. This partially stems from the Mandalorian reputation as a whole, but Mando himself is treated with careful respect by many he encounters throughout the series. He even became a member of The Tribe, a Mandalorian organization that was part of the Children of the Watch (a sort of Mandalorian cult that wanted to go back to "the old ways," you know the type). It's for this rare history that Mando was so committed to the Mandalorian life at the series' onset that he never removed his helmet. 

Din Djarin made a great name for himself as an effective bounty hunter until he took on the mysterious job of transporting an unknown target to the mysterious Client (Werner Herzog). That target? The powerful Force-using child, Grogu. Mando finds him (where other bounty hunters had failed) and proceeds to protect him in an effort to safely deliver him to Luke Skywalker. Don't get me wrong, it's a good thing that Din Djarin violated his contract and didn't deliver the powerful Force-wielding baby into the hands of the nefarious Client for Sith purposes, but we can't ignore that spending the entire "Mandalorian" series deliberately not finishing a job makes him a worse bounty hunter than Boba Fettm, purely from a professional standpoint (even if it makes him, you know, a better person).

Mando is Better at Not Falling Into Sarlacc Pits

Bear with me here because we're going to need to revisit something important from the original trilogy: the Sarlacc pit. In "Return of the Jedi," Boba Fett was hangin' with Jabba and the boys to oversee an execution party when Luke Skywalker intervenes. Boba Fett has a little trouble with the Jedi, who chops off the end of his blaster. They struggle, and Fett falls onto a platform as Luke Jedi-jumps off of it. Fett stands up and takes aim as a confused Han Solo stumbles, saying "Boba Fett? Boba Fett? Where?" Solo turns around and accidentally hits Boba Fett with the end of his weapon. This idiotic accident somehow activates Fett's jetpack, sending him launching into Jabba's barge and rolling unceremoniously into the Sarlacc pit. 

In "The Mandalorian," we discover that Boba Fett survived, and early on in "The Book Of Boba Fett" we find out how. But until these series, Fett's cinematic legacy was dying at the hands of a confused Han Solo lightly tapping his jetpack, sending him careening into a monster who isn't moving. It's the first clip in the galaxy's reel for "Tatooine's Funniest Home Videos," practically a "Return Of The Jedi" blooper except it's an entire character arc. It's probably the most embarrassing thing to happen to any bounty hunter in the galaxy.

Meanwhile, Mando's been to Tatooine on more than one occasion. In "Chapter 5: The Gunslinger," Mando awaits ship repairs in Mos Eisley while taking on work, meets the assassin and Boba Fett companion Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen), struggles to escape the planet with Grogu, and finally continues his journey. In "Chapter 10: The Passenger," Mando returns to Tatooine to transport a Frog Lady and her eggs off of the desert planet, and he ends up on an icy planet full of massive, dangerous ice spiders. 

While these Tatooine trips were dangerous, at no point does Mando casually tumble into the gaping maw of a static beast despite his jetpack. As the series progresses, he does almost die a few times, sure, but never as a result of the most embarrassing thing to happen to any bounty hunter, ever, so the point goes to Mando for this one.

Boba Fett is Better Overall at Handling Monsters

While that infamous Sarlacc stumble was definitely a low point in Boba Fett's career, the opening of "The Book Of Boba Fett” shows his escape (which no one is supposed to have been able to accomplish). He wakes in the beast's belly, and slices and flamethrows his way out of the beast to climb through its belly and up to the surface. It's almost impressive enough to make you forget the stupid, stupid way he ended up there in the first place. 

The Sarlacc isn't the only monster Fett deals with in the episode, however. In that same entry, he tumbles with the planet's fearsome massiffs (giant reptilian hunting dogs), knocks it out, and uses its teeth to free him from capture. At the end of the episode, he tangles with an even larger reptilian creature, a four-armed, clawed predator that looks like Goro and a giant snake had a baby that was animated by Ray Harryhausen. He kills the beast, comes back with its head, and walks away a free man. Turns out Boba Fett is a monster-killing badass.

Mando, by contrast, almost dies from monsters many times, often saved only by the intervention of external parties. Left to Mando's own devices, "The Mandalorian” would be a much shorter show. 

As early as "Chapter 2: The Child," we discover Grogu's force powers when Mando is forced to fight the deadly Mudhorn beast for an egg to trade Jawas for his ship components. Mando is basically helpless against the space rhino until Grogu levitates the beast, allowing him to kill it. In "Chapter 9: The Marshal," Mando has to help the citizens of Mos Pelgo who are constantly under attack from a Krayt dragon. He brings the townspeople together along with Tusken Raiders to lure the beast out and kill it. Granted, Krayt dragons are tough, fearsome beasts, and I surely wouldn't want to fight one, but he needs two whole communities to make any headway. On his own, he'd have been Krayt fodder for sure. 

On the aforementioned ice planet, Mando has to protect Grogu and the Frog Lady from a seemingly infinite number of ice spiders, facing certain death. The spiders pin their ship, rendering them unable to escape until X-wing pilots serendipitously arrive and kill the remaining arachnids. Without them, Mando would have been spider chow. 

Notice a theme? If Mando faces a monster, he needs help to see it through. Boba Fett, by contrast, handles three major monsters on his own in one episode. This is a clear point for Fett. That said, it should be noted that Mando encounters a pack of massiffs in "Chapter 9: The Marshall" and easily pacifies the whole pack. This leads perfectly into our next slide, Mando's secret superpower...

The Mandalorian is Better at Friendship

Let's get something clear: throughout his "Star Wars" history, B.F. stands for Boba Fett but certainly not Best Friend. After Jango Fett dies, Boba's an understandably angry and standoffish young man who grows into the original trilogy's bounty hunter that often works alone. 

Though, to be fair, Fett often manages at least one close and personal relationship, so he's not a complete loner. In "The Clone Wars," he has Bossk, the Trandoshan bounty hunter who was quite protective of the promising young Fett. In "The Mandalorian" and "The Book Of Boba Fett," he works with Fennec Shand, a master assassin and Fett's partner in a relationship clearly characterized by mutual respect, loyalty, and true, open friendship. Fett can turn partners into good friends, and that matters.

At the same time, the entire story of "The Mandalorian" shows how Mando travels around the galaxy, helps solve others' problems, and curries favor with new friends who have his back at the end. Making friends is Mando's superpower. Whether it's befriending Kuiil in "The Child" (who later reprograms IG-11 to protect Grogu), protecting villagers with Cara Dune in "Sanctuary," working with Fett and leaving with mutual respect, or the fact that both season finales see Mando's allies join him to protect Grogu, a major part of his success is due to his ability to build relationships. The entire series is just a long parade of Mando doing favors, gaining respect, and calling in favors when times get tough. He's so good at forging relationships that dangerous reptilian beasts are but so much putty in his shiny armored hands. (This doesn't even begin to cover the extent to which he's a great space dad.) Another point in Mando's column.

Stay tuned each week as we tally up more points for the two fearsome hunters to see once and for all who is the ace bounty hunter of space.