Features and Columns · TV

Meet the Spaghetti Western Killer in ‘The Book of Boba Fett’

How dare he gun down the most handsome cowboy in the galaxy far, far away!?
The Book Of Boba Fett Chapter Explained
By  · Published on February 2nd, 2022

Star Wars Explained is our ongoing series where we delve into the latest Star Wars shows, movies, trailers, and news stories to divine the franchise’s future. This entry explores Episode 6 of Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett (Chapter 6: “From the Desert Comes A Stranger”) and expands on the dread presented by the new gunslinger. Yes, prepare for SPOILERS.

Sensory overload! Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett Chapter 6 threatens to pop the hearts inside their viewers by throwing them numerous fan favorites. Within the first few minutes, we watch Cobb Vanth (Timothy Olyphant) clear his town of spice-trading scum. Then, we’re with Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) as he attempts to deliver baby body armor to his pal Grogu before he’s blocked by Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson). We hang out with Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill/Graham Hamilton) as he trains the little green blob and concludes their session with a deadly decision. And back on Tatooine, The Clone Wars gunslinger Cad Bane (Corey Burton/Dorian Kingi) strolls into town only to murder Vanth, who mere minutes ago was promising to rally troops to Lord Fett (Temuera Morrison) ‘s cause.

For a series that seemed to pride itself on slowly revealing motivation throughout its first half, The Book of Boba Fett suddenly hits high gear, and it sends minds reeling. How do we process what’s going on and what’s yet to come? Let’s focus on this week’s climax and the killer that might be unfamiliar to certain viewers.

The Stranger, Cad Bane

The Book Of Boba Fett Angel Eyes

Depending on your relationship with Star Wars, Cad Bane’s arrival will either have you in fits or scratching your head. The character first appeared in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series during the second season premiere, “Holocron Heist.” He became an immediate favorite.

You may recognize Bane as belonging to the Duros race, the space-suited aliens who originally popped up in A New Hope’s Tatooine cantina. However, his dress and attitude have their origins in a completely different film franchise, Sergio Leone’s Man with No Name trilogy. No, he’s not a Clint Eastwood stand-in, and his swagger is one hundred percent, Lee Van Cleef.

Voiced by Corey Burton, Bane slowly drawls his dialogue like Van Cleef. Underneath that absurdly wide-brimmed hat, he chews his words, masticating each syllable like they did him wrong. And similar to Van Cleef’s Angel Eyes in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Bane trades in villainy but somehow maintains an appeal. You can’t trust him, but you can always trust him to be him.

With the death of Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones, a large void opened in the bounty hunting world. Cad Bane filled it. He became a reoccurring foil for the Jedi when they weren’t busting Battle Droids or dueling with Count Dooku. And young Boba Fett, looking for a mentor, sought Cad Bane because his father held him in high regard.

Cad Bane in Live-Action

We last saw Cad Bane in the Star Wars: The Bad Batch episode, “Bounty Lost.” He scrapped with Fennec Shand (MingNa Wen) while attempting to retrieve Boba Fett’s clone sibling, Omega. He failed in his mission and screamed his rage at the camera. The encounter occurred years previously, but we can count on him still holding that grudge now that he’s seemingly working for the Pykes in opposition to Shand and Fett.

The Book of Boba Fett sells Bane’s badassery with a simple narrative trick. How do you prove a character’s might? You have them dispatch another tough yet beloved performer.

Bane wanders into Mos Pelgo from the desert. Cobb Vanth catches an odd sensation in the wind and spots trouble walking his way. The two gunslingers meet in the street, and if you were familiar with Cad Bane, you instantly knew Timothy Olyphant’s days in Star Wars were numbered. Your heart broke. If you were not familiar with Cad Bane, you probably asked yourself, “Who’s this guy?” Then, your heart broke as Bane’s quickdraw beat Vanth’s quickdraw.

Cad Bane vs. Boba Fett

The Book Of Boba Fett Chapter Cad Bane

The excitement now rests with what comes next. A live-action reunion with Shand and Fett will come with serious tension. Shand was a pain that cost Bane money, and he will enjoy bringing hurt to her as financial restitution.

Fett was not quite a friend to Bane, but the two had a mentor/mentee relationship. Before The Clone Wars was canceled, the two were meant to battle it out with each other, and in that exchange, we were supposed to see the origin of Boba Fett’s helmet dent. You can watch this unrealized scenario via a Lucasfilm animatic.

For years, we knew Boba Fett as the toughest bounty hunter in the galaxy. A lot has happened since The Empire Strikes Back. The Boba Fett who once cashed checks for Jabba the Hutt and the Empire is no more. The man under the Mandalorian helmet hopes to acquire his own kingdom on Tatooine, the planet that ate him and spat him out, forever changed.

Fett needs to reckon with his history. In the first episode, we saw how his childhood still haunts him. Cad Bane is a big part of that youthful period. Fett owes his deadly skills to the wandering gunslinger, and they have some animosity leftover from The Clone Wars. Scores will be settled in The Book of Boba Fett’s climax.

Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett Episode 6 is now streaming on Disney+.

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Brad Gullickson is a Weekly Columnist for Film School Rejects and Senior Curator for One Perfect Shot. When not rambling about movies here, he's rambling about comics as the co-host of Comic Book Couples Counseling. Hunt him down on Twitter: @MouthDork. (He/Him)