- ISBN 0553578855; June 1998, Bantam Spectra, 387-page paperback
- ISBN 8372455341; 2001, Amber, 288-page Polish paperback (Wojny Łowców Nagród: Mandaloriańska Zbroja)
- ISBN 3453199138; December 2001, Heyne-Verlag, 384-page German paperback (Der Kopfgeldjägerkrieg - Band 1: Die Mandalorianische Rüstung)
- ISBN 5699113037; April 2005, Eksmo, 384-page Russian book (Войны охотников за головами I: Мандалорский доспех)
He's the most feared and successful bounty hunter in the galaxy. He is Boba Fett, and even the most hardened criminals tremble at his name. Now he faces the deadliest challenge of his infamous career—an all-out war against his most dangerous enemies.
As the Rebellion gathers force, Prince Xizor proposes a cunning plan to the Emperor and Darth Vader: smash the power of the Bounty Hunters Guild by turning its members against each other. Only the strongest and most ruthless will survive, and they can be used against the Rebellion. It's a job for the fiercely independent Boba Fett, who jumps at the chance to destroy his rivals. But Fett soon realizes the game is rigged, as he finds himself the target of murderous factions, criminal conspiracies, and the evil at the Empire's dark heart. Boba Fett has always finished first. And in this game, anything less is death.
The Mandalorian Armor focuses mainly on the bounty hunters Boba Fett and Dengar following the two rivals' struggle for survival. The story is told through the flashbacks Boba encounters while in a vegetative state and Dengar's activities, while caring for him. The book is set shortly after Jabba the Hutt's sail barge is destroyed and flashes back to when the Bounty Hunters Guild still existed. Much of the book is centered around a metaphor of entrapment in mechanical structure. This is used to show life as a bounty hunter as a place where they are forced to follow a set of cycles of which deviation from, could cause a catastrophe.
The book begins after the events of Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. It begins with Dengar in the Dune Sea of Tatooine searching through the wreckage of Jabba's sail barge for anything or anyone of value. As Dengar is ready to give up, assuming that the Jawas had beaten him for scavenging the wreckage, he notices two things: first, that the Sarlacc residing in the Great Pit of Carkoon appears to be dead; and second, that there is a survivor. The survivor is Boba Fett, who had blown his way out of the Great Pit of Carkoon causing the Sarlacc's death. Boba's distinctive armor had suffered damage from his time in the pit and he was nearly dead. While Dengar moved Fett to a cave for shelter, the book flashes back to events between Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope and Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back; back to a period where Boba Fett was a freelance bounty hunter and at odds with the Bounty Hunters Guild.
It continues to follow Neelah as she attempted to find Dengar and instead stumbled upon Fett. After escaping Jabba's Palace and wandering the desert she found two medical droids SH∑1-B and 1e-XE standing outside of a shelter. Upon using threats as well as acts of physical violence Neelah managed to gain entry into his hiding place. She revels that she was a dancer in Jabba's Palace and had noble blood as well as that she had committed no acts of violence until recently. She enters the hiding space to find Fett heavily burnt but kept alive by a "transparent membrane" covering his body called a sterile nutrient casing. She left and forced the droids not to mention to Dengar she was there.
Kuat of Kuat, the hereditary CEO of the Empire's chief subcontractor for military items is interested in the events that occurred at Jabba's Palace and on his sail barge. Kuat of Kuat reviews a holoprojector with the footage uploaded from the palace and regardless of the evidence, he is not convinced Boba Fett is dead without further additional informations.
In the first of many flashbacks to the period between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, the bounty hunters Bossk and Zuckuss have been assigned by the Bounty Hunters Guild to a contract for an accountant wanted by the Hutts. Although both were experienced bounty hunters, Bossk acted like the leader. Zuckuss warned Bossk that just because his father lead the Bounty Hunters Guild did not make him leader of the mission.
The bounty hunters blasted their way into the accountant's hiding place and find the room empty. They had been beaten to their quarry by Fett. Bossk and Zuckuss take a space ship in a pursuit of Fett and warn him that he has no authority to work this bounty; that they had been assigned to the bounty by the Bounty Hunters Guild. Fett quips that he answers only to a higher authority — himself, and blasts off into hyperspace.
Fett enters into his hold aboard Slave I and talk to his "Merchandise" sitting in one of the cells. The accountant offers to pay Fett more than the bounty if he let him go. Fett explains that it does not work that way, that he is the highest paid bounty hunter in the galaxy because he delivers. The accountant mentions he had heard of other bounty hunters accepting offers. Fett said that the mismanagement and incompetence of the guild causes that and he will have no part of it.
Deep in space, Slave I approaches the lair of the Assembler, Kud'ar Mub'at, the arachnid go between who serves as the criminal world's escrow service. It is to the Assembler that Fett is to deliver his captive and collect his bounty.
The Assembler reveals that it has received a new contract, a private one, for Fett to work. Private contracts were required by clients who wish their business to be kept secret and mean more money for Fett. Fett accepts the contract to join the Bounty Hunters Guild and break it up from within.
Flash forwarding to the present, Dengar captures a woman who has followed him and Fett into their hiding place. The woman, Neelah, insists that she must see Fett, but she doesn't know for what reason. She explains she was a dancer in Jabba's Palace but has no memories before arriving there. She continues with the memory of when Boba Fett looked at her in the palace that she knew she had some connection to him and needed to meet him. Dengar notices signs of an aristocratic upbringing in Neelah and symptoms of a memory wipe. He agrees to her request, attributing his soft spot for Neelah to the fact that he'd recently met a woman he cares for. He warned Neelah that she has to be careful around Fett and that Fett won't leave her alone to be with him. He warns Neelah that Fett is ruthless and cannot be trusted and that he hardly trusts him to keep up his end of their new partnership.
Flashing back, Fett comes to the feast held in his honor, welcoming him to the Bounty Hunters Guild. The guild elder's finally admit Fett into their organization. Bossk does not trust Fett and calls his father a fool for doing so. Father and son exchange death threats which is common among Trandoshans; as is feasting on the remains of your enemies, and killing and eating your siblings shortly after birth; and Bossk kills his own father. Bossk asks why Fett wants to join the guild. Fett explains that times are changing and that that pressures in the galaxy—including Black Sun—have forced him to change his stance on the guild. Bossk grudgingly calms down with help by the rest of the guild and he agrees to treat Fett like a brother.
The Emperor meets with Darth Vader and Prince Xizor to discuss the new plan Xizor has put in place. It was Xizor who contacted the Assembler with the private contract for Fett to join the guild. Xizor reveals that his plan would eliminate the dead weight in the guild and leave only the best bounty hunters. The Empire will then be able to contract with those remaining bounty hunters to execute plans that need independence and cunning. He explains that the Empire, by design, has suppressed independence in their troopers and officers, but that they need independence to fight the Alliance to Restore the Republic where "free thinking is their strongest asset". Vader is not convinced and thinks Xizor has ulterior motives…
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Organizations and titles
Vehicles and vessels
Weapons and technology
This is a gallery of the different cover variations of The Mandalorian Armor.