Boba Fett is one of the most popular characters from the Star Wars universe, but his first appearance wasn’t in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. The Star Wars universe began in 1977 with the film now known as Star Wars: A New Hope, which introduced viewers to a galaxy far, far away full of strange planets, diverse alien species, and a corrupt political system. As this universe evolved, more characters were introduced, of which some didn’t have much screen time, yet had a big impact on the audience.
Such was the case of Boba Fett, the legendary bounty hunter who made his first big screen appearance in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and came back in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, only to leave fans with a big mystery for years. The last time Boba Fett was seen, he fell into the Sarlacc’s mouth and it was unknown if he survived. Now that Disney+’s The Mandalorian is set to feature Boba Fett, Star Wars fans are looking back at the bounty hunter’s history, and it should be noted that his first appearance wasn’t the one everyone thinks.
Boba Fett’s introduction happened between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, and though it was a somewhat memorable debut, it’s an easy one to forget, or even one that some haven’t had the chance to watch.
Following the success of A New Hope, a television special was released. Titled Star Wars Holiday Special, it featured the main cast of the original film and followed their attempts to try to get the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk to celebrate Life Day, but the Empire got in the way. The Star Wars Holiday Special wasn’t well received, and it has never been rebroadcast nor released on home video, but there are some bootleg copies that can be found on the internet. Though it’s mostly remembered for how bad it was, the special included footage from the original film and a cartoon which introduced a character that became very popular years later.
In it, the Millennium Falcon, piloted by Chewbacca and Han Solo, crashes on a moon in the Panna system. Meanwhile, at the rebel base, Leia, Luke, C-3PO, and R2-D2 begin to worry about their return, so Luke and the droids take a Y-Wing to the Panna moon. Once there, they are attacked by a giant creature, when an armored man appears riding a bigger creature and hits the other one with a blaster bolt from his staff. The man introduces himself as Boba Fett and joins the rest, but it’s later revealed he’s working for Darth Vader and his mission is to reveal the location of the rebels.
The cartoon also introduced Boba Fett’s Amban phase-pulse blaster, as well as the rifle he’s seen using in the saga. Very much like the Holiday Special, the animated short where Boba Fett makes his Star Wars debut can be found online, and while it’s not the best story, it’s interesting to see how Boba Fett evolved.
Next: Why The Mandalorian Couldn’t Keep Boba Fett A Surprise (Like Baby Yoda)