Part Two: Bane/Jango parallels
Now that we know it is canon that Cad Bane and Jango knew each other - and more importantly, that they were rivals - there is a lot to be said about what their relationship would have been like. Also, Bane and Jango's relationship would have a strong say in how Bane and Boba's relationship plays out. And as I will explain more in Part Three, Bane could have had a significant influence on Boba's career.
There are also some interesting parallels between Bane and Jango. Perhaps they also influenced each other in certain ways.
#1: They are both well-prepared and efficient.
Bane and Jango have both shown that they know how to be prepared for any sort of situation. And when something goes wrong, they can quickly come up with a backup plan. It could be argued that this is a common trait among the best of bounty hunters, but it's still worth mentioning. It also makes sense that if they both have a similar style of hunting, that would make their rivalry more intense.
#2: They both have some level of respect for Jedi.
At some point Bane and Jango have engaged Jedi in combat. And it's basically established that they both respect Jedi, but don't fear them. However, how they respect Jedi may slightly differ. Jango states that it's "always a pleasure to meet a Jedi," which suggests that Jango considers it a rare privilege to be in the company of a Jedi - but, I imagine this is because Jango feels he can learn a lot from a Jedi, such as certain fighting tactics. Plus he said this to a Jedi's face, so we don't even know how seriously we can take this statement in context. Meanwhile, Bane tells Hardeen-Wan that if he wants to earn Bane's respect, he should kill a Jedi face-to-face rather than with a sniper blast, which Bane claims anybody can do. Meaning, of course, that Bane has killed Jedi face to face before, multiple times. So Bane respects Jedi in that they are formidable opponents, and that it takes a lot of skill and guts to kill a Jedi.
#3: They are both ruthless and loyal to the highest bidder.
Once again this is probably just a common denominator in the best bounty hunters, but it might have deepened their rivalry. Perhaps Bane and Jango had some tension when both of them wanted to take a big job from one of their more wealthy employers and it was a race to see who would get it first. Or they might have become even more ruthless than the other so they could earn more credibility.
#4: They both have a cold demeanor.
This might be just because of their personalities, but still worth noting as something Bane and Jango have in common.
#5: They both prefer to work alone although they have been known to partner up with other hunters.
Interesting that both Bane and Jango ended up working with a female Clawdite bounty hunter who ended up betraying them. It's a minor comparison at most, but now that it's canon Bane and Jango knew each other, I highly doubt that this was a coincidence. Is it possible that Cato Parasatti was deliberately meant to parallel Zam Wessell? Could it have been a hint early on that Bane and Jango have relations?
Also interesting, all these parallels are also strong traits that Boba has later on in his career when he is a famous bounty hunter. He, like Jango and Bane, is efficient, ruthless, has a cold demeanor, and prefers working alone. Now the real question is who influenced this on Boba more: Bane, or Jango? Because (in low canon anyway) Boba kept his father's moral code and follows after it, I think that Jango had a much stronger influence on Boba. And obviously, Boba chose to wear armor just like his father's, suggesting that Boba wants to honor his father's legacy. But because Boba's style has strong similarities to Bane's, I also think that there was a period in Boba's life when Bane influenced him a lot. I will go more into this in Part Three.
#6: They have similar gear and equipment.
These include - twin blasters, wrist gauntlets (which have both flame projectors and cable launchers), and some sort of thruster so they can elevate themselves off the ground. Although Jango's preference is a jetpack, while Bane has thrusters on his boots.
So why all the similarities? Is it just because Bane and Jango are both working to be the best and thus adapted the same sorts of skills? Or, as I mentioned in my last post, could they have influenced each other in some ways?
This leads to my "Trigger between my eyes" Theory: Jango helped Bane develop his skills, equipment, and talents to become a better bounty hunter. Specifically, my theory is that Bane and Jango met way back when Bane was just starting out as a bounty hunter, and Bane wasn't good at it. Younger Bane was more reckless, aggressive, and self-loathing even to the point of suicidal at times (hence the name I picked for this theory). Bane also had an addiction to deathsticks, because the toothpick habit is a means of trying to stay away from deathsticks. Basically, when Bane first started out as a hunter, he had a long ways to go before he could be considered a professional, and he did not take care of himself very well.
So, when Bane and Jango meet, Jango is already on his way to becoming the best bounty hunter of his time, while Bane needs a lot of help before he'll be anywhere near as good as Jango. In my "Trigger" theory, Jango feels compassion towards young Bane and helps him clean up his act - quitting bad habits, getting his act together, and building his own career. Bane would have refused the help at first, but Jango would stick by him and become his mentor in some ways, teaching him some of the skills Bane needed. Also the dynamics of this relationship, in theory, could have gone much deeper than simply master/apprentice, depending on how Bane would see Jango, from a potential father figure, to an older brother, to a role model.
This theory ties in well with the "Passing the baton" theory. It gives Bane a very good reason to honor Jango's request. If Jango had helped out Bane start his career, Bane would respect that by finishing Boba's training.
So if both of these theories are true, these three bounty hunters - who, in the new canon, are the only hunters to be considered the best at their time - have very interesting connections. Jango trained a younger Bane. Jango and Bane went on to become rivals, Jango being the more highly regarded hunter. After Jango's death, Bane became the most fearless hunter of his time. To honor Jango's request, Bane trained Jango's son Boba, who went on to become the best hunter of his time as well.
It will be interesting to see how much of this is confirmed canon in the future, and how the rest of Bane's story plays out. Bane's relationship with Boba could end up paralleling Bane's relationship with Jango - except of course, in the case of Bane and Boba, the roles would be switched. And I think that would be really, really cool to see.
One small hole in my "Trigger" theory is Bane and Jango's ages. Jango Fett was born in 66 BBY, which makes him 44 years old at the time of his death. This means that if Bane and Jango had a rivalry for several years at most, it might have started when Jango was around 35-40. But if the "Trigger" theory is correct, Bane and Jango might have met long before that - possibly fifteen years before Jango's death, which would make Jango 29. The problem with this is that we don't have a canon age for Bane, not even a rough estimate. Assuming that Duros have the same lifespan as Humans, I would estimate that Bane could not be younger than 35, and the highest age I would guess for him is 48. If Bane is - at the youngest - 35 years old, that makes him 9 years younger than Jango (that is, if Bane were 35 years old at the start of the Clone Wars). Which means that if they met when Jango was 29, Bane would be 19. However putting Bane - at the oldest - 48 years old would make him older than Jango, which doesn't really fit with the "Trigger" theory. So, based on this, I personally feel that Bane is between 35-44 at the start of the Clone Wars. This way he could be the same age as Jango, or a few years younger.
About three years ago a short story about Bane's past was published in Star Wars Insider Magazine, titled "Reputation." This story explained that Bane got all his equipment (such as his wrist gauntlets, rocket boots, and the breathing tubes) from a non-Force-sensitive who used this equipment to try to pretend to be a Jedi. Bane, after catching the Jedi impostor, spared his life in exchange for learning how to use said equipment. It is also mentioned in canon that Bane's equipment was deliberately designed to counter attacks from Jedi. But this short story "Reputation" only exists in low canon, so it cannot be relied on.
If we stick by the "Trigger" theory, this would mean that Jango helped Bane with some of his equipment, rather than Bane being inspired by a fake Jedi. However, Bane and Jango's equipment does differ a lot. Jango relies on armor, and uses a lot of his strength in hand to hand combat. Bane, however, wears an outfit that seems to be more centered on comfort and aesthetic; and, Bane's fighting style centers more on his agility. But these differences are unique to their personalities. Jango wears his armor and his helmet to respect his Mandalorian heritage; Bane works independently and as of now has no ties to any group or cause, so his outfit is catered solely to his personal tastes. Jango is strong and more muscular; Bane is slender and nimble. So it's also possible that while Jango helped Bane get a start at his career, Bane didn't need as much help gearing up. Or he could have simply developed his anti-Jedi equipment after fighting Jedi several times.
On a side note, I can no longer look at Bane's line from Season Four the same way again: "I don't like to hide under a helmet." Implying that Bane has tried wearing a helmet before and didn't like it (and I doubt this was a reference to when he was disguised as a clone trooper). I think, in this scene, he was referencing Jango Fett!
I imagine that Bane and Jango had heated engagements in the hat vs. helmet debate.
However, despite all these similarities, Bane and Jango also have strong differences. The most noteworthy difference is that Jango has his own personal moral code, while Bane's sense of honor is much more, well, selective. Could this difference in morals contributed to their rivalry? At the least, it could have stirred some tension between them. Even not considering that, it's pretty clear that Bane is a slightly different breed of bounty hunter than Jango. Bane is more in the category of "scum", while Jango is less so.
One final thought to wrap this up. Even if none of my other theories on Bane and Jango are true, the fact that they knew each other adds an interesting dynamic to how Bane would see the clones. We already saw a glimpse of how it has affected Boba to see his father's face on strangers, and how much that must tear him up inside. There is a chance that at some point it affected Bane as well. However, in Season Four, we did see Bane killing clones without hesitation even while they had their helmets off. So I imagine that by then Bane was used to the idea of clones. But I have to wonder what it would have been like for him early on. For that matter, how did Bane find out that they were clones of Jango in the first place? Did Jango tell him? Did someone else tell him? Did he find out the hard way?
In Part Three, I will explore Bane's relationship with Boba, both based off of canon information and Bane and Jango's relationship.