Warning: The following contains major spoilers from Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett, “Chapter 6: From the Desert Comes a Stranger,” streaming now on Disney+.
Following the fully off-world fun of The Book of Boba Fett, “Chapter 5: Return of the Mandalorian,” the latest chapter makes a partial return to Tatooine. And, while the titular Boba Fett doesn’t have much to do with the episode, an old storyline originally involving him finally plays out.
A (welcome) surprise was the live-action onscreen debut of the fearsome bounty hunter Cad Bane, having originated in the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The blue bounty hunter with a fondness for statement hats spent many episodes fighting the Jedi and teaming up with the likes of Aurra Sing and even Darth Maul himself before working with the Hutts. He crossed paths with Boba Fett as a growing boy, and their own stories would grow more tangled.
Back in 2017, executive producer Dave Filoni spoke at Star Wars Celebration on the Animated Origins and Unexpected Facts panel. He revealed his original plan to end Boba Fett and Cad Bane’s entwined story with an Old West, “this town ain’t big enough for the two of us” style, gunslinger duel that very much mirrors the shootout finally shown between Cad Bane and a now Fett armor-less Marshall Cobb Vanth.
The duel itself would have seen Bane’s blaster shot dent Boba Fett’s helmet and leave a scorch mark, while lingering smoke curls would mirror the death of his father, Jango Fett, at the hands of Mace Windu. Boba would have, of course, survived. The fate of Cad Bane, however, was to have been left up for interpretation, lying flat on his back but not confirmed dead. Filoni has said that, in fact, starwars creator and old Western movie fan George Lucas was the one who had pitched that original duel idea.
In this somewhat repurposed quick-draw duel for The Book of Boba Fett, however, it is Cad Bane who walks away without a scratch, the clear victor. Cobb Vanth, however, is shot squarely below the shoulder and is left lying in the sand, looking for all the world to be dead. Though a fast draw, Vanth wasn’t fast enough, and Bane beat him to the trigger. Though Vanth falls to the ground and doesn’t move, it’s not confirmed if he is dead or not, just as uncertain as Bane’s original fate would have been.
Of course, there’s likely a Boba Fett vs. Cad Bane showdown yet to come as we head to the finale. These two characters have a long history, and the story is only propelling them together for an intense reunion. However their final face-off takes place, though, this particular duel setup was finally played out, and to see Lucas’ vision from years past included in the show is a nice touch.
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