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  • Writer's pictureAaron Fonseca

Star Wars: Was Jango Fett a Mandalorian?

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The Fett family was a duo whose background and history jumped around a significant amount over the decades in the Star Wars galaxy. From comic books and novellas to reboots of their canon entirely in live-action animation, and videogames, fans cannot get enough of Jango and Boba Fett. Unfortunately, with so much attention on their backgrounds constantly changing, many have wondered for years whether Boba and by extension his father Jango, are Mandalorians. At the start of the lore of the Fett family, all anyone knew was that Boba was a bounty hunter, as info books and manuals were released about him, it was later revealed that the armor Boba wore was Mandalorian. That specification wasn't enough to confirm whether this deadly bounty hunter was a Mandalorian himself, but it certainly excited the imagination as to what this could mean.

Now, with a wealth of canon knowledge expanded on and shared through shows like The Clone Wars, Rebels, The Mandalorian, and The Book of Boba Fett, Jango's origins have become a lot clearer on the subject. For the first time since his appearance in the Star Wars Holiday Special in 1978, which was 42 years of foggy speculation and semi-canon answers, fans got their answer in 2020 during season 2 of the space-western The Mandalorian. Jango was a Mandalorian, and fought in some of their conflicts, but which ones? Who was his mentor? How did he stray so far from his path? This warrior-turned-bounty hunter still had some questions to be answered, and it's all be answered once fans dig up from the dusty tomes of Star Wars lore.

Jango Fett's Mandalorian Identity In Legends

The most legends lore about Mandalorian history and Jango Fett's identity was in Dark Horse Comic's issue Jango Fett: Open Seasons, a 4-part miniseries. The series begins at Jango's childhood training, right up to when he is hired by Count Dooku. The series actually begins with Dooku pitching the suggestion of using Jango as a good template for the clones to Darth Sidious. Jango became entangled in the Mandalorian Civil War after Deathwatch killed his parents. The Mand'alore Jaster Mereel, his forces pushed back and separated in their last battle, came across the Fett home a little while before. Feeling responsible for the boy, Jaster took the orphaned Jango in and became his mentor. Jango was raised as a formidable Mandalorian warrior, fighting alongside Jaster Mereel, but Jaster was later betrayed by one of his own in a political move to replace him. Jango survived the battle that left his mentor slain, and returned to Jaster's remaining Mandalorians carrying Jaster's Body. Jango outed the traitor, Montross, who purposely didn't come to Jaster's aid.

The True Mandalorians then crowned Jango Fett the new Mand'alore. In turn, Jango then banishes Montross. In Issue 3, Jango and The True Mandalorians would be tasked with suppressing a colonist insurrection on Galidraan. Unfortunately, the planet's government was also hiding Jango's rivals, Deathwatch. Deathwatch's leader, Tor Vizsla, reported the revolt suppression to the Jedi council, which is when Jedi Master Dooku and his Apprentice Komari Vosa were sent to deal with them. In the battle that followed, The True Mandalorians were all destroyed, save for Jango Fett, who gave his all to take out as many of the opposing Jedi as possible, impressing Dooku. Jango was arrested and sold into slavery by the local government, making Deathwatch the surviving victor. Open Seasons issue 4 takes place on Count Dooku's estate where Jango is summoned. This is where he recounts how he escaped slavery and avenged Jaster by finally killing Tor Vizsla and wiping out most of Deathwatch. It is from this point onward that the videogame Star Wars: Bounty Hunter picks up a little bit before Dooku's proposal, allowing players to play through the story of Jango's decorated bounty-hunting career.

Jango's Canon Grows In Prequels and The Clone Wars

Although some pretty big details have yet to be confirmed to carry into the current canon, the broader strokes of this comic miniseries have remained true. Unfortunately, not many had access to or knew much about this comic upon its release, and the lore was obscured. Those who played the game Star Wars: Bounty Hunter could unlock the series page-by-page, but depending on their early 2000s television resolution, it could be hard to read most of it. Once The Clone Wars series re-introduced the Mandalorian culture and the intrigues of Deathwatch wanting to sabotage Dutchess Satine's pacifist rule of law, then the name Jango was re-introduced. Obi-Wan brought Jango Fett to Prime Minister Almec's attention when he arrived in Mandalore, but Almec dismissed the name utterly and called Jango a "Common bounty hunter" and denied the thought that his armor originally belonged to him.

This denial and scoff at Jango Fett being associated with Mandalorian culture at all makes sense. Once it is revealed that Prime Minister Almec betrays and usurps Dutchess Satine as a Deathwatch leader, his dismissiveness ties in perfectly with the sentiments of those who remember fighting Jango and the True Mandalorians during the civil war. So Jango's later canonization in The Mandalorian is not at all a retcon of how he's spoken about in The Clone Wars, but rather, a deep-lore clue and validation that most of Open Seasons' story is still intact with Mandalore's historical canon.

The Mandalorian Finally Wraps Up Jango's Specific Identity

The excitement of Boba Fett's return to live-action in Season 2 of The Mandalorian had many wondering if Dave Filoni would finally drop the answers fans desperately wanted about Boba Fett's lineage. Although there is a group of fans that still wish Mandalorian culture was left unchanged from pre-prequel era legends material, it's impossible to deny that Dave Filoni delivered for the vast majority who grew up excited by the Jango Fett storyline introduced in Attack of the Clones. For some time before this revelation in The Mandalorian, Dave Filoni had been teasing that Jango and Boba were not technically Mandalorians. Knowing Dave's reservedness about these things, he loves telling truths, "from a certain point of view."

Nevertheless, in The Mandalorian, Season 2 Episode 14, Boba Fett finally proves to Din Djarin, played by Pedro Pascal, that he is worthy of his father's armor, showing the chain code that has both Jango, Boba, and Jaster's names within. The fans who were able to decipher the Mandalorian alphabet were ecstatic to see these all included together, confirming that the comic Jango Fett: Open Seasons had at least been honored in its broader strokes. Furthermore, Boba Fett mentions his father fought in the Mandalorian Civil Wars, further confirming canon plucking from legends. Din confirms that Boba's father was a foundling, an orphan raised by a Mandalorian, and became a Mandalorian. This is an interesting intersection since we know that Din Djarin was part of Deathwatch, a group that never recognized the Fetts as Mandalorians. Through civil wars, many betrayals, quests for revenge, and the entire Clone Wars, the Fett family finally gets confirmation and validation of their identity in live-action.

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