Boba Fett has, for the last forty years, been one of the most iconic characters in Star Wars. The faceless, battle-worn bounty hunter captured our imaginations from the moment Darth Vader warned him that there were to be “no disintegrations.” But the merc in the Mandalorian armor wasn’t always meant to be a bounty hunter. In fact, he wasn’t supposed to be alone, either.  So what is the character’s real back story?

A new new interview with original creator Joe Johnston sheds some light. An official interview reveals that Boba was initially supposed to be one of an army of super-soldiers. “The original idea behind Boba Fett was that he was going to be an army of super troopers. There was going to be 40,000 of these guys,” said Johnston. The problem was that Boba’s gear was simply too expensive to make. Still…. George Lucas couldn’t let go of the spectacular costume Johnston (with the aid of Ralph McQuarrie) designed.

Boba Fett (and by consequence, the Mandalorian race), is born

Boba Fett; Mandalorian
Original “super trooper” concept art from Ralph McQuarrie. Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.

Instead of an army of super troopers, this is going to be a bounty hunter. He’s sort of a bad guy but he’s not on the Empire’s side and he’s not on the rebels’ side. [Fett’s] like a free agent, and he goes around the galaxy arresting people and bringing them back to justice or bringing them back to Jabba the Hutt or whoever. He’s a mercenary. He’ll do anything for money, and his outfit, the way he looks, should reflect that.”

~ George Lucas on the character of Boba Fett

What started out as a super trooper concept spawned Boba Fett, one of the greatest characters in Star Wars…. But Lucas got his super troopers in the end. Fans embraced the iconic armor so fully that the Lucas created an entire race of Mandalorians to go with it. Now Mandalorians have featured in The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels and, of course, The Mandalorian on Disney+.

Boba Fett; Mandalorian
The first Boba Fett costume. Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.

Mando’s iconic cape now seems a little more familiar, doesn’t it? We have Joe Johnston and Ralph McQaurrie to thank for that. So who do you think would win in a fight, Boba Fett or Din Djarin?