Darth Vader needed to find the plans stored within R2-D2. It stands to reason that Vader would have been desperate enough to use any means necessary, in order to secure those plans. “Any means necessary” could have included one of the most notorious bounty hunters in the Galaxy: Boba Fett. In that a bounty hunter uses any means necessary to accomplish his goals, Luke Skywalker’s Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru may have gotten caught in the crossfire.
10. Boba Fett Was At The Scene of the Crime
For all of the many failings of the Star Wars Special Edition that was first released in 1997, George Lucas has stood by this version as being canon. The last part of the docking bay scene clearly establishes that Boba Fett was on Tatooine during the search for the droids. Boba Fett would not have been above trying to collect multiple bounties. A bounty for the droids, as well as a bounty for Han Solo, would have made Boba Fett even more likely to be on Tatooine.
9. Boba Fett Had Stormtrooper DNA
When the bodies of Owen and Beru were discovered, the deaths are made to look like Tusken Raiders had killed them. The Empire is a clearly established authority; their Death Star is used to blow up an entire planet. If Stormtroopers had killed Owen and Beru, then there would have been no reason to cover up their tracks.
The main argument most people have for Stormtroopers killing Owen and Beru is the following quote by Obi Wan Kenobi: “These blast points, too accurate for Sandpeople. Only Imperial Stormtroopers are so precise.” Fine, but who were Imperial Stormtroopers? They were altered clones of Jango Fett. And who was Boba Fett? Episode II: Attack of the Clones establishes Boba Fett as an unaltered clone of Jango Fett. Jango even raised Boba as his son.
8. Darth Vader Protected Owen and Beru For Decades
In Attack of the Clones, Anakin Skywalker endangered a mission given to him by the Council, in order to go back to Tatooine. In the course of avenging his mother’s death, Anakin met the entire Lars family. During the purge at the end of Episode III, the Lars family could have easily been arrested at any time for information. Yet, Obi Wan thought that Tatooine would be a safe place to go and live in anonymity. He may have suspected that Vader would attempt to protect the only perceived family that he had left.
7. Darth Vader Preferred Interrogation
The only real time that you see Darth Vader kill a member of the Rebellion is when Vader chokes Captain Antilles at the beginning of Star War Episode IV: A New Hope, during the course of an interrogation. Leia, meanwhile, is stunned and captured. Han Solo fires a shot at Vader in Empire Strikes Back, and is then disarmed and captured. The Stormtroopers had already used non-lethal methods of capture by stunning Leia. The Stormtroopers had also set up checkpoints to look for the droids. They clearly had not been on the trail of the droids enough to follow them from the Jawas, to the Lars residence. If they had, they would have been looking for Luke and the Droids at Mos Espa. The Stormtroopers were behind the game.
6. Boba Fett Had A Motive To Slaughter
Darth Vader would have known who Owen and Beru were. The Stormtroopers would not have acted without orders. The only reason to kill the Jawas, as well as the Lars’s, is so that they would not talk to anyone else. Killing them would also indicate that the killer had no place to store them for later questioning. The killer was also working on a time-frame. None of those statements are true of Imperial Stormtroopers. Stormtroopers had the means to not only interrogate, but also imprison. Stormtroopers could take over Mos Espa and set up checkpoints. Owen and Beru’s killer covered up their role in the killing, but Stormtroopers simply had no reason to do so. They act purely on Imperial Orders. A cover-up, and killing of, Owen and Beru is a waste of time unless you are trying to prevent another bounty hunter from collecting the same information.
5. Darth Vader Was Not Above Using Bounty Hunters
Lets just say that The Empire Strikes Back was not Darth Vader’s first rodeo. Bounty hunters, including Boba Fett, are assembled to listen to Vader give the parameters of the mission. The meeting in Empire is obviously not the first time that Vader has dealt with bounty hunters. It is also obvious that this is not the first time that Vader has encountered Boba Fett. Even before the mission in Empire starts, Vader shows a clear disdain for Boba Fett in particular. Every time Vader encounters Fett, he seems thoroughly disgusted by him.
4. Stormtroopers Could Not Disobey Orders
The entire reasoning for creating the Stormtroopers in the first place was to have an entire army of soldiers who would never question orders. Order 66 caused the Troopers to turn on their superiors and friends. They slaughtered without question, when there were orders. So there are two possibilities here. One, Vader would have had to order the deaths of Owen and Beru. This is possible, but highly unlikely. Anakin was still inside that suit, and Owen and Beru were still family to him. More likely, somebody acted on their own, somebody who could exactly duplicate a Stormtrooper, but also execute free will. In that case, the list of suspects is narrowed to one: Boba Fett.
3. Darth Vader Saves Chewbacca
In The Empire Strikes Back, Darth Vader stands next to Boba Fett, before Solo is encased in carbonite. Vader feels the need to be close to Fett, in case anything goes wrong. When Chewbacca inevitably tries to stop the events from unfolding, Vader actually prevents Fett from killing Chewie. Vader does not approve of Fett’s methods, and wants to keep him on a short leash. This is a further indication that there has been a major past event, which has caused Vader to not trust Fett at all.
2. There Is No Punishment For Not Recovering the Droids
If Vader had blamed the Stormtroopers, or anyone really, within the Imperial chain of command for not recovering the droids, he would have force-choked them to death. Vader nearly force-chokes an officer in A New Hope for an insult. Vader force-chokes multiple officers in The Empire Strikes Back for incompetence. The lack of punishment for anyone, after the failure to recover the droids, means Vader put the failure upon himself. Assigning more than one group to the same task qualifies as an overkill that foiled the mission.
1. “No Disintegrations”
In the famous bounty hunter scene in The Empire Strikes Back, Darth Vader says, “you are free to use any methods necessary, but I want them alive…no disintegrations.” The “no disintegrations” comment is directed directly at Boba Fett, who simply responds, “as you wish.” Vader not only feels the need to specifically eliminate murder from the equation, but also feels the need to direct the comment right to Fett’s face. This indicates that there was a problem in the past. The directive also indicates that, previously, disintegrations had occurred.
Merriam-Webster defines disintegrate as “to undergo a change in composition…an atomic nucleus that disintegrates because of radioactivity.” Simple blaster fire, or damage from a lightsaber, does not cause the effect of being cooked to the bone by radioactivity. The only real examples of disintegrations in the Star Wars Universe is what happens to the Jawas, and the Lars’s. Vader is specifically warning Fett, to prevent another mess-up. The mess-up, of course, being the only example of disintegrations previously in the films.