Jeremy Bulloch, the Man Behind Boba Fett, Has Died

Boba Fett escorts his bounty in Empire Strikes Back.
Boba Fett escorts his bounty in Empire Strikes Back.
Image: Lucasfilm

The first man to embody the most notorious Bounty Hunter in Star Wars history, influencing the franchise’s direction even to this very day, has passed away at 75.

Reports are coming in from friends and colleagues of Jeremy Bulloch from across Star Wars projects and fandom, that the actor, who retired from the convention circuit in 2018, has died. An English actor who made a name for himself in everything from small parts in Doctor Who serials like “The Space Museum” and “The Time Warrior” and as Q’s assistant Smithers in the early James Bond films, Bulloch’s lasting claim to fame was in an appearance where we could not see, or ultimately hear him, at all.

Bulloch physically embodied Boba Fett in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, and actually played a minor role in the former as Imperial Officer Lieutenant Sheckil, one of the men Lando turns on when he reveals his change of heart to Leia and Chewbacca. But it will forever be as Boba Fett that fans know Bulloch’s contribution to Star Wars. Although Bulloch’s time in the movies was brief, and he himself was hidden under the now-iconic visage of Fett’s Mandalorian armor—his voice for Boba’s spartan lines dubbed over by Jason Wingreen originally, and then in updated releases of the movie by Jango Fett actor Temuera Morrison after the Star Wars prequels—Bulloch became a fan favorite on the convention circuit.

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His Star Wars legacy lives on now in Boba Fett’s return on The Mandalorian, where the character is now inhabited by Morrison, drawing a link between the character’s prequel trilogy origins and the infamous bounty hunter Bulloch brought to life in Empire. It pays homage to a quiet, yet iconic performance that instilled a potent image it took Star Wars itself decades to actually build on.

Our thoughts go out to his family at this sad time.

Update: The official Star Wars Twitter has shared a tribute to the actor.


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James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!

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DISCUSSION

I always imagined Bobba Fett looking like the kind of guy who sleeps with his mattress on the floor, beats his dog, and masturbates into a sock he’s never washed. Like Russell Crowe or a young Harvey Keitel.