Star Wars: The Mandalorian - How Boba Fett Survived His Return of the Jedi "Death"

The second season of Star Wars: The Mandalorian has finally debuted on Disney+ with an episode that will have fans buzzing until next week. New creatures attacked, Star Wars lore was explored, Easter eggs were included, and many fan-favorite characters made surprising appearances in the episode. While The Mandalorian has always included some level of fan service, "Chapter 9: The Marshal" was loaded with references to storylines many fans would recognize, especially when it comes to the return of Boba Fett. This character supposedly died in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, so of course fans have questions.

Before Disney purchased Lucasfilm, there was a sprawling web of Star Wars stories told in books, comics, and games. Fans dubbed it the Expanded Universe. Disney swept this continuity away, now publishing it under the non-canon Legends banner to make way for a new, more cohesive expansion of the Star Wars universe.

But the Expanded Universe is often credited with saving Star Wars from obscurity. A decade after Return of the Jedi's theatrical debut, interest in Star Wars was fading. The releases of Timothy Zahn's novel Heir to Empire and the Dark Horse comics series Dark Empire, both in 1991, reeled lapsed fans back in by continuing the Star Wars story past the events of the films.

In Dark Empire, fans first found out that Boba Fett survived the sarlacc, though they wouldn't learn how until years later. In 1995, Bantam Spectra released the anthology Tales from Jabba's Palace. The book included a short story titled "A Barve Like That: The Tale of Boba Fett" by J. D. Montgomery (a pseudonym of Daniel Keys Moran). The tale recounts Boba Fett's time within the sarlacc.

Upon awakening in the sarlacc, Boba Fett makes telepathic contact with Susejo, one of the sarlacc's earliest victims. Susejo's consciousness had fused with the monster. Susejo relays stories he heard from some of the sarlacc's other victims, including a Jedi from the Old Republic. Boba Fett isn't interested in the stories but comes up with an idea. By getting Susejo to make the sarlacc contract its muscles around Boba's jetpack, he triggers an explosion. The blast frees Boba Fett from the sarlacc's interior lining. Boba then uses concussion grenades to blast a hole in the side of the creature. Boba Fett leaves, becoming the first person known to have escaped a sarlacc, though the trial badly hurts him.

Boba would have died if the bounty hunter Dengar hadn't found him in the desert. Dengar nursed him back to health, and the two worked as partners for a brief time. A year after his escape, Boba Fett returned to the sarlacc, which was still alive, and told Susejo that he'd be back again sometime in the future.

Boba Fett went on to a new life from there. He continued as a bounty hunter and later had a family. He even fought alongside Han Solo and later trained Han and Leia's daughter, Jaina. But that was the old Expanded Universe. There's no telling where this new continuity will take Boba Fett.

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