Before Boba Fett was confirmed to return in the second season of Star Wars: The Mandalorian, played by Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones actor Temuera Morrison, a 2015 novel hinted the bounty hunter survived his apparent death in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi. In the original Star Wars trilogy — where Fett was hired by the Empire to capture the crew of the Millennium Falcon, with Fett seeking to claim a bounty on its pilot, space pirate Han Solo (Harrison Ford) — Fett appeared to be killed when he was knocked from crimelord Jabba the Hutt's sail barge on Tatooine, falling victim to the Sarlacc within the seemingly inescapable Great Pit of Carkoon.
In Chuck Wendig's canon novel Star Wars: Aftermath — set shortly after the Rebel Alliance toppled the Galactic Empire in Return of the Jedi — Tatooine local Cobb Vanth encounters Adwin Charu, a member of the Red Key Raiders crime syndicate attempting to purchase goods from Jawas.
Among their possessions is a long box hidden beneath a ratty cloth:
From the box, [Adwin] withdraws a helmet. Pitted and pocked, as if with some kind of acid. But still — he raps his knuckles on it. The Mandalorians knew how to make armor, didn't they? "Look at this," he says, holding it up. "Mandalorian battle armor. Whole box. Complete set, by the looks of it. Been through hell and back. I think my boss will appreciate this."
Boba Fett and his father, Jango Fett, both wore Mandalorian armor but were not bound by the culture or code strictly followed by Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and other members of the various Mandalorian clans. The damaged armor was claimed by Cobb, who went on to declare himself the sheriff of Freetown, Tatooine.
Whether or not this acid-burned armor belongs to Fett, the bounty hunter somehow managed to claw himself free from the jaws of the Sarlacc.
"I don't like to limit our storytelling in any way and, who knows?" The Mandalorian director-producer Dave Filoni previously told Entertainment Tonight when asked about Fett's return. "It would be really hypocritical for the guy who helped bring Darth Maul back to life after he got cut in half, for me to say that somebody can't survive a Sarlacc pit. But I don't know. I mean, anything's possible in Star Wars and I think, when fans love something, that's what really fuels the possibility and the believability. So, who knows? But right now, we got Mando."
All episodes of The Mandalorian Season 1 are available for streaming exclusively on Disney+. Season 2 of the live-action Star Wars series remains on track for a late 2020 premiere on the streaming platform.