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 4: “The Gathering Storm”.
While Boba continues his recovery in the bacta tank, his flashback dreams continue: Having left behind the remains of the Tusken camp, Boba and his Bantha make their way to Jabba’s Palace. Seeing a high number of guards, Boba leaves. Camping out on the Dune Sea, Boba notices a number of flares being fired. Making his way there on his Bantha, he finds Fennec Shand close to death. Boba takes her to Mos Eisley and finds a gang of modders, who he pays to fix her injuries with droid parts.
When Fennec comes around, she finds herself around the fire with Boba and his Batha out in the Dune Sea. Boba explains who he is and what happened to each of them. He asks her to help him recover his ship from Jabba’s Palace, explaining that he is not as persuasive without his armour. Fennec agrees to help to settle her debt to him. After a nighttime recon, the pair break into the palace and successfully escape in Slave I, and Fennec chooses to stick with him.
“Who are you?”
“I am Boba Fett.”
“Boba is dead.”
“I was… left for dead on the sands of Tatooine. Like you.”
The pair track down the Nikto speeder bike gang and kills them all with Slave I’s weapons. Following this, they make their way to the Sarlacc as Boba wants to regain his armour, which he does not remember being stolen and assumes is still in the creature. As he flies Slave I as close to the Sarlacc as he can, the creature grabs the ship with its tentacles and tries to pull it in. Fennec manages to release one of Slave I’s seismic charges which the creature eats, only to be killed by the explosion. With creature dead, Boba climbs down into its remains but is unable to find his armour.
Around the fire that night, Boba tells Fennec that he is tired of hunters like him being hired for avoidable jobs and instead intends to replace Bib Fortuna and become head of a house. Boba offers her a chance to join him, promising her his loyalty.
As Boba awakes from the tank, he has one final flashback of killing Bib Fortuna and taking the throne before he is fully awake, with the healing finally complete. Fennec updates Boba on the interrogation of the Mayor’s majordomo and the Mods’ combing the streets looking for the Mayor. Boba decides to go to Mos Espa, choosing to stay visible so as to avoid a power vacuum.
Boba goes to Sanctuary, where he finds Garsa Fwip attempting to calm Krrsantan, who had picked a fight with a group of Trandoshans. As Krrsantan leaves, Boba offers him a new job working for him.
“Hey, mate. Looks like you could use a job.”
The heads of the 3 crime families in Mos Espa join Boba and Fennec for a feast in the palace’s throne room, allowing Boba to reveal that he has a rancor. Boba warns them that if allowed to move in unchecked, the Pykes will take over the planet. He offers an alliance between the 3 families and his own, which will allow all families to keep their territories. The families seem hesitant at this as the Pykes have made no move against anyone other than Boba, so Boba makes another offer, promising to deal with the Pykes himself, so long as the families remain neutral if approached by the Pykes. All 3 families agree to Boba’s deal. As Boba and Fennec watch the families leave from one of the towers, Boba notes to Fennec that they still lack muscle for the coming war, but she responds that credits can buy muscle if you know where to look.
Another interesting episode with some important answers, and while there were some moments that got me very excited, I was also left questioning the show a little.
First things first, we have another episode that spends the vast majority of its time in the past. And while I enjoyed the majority of this flashback, I can’t help think now that these flashbacks are slowing down the present day story too much. I can see why they are being played side by side as there are some echoes between the 2 timelines, but I’m really starting to wonder if the show would have been better with 2 shorter series, 1 bringing us up to speed with Boba’s life between Return of the Jedi and The Mandalorian and then a second giving us the present day story.
Sticking with the flashback and I really enjoyed how they explained Boba finding Fennec, showing the flares going off, which would of course have stood out in the Dune Sea after nightfall, while the clever use of a couple of frames of the mysterious feet approaching Fennec’s body from The Mandalorian Chapter 5 interspersed with the new footage worked so well. What I also loved was the quick tease of The Mandalorian‘s music as the flares went off, a subtle hint to help your mind recognise the significance of the flares, similar to Solo: A Star War Story using a quick tease of “Duel of the Fates” after revealing Maul so that you connect the dots without having to have a character say his name and slow down the scene.
We see Fennec taken to a group of modders and in hindsight after ast week that makes sense as to how she was saved, as the idea of Boba doing the work himself in the desert doesn’t seem right. I do however still feel a bit off about the modders, as they all look so clean, in a way that we have only really seen on Tatooine in the richer establishments like Sanctuary, while last week’s modders were actively said to be poor, though I can accept it slightly more this week as that is not said about this group.
“You wanna head a Gotra?”
What I really enjoyed about this flashback were the 3 campfire scenes. They’re spread out well enough through the story and allow good exposition into Fett’s history—he confirms that he sent years with the Tuskens, which fills the 5-year gap between his fall into the Sarlacc and his reappearance in The Mandalorian. We see that Boba had moved on with his life, but that with the tribe killed he returned to the life of crime, but also now we have the reasons why he wants to head the family and not just be a hunter anymore, which makes sense when you see how often in Star Wars we have had capable hunters and assassins working for morons like Bb Fortuna and Ziro the Hutt.
While the infiltration of the Palace and the escape on Slave I was fun, it felt a little too long to me, especially the section that saw him chasing the little droid, as great as it was to finally see a LEP-series service droid in canon. I loved the simplicity and brutality of Boba taking out the Kintan Striders, with the shot of the group riding and Slave I just getting larger behind them one of my favourite so far in the series.
The scene with the Sarlacc however I was less positive on. Of course we as fans know that searching for his armour there is wasted time, and I did see Mike Kalinowski questioning how Boba could not remember escaping in his armour, but I can let that argument slide somewhat considering he was in such a bad state when he got out and was then knocked unconscious by a blow to the head from Jawas, but it led to a scene that felt just a little too long for my liking, all to set up a fight with the Sarlacc, through the payoff of seeing it killed with a seismic charge was fun.
“Is it not beneath you to dismember this unfortunate Trandoshan?”
Moving onto the present day an it was great to see the story moving forward a little more, with Boba hiring Krrsantan (though why he didn’t just do that when he freed him is beyond me—I hope it wasn’t just to fill out another 5 minutes of time to make the series a little longer) and trying to create an alliance against the Pykes, and while that may not have worked quite as he wanted, it is still setting up that relationship between him and the other families. Will any of them side with Boba? I think they will when he comes riding into town on a rancor at the head of an army.
And now this was the point where I am not ashamed to admit that I squealed like a kid at Christmas as Fennec mentioned about hiring help and we got the unmistakable bars of The Mandalorian‘s theme. I didn’t expect Din Djarin to appear in this show but now he looks certain to. Will he be coming on his own, or bringinging an army of Mandos with him? Or will it be him and a band of other familiar faces from the Underworld, such as Greef Karga, Bossk, Dengar, Embo, Cad Bane and Jas Emari, perhaps even a return for Cobb Vanth??? I’m trying not to get my hopes up too much, but the possibilities are mouth-watering!
Moving forward, I think there will be much more focus on the present day storyline, but are we completely done with the past? While it feels like the flashbacks could stop here, I also feel that we could see one more seeing Boba and Fennec track his armour to Cobb Vanth and then Din Djarin, which would tie in nicely with Din’s return next week. But I also think that a line from Fennec about how unlikely it seems for the Kintan Striders to have defeated the Tuskens suggests that there is more to see. The obvious theory here is that the Pykes attacked while Boba was gone and made it look like the Kintan Striders did it, so that any survivors like Fett would go after the gang, resulting in both parties who had been exacting a toll on the Pykes either taing each other out or weakening each other to the point that the Pykes can finish them off and not have to pay anyone— a revelation that would add even more weight to the fight in the present day.
A few final thoughts on the episode:
- Revealing the existence of your new pet rancor by holding a banquet right over his enclosure is one hell of a power move from Boba
- I haven’t really mentioned in my past reviews, but just like in The Mandalorian, the concept art during the credits is exquisite! I hope this becomes the norm for the live-action series
Moments in Canon
- Boba refers to his ship as a Firespray during the episode. This is the ship’s model (Firespray-31-class patrol and attack craft). While many would say that Disney have changed the name of the ship (there have been lots of accusations, and while they are wrong, there does seema hesitance to use the name), it is called Slave I during episodes of The Clone Wars
- Have you noticed the scar around Krrsantan’s eye? He received that from a fight with Obi-Wan Kenobi 10 years before the Battle of Yavin, which appears in issue 20 of the Marvel Star Wars comic line
- The layout of Jabba’s Palace as we see in this episode closely matches the maps from the Star Wars Battlefront and Star Wars Battlefront II games
What did you think of the episode?
Thanks for reading. May the Force be with you….