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The Madalorian: Finally a Nice Long Look at the Bounty Hunters of Star Wars

Let’s just say it–Boba Fett was bad at his job.

Listen, I love the bounty hunter. Love him. I even used to wear the Star Wars Bounty Hunters t-shirt I got from Loot Box, despite it being sized really oddly. Coincidentally, if I wasn’t always going over my word counts, I’d open the floor to suggestions on what I should do with all this dumb junk I accumulated from subscription boxes before those danged services went bankrupt.

But the truth is, Boba Fett is the Super Bowl Halftime Show of Star Wars. Given what everyone got paid and how many people were involved, you’d think those shows would be a bit more meaningful, you know?

Indeed, Boba Fett’s popularity stands in contrast with his minimal screen time from the actual movies. But I’d be hard pressed to lay much blame at the Mandalorian’s feet. He was a side character who captured the zeal normally saved for a main character.

On-screen he got a few great lines. We even saw him exhibit some clever tracking strategies. Yet we also saw him completely cowed by Vader, although that’s understandable, because who wouldn’t stand down to Vader. But his complete ineptitude at the Sarlocc pit? Well, that’s indefensible.

With the premiere of The Mandalorian on Disney+, us Star Wars fans are finally getting a glimpse into the Outer Rim areas of Star Wars that can’t be fleshed out in a 2 hour blockbuster, but have nevertheless captured our imagination. I’m talking about bounty hunters.

The concepts from Star Wars almost always come from a mashed-up rejiggering of history itself. For example, it’s widely accepted that the Empire is based off of Nazi Germany, while many have posited that the Republic may have been based off of the historical Roman Republic. It’s not a 1-to-1 overlay obviously but this is hardly a hot take.

Well, let’s get back to Mandalorians in particular. Many say they are based on Spartans from ancient Greece, although that idea has waned as we’ve come to learn that the Spartans have an overblown mythology.

Others have said the Celts with a Nordic flair. I personally see a lot of Mongul influence, based almost squarely on Mongul discipline of training the population from near birth to be warriors.

So what can we agree on here? Not much, really, and that’s OK. Part of what makes Star Wars so enduring is the fact that historical influences were placed into a blender and poured out in a wholly new mythos that makes us squeal with glee in the theaters. When The Mandalorian premieres on Disney+ you can expect to find a little bit of all the above among the influences.

But the best part? All of it will be wrapped up in a gunslinging bounty hunter wrapper, like a wonderful burrito that’s been seasoned to perfection. Indeed, the fact that Mandalorians often serve as bounty hunters is as much of the appeal as anything else. I know it’s the reason I have action figures of Boba Fett, IG-88, Dengar, and Boskk in a cigar box.

The personas of those who do the hunting of the bounties are an integral part of the Star Wars mythos. And maybe Mandalorians didn’t invent bounty hunting in the Star Wars galaxy, but do we criticize Giorgio Armani for not inventing the suit? No, that man made suits pop and, in the same way, it was the Mandalorians who brought a gunslinging swagger to bounty hunting.

That’s what we’ll be looking for on Disney+. Will the Mandalorian be slinging guns? If so, which ones? Who will Mandalorians chase and who put the price on their heads?

Of course, the biggest question of them all: Will he be able to navigate a Sarlocc pit?

It’s an exciting time to be a Star Wars fan. That the first live action Star Wars television show features bounty hunters? Well, that makes me want to break out my Loot Crate t-shirt, nerds. Who will be watching with me?

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