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 3: “The Streets of Mos Espa”.
8D8 is briefing Boba and Fennec as to to what happened in Mos Espa following the death of Jabba the Hutt: Bib Fortuna took over Jabba’s mantle, but as he did not have Jabba’s power, he had been paying Mayor Mok Shaiz and divided Mos Espa among 3 families: The Trandoshans took the city centre while the Aqualish took the Worker’s District and the Klatooinians took over the starport and the upper sprawl. 8D8 surmises that everyone is waiting to see what kind of leader Boba will be. Discussing the assassins sent against them, Fennec now believes that the Mayor did not send them as he does not have sufficient power.
One of Boba’s new vassals, a water-monger in the Worker’s District named Lortha Peel, seeks an audience with him. Peel tells Boba that a street gang of youths has been stealing his inventory, something that has not happened under the previous Daimyos. Peel explains that they are half man and half machine, as they modify their bodies with droid parts to make themselves even more deadly. Peel petitions Fett to purge the streets of Mos Espa of this “scourge” in return for doubling his tribute.
“Perhaps we’ll learn what’s really going on in this murky fen.”
That evening, Boba, Fennec and the Gamorreans make their way through the streets of Mos Espa and find a group of youths chatting around a fire. Boba asks where they got heir water, and they openly admit that they stole it as the water-monger’s prices are exorbitant, charging them a month’s wage for one week’s worth of water, when they don’t even have a wage. When Boba notes that they should be working as this is the Worker’s District, one of the group—a girl named Drash—explains that there is no work, so Boba decides that they will work for him. Lortha Peel emerges from a nearby building, unhappy that Boba is letting them off. When Peel reveals they owe 1,300 credits for the water, Boba gives him 500, which he feels is a fairer price, telling him to take the money, lower his prices and consider the matter resolved if he wants to continue to do business in his territory, otherwise he can move to Mos Eisley.
As Boba sleeps inside his bacta tank, he has more flashback dreams: Boba leaves the Tusken tribe on a bantha and heads to Mos Eisley, where he is directed to the Pykes. Boba tells them that he has come to collect the agreed payment for the Pykes passing through the Dune Sea. The Pyke leader responds that the Kintan Striders have already collected protection money for the same territory that he lays claim to, and that the Pykes will not pay protection money to multiple parties for the same land. Boba resolves to get rid of the Nikto gang so that the Pykes have only to do business with him and the Tuskens.
Boba returns to the Tusken camp to find it destroyed, with all the tribe killed. On one of the tents, he finds an insignia painted, the same one of the Nikto swoop gang he had previously encountered. Boba cremates the bodies of the Tuskens and leaves with his bantha.
“I need to respond. Everyone is watching. Waiting for me to make the next move.”
Boba is awoken by the unexpected opening of his bacta tank and finds him under attack from Black Krrsantan. The pair fight, but the Wookiee soon gets the upper hand, however Drash and the rest of the youths arrive and begin to fight to Wookiee, the Gamorreans arriving soon after. The combined forces of Boba, the youths and the Gamorreans force Krrsantan to flee through the palace, however as he fights his way through the throne room, Fennec triggers the trapdoor he is standing on and they capture him in what had been the rancor pit.
Later, as Boba and Fennec eat, they discuss their next move, only for 8D8 to inform them that the Twins have arrived with a gift. Boba and Fennec met the Twins at the front gate, where the Twins apologise. The admit that they sent Krrsantan to kill Boba, but are sorry and have a gift to offer in recompense: a rancor. The Twins say that they are leaving as they had been lied to, since Jabba’s territory was promised to another criminal syndicate by the Mayor. Under Boba’s orders, a bound Krrsantan is brought forth; Boba offers to release the Wookiee if the Twins renounce all claims to Jabba’s legacy on Tatooine. They say that they are leaving Tatooine and advise Boba to do the same, describing Tatooine as a worthless rock and proposing Boba sell Krrsantan back to the gladiators, calling the Wookiee their tribute to Fett. The Hutts depart with their entourage, and Boba releases Krrsantan, acknowledging that it was just business and advising him not to work for criminals again.
“It’s quite the gift.”
While Fennec and 8D8 try to arrange another meeting with the Mayor, Boba goes to see the rancor, which has been taken to its enclosure. The rancor keeper tells Boba more about the rancor, and he realises that they are a much more emotionally complex creature than he realised. The keeper explains that while a bunch of rancor calves were bred for fighting, he saved this creature for himself to train. He tells Boba that the rancor imprints itself on the first human that it sees. Now that Boba has arrived, he will being its training. As Boba pets the rancor and begins to create a bond, the keeper tells of how the witches of Dathomir were said to ride rancor, and Boba states his intention to eventually ride this one.
After hearing that Mayor Mok Shaiz’s office says that he will be unavailable for the next 20 days, Boba makes his way there with Fennec and the youths. After being threatened by Fennec, the Mayor’s Majordomo says that he will rearrange some of the Mayor’s less time-sensitive appointments, however he retreats into the Mayor’s throne room and locks the door behind him. Boba and Fennec manage to force their way inside, but find the room empty. Making their way out to the youths, they see the majordomo escaping in a speeder. The youth’s successfully chase him down on their speeder bikes, and the captured majordomo reveals to Boba that the Mayor is working with the Pykes.
A starliner arrives at Mos Espa spaceport and at least a dozen Pykes disembark. One of the youths, Skad, was waiting at the spaceport and reports their arrival to Boba. Fennec surmises that this is just the first wave, and that they are going to war. Fett vows that they will be ready.
So this was a interesting episode, with some moments that really hit, but some that fell horribly flat.
Let me start by getting the obvious out of the way, the show looked great as usual and the score was once again incredible, with the score during Boba’s return to the destroyed Tusken camp and the funeral scene really hitting the mark and adding to the emotion of the scene.
And where better to start my thoughts than with this scene. I’ve already seen some people on social media complaining that the killing off of the indigenous tribe to further Boba’s story is another kick in the teeth to fans of an indigenous background. As a white British male, I don’t really feel that I can comment too much on this, but those scenes at the destroyed camp really hit the mark in getting me emotional, which shows just how good a job The Mandalorian and this show have done at changing our perception on the Tuskens after 40+ years of seeing them as savages. The decision to not show the body of the child, but to show Boba adding his stick to the pyre was also a very clever way to make clear the character’s fate without having to show the body of a child.
“You better fight as good as you talk dank.”
Moving on from this to my other favourite scene of the episode, which actually came directly after this: the fight with Black Krrsantan. As excited as I was by his introduction last week, I was a little nervous as to how effectively he could be used in an action scene, as it was unlikely that he could kill Boba or Fennec for the narrative, but has also been established as such a fearsome character that he should be able to beat them. However they did a great job here by showing his quality while also managing to have him lose the fight by having him thoroughly outnumbered but still holding his own.
Sadly the other big action scene was my biggest issue in the episode. And it ties into a slightly larger issue with the youths. While I like the idea of them on the whole, their speeder bikes were a little too reminiscent of Vespas to me, which really didn’t help the speeder chase, as it already felt very slow and overly drawn out in order to get in as many slapstick car chase tropes as possible—the chase at the start of Solo: A Star Wars Story did a much better job of feeling fast, and it was even more noticeable after the last episode’s high speed train heist. Hopefully we get plenty more development of these youths (or at least Drash and Skad) as the series goes on, but we have limited time left—especially if we continue with disappointingly short episodes like this and Chapter 1—and a lot to cover in that time.
The other big thing to discuss in this episode was the introduction of our new rancor and its trainer. And let’s start with the trainer, who was of course played by Robert Rodriguez regular Danny Trejo. Somehow, the thought of Trejo appearing in the show never crossed my mind, but if it had I’d have been very worried about him standing out. Instead, i felt that he was used perfectly, and looked completely at home as part of the galaxy… more so I would say than Amy Sedaris as Peli Motto. But as for the rancor itself, much like the Tuskens, we are being treated to a new side of the creature. We see that they don’t have to be the beasts we saw in Return of the Jedi but can instead be very docile creatures—very reminiscent of some “dangerous” dog breeds. And one thing that this series has clearly been setting up over these 3 chapters is Boba eventually riding into Mos Espa on the back of this rancor. We have had 2 weeks of Boba being called out for not using a litter, so what better way to make an entrance than on the back of a rancor?!
“I want to ride it. I’ve ridden beasts ten times its size.”
And so it seems that after 3 episodes of a wild bantha chase, the true antagonists are revealed to be the Pykes, which certainly makes things interesting. While you could imagine that some vassals would take the Twins over Boba as they are more likely to rule as Jabba did, the Pykes are another unknown just like Boba, so it will hopefully be easier for him to get people on his side, especially as more and more see how he rules with respect, as he did with the way he treated the youths and the water-monger. Trailers have shown Boba trying to bring the Trandoshans, Aqualish and Klatooinians together, and the opening scene now shows us that this would give him back all of Jabba’s old land in a clever moment of exposition as we learn the state and history of Jabba’s land along with Boba.
A few final thoughts on the episode:
- Did the Warrior survive the attack on the camp? We don’t see her body, but I do believe that we see Boba add her gaffi stick to the pyre just before those of the leader and the child, but it would have been nice to have an extra beat confirming her fate if that was the case
- If that really is the Twins’ role in the story over, it seems a real waste of time to bring them in, and it’s notable they only admitted to sending Krrsantan, not the original assassins
- Though I thought it was one of the many unnecessary moments in the chase, I did enjoy how the painting we see destroyed was a copy of Ralph McQuarrie’s concept art for Return of the Jedi, just with Luke removed from the image
Moments in Canon
- Peli Motto and her pit droids can be seen in the background during Boba’s arrival in Mos Eisley
- That weird spidery thing at the start of the episode was a B’omarr monk. One can also be seen in the background when Threepio and Artoo enter Jabba’s Palace in Return of the Jedi. The reason they are found around the palace is because it was formerly a B’omarr monastery
What did you think of the episode?
Thanks for reading. May the Force be with you….