Star Wars 101: Bounty Hunters

These fearless and inventive mercenaries are our kind of scum.

Taking your first steps into Star Wars with The Force Awakens? Eager to learn more about the galaxy far, far away? The Star Wars 101 blog series is your own Jedi Archives with all you need to know.

“Bounty hunters. We don’t need their scum.”
– Admiral Piett (The Empire Strikes Back)

Operating on the fringes of the galaxy with moral ambiguity, bounty hunters add an element of instability to the “heroes versus villains” conflicts of Star Wars. Working for the highest bidder (usually someone with less-than-good intentions), they relentlessly pursue their prey across space and on numerous worlds until they capture (or kill) them. They’re also sometimes called upon for specialized scenarios when their benefactors have need of outside-the-box assistance to get the job done.

If you ever run afoul of some vile gangster, you better hope one of these sinful stalkers isn’t after the price on your head.

Attack of the Clones - Jango Fett

Jango Fett
“I’m just a simple man, trying to make my way in the universe.”
Attack of the Clones

The face that fought the Clone Wars, Jango Fett was once the galaxy’s greatest bounty hunter. His skills and notoriety led to his recruitment by a man called Tyrannus (later revealed to be Count Dooku) as the genetic template for the clone troopers that made up the Grand Army of the Republic. Though Jango is a one-Star Wars-film wonder (pro tip: Keep your head down when Mace Windu is charging at you), his legacy is a significant one and can be seen in his influence on characters such as Captain Rex and his son, Boba.

Notable Appearances
Attack of the Clones

The Empire Strikes Back - Boba Fett

Boba Fett
“He’s no good to me dead.”
The Empire Strikes Back

He questions Darth Vader, outwits Han Solo, and gives the all-powerful Sarlacc indigestion. Boba Fett’s fleeting appearances in the original Star Wars trilogy fueled fan imaginations for decades before Attack of the Clones finally revealed the truth. Boba was a pure clone of prominent bounty hunter Jango Fett, who passed down the teachings of their treacherous trade to his “son.” As a result, Boba had cultivated advanced weapons, piloting, and subterfuge skills by his tenth birthday and was more than capable of handling himself. These skills were put to an early test upon Jango’s sudden and unexpected death, when Boba found himself alone against an unforgiving galaxy. Refusing to surrender to fate, he followed his father’s example and was soon leading his own crew of bounty hunters, laying the foundation for what would become a legendary career.

Notable Appearances
Attack of the Clones
• “Lethal Trackdown” (The Clone Wars)
• “Bounty” (The Clone Wars)
The Empire Strikes Back

The Clone Wars - Aurra Sing
Aurra Sing
“A girl’s got to make a living.”
Star Wars: The Clone Wars – “Assassin”

Slinky, skilled, and sadistic, Aurra Sing is one of the Star Wars galaxy’s more murderous bounty hunters, never hesitating to take a life in the pursuit of her objectives. Despite this deadly streak she held to a unique personal code, showing signs of compassion when she took in Boba Fett after the death of his father and aiding him in his quest for revenge against the Jedi who killed him.

Notable Appearances
The Phantom Menace
• “Hostage Crisis” (The Clone Wars)
• “Death Trap” (The Clone Wars)
• “Assassin” (The Clone Wars)

The Empire Strikes Back - Bossk

“Res Luk Ra’Auf.”
The Empire Strikes Back

Whatever it was that Bossk said to Admiral Piett aboard the Executor when the admiral made his disparaging remarks in The Empire Strikes Back, you know it wasn’t good. But that reptilian response, coupled with the threateningly cold stare he gave Piett, led to the Trandoshan mercenary becoming a fan favorite whose appearances in The Clone Wars have continued to expand his character. He hates Wookiees, loves money, and enjoys a good hunt, but adheres to the same bounty hunter code of honor as Aurra Sing. He helped the newly orphaned Boba Fett alongside her and remained part of Fett’s crew for some time.

Notable Appearances
• “Bounty” (The Clone Wars)
• “R2 Come Home” (The Clone Wars)
• “Lethal Trackdown” (The Clone Wars)
The Empire Strikes Back

Star Wars Rebels - Ketsu Onyo
Ketsu Onyo
“You’d have been better off dead than joining this band of rebels.”
Star Wars Rebels, “Blood Sisters”

Star Wars‘ newest bounty hunter, Ketsu escaped the Imperial Academy on Mandalore with her friend Sabine Wren. The two went into business with the goal of working for the Black Sun crime syndicate until they had a falling out. Sabine went on to join the crew of the Ghost while Ketsu continued to pursue bounties, eventually achieving her dream of working for Black Sun. The two reunited years later when their conflicting priorities led to a confrontation over a droid Sabine intended to obtain for the rebellion and Ketsu intended to collect a bounty on. While they were able to reconcile their differences in order to escape the Empire, Ketsu wasn’t quite ready to accept Sabine’s offer to join the rebels, telling her old friend, “I’ll think about it.”

Notable Appearances
• “Blood Sisters” (The Clone Wars)

The Clone Wars - Embo

“You’re outmanned, laserblade.”
Star Wars: The Clone Wars, “Bounty Hunters”

The bounty hunter with the most versatile hat you’ve ever seen, Embo exemplifies the grey area in which Star Wars soldiers of fortune operate. He’s worked for Hutt gangsters as a bodyguard, defending them against Darth Maul and Savage Oppress. He’s also worked as an assassin for Darth Sidious himself, facing off against Anakin Skywalker while carrying out the Dark Lord’s bidding. But Embo has also protected hard-working farmers from pirate raids on their villages, proving that his allegiance is only to the highest bidder.

Notable Appearances
• “Bounty Hunters” (The Clone Wars)
• “An Old Friend” (The Clone Wars)

The Clone Wars - Evil Plans
Cad Bane
“I’ll take on any job…for the right price.”
Star Wars: The Clone Wars – “Evil Plans”

Star Wars‘ most accomplished bounty hunter, Cad Bane has a history of achieving the unachievable. Taking on the most daring bounties in pursuit of fortune and glory, regardless of their moral implications. Need to steal a holocron from the Jedi Temple or kidnap the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic? How about taking galactic senators hostage…INSIDE the Senate Building? Cad Bane has accepted these challenges and more. Combining an amazingly analytical mind with an assortment of gadgets and equipment designed to put him on more of an even footing with wielders of the Force, Bane was a legend among the galaxy’s scum and villainy.

Notable Appearances
• “Hostage Crisis” (The Clone Wars)
• “Cargo of Doom” (The Clone Wars)
• “Holocron Heist” (The Clone Wars)
• “Children of the Force” (The Clone Wars)

Justin Bolger writes about pop culture at his blog, Follow and talk Star Wars with him on Twitter @TheApexFan.