Within the Star Wars galaxy, crime pays. The truth is, it pays pretty nicely. No matter which authorities is in command of the galaxy, scum and villainy are inclined to thrive.
However though Jabba the Hutt calls Boba Fett “my sort of scum,” the reality is, being a bounty hunter was a job that was apparently authorized, regardless of which of the revolving Star Wars governments occurred to be in energy.
So, are bounty hunters criminals, or not? Subsequent to Han Solo and Lando Calrissian, are Boba Fett and Din Djarin truly upstanding citizens? When The Bad Batch hits Disney+ on Might 4, 2021, we could lastly get a solution, due to a selected Mandalorian bounty hunter tie-in.
Set to take place proper after the occasions of Revenge of the Sith (roughly 19 BBY) one character who we met in 9 ABY (roughly 28 years after Sith) will play a pivotal function within the new present: Ming-Na Wen as The Mandalorian fan-favorite Fennec Shand.
When Shand, set to seem in Guide of Boba Fett, exhibits up on Dangerous Batch, she will likely be 30 years youthful than the lady we met in The Mandalorian. Other than studying extra about what Fennec Shand was like when she was youthful, her inclusion in The Dangerous Batch may assist to clear-up the muddled mess of how the Bounty Hunters’ Guild appeared to outlive three huge authorities modifications by the Star Wars saga.
Is bounty looking authorized in Star Wars?
In accordance with a number of canonical sources (principally cited on Wookiepedia), The Bounty Hunters’ Guild was designed to manage the legality of this explicit occupation, though the bigger governments modified on a regular basis. Apparently, the BHG “labored alongside galactic governments and curated bounties for its members.”
If you wish to discuss making use of the canonicity of the BHG, The Mandalorian is the very best instance. All through each seasons of the present, Mando’s guild standing is a working plot level. The truth is, the one purpose he returns with Child Yoda to Nevarro is that Greef Karga guarantees to reinstate him into the guild.
For an informal fan, the want for Mando or Boba Fett or Fennec Shand to be a part of an outer house bounty hunter union scans as a retcon. In The Empire Strikes Again, when Vader hires Bossk, Boba Fett, IG-88, Dengar, and Boba Fett to trace down the Millennium Falcon, you don’t actually get the sense that Vader discovered them on the bounty hunter model of Taskrabbit. You get the sense that Vader is badass and is aware of some shady individuals as a result of he’s the Darkish Lord of the Sith. Plus, within the (canonical) particular version of A New Hope, Boba Fett seems to be working for Jabba the Hutt, straight, who, any method you slice it’s a crime boss.
Seemingly by definition, bounty hunters in Star Wars are freelancers. However, the Bounty Hunter’s Guild implies they’ve some sort of freelancers union to assist them get work. Does Mando have healthcare from the Guild? What about childcare? That might have been helpful!
That mentioned, visible proof suggests numerous bounty hunters function exterior of “the regulation.” For instance, in Assault of the Clones, no one talks about calling up the Bounty Hunters’ Guild whereas Obi-Wan Kenobi is searching for details about Jango Fett. When Anakin Skywalker tries to get some much-needed information about Zam Wesell (“inform us now!”) he doesn’t as soon as point out one thing like “Hey, who’s your contact within the Bounty Hunters’ Guild?”
Within the prequels, Obi-Wan and others confer with Jango and his ilk as “bounty hunters,” but it surely seems like they actually ought to simply be saying “mercenaries” or “assassins.” Presumably, there’s a “bounty” out on Padmé Amidala in 22 BBY, but it surely’s laborious to think about a government-sanctioned physique just like the BHG authorizing a authorized bounty on a duly elected senator.
The apparent reply to all of that is that generally bounty hunters operated inside guild guidelines, and generally they didn’t. In The Mandalorian, we noticed how laborious it was for Mando to dwell “off-the-grid,” which implies it was in all probability even more durable within the days of the Previous Republic or the Empire.
Then once more…
In The Clone Wars episode “The Phantom Apprentice,” there’s a fast scene during which Maul tells a couple of different crime bosses to go “into hiding” for a short while. About ten years later in Solo: A Star Wars Story, it’s fairly apparent that at the very least one in every of these legal syndicates — particularly Dryden Vos’ Crimson Daybreak — is working overtly. It additionally looks as if the Empire not solely tolerates Crimson Daybreak, however may truly work with them and the Pykes, to manage all types of assets.
The bigger level is, the Empire appears to have it each methods within the decade following Revenge of the Sith. They each lay down the regulation (loyalty to the Emperor!) but additionally need to arrest smugglers who work for Jabba the Hutt. Infamously, Jabba is offended with Han Solo as a result of he dropped a cargo of spice earlier than getting boarded by Imperial officers. Han Solo was doing one thing unlawful within the eyes of Imperial regulation, and Jabba was paying him to do it.
The bigger takeaway right here is that for causes which will or will not be apparent, there isn’t a “Smuggler’s Guild” that cooperates with the federal government. Being a smuggler, by definition, means you’re transferring stuff you’re not supposed to maneuver. The Hutts and Crimson Daybreak had plenty of affect through the rule of the Empire, but it surely’s not like sure legal guidelines simply modified. Smuggling spice was simply as unlawful within the days of the Previous Republic because it was in Han’s time.
How The Dangerous Batch can repair the legal guidelines of Star Wars
Assuming the Dangerous Batch model of Fennec Shand is a bounty hunter (she may not be!), it will likely be fascinating to see if she’s a part of the Bounty Hunter’s Guild through the occasions of the present. If she is, then we would get some perception into how the occupation of bounty looking advanced through the occasions of the Galactic Civil Warfare.
In concept, through the occasions of The Dangerous Batch, the management of the galaxy is in a really bizarre transition. For generations, you had the Previous Republic, however now, for about twenty years, the Empire will reign supreme. How do bounty hunters and mercenaries slot in it? Does the Bounty Hunter’s Guild thrive beneath the Empire? Or, can we see some seeds right here that plenty of bounty hunters don’t truly just like the Empire — even when they’re nothing they’ll do about it proper now?
A mercenary from the Mandolorian period retroactively working after The Clone Wars may be very fascinating. The truth that it’s Fennec Shand is much more fascinating. The titular Dangerous Batch consists of modified Jango Fett clones. In Mando and The Guide of Boba Fett, Fennec Shand’s closest ally can be a clone of Jango Fett. It creates one other query about Shand. Simply how a lot does she already find out about Boba Fett by the point they’re working collectively in Mandalorian Season 2?
All of the Star Wars animated exhibits include hyperlinks to the brand new live-action exhibits. However with The Dangerous Batch and Fennec Shand, these references is likely to be extra pivotal than we ever realized. By the point we get to The Guide of Boba Fett and Mandalorian Season 3, The Dangerous Batch may probably give us all the small print on simply how and why this entire bounty looking factor modified a lot.
The Dangerous Batch hits Disney+ on Might 4, 2021.