What We Know About Boba Fett's Life Between Attack Of The Clones And Empire Strikes Back

Once upon a time, Boba Fett was an enigma who exuded coolness thanks to his never-before-seen armor and gravelly voice. Yet, for decades, that's all he was in the "Star Wars" cinematic universe (including, yes, his initial non-canon appearance in 1978's "The Star Wars Holiday Special"): a mystery with no real substance.

That changed with 2002's "Attack of the Clones," which revealed that Boba was actually a clone of the bounty hunter Jango Fett, himself the basis for the Grand Army of the Republic's soldiers. Where the other Jango clones were genetically altered to age faster and trained specifically for combat, Jango raised Boba as his son, mentoring him in the art of bounty hunting and giving him the tools he would need to survive years later. He also encouraged Boba's nasty streak from a young age, as seen in "Attack of the Clones" when Boba chuckles gleefully after Jango seemingly bombs Obi-Wan Kenobi into space dust.

Sadly, this evil-loving duo was not meant to last. "Attack of the Clones" culminated with the First Battle of Geonosis, in which Mace Windu defeated Jango by decapitating him in the midst of combat, leaving Boba to mourn him and continue on alone. "The Book of Boba Fett" has already begun to fill in the blanks of what happened to Boba after his big screen debut in "The Empire Strikes Back" and near-death in "Return of the Jedi" — but what about the 25-26 years between the events of those movies and Jango's demise?

Boba's Early Bounty Hunting Days

It was the animated series "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" that picked up with the young Boba, post-Jango's death, starting with the season 2 episode "Death Trap." The first chapter in a three-part arc, the episode saw Boba infiltrate a unit of clone cadets as part of a scheme to kill Windu as revenge for what he did to Jango. This was also where it came to light that Boba had fallen in with a group of grown bounty hunters after the events of "Attack of the Clones," including the Trandoshan mercenary Bossk (who made a cameo in "The Empire Strikes Back"). And if the idea of a gang of hardened criminal types taking in a kid seems odd, it's worth remembering the young Boba was already a deadly force to be reckoned with thanks to Jango's teachings, as the clone cadets in "Death Trap" learned.

A lot of back-stabbing and foul play later, Boba's plan failed, and he found himself in prison on Coruscant after being taken into custody by the Republic's forces. Of course, that didn't last, and before long, Boba was not just back out in the world, he was even leading his own bounty hunter syndicate called Krayt's Claw (whose ranks included Bossk). This was also when Boba first crossed paths with Count Dooku's former apprentice, the Dathomirian Force user Asajj Ventress, who would go on to join the long list of characters that, at some point or another, betrayed Boba, further shaping him into the cynical and profit-driven, yet undeniably efficient bounty hunter he would grow up to become.

Working for Jabba and Vader

As an adult, Boba was one of Jabba the Hutt's most trusted bounty hunters and, when he wasn't on a job, spent his days residing in Jabba's palace on Tatooine. However, when the Galactic Empire began hunting Rebel spies over the years immediately preceding the events of "Star Wars: A New Hope," Boba soon found himself in the employ of another powerful, dangerous figure: Darth Vader.

Mind you, that doesn't mean Boba and Vader were always on good terms. Infamously, Boba disintegrated some Rebel spies he cornered on Coruscant before trying to collect the bounty on them, only for Vader to refuse payment because, well, disintegrated Rebel spies aren't actually useful when you're trying to crush a larger Rebellion. This incident was notably referenced in "The Empire Strikes Back" before being expanded upon in "Added Muscle," a short story by Paul Dini from the 2017 anthology book, "From a Certain Point of View."

Vader and Fett would cross paths yet again after the Battle of Yavin in "A New Hope." As covered in the "Darth Vader" and "Star Wars" comic books, Vader made a private deal with Jabba to hire two of his top mercenaries (one of which was, naturally, Boba) to track down a Rebel pilot associated with Obi-Wan and the Millennium Falcon, which Boba knew all about due to its owner, Han Solo, owing Jabba money. Long story short: Boba came close but ultimately failed to capture said pilot, although he passed their name (Luke Skywalker) onto Vader, unaware of the bombshell he had just dropped on the Sith Lord. Thus, it turned out there was more than meets the eye to the riddle of why Vader hired Boba to find the Falcon in "The Empire Strikes Back."