Boba Fett first appeared at the September 20, 1978, San Anselmo Country Fair parade.
The character debuted on television two months later in an animated segment produced by Nelvana for the Star Wars Holiday Special. Fett appears as a mysterious figure who saves Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2 from a giant monster, only to be revealed as a bounty hunter working for Darth Vader.
After his image and identity were revealed in the Holiday Special, costumed Fett characters appeared in shopping malls and special events, putting up wanted posters of the character to distinguish him from the franchise’s Imperial characters.
He also appears in Marvel Comics’ Star Wars newspaper strip. Original trilogy era Boba’s theatrical film debut was in The Empire Strikes Back as the “next major villain” besides Darth Vader. He is one of six bounty hunters hired by Vader, who promises a reward to whoever captures the crew of the Millennium Falcon.
Fett tracks the starship to Cloud City, where Vader captures its passengers and tortures its captain, Han Solo. Wanting to collect a bounty on Solo, Fett confronts Vader about whether Solo will survive carbon freeze, which Vader intends to use on his true target, Luke Skywalker.
Vader promises that the Empire will compensate Fett if Solo dies, but he is soon determined to be alive and Vader turns him over to Fett. Return of the Jedi features Boba Fett at Jabba the Hutt’s palace where Han Solo’s rescuers are captured, and he travels on Jabba’s sail barge to the Great Pit of Carkoon, home of the Sarlacc, where the prisoners are to be executed. When the prisoners mount an escape he attempts to intervene, and ends up in a tussle with Luke Skywalker, but Han Solo accidentally ignites Fett’s rocket pack, sending the bounty hunter falling into the Sarlacc’s mouth.
Fett appears in an episode of the 1985 Droids animated series set before the original trilogy and produced by the same studio as the animated segment of the Holiday Special. In “A Race to the Finish”, Fett is hired by the Fromms to help them get revenge on the masters of the droids R2-D2 and C-3PO.
He later turns on them after failing their request, and decides to accept Jabba’s bounty on the Fromms as compensation. In the 1997 Special Edition of the original Star Wars, Fett briefly appears in a new scene outside the Millennium Falcon while Jabba confronts Han Solo.
“Next time when you need me – and you will – my price is triple!”