The best-known bounty hunter, Boba Fett of Star Wars, is an effective agent for Jabba the Hutt and the Empire. Fett is instrumental in hunting down bounties and helping to stop the Rebellion. He seems invincible.
Fett is the one who tracked Han Solo down at Cloud City and was at Darth Vader’s side while Han was frozen in carbonite. Fett then took the frozen Solo to Jabba.
However, in the original Star Wars movies, Fett appears to perish.
How does Boba Fett die? He seems to die when he falls into the Sarlacc pit, but The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett television shows indicate otherwise. Comics and Legends also confirm his survival, but provide different outcomes.
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What Happened to Boba Fett in Return of the Jedi?
In Return of the Jedi, Boba Fett appears to die. His supposed death happens after a fight onboard Jabba’s desert skiff, Bantha II.
The Bantha II is a utility desert skiff primarily used to transport cargo. It is also used for patrols, conducting raids, and, in this case, escorting prisoners.
Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Chewbacca are being transported to their execution at the Sarlacc pit. However, as Skywalker is led out on a plank to be devoured by the Sarlacc, he jumps, twists around, and uses the plank to launch himself to the skiff.
Luke had concealed his lightsaber with R2-D2, and the droid threw it to Luke. Luke then slashes down some of Jabba’s guards and the Battle of the Great Pit of Carkoon is underway.
Jabba and Boba Fett watch these events unfold from Jabba’s sail barge Khetanna. Fett flies over to confront Luke and aims with his EE-3 carbine rifle. Yet, Luke slashes the weapon.
When Luke returns to fighting other guards, Fett has a second chance and shoots his fibercord whip around Luke. Luke frees himself, though, and knocks Fett to the floor of the skiff before jumping to another one.
Fett tries for a third time to blast Luke, but this is when he gets knocked into the pit.
As Fett aims at Luke, a partially blind Han Solo accidentally hits Fett’s jetpack. The jetpack takes off and flies him into the side of the Khetanna. Fett falls to the sand below and tumbles into the mouth of the Sarlacc.
And there is where Boba Fett perished. Or, so we thought until The Mandalorian.
How is Boba Fett Alive in the Mandalorian?
In The Book of Boba Fett, we find out how Boba Fett survived the Sarlacc pit from flashback scenes that occurred during the time of The Mandalorian.
The episode “Stranger in a Strange Land” in The Book of Boba Fett reveals that Fett relied on his Beskar steel armor to survive in the Sarlacc pit.
He also drew on the oxygen of a dead stormtrooper to keep himself alive. Lastly, he used his flamethrower to burn his way out of the Sarlacc.
Based on these details from The Book of Boba Fett, we can see how Fett is alive during the period that The Mandalorian takes place.
Season 2 of The Mandalorian first revealed that Fett was alive, but did not provide information about how he survived. In the episode “The Tragedy,” we see Fett return to claim his armor from Din Djarin.
According to films and television shows, Boba Fett did not die but is alive and mostly well.
Is Boba Fett Alive in The Rise of Skywalker?
Since The Mandalorian takes place only a few years after Return of the Jedi, we know Boba Fett is alive then.
So, Fett is alive during the overlapping timeline of The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, as well as afterward. How much after?
One Star Wars timeline specifies that The Rise of Skywalker takes place about 26 years after the start of The Book of Boba Fett. Below is a helpful summary:
- Return of the Jedi – 4 ABY
- The Mandalorian season 1 and 2 – 9 ABY
- The Book of Boba Fett – 9 ABY
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens – 34 ABY
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi – 34 ABY
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – 35 ABY
If we connect this timeline with an estimate of Fett’s age, we can conclude that he is most likely alive during The Rise of Skywalker.
If Fett is age 41 during The Book of Boba Fett, he would be age 66 by the time of The Rise of Skywalker. Hence, he could very well be alive.
Yet, this is the Star Wars galaxy, and Fett could have perished in any number of dangerous encounters. Then again, Fett has proven himself to be a survivor.
How Does Boba Fett Die in the Comics?
The films and television shows keep Boba Fett alive, but what happened in the Star Wars comics? Some aspects are quite similar to the television version, while others depart from it.
The Marvel 1983 Star Wars comic #81 has Boba Fett Fett clawing his way out from the Sarlacc pit. Afterward, he has suffered memory loss and lies unconscious in the sand.
As in The Book of Boba Fett, Fett is near death on Tatooine. He is also captured by Jawas. But unlike the television depiction, Fett eventually winds up in the stomach of the Sarlacc again.
In the Star Wars Blood Ties series, Fett is chased down by a group of mercenaries and presumably killed. But then, mysteriously, his assailants are taken out one by one. Fett faked his death and carried out revenge.
This sampling of comics indicates that Fett usually survives, but with some key differences in detail from the television series.
How Does Boba Fett Die in Legends?
According to the Legends books and comics–those published before September 2014–Boba Fett still survives but usually by different means.
Fett still uses his jetpack and weapons to survive and escape from the Sarlacc pit. Yet, some books provide different angles about his escape and survival.
For example, the 1996 book A Barve Like That: The Tale of Boba Fett shows Fett collaborating with another victim inside the Sarlacc’s stomach. Fett speaks telepathically with a character named Susejo and forges a plan to escape. Boba then uses grenades to blast his way free.
Similar to the television shows, the 1991 book series The Dark Empire depicts Fett using his jetpack to fly out of the Sarlacc pit, but later reuniting with Han Solo. Fett eventually gets a new bounty on Solo.
The Star Wars Legends site confirms Fett’s escape from the Sarlacc and his later claim to Jabba’s throne. However, it provides a different path from there.
In this version, Fett leads the Mandalorians in the Yuuzhan Vong War, aids the New Republic in a fight against aliens, goes on missions with his granddaughter and Han Solo, and even trains Solo’s daughter.
This overall Legends trajectory extends out from The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett.
Boba Fett Lives On
Although we assumed that Boba Fett died in Return of the Jedi, that is a mistaken conclusion.
Both The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett indicate that he lived on. So do the comics and Legends books. Yet, those books do provide interesting details that distinguish Fett’s survival from the television shows.
Todd Wahlstrom is a creative and analytical freelance writer and life-long Star Wars fan. He has covered such topics as Darth Vader, the Jedi, Boba Fett, and AT-AT Walkers. Todd has published a non-fiction book, holds a Ph.D. in history, and enjoys hiking, running, and reading about science.