Exploring what each of Boba Fett’s four mentors contributed to his training and development into the Star Wars galaxy’s greatest bounty hunter.
Boba Fett, considered by many as the greatest bounty hunter in the Star Wars galaxy, would be mentored by a number of legendary bounty hunters in his youth, each of which taught him valuable lessons on his path to infamy. Following in his father’s footsteps, Boba would establish a legacy known far and wide during his career as a mercenary. His reputation for cold-hearted ruthlessness and near-perfect success rate made criminals and civilians alike fear becoming his next target. Boba was groomed for this role from a young age, and it was his tutelage under a variety of mentors including Jango Fett, Aurra Sing, Bossk, and Cad Bane, that developed him into the fearsome warrior that took the throne of Jabba’s Palace at the end of The Mandalorian season 2.
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Although Boba would reach the pinnacle of his career during the age of the Empire, his training as a mercenary had started long before, with his back story being introduced in Attack of the Clones. Boba was explained to be a perfectly identical clone of his father, Jango Fett, a Mandalorian foundling and the most cunning bounty hunter of the Republic era. As a genetic replicant, Boba possessed many of the desirable traits of his father from birth, including an insatiable drive and ambition, as well as a natural distrust of outsiders.
After all, it was his superior abilities that drew the attention of Darth Tyrannus to Jango Fett as the template for the clone troopers of the Republic. But while the clones of the Republic would have their genetic coding modified by Kaminoan scientists to make them more desirable infantrymen, Jango requested an unaltered clone of himself to be raised as a son. However, Boba would need more than just favorable genetics to become the famous bounty hunter seen in The Mandalorian. Boba would have four mentors along his path to adulthood from whom he would learn many lessons that allowed his notoriety to eclipse that of his father’s.
Boba’s first teacher was his father Jango Fett. From a young age, Boba would develop his survival skills and hand-to-hand combat, as well as train with arms from small blasters to heavy weapons. Jango would also teach Boba how to pilot spacecraft, with Boba becoming proficient in the functions of his father’s Firespray-31 class starfighter Slave 1 and hyperspace travel. Additionally while being raised on Kamino, Boba learned many of his talents from his father’s own experiences as a Mandalorian warrior.
In Legends continuity, Jango was a native of Concord Dawn and became a foundling of the true Mandalorians after the loss of his parents at the hands of Death Watch. Under tutelage of Jaster Mereel, Jango became acquainted with Mandalorian warrior culture and developed a strong sense of personal honor, traits he would ingrain in his son Boba. Boba’s devotion to honor and keeping true to his word was a fundamental value throughout his life, as evidenced at a younger age when he refused to murder innocent clone troopers during his mission to kill Mace Windu and again as an adult when promising to assist Din Djarin in rescuing Grogu from Moff Gideon. His father’s insistence on training and inclusion of Boba on his many missions would form the foundation of the young warrior’s abilities, but Jango’s death during the Battle of Geonosis would change Boba’s path forever.
After the untimely death of Jango at the hands of Jedi Master Mace Windu, Boba Fett was left orphaned with a burning rage and bloodlust for revenge. It was during this time that he would fall under the mentorship of Aurra Sing, a highly skilled Palliduvan assassin who had known his father. Aurra promised to aid Boba in his quest for vengeance, as seen in the season 2 finale of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Sing would inadvertently teach Boba one of the most important lessons of his life; that in the bounty hunting profession, you can trust no one but yourself. Left vulnerable at a young age by Jango’s death, Boba found comfort in Aurra’s guidance, and during the mission to assassinate Mace Windu, Boba believed she was looking out for him with his best interests in mind. However, when the Jedi managed to foil their plan and Boba was captured, Aurra chose to leave him behind to save herself. This act of betrayal was seared into Boba’s memory as a painful reminder that in the mercenary profession, everyone will act in their own self interest.
Consequently, as Boba continued to stray from the creed and code of a Mandalorian and towards a life of crime, he came to meet Bossk, a Trandoshan bounty hunter in Aurra’s crew. Bossk would come to be another of Boba’s mentors in his formative years. Frequently assisting Boba in his many missions, Bossk complemented Aurra’s brashness, and though Aurra taught Boba to only ever trust himself, Bossk managed to demonstrate the value of professional allies. While Boba may have never placed his full trust in others following the failed mission to kill Windu, he did learn that it pays to have mutual allies in his line of work. Bossk looked after Boba while they were incarcerated on Coruscant, and continued to accompany him in Boba’s crime syndicate, Krayt’s Claw.
Bossk’s allegiance with Boba was often less out of loyalty and more out of mutual benefit, seeing Boba’s skills as a valuable asset when teaming up to complete difficult jobs. Nonetheless, Boba would continue to draw upon his network of accomplices, such as Zuckuss and 4-Lom, throughout the Imperial era when jobs required more than one person to pull off. Even after his tenure as a premier bounty hunter and supposed demise in the Sarlacc pit, Boba’s newfound partnership with Fennec Shand in The Mandalorian reflects his willingness to recruit others into his circle of accomplices.
Perhaps the most infamous of Boba’s mentors was the Duros bounty hunter, Cad Bane. Following Jango’s death, Cad Bane assumed the role of greatest bounty hunter in the galaxy, and his work during the Clone Wars gained him much notoriety. Boba would come under Bane’s mentorship while imprisoned on Coruscant, and learn many of the finer aspects of bounty hunting from the deadly mercenary. Most importantly, Bane would teach Boba the importance of building a reputation in the craft. Bane commanded a premium price for his work since his nearly perfect success rates on jobs and talent for handling Jedi was unparalleled. Bane’s record of success and deadliness, as well as credit for pulling off incredibly difficult jobs like taking senators hostage on Coruscant or breaking into the Jedi Holocron vault, is what made him so notorious. Boba would note Bane’s selectiveness when accepting work and, after his death, Boba would fill the void left behind, looking to build a reputation for 100% success rates on all jobs.
While much of the time Boba Fett spent with Cad Bane was left out of the Clone Wars, an unfinished storyline arc may see a return in the upcoming series The Bad Batch. The arc would follow Boba as he joins Bane and his other mentors on a job to Tatooine. After tensions rise between the two, the story would ultimately conclude with Boba and Bane in a standoff, additionally depicting how Boba received the dent on his helmet. With Boba as the victor, he would assume the mantle left by Bane and solidify his place as the greatest bounty hunter in the galaxy. Fett may have been poised for success from a young age due to his genetic template, but it was his experiences and array of mentors that developed him into the Star Wars galaxy’s greatest mercenary.
Next: Star Wars: What Happened to Boba Fett’s Mentor, Cad Bane?
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