Released as a prequel to Attack of the Clones, Bounty Hunter deepens the Clone Wars by filling in plot holes and enriching established characters.
Six months after the release of Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, LucasArts released Star Wars: Bounty Hunter,a video game prequel that expands on the film. Filling in plot holes and enriching characters, the game is a vital part of Star Wars historyand its relevance extends well beyond the prequel films and intoThe Clone Wars.
Despite having a war named after them, the clones of The Clone Wars have a murky history. While the conspiracy behind the clones' creation is eventually explained, no explanation is ever provided for why Jango Fett served as their template. Attack of the Clones just matter-of-factly states that Jango is a renowned bounty hunter, the template for the clone army, and the father of Boba Fett (who is an unaltered clone of Jango). The lack of detail and Jango's ignominious death make the the entire context appear contrived for the sake of fan service with Jango only existing to shoehorn Boba into theThe Clone Wars. From the perspective of Attack of the Clones, Jango is a throwaway character.
Related: The Mandalorian Is More Like Jango Fett Than Boba
Star Wars: Bounty Hunter fills in the history behind Attack of the Clones, and, in so doing, proves Jango deserves his clone legacy. Jango earns the riches of fathering the clone army by hunting down Komari Vosa, a Jedi-turned-drug lord. Vosa's illicit operations threaten Darth Sidious expanding influence, so Sidious' apprentice, Count Dooku, puts a bounty on Vosa with the intent of offering the victorious bounty hunter, who would then be a verified Jedi killer, the opportunity of being the the template for the Grand Army of the Republic. Jango's selection as template results from an elaborate scheme hatched by Sidious and Dooku, and is justly earned as Jango demonstrates brutal efficiency worthy of acknowledgment by Sith Lords. Star Wars:Bounty Hunter turns a plot hole into riveting drama.
Over the course of Star Wars:Bounty Hunter, players not only see Jangos ruthlessness, but also his loneliness. Jango makes it clear he doesnt trust anyone, yet he still longs for connection. Jango's banter with his partner Roz, as well as his nostalgic attachment to a mentor's ship, imply his desire for relationships. That is why, upon accepting Dookus offer, Jango asks for the unaltered clone, whom he names Boba. No longer just a plot point, Bobas entry into the prequel-era contains genuine pathos.
Aside from legitimizing Jango, Bounty Hunter humanizes Count Dooku. Vosa is Count Dookus former apprentice, and her drug empire became so expansive because, as Sidious puts it, Dooku allowed her to live. Dooku explains his lack of action as an experiment to see what Vosa could do, but its a weak excuse. From his stuttering to the way he tenderly touches her corpse, Dookus mannerisms betray his feelings. This dilemma reemerges in The Clone Wars when Dooku is ordered to kill his newest apprentice, the assassin Ventress, to whom he gifted Vosas lightsabers. Dooku, like he did with Vosa, caves to his masters demands and orders Ventress death, but he voices opposition. Sidious, of course, doesn't tolerate insubordination and uses Dooku's compassion as an excuse to chastise, and even brutalize him. In The Clone Wars episode, "The Lost Ones," Sidious chokes Dooku while mocking his failure involving Vosa, saying "This is not the first time you have proven to be clumsy." Dooku commits countless atrocities bythe end of The Clone Wars but thanks to Star Wars:Bounty Hunter his villainy becomes tragic rather than one-note. Within the Sith Lord once existed compassion, compassion terrorized out of him by Darth Sidious.
Star Wars Bounty Hunter may not be official canon any more, but weighed against its contributions, that is irrelevant. The game takes a seemingly contrived plot and turns it into a gritty story that deepens characters and stories from The Clone Wars. Star Wars:Bounty Hunter is essential Star Warsmedia.
Next: Star Wars: Bounty Hunter Could've Been LucasArts' Uncharted
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Nicholas is a freelance game writer for Screen Rant, a regular contributor to Goombastomp, and former Game Informer intern. A graduate of the University of California San Diego, Nicholas got a degree in philosophy and loves to dive deep into the artistic side of gaming.
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