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Yes, it does seem almost certain that is who fans think it is at the end of the latest episode of The Mandalorian, which dropped Friday.
The fifth episode of the Disney+ series ends with someone approaching the apparently lifeless body of Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) — and it sure seems like that someone is none other than the most fearless bounty hunter in the galaxy, Boba Fett.
The first clue: well, right off the bat, the spurs.
One of the unique features of Boba Fett’s costume was his spurs, which can be heard when he is walking in The Empire Strikes Back. In fact, Fett’s spurs were such an important part of the character’s costume, they were highlighted in a 1978 costume screen test video that was done at George Lucas’ home because they wanted the character to be the “Clint Eastwood of outer space,” assistant film editor Duwayne Dunham said. Dunham added that sound designer Ben Burtt put spurs on the bounty hunter, “so when Boba Fett walks down the hallway he goes ‘ching, ching, ching.'”
What’s more, the episode takes place on Tatooine, which is where Fett fell into the Sarlacc pit while Luke Skywalker rescued his friends from Jabba the Hutt in Return of the Jedi.
Also, and this is minor: On Twitter, the hashtag #BobaFett produces an emoji, so it is clearly a branded hashtag.
One point against an eventual appearance by the bounty hunter? When speaking with Good Morning America in August, series creator Jon Favreau was asked directly (2:35 in this video) and said: “Boba Fett is not … they’re all new, original characters. And I might add, a time frame that there’s a 30-year stretch of story time that hasn’t been explored at all except in the Extended Universe.”
Fans of the character were disappointed someone so menacing and wise could be dispatched in such a silly, nonsensical fashion. However, in books taking place after Jedi, it was said that Fett was able to escape the Sarlacc thanks to his jetpack. In some versions of the story, the character was left horribly scarred. Those books are no longer canon, following Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm in 2012, so Mandalorian would mark his first official appearance post-Jedi.
Fett first appeared in cartoon form, featured in the infamous Holiday Special. He would appear in Empire and then Jedi, as well as be added into A New Hope via the 1997 special edition. However, the character did have a figure offered in the expanded, original line of 1978 toys.
The late Jason Wingreen was originally the voice of Fett in Empire and Jedi, the actor under the mask being Jeremy Bulloch for both films. Bulloch’s voice was dubbed over with Jango Fett actor Temuera Morrison’s in the special edition DVD of The Empire Strikes Back.