“Boba Fett is a ruthless, cold-blooded killer who shows no mercy or compassion.” You may have heard various sentiments like these on Twitter or Reddit. Some fans have complained about Boba Fett being too soft in The Book of Boba Fett. Even Fennec Shand calls Boba Fett soft.
Cad Bane tells Cobb Vanth that Boba Fett is a “cold-blooded killer.” And Boba Fett has definitely been portrayed as a diligent, determined, and even ruthless hunter.
However, Cad Bane is wrong about Boba Fett. Many of his fans are wrong about Boba Fett as well. Lucasfilm has shown repeatedly that Boba is not heartless or evil. Just like Din Djarin, he has worked in a job that requires him to be ruthless.
With the Mandalorian, we quickly learn that Din is a kind man at heart. Similarly, Boba Fett is not who he seems. And this side of Boba Fett has been in front of fans since 2011. As, I’ve shown in another blog post comparing Boba Fett and his sister Omega, Boba believes in justice.
Boba Fett’s compassion has been on display since the Clone Wars. Many fans have simply missed or forgotten it.
Here are all the times Boba Fett’s compassion has been on display.
All The Times Boba Fett Showed Compassion in the Clone Wars
Season 2 Episodes 20 to 22
Boba Fett has shown compassion multiple times in the Clone Wars. When he is first introduced in season 2, he is working with Aurra Sing and Bossk to kill Mace Windu. Boba Fett is driven by revenge for the death of his father, Jango Fett. However, Boba does not wish to see anyone outside of Mace Windu die.
There are multiple instances in which we see Boba Fett’s definite lack of coldness.
Anytime Aurra Sing suggests killing the clone children or adult hostages, Boba reacts with visible pain and dismay.
He takes it upon himself to give water and aid to the clone hostages, and says, “This isn’t what I wanted.” Immediately after, he gets defensive and tells them he’s not a clone like them. This is a trait that we’ll see over and over for young Boba. He’ll impulsively act in a caring manner. But immediately after, defensively pull back.
But this season 2 episode arc makes it clear that despite Boba’s quest for revenge, he doesn’t like to see innocent people hurt.
This is put to the test when Aurra puts a blaster in Boba’s hand and instructs the boy to kill a hostage, he cannot do it. He looks away in pain and conflict.
We will see Boba Fett look away from murder in the second episode of Book of Boba Fett as well. Boba looks away in pain and disgust when the Nikto gang attacks the farmers.
The clones tell Boba several times that they know this harsh bounty hunter exterior isn’t who he is. It’s not who he’s meant to be. Boba gets defensive any time someone points this out. And it’s clear why.
Boba Fett loves his father, Jango. Jango Fett was his entire world, and the only way he knows to honor his love for his father is to become him. But not even Jango was all that he seemed.
Hondo Ohnaka tells Boba Fett at the end of the story arc that his father was an honorable man.
At their hearts, Boba and Jango are men of nobility and honor. They and Omega strongly believe in justice and fairness.
They obviously are not completely without vices. That same sense of justice leads to Boba’s desire for revenge. Boba is not so compassionate and merciful as Luke Skywalker. He doesn’t turn the other cheek. And it’s possible Omega’s sense of justice could easily turn to vengeance as well.
Boba and Omega both see injustice towards others, and seek to rectify that in their own ways.
But the idea that Boba Fett is a cold-blooded killer with no moral compass has been wrong for some time. The Clone Wars shows that Boba Fett has empathy and heart.
Season 4 Episode “Bounty”
Boba Fett’s compassionate instincts shine through this Asajj Ventress episode in season 4. This single episode shows a young teenage Boba Fett leading a bounty hunting team.
Asajj Ventress joins the band and the episode’s plot is simple. Boba and the team must escort a mysterious box to its destination.
We find that the box contains a girl named Pluma, destined to become the child bride of the bounty hunters’ odious client.
When the box falls open, what is Boba’s first instinct? He immediately is shocked to find a girl was in the box. He immediately holds Pluma protectively and asserts that he will protect her.
This is who Boba Fett truly is. His first instincts are always one of protection and honor. But his true self must give way to the person he is supposed to become, the bounty hunter he must become. He is a bit disappointed when Pluma slaps him (understandable, on her part). That slap is an excuse to put himself in the mode of the heartless bounty hunter.
It’s also a fine episode showing how dorky Boba Fett is. Contrary to some fan’s memories of Boba Fett, he is constantly bested by others. He wins some, and loses some. Boba winds up in the box Pluma was in.
Unaired Clone Wars Episode — Boba Fett’s Compassion is out in the open
A few years ago, animation excerpts were shown of Clone Wars episode that never saw the light of day. This famous never-made episode was about Cad Bane and Boba Fett.
So far, we know that Cad Bane was a mentor of the young bounty hunter. This episode would have shown some of that, and also how they parted ways. It ends with a duel between the two. Cad Bane would possibly have died, and Boba Fett gets the famous dent on his armor.
But most importantly, we get Boba Fett stating out right that he doesn’t want to see any more innocent people enslaved or harmed.
Cad Bane says:
“Always fighting for those in need. That’s a quick way to end up poor or dead.”
“No more innocent people are going to die. Or be locked up. Or live in fear.”
This is the most blatant display of Boba Fett’s compassion. This is not a ruthless, amoral killer. That has never been Boba. He is ruthless when his job requires it. He is ruthless in anger. But at heart, he wants a better world as most people do.
When we first see Boba Fett appear in the Mandalorian, we can already tell he is a changed man. But like many forms of character development, in some ways this change is a “return to innocence”.
Or rather, it’s represents a man re-evaluating his life and realizing what he truly is and needs.
What did Boba Fett need all those years ago as a 10 year old boy? A family. His anger over the loss of his father led him to clutching onto anything resembling him, no matter if they did not bring him true joy.
When Boba meets with Din Djarin, he has Fennec Shand with him. He has rescued the mercenary and become the first member of his new family.
Boba Fett certainly wants his father’s armor back. Of course, it represents Jango Fett to him. It also represents his power. But he agrees to help Din Djarin in his mission as gratitude for returning the armor.
It may seem at first that Boba Fett telling Din Djarin that Fennec has her weapon trained on Grogu, is cold-bloodedness on his part.
However, I don’t think Boba Fett ever thought Djarin would put the child at risk. Boba is more concerned with getting Djarin to stop and talk. Boba already knew Din would never see the child harmed.
Cad Bane is wrong about Boba Fett — And Maybe Luke Skywalker Was Right All Along
In conclusion, Cad Bane—and many fans—are wrong about Boba Fett. And they have been for quite some time. Boba Fett is a complex character. He’s ruthless when he’s bounty hunting. He is prone to vengeance, out of his desire for justice.
But Boba Fett’s first instincts are often towards compassion, caring, and protection. He cannot bring himself to hurt his clone brothers. His first impulse upon seeing a girl tumble out of a box is to help her.
And while the duel episode of Cad Bane and Boba Fett wasn’t made, Cad Bane showed up in the Bad Batch with a plate on his head—indicating the story has happened off screen. And that fight was over innocent people.
None of Boba Fett’s actions in the Book of Boba Fett are out of character for him. He is realizing that his father’s career of bounty hunting led to Jango’s death. His way of making peace with that is doing something else. He will rule Tatooine, becoming a better, more fair ruler than his former boss Jabba the Hutt.
He will ensure the people who work for him will not work in vain. He wants to ensure the land’s first rights belong to the Tusken people.
Boba Fett tells Fennec Shand that he is not soft. Realizing he needs family has made him stronger. Community is vital. The forced solitude of the bounty hunter did not give him fulfillment. The loose alliances of bounty hunter bands did not provide true family either.
These are things Boba Fett has felt for a long time, since being a boy, but only now has he realized it.
This is the real Boba Fett.
Long, long ago, Boba Fett first make his appearance in the animated short “The Story of the Faithful Wookie.” Luke Skywalker says of Boba Fett:
Immediately after, Chewbacca informs Luke that Boba Fett was reporting them to Darth Vader.
But what if Luke’s first instincts about Boba Fett were right all along? And it’s take the audience over 40 years to realize that Boba Fett truly is a hero and faithful friend.
If you like this blog post, I encourage you to check out my previous article on Boba and Omega. Already, we are seeing how Boba is now becoming more like his sister Omega. He loves animals and the downtrodden, and the people that don’t quite fit in. All of which we saw with Omega in the Bad Batch.