67

We see in AotC that Jango shoots down a Jedi Knight pretty quick, but besides just being a gun-toting thug, is he actually good at the other elements of his job (bounty hunting)?

In the movie, he uses a sabredart unique to only 1 planet, that just so happens to be where he currently lives with his son. The planet also houses a bunch of secrets his employer presumably wants hidden.

Then, when he gets traced back, he very poorly tries to hide his armor after it's been clearly visible for a while. Then after battling Obi-Wan, he flies straight to his boss at the other secret base, leading the Jedi straight to them.

What, if any, is the canonical evidence that Jango Fett isn't just an idiot who is good with a gun?

CLARIFICATION: If it exists, canonical evidence from outside AotC is preferred, to create a sort of 'track record' of the character, in case Jango's actions in AotC were just inept writing as opposed to him being an inept character.

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    This answer makes the claim that Jango was deliberatedly leading the Jedi on and following orders in doing so. – Raidri Apr 6 '17 at 15:04
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    Your best bet is probably to find a comic he stars in or something, where plot allows him to be badass instead of an idiot. – DisturbedNeo Apr 6 '17 at 15:04
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    I think someone was inept in writing AotC, but that's besides the point – Machavity Apr 6 '17 at 15:05
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    We also see his son's jetpack get easily destroyed because he wasn't watching his own flank. That's Bounty Hunting 101: always watch your back. Then he doesn't even try not to get eaten by the Sarlacc. Simply rolls on in. Whatever Jango has, it must be genetic. – DCOPTimDowd Apr 6 '17 at 15:09
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    He must have done something right to be selected as the clone template. – Null Apr 6 '17 at 15:52
53

Inept is probably a bit too harsh, but Jango's attitude and actions certainly demonstrate a clear lack of competence and care.

  • He takes on dangerous assassination contracts despite being deeply embroiled in a long-term plot to take over the galaxy.

    He had been surprised when the Trade Federation had approached him with the offer. They had been adamant, explaining only that the death of the Senator was critical to securing necessary allies, and they had made an offer too lucrative for Jango to refuse, one that would set him and Boba up forever on a planet of their choosing.

  • He hires an incompetent assassin who allows herself to be seen by the Jedi and tracked.

  • His method of assassination is breathtakingly stupid. Why use poisonous centipedes when you could just plant another bomb?

  • He kills Zam Wessell but allows himself to be seen in his distinctive Mandalorian-style armour in the process.

    enter image description here

  • He uses a highly distinctive weapon that allows the Jedi to track him right to his door.

    enter image description here
    Episode II: Visual Dictionary

  • When the Jedi arrive, his armour (previously seen when he killed Zam Wesell) hasn't been put away safely.

    Unfortunately, in an unusual oversight, Jango had left his Mandalorian armour sitting in his bedroom's doorway and had not shut the door behind him. Consequently, when he realized that the Jedi had spotted it, Jango was forced to give ground.

    Star Wars: Fact File Vol 1. #82

  • When he talks to Obi-Wan, he doesn't have a suitable cover story and in fact admits to Obi-Wan that he's been to Coruscant recently. An outright refusal might have put him off the trail.

    Obi-Wan: Ever made your way as far into the interior as Coruscant?
    Jango: Once or twice.
    Obi-Wan: Recently?
    Jango: Possibly.

  • When escaping from the Jedi, he allows his ship to be bugged. Instead of stopping at a nearby asteroid or planetoid to inspect his ship after the conflict, he travels directly to the Separatist stronghold.

  • On realising he's being followed, he fails in his attempt to blow up his pursuer. He doesn't make certain they're dead, just assumes it, then travels directly to the Separatist stronghold HQ.

  • Despite functioning as Dooku's bodyguard, he's too interested in what's happening in the arena to notice the arrival of a Jedi Master directly behind him.

    Mace Windu stood next to Jango, his lightsaber glowing a clear purple. The noise of the crowd must have covered the sound when he ignited it, Dooku thought. He hid his surprise with an elegant nod of welcome. “Master Windu, how pleasant of you to join us. You’re just in time for the moment of truth.” He gestured at the arena. “I think these two new boys of yours could use a little more training.”

  • When confronted by Mace Windu, he allows himself to be killed because of a malfunctioning piece of equipment when he could have simply run away.

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    Did Fett know Obi-Wan had arrived on Kamino? If not then I hardly see it as an oversight that he left his armor sitting around in his own home. And regarding his death, I don't think running away would have done him any good -- Windu is a Jedi who could either use the Force to outrun him or throw his lightsaber at Fett; Fett's best chance was probably exactly what he did -- fire at Windu to try to stall him and hope that someone else attacked/distracted Windu. Frankly, I've always thought that Windu performed awfully poorly against Fett for such a vaunted Jedi. – Null Apr 6 '17 at 15:50
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    @Null - The novelisation indicates that he had extensive time to clean up his crap. He spotted Obi-Wan's ship on the dock, inspected it, determined that it was probably a Jedi vessel, then went back to his quarters to await the arrival of the Jedi who he was hoping to pump for information. – Valorum Apr 6 '17 at 15:56
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    @Null - Chasing Windu down into the arena was a substantial tactical error. When your enemy jumps into a crossfire, joining him seems deeply unwise. – Valorum Apr 6 '17 at 15:58
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    Fett could fight well against Jedi as long as he had his jetpack, so that wasn't a tactical error. Fett was doing fine against Windu until his jetpack was destroyed by a reek. The fact that Windu needed help from a reek to kill Fett is why I consider Windu's performance in that fight awfully poor. – Null Apr 6 '17 at 16:04
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    I always thought that Jango's incompetence was feigned. After all, if he wasn't so "incompetent", the Clone Wars would not start on schedule. And starting Clone Wars is what his employers wanted. He led Obi-Wan around to provoke the battle on Geonosis. – Petersaber Apr 6 '17 at 21:58
40

Jango Fett is actually extremely skilled in looking inept. His employers are Sith. And what do Sith really want? To kill Padme and free Anakin of attachments? To hide Kamino forever from the Jedi? To let the Separatist plans be undiscovered and therefore postpone war? Or something entirely opposite? Think outside the box, think like Palpatine. And remember, Jango Fett is among the best bounty hunters in the entire galaxy.

EDIT: For those who doubt Fett's abilities, he was selected to be genetic template for Clone Army by Dooku (and paid handsomely). He managed to kill Jedi Master Coleman Trebor, member of Jedi High Council. Some time before he captured Anakin Skywalker, although Anakin didn't have lightsaber at that time. This is all part of the Canon, so there is no doubt he was top notch bounty hunter. And I don't even want to go to Legends, where his character is much more developed.

  • 16
    "remember, Jango Fett is among best bounty hunters in the entire galaxy" - that assumption is exactly what OP questions, and Valorum's answer provides evidence that this is not true. You could improve your answer by adding some facts that would support you - maybe anything fro Legends? – Gallifreyan Apr 6 '17 at 17:58
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    @Gallifreyan The OP is specifically excluding Legends. Fett is among the best bounty hunters in the galaxy in Legends, but Disney has made him a Mandalorian poser in canon. – Null Apr 6 '17 at 18:34
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    @rs I think this is the right answer, but you need to provide some details. Raidri linked an answer in a comment on OP's question that had pretty much all of the details you need. – BlackThorn Apr 6 '17 at 19:11
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    He's so skilled in looking inept he lets the Jedi chop off his head. Now that's devotion to the job! – Schwern Apr 7 '17 at 18:14
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    @Schwern - I guess that's one way to .... get ahead? – Valorum Apr 7 '17 at 19:53
19

Sidious' grand scheme included making sure the clone army was to be usable by the Republic at just the right moment when a war-caused state of emergency gave chancellor Palpatine full control over said army. And Jango did a great job for him here - in one turn, he:

  • led Obi-Wan to Kamino via a uniquely originated weapon, providing the Republic with an army no one remembered ordering
  • led the same Jedi directly on to Geonosis, leading to the Clone Wars which suddenly made said army very convenient

But that was Sidious' plan, not Fett's. I don't think there is actual evidence to truly support or deny Jango's competence. But the fact that he was chosen to be the clone template suggests he was both physically capable and competent at following orders (while the Clones' upbringing made them obedient anyway, I don't think a genetic trait for obedience might harm). It stands to reason that he was specifically ordered to use the Kaminoean dart to lure the Jedi to Kamino.

Sidious would however not be the Sith Lord he was had he told Jango Fett the full truth about his plans. But his plan did very precisely play out, so it stands to reason that he also ordered Fett to not only convincingly fail at killing his pursuers but even give them a realistic window of opportunity to track him a second time. The Sith don't take failing lightly, so Jango Fett would very likely not have been standing next to Count Dooku later on. Or stand at all.


tl;dr: Jango Fett was competent enough to play a significant part in Darth Sidious' plan (both as clone-template and in giving him his Clone army), though probably not actually clever.

  • I've reluctantly downvoted. There's zero evidence that Fett was told to botch the assassination and loads of evidence to show that he was trying really very hard to kill Padmé. – Valorum Apr 9 '17 at 18:06
  • @Valorum Fair enough, though my view on that is that he just was very convincing ;) Your own answer is quite exhaustive, but still I'm still not convinced... – Zommuter Apr 9 '17 at 18:26
  • I'm tempted to ask a new question "Was Jango really trying to kill Padmé" and self-answer it. Suffice to say the answer is "Yes, of course he bloody was" – Valorum Apr 9 '17 at 18:30
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    The last point, about Jango paying no price for what would be a pretty serious fluff-up if it weren't the plan, is quite telling. It's also a lot harder to make a deliberate failure look like a real attempt than it is to just plain succeed, so he was apparently quite intelligent and competent at more than just shooting things if he was able to pull this off. – Josh Caswell Apr 9 '17 at 18:45
7

Jango Fett was most definitely not inept. At least, he was not intended to be, at the time.

As another answer has brought up, Jango was used as the template for the clone army. While this does not necessarily shed light on his own ability, the means in which he was chosen certainly does. The story is told through the video game, "Star Wars: Bounty Hunter"; it certainly does not constitute canon, these days, but it was written and developed by Lucas Arts at the same time as Attack of the Clones; and thus it gives insight into the author's intentions, regarding the character.

In order to be chosen as the template for the clones, Jango Fett has to complete a particularly challenging bounty task, set up as a 'competition' of sorts among several bounty hunters who were considered 'the best'. The penultimate task was to kill a Dark Jedi. In other words, Jango Fett was chosen as a template for the clone army due to his ability, specifically his ability to kill a Jedi. This is certainly not a skill you would equate to 'being inept'.

Fett arrives on Kohlma, the hideout of the Bando Gora. He arrives at Vosa's castle, where he finds Montross waiting for him. They duel a final time with Montross wearing his Mandalorian helmet and jetpack. Jango finally defeats Montross, who wishes to have a warrior's death. Fett, as a means of revenge for his murder of Rozatta, lets the Bando Gora tear Montross to pieces as he walks away. Upon entering the castle, he is taken prisoner. He is tortured both physically and mentally by Vosa. However, Wesell then arrives, but is injured by Vosa. As Vosa moves to kill her, Wesell blasts Jango's restraints, freeing him. Fett follows a fleeing Vosa through the castle and ultimately fatally wounds her. As she lies defeated she is force choked by Darth Tyranus, who then steps from the shadows. Tyranus explains that the entire ordeal was a test, and that Fett has passed with flying colors. He offers Fett a considerably larger sum to go to Kamino, to be the template for a clone army. Fett agrees, on the condition that he gets the first unaltered clone for himself.
- Ending summary for "Star Wars: Bounty Hunter" @ Wikipedia

Again, one might consider the above a moot point, considering this lore has since been disowned. However, it certainly gives us insights into how Lucas Arts were attempting to portray the character.

4

If you remember back to when Count Dooku was a Jedi, he and a bunch of other Jedis were sent to Galidraan to deal with a purported Mandalorian attack. Scheming and what not aside, basically it ended with the Jedi fighting the Mandalorians, led by none other than Jango Fett. It's said that Fett killed several Jedi with his bare hands before being captured, and this was what led Dooku to recruit him for the Clone Army.

Therefore I would attribute Jango Fett's ineptitude more to the terrible writing of the non-original trilogy Star Wars movies.

As a side note, his son, Boba Fett, also took down 4 IG-88 droids single-handedly, 3 of them simultaneously.

  • Didn't he take down only 3 IG-88s of which 2 simultaneously? (1 on bespin, 2 on tatooine.) – Andy Apr 7 '17 at 9:36
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    Are these events from Legends, or canon? If canon, can you provide sources? Thanks. – TVann Apr 7 '17 at 13:36

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