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How Did Boba Fett Survive the Sarlacc Pit in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi?

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Boba Fett is back, Star Wars fans. After literal decades of waiting, the beloved character made his return in The Mandalorian season 2. As portrayed by Temuera Morrison, we finally got a look at the famed bounty hunter years after his unceremonious fall into the Sarlacc pit in Return of the Jedi. But one important question has yet to be answered; how did Boba Fett survive his plunge into the Sarlacc pit?

The Mandalorian did not address this topic specifically. Though the upcoming spin-off The Book of Boba Fett seems poised to. That said, some material from Star Wars Legends may provide some clues. Legends tales for those who may not be familiar, are stories that were produced before Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2021. The company hit the reset button on the official canon, with everything produced following the merger considered part of it. The rest no longer counts, though Lucasfilm has pulled quite a bit from these old stories to inform the new canon.

RELATED: War of the Bounty Hunters Comic Reveals Boba Fett’s Journey Between Empire and Jedi

As far as canon goes, the novels, comics and video games have also yet to lay out a clear explanation for the character’s escape from certain doom. But some strong hints have been given. So, let’s have a look at what we know about Boba Fett’s survival from both Star Wars Legends and the current canon.

How Did Boba Fett Survive in Legends?

Star Wars #81 from Marvel Comics provides the earliest look at Boba Fett escaping the Sarlacc pit. Published in December 1983, it takes place shortly after the events of Return of the Jedi, a plot thread in the issue picks up with Fett after his fall into the beast’s mouth. We can see a figure rocketing out of the Sarlacc, which is revealed to be Fett making use of his Jetpack. Jawas then stumble upon him and scoop him up, assuming him to be a droid. It is later explained that the Sarlacc regurgitated the bounty hunter. A relatively simple explanation. Interestingly, Fett has a bit of amnesia. So when Han Solo and Princess Leia get tangled up with these same Jawas later in the issue, Fett doesn’t recognize Han. At first. The whole thing ends with the Jawa’s sandcrawler falling into the Sarlacc pit. With Fett on it. Right back where he started.

The most comprehensive account in the Star Wars Legends lore of Boba Fett’s survival comes in A Barve Like That: The Tale of Boba Fett in the anthology book Tales from Jabba’s Palace. The book was published in 1996, with the story in question written by J.D. Montgomery. Again, this is no longer considered canon but the tale could provide clues as to how the bounty hunter escaped seemingly certain doom, leading to his return in The Mandalorian. Fair warning, parts of this explanation get pretty strange.

In the tale, Boba Fett wakes up within the Sarlacc’s stomach following his fall in Return of the Jedi. He is trapped in the creature’s tentacles and, what’s more, its digestive juices have damaged his armor badly. This is where things get weird. Fett comes to find that he has a telepathic link to other victims of the Sarlacc from the past. He then proceeds to communicate with them, telepathically. He then works his way down to Susejo, the pit’s first victim. It turns out that Susejo has a bit of control over the Sarlacc, given this telepathic connection. The Sarlacc then contacts Boba Fett’s jetpack in just the right way. The explosion provides just enough juice for the famed bounty hunter to escape from the creature’s grasp. He then uses grenades to blow a hole in the beast to fully escape. Thus, Fett lived on to reclaim his place as one of the most feared bounty hunters in the galaxy.

Boba Fett also made a post-Return of the Jedi appearance in Dark Empire. In the comic book series which was published by Dark Horse, we get a different perspective. Less about how he survived and more simply a confirmation that he did, indeed, beat the odds and escape the beast’s clutches. In the comic, Han Solo encounters Boba Fett once again and, as one might suspect, he is surprised to see the bounty hunter who delivered him to Jabba the Hutt. The last time they saw one another, Fett had fallen into the Sarlacc, seemingly to be digested slowly over the course of 1,000 years. But we don’t get to learn how he did it. Only that Fett did live to fight another day.

Did the Star Wars Canon Already Explain How Boba Fett Survived?

As for the official canon, no official explanation for Boba Fett’s survival has been laid out. We are undoubtedly going to get that explanation in The Book of Boba Fett. But several clues have been provided in canon material. And they suggest that the escape will at least mirror what happened in Legends.

Cobb Vanth, who was played by Timothy Olyphant in The Mandalorian, was found to be in possession of Boba Fett’s armor. The lawman was introduced in the Aftermath: Life Debt novel by Chuck Wendig. In it, we learn how he came across the armor and what he did to get it.

Vanth simply buys the Mandalorian armor from some Jawas. In the book, Wendig only hints, albeit quite strongly, that the armor belonged to Boba Fett. But with what we learned in The Mandalorian, these dots can now officially be connected. It is explained in the book that the explosion of Jabba’s barge left the Sarlacc horribly injured. The resulting injury left the creature with a large, exposed wound in its stomach. The Jawas use the opportunity to scavenge the opening of the creature to loot what they could. And, as one might guess, they discovered the familiar armor once worn by Boba Fett.

It seems feasible that this hole in the creature was used by Boba Fett to escape. The son of Jango Fett also may have used what weapons he had at his disposal to make things easier. Grenades. The missile launcher on his jetpack. He was well-armed. Whether or not the bizarre telepathic link to the past had anything to do with it is unclear. Though it seems likely that thread would be abandoned, or at least altered, as it doesn’t seem to gel with the character that currently exists in canon.

Suggested Reading

Those who are interested in diving a bit deeper can do a little bit of reading in both Star Wars Legends and the current canon. Just to recap, the full tale of his survival from Legends is contained within the pages of Tales from Jabba’s Palace, specifically in the story A Barve Like That: The Tale of Boba Fett. The book can be purchased easily online, either as an ebook or a physical copy, for those who prefer that route. Though less specifically related to Boba Fett, the character is included in the Star Wars: Dark Empire Trilogy. The volumes are collected as Dark Empire I, Dark Empire II and Empire’s End. The issues are available online, or old copies can be purchased, pending availability, at comic shops or a digital retailer of one’s choosing.

Lastly, Chuck Wendig’s Star Wars: Aftermath trilogy will be of interest to those who are specifically interested in the current canon. While the novels are not about Boba Fett by any stretch, the clues to his survival are contained within the pages of these books. Most notably, Aftermath: Life Debt. The books are readily available in paperback and hardcover. They are also easily obtainable as an ebook or audiobook.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Movieweb.

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