Welcome to my weekly review of The Book of Boba Fett, where I will be walking us though each episode and giving my thoughts on the show. My reviews will follow my usual format: an overview of the plot (so be aware, there will be spoilers!), my review of the show, then a few “Moments in canon” – references that link to other media and the galaxy as a whole. Today, we’ll be looking at Chapter 2: “The Tribes of Tatooine”.
Fennec Shand returns to the Palace with the assassin she captured and brings him before Boba Fett for questioning. The assassin refuses to divulge any information when asked who sent him or what his orders were. The droid 8D8 explains that the prisoner is from the Order of the Night Wind, an assassin for hire. 8D8 says that there is no way the prisoner will talk, adding that he fears no man. As a result, Fennec drops the assassin into the Rancor pit, and he panically reveals that he was sent by the Mayor of Mos Espa, only to discover the the Rancor is dead.
Boba, Fennec and their Gamorrean guards make their way through the streets of Mos Espa to the town hall, bringing the shackled assassin with them. Boba forces his way into the Mayor’s throne room and demands to know why the Mayor sent assassins against him. The Mayor identifies the assassin as being from the Order of the Night Wind and immediately has one of his guards shoot the assassin dead. The Mayor says that the Order of the Night Wind are not allowed to operate outside of Hutt space and thanks Fett for turning him in, arranging for one of the guards to give Fett payment for turning him in. Boba responds that he is not a bounty hunter—though the Mayor says he has heard otherwise—but that he will take the payment as belated tribute, reminding the Mayor that he serves as long as the Daimyo of Tatooine decides. The Mayor asks Boba to consider who really sent the assassins, claiming that he has no motive to kill Fett and that that he serves at Fett’s pleasure. Boba warns him that he is not a fool and those who have crossed him no longer breath, but the Mayor then warns Fett that running a family is more complicated than bounty hunting, telling him to go to Garsa Fwip’s Sanctuary to get an idea of what he means.
“I am not a bounty hunter.”
“Is that so? I’ve heard otherwise.”
Boba, Fennec and the Gamorreans make their way to Sanctuary, where Boba tells a visibly nervous Garsa Fett that Mayor Mok Shaiz sent him here on the pretence that there is something that he should know. Garsa explains that the Twins have laid claim to their late cousin Jabba’s bequest, which surprises Boba as he had heard the Twins were too preoccupied with Nal Hutta to bother with Tatooine.
Any further discussion is halted by the sound of drums coming from the streets. Boba and his retinue make their way outside to find a procession that includes 2 Hutts—the Twins—on a litter. Fett refuses their decree that the land beyonds to them, saying that this is now his land and proclaiming himself the Daimyo of Mos Espa. The Twins call forward their own warrior: a giant black Wookiee, ared with a heavy blaster. However Boba holds his ground and tells the Twins that they will need to kill him to take his lands. While the sister appears ready to do so, the brother decides that it is bad for business, and they leave with their entourage.
Back in his bacta tank, Boba has more flashback dreams:
Now accepted into the tribe, Boba is practicing weilding a gaffi stick with the Warrior. As a hovertrain approaches, the Tusken takes up positions, but finds themselves coming under heavy fire from marksmen inside the train, leaving a number of the tribe dead and even more wounded. After taking part in the cremation of their dead, Boba notices a group of speeder bikes pass nearby. Speaking to the tribal leaders, Boba says that he can take down the train, and asks them to let him go with rifle and gaffi stick, promising to return by morning.
Boba goes to Tosche Station, where he finds a group of Niktos from the speeder bike gang he had seen previously, who are harassing the rest of the patrons. Boba single-handedly takes out the Niktos and takes their speeder bikes, returning to the Tusken tribe. Boba teaches the Tuskens to ride the speeder bikes and fight from them, while creating a plan to attack the train and continuing to learn how to fight with a gaffi stick.
“I will teach you how to ride.”
The next time the hovertrain goes past, Boba and the Tuskens attack. Though they suffer heavy losses, especially among those assaulting the train, they successfully take control of the train and crash it, taking the surviving Pykes onboard prisoner and taking the weapons and merchandise as loot. Boba tells the surviving Pykes that the Dune Sea is no longer free for the Pykes to pass, as the Tuskens claim the territory as their ancestral ground. He says that if the Pykes want to pass, they will have to pay a toll to the Tuskens and warns that any death dealt by traveling trains will be returned tenfold. Fett directs the Pyke survivors towards Anchorhead, from which they can return to the Syndicate to relay the new terms, and supplies each of them a black melon, which will have sufficient milk for them to drink to sustain themselves, while also assuring the protection of the Tuskens on their way, insisting that their lives show the true civility of the Tuskens.
That night, the Tusken chief explains that since the oceans of Tatooine have dried up, their tribe have stayed hidden while the other tribes have survived by killing. Fett replies that they shouldn’t have to hide since they are warriors who now have machines and know every grain of sand in the Dune Sea. The Chief gives Boba a gift: a lizard, which climbs into his nostrils. The chief explains that the lizard will guide him from inside his head. Boba’s vision becomes blurry and his body convulses. He finds himself walking through the deserts of Tatooine and sees a vision of trees and oceans. There are creatures with red eyes. He also experiences flashbacks of climbing out of the sarlacc as well as his childhood on Kamino, watching his father leave on the Slave I. The vision ends with him emerging while the ocean roars.
Boba returns to the Tusken camp, bringing with him a large branch. After welcoming him, the Tusken Chief takes back the lizard, and leads Boba inside a tent, where he is clothed n the Tusken garb. Boba is then led to a nearby site where he is instructed in how to create his own gaffi stick from the branch he brought back. Once completed, he joins the rest of the clan around the fire and presents his gaffi stick to the tribe. The tribe begin a ritualistic dance around the fire, which Boba joins.
Wow. If last week’s premiere was good, but perhaps a little shorter than expected and slow-paced, this certainly made up for it!
First things first, the acting was spot on across the board, the visuals were brilliant and the score superb. I genuinely don’t have the words to describe how much I am enjoying all this. So let’s get into what I do have word for.
I must admit that I was surprised how much of this episode was a flashback, and while I feel that this could have worked combined with the first episode, I cannot see any better place to have cut between the episodes that where they did, unless your only shot in the present day were to be Boba in the bacta tank. While we have not had much in the way of the present day story so far, it has set up many of the major players that we will likely see over the coming weeks, while I imagine that the flashbacks will reduce in screentime now we have seen Boba go from near-death to a respected member of the tribe.
“I don’t care what your tablet says. This is Mos Espa and I am Daimyo here.”
But what a joy these flashbacks have been! It’s crazy to think that just a couple of years ago, most of us would have considered the Tusken Raiders as savages. Now, we have had The Mandalorian show us that there is another side to them and these first 2 episodes of The Book of Boba Fett have delved so deeply into their culture, it will be hard to watch Anakin’s massacre of them in the same light anymore. It’s also incredible just how well everyone does to convey everything going on in a way that doesn’t make it too convenient for Boba to be a translator for us – he is both learning and teaching at the same time.
Meanwhile in the present day, we are seeing a number of forces setting up as potential adversaries for Boba. The Mayor seemed far from trustworthy, as if just waiting to pick up the pieces when Boba fails. Garsa also feels like she is hiding something. Meanwhile the Twins will be an obvious focal point for any of Jabba’s followers who are still around—could they even convince Boba’s Gamorreans to turn against the new daimyo? Meanwhile, we now have a more physical opponent in the Twins’ Wookiee, who Wookieepedia has confirmed to be none other than Black Krrsantan (more on that soon). I wouldn’t be shocked to see more forces moving against Boba over the coming weeks, which will explain what we’ve seen in the trailers of Boba trying to create his own alliances. And with a Wookiee on one side, it’s no shock to see Trandoshans supporting Boba.
What the show is doing so well is giving us more of Tatooine. We heard of Tosche Station back in 1977 but this is the first time we have actually seen it officially on screen after its scenes were cut from A New Hope, and yet it felt so familiar having seen the deleted scenes online. By learning about the Tusken history, we are learning about Tatooine’s history, and it was incredible seeing hints of its past with oceans of water in Boba’s visions, while the clever use of a flashback to him as a child on Kamino was a clever way of suggesting that Boba’s escape from the Sarlacc was a rebirth, and he is once again a child learning from his tribe.
Finally a word on the train attack, and this was a great set piece. It was fun bringing in Pykes, who by now would be familiar to even movie viewers thanks to Solo: A Star Wars Story, and while there felt some familiarity to Solo‘s conveyex heist and The Mandalorian‘s fight on top of the Rydonium transporter, there was also enough different about this fight to make it feel individual and not a rehash, with Boba utilising marksmen to provide covering fire so that he and the other Tuskens on speeder bikes could get in close.
A few final thoughts on the episode:
- I loved the little touch of the Brother using a small, live, furry creature tomop the sweat from his body… and how much the poor critter clearly hated it
- The way that Camie, Fixer and Black Krrsantan were dropped into the episode felt perfect, with the story not being slowed down to explain why these characters are getting a reaction from fans in the know. This is how easter eggs and links should be done, and it’s great to see the comics being recognised on screen
- Considering the Twins were CGI, I loved how the litter carriers were shown occasionally to be struggling with the weight, with the litter also clearly struggling to carry both of them
Moments in Canon
- The couple in Tosche Station were confirmed in the credits as Camie and Fixer, 2 friends of Luke Skywalker and Biggs Darklighter, who appeared in a series of deleted scenes for A New Hope, which saw Luke see the attack on the Tantive IV through his electrobinoculars and attempted to show his friends at the Tosche Station, by which point the attack was over
- Black Krrsantan is a bounty hunter who regularly appeared in the Darth Vader and Doctor Aphra comic series
- Given that the Twins (Jabba’s cousins) are coming for his bequest, it suggests that Jabba’s son Rotta may not have had a long and happy life
What did you think of the episode?
Thanks for reading. May the Force be with you….