The second episode of The Book of Boba Fett has arrived with a deeper look at Boba’s Tusken adventures and current troubles.
Boba Fett’s survival from the Sarlacc Pit and evolution into the man we see now comes into clearer focus with today’s episode, The Tribes of Tatooine. Directed by Steph Green, The Book of Boba Fett continues to stick mostly to the Tusken flashbacks, but still offers a glimpse of the new Daimyo’s present-day problems.
Overall, I enjoyed it quite a bit, especially with all those Native American elements being tossed around! So let’s discuss it a bit more, shall we. Be warned, however, as we’ll be diving head deep into spoilers just like we did for our Chapter 1 breakdown.
Meeting the Mayor
Tribes of Tatooine kicked off with a Boba and Fennec attempting to learn more about the people sent to kill them earlier. After a quick, and humorous, interrogation of the assassin from the Order of the Night Wind. This isn’t a group we’ve heard from before in Star Wars (even in Legends material), but the show makes it clear they’re considered an elite band of paid assassins. Good thing Fennec is even better at it!
After being tossed in Jabba’s now empty Rancor pit (curious to see if Bib Fortuna ever put something new down there or it’s been empty all these years), the Night Wind assassin finally gives up the information that Mayor Mok Shaiz was the one who sent them against Boba and Fennec.
It’s a revelation many of us suspected, especially after the Majordomo’s not so thinly veiled threat. Yet, even here not all is what it seems. Upon barging into the Mayor’s building, Boba confronts Shaiz and demands to know what the deal is.
Shaiz flatly denies hiring the assassin’s, even offering Boba a “bounty” reward for having dealing with the Night Wind, who aren’t allowed to operate in Hutt space…Obviously, there isn’t a whole lot of reason to trust this Mayor at the moment, and it’s clear he’s still working his own machinations, but Shaiz guides Boba to return to Madam Garsa’s Sanctuary to learn more.
I love Sanctuary. I know we haven’t spent much time in this setting, but the whole idea around it is super neat. Garsa has essentially created this luxurious oasis within the heart of Mos Espa, a place you wouldn’t expect to find on Tatooine. From the design, to the idea behind it, it’s a neat aspect that really fleshes out the overall planet and activities going on. It’s no longer a simple dust ball, and everyone seems to want a piece of it.
The Power Play
Anyway, Garsa seems shocked to find Boba back in her establishment. I’m guessing she was well aware of the assassin’s waiting to ambush Fett earlier and wasn’t necessarily expecting him to survive. Honestly, I don’t assign any malicious intent to Garsa over this. Moreso that she’s a business owner who finds herself caught up in the turf war of major crime bosses.
This is evident when she mentions to an oblivious Fett that “the Twins” had laid claim to Jabba’s throne. Fortunately we don’t have to wait long to find out who the Twins are, as a pair of massive Hutts come strolling down the street, drums preceding them, carried on a litter by some very unlucky people.
It’s crazy to think, between all the new movies and shows so far, this is the first time since the Prequels released that we’ve seen Hutts in live-action. As such, I was pretty giddy to see this duo coming down the street. While their appearance is relatively short in the episode, it makes a few things abundantly clear about the state of things in the galaxy at this time.
For one, the Twins (or other Hutts) must have had some sort of deal in place when Bib Fortuna was running things. Important to remember that at this point, several years have passed since Return of the Jedi with Book taking place even after the events of The Mandalorian. So the Twins must have been content to have Bib Fortuna in place of their cousin Jabba, likely working as only a puppet.
Secondly, the Hutts are still very much a powerhouse to be reckoned with. The recently wrapped War of the Bounty Hunters comic line showed the Grand Hutt Council being killed off, leaving Jabba solely in charge. After his death, however, it looks like a new batch of Hutts have come into power over the years.
These new Hutts are clearly as intent on maintaining ruthless power as their predecessors. Fennec’s offhand remark about, “you need permission if you want to kill them” makes it clear Hutt space is still a tightly controlled criminal enterprise. One even Boba Fett might think twice about going up against.
Again, it’s a small moment, but one that speaks volumes to how things have changed in the New Republic. It also makes clear the stakes Boba finds himself up against as he tries to establish his own rule over Tatooine.
Oh, and there’s Black Krrsantan! The legendary Wookiee Bounty Hunter has been around for a while, but so far only appeared in the comics. Hes worked with Doctor Aphra, Darth Vader, and Boba Fett himself. Fett clearly recognized Krrsantan and it was neat to actually see these two characters interact on the screen…And I suspect it won’t be the last.
On the Desert
All of that takes up only a small portion of today’s episode. Much like the premiere, the bulk of the screen time is spent showing what Boba was up to in the time between escaping the Sarlacc and when he meets up with Din Djarin.
After killing the sand monster and saving the younger Tusken, Boba goes full Dances With Wolves among the little tribe he’s with. We get to see some montages of Boba training to use the Gaffi stick, before seeing a hover-train come through the desert, wantonly killing the Tuskens as they go by.
The result is Boba taking a side-trip to steal some swoop bikes from the previously seen gang, and training the Tuskens to use them so they can fight back…Which they do, in a train “heist” sequence that could have been pulled straight out of any old-school Western film. I loved it. It was incredibly well shot and hit all the right points. If you, like me, felt some of the action was lacking in the previous episode, the train fight makes up for it in spades. It managed to capture the down-to-Earth action vibes, while still feeling distinctly “Star Wars.”
After this, Boba is inducted fully into the Tusken tribe, goes on a vision quest of sorts, and works to craft his very own Gaffi stick. Obviously, I’m skipping over some things here, but the importance of these scenes are to show how much Boba is changing/growing.
He was immediately humbled after falling into the Sarlacc pit, and subsequent capture by the Tuskens. His time with the nomadic natives is giving him the chance to rebuild himself from overly cocky bounty hunter, into a man with more of a purpose. He can see a life beyond bounty hunting, which he didn’t have before, and even a new “family” within this particular band of Tuskens.
Far and away, this is one of my favorite elements to see out of the show. Boba needs to be more than a badass in a helmet, and seeing the transition unfold adds a ridiculous amount of depth to him. It’s significantly more engaging than simply blasting/burning his way through the galaxy (though I suspect we’re getting to some of that later on as well).
I genuinely wasn’t expecting a slower burn story out of Boba Fett, but I’m intrigued to see where it’s going. There are some hints of things that could play out in the show’s larger story being told, however. First, we have the Hutt Twins and the implication they could ultimately prove to be the main antagonists Boba will have to contend with. Perhaps the banquet with various Trandoshans and other minor crime bosses we’ve seen in the trailers is an attempt to unite in order to fight back against the Hutts trying to reassert control?
More importantly, it seems like we’re getting a glimpse at the REASON why Boba is now intent on taking control over Tatooine. He’s always seemed a bit reluctant to take the throne, intent to rule through “respect” rather than other means. It’s definitely not the behavior of a ruthless man out to extend his power.
Tribes of Tatooine shows us that Boba forms a direct attachment with the Tuskens and wants to actively protect their native lands. Perhaps it’s due to his own past, having come from the cloning tanks on Kamino with no true home of his own. Hell, it could even tie into his Mandalorian heritage (or what little he learned of it before his father’s death). Either way, Boba wants the Tuskens to have control over their ancient lands, no longer treated as savages to be slaughtered for being “in the way.”
Seems like a pretty logical reason why Boba wants to keep control over Tatooine, rather than let others have free reign. It certainly seems to line up with the more noble/honorable version of Boba we saw in Mandalorian. With this reasoning in place, there’s a more personal angle to Boba fighting to hard to maintain control.
We know the Hutts are already grumpy about the idea, but it’s a safe bet to say they aren’t the only criminal organization with interests in the sand planet. After all, the flashback showed the Tuskens were fighting against the Pyke Syndicate (who we’ve seen in Clone Wars and Solo), transporting spice across the Dune sea. Who else *cough*Crimson Dawn or Black Sun*cough* might have illicit deals going on in the wastelands as well.
If Boba’s protection of the Tuskens interferes with other Syndicates, it would make sense they’d show up to try and broker a deal, or usurp Boba altogether. Certainly feels like the path this story is taking us, setting the stage for some epic (and potentially emotional) action down the road.
As usual, there are plenty of moments that harken back to Star Wars‘ past (both recent and further back) fans will be more than happy to see.
Hoojib – Holy crap…They actually gave us a live-action Hoojib. The little bunny-esque creatures date all the way back to old Star Wars children’s books from the 80s. It was hilarious to see it being used as a sweat-rag for the Hutt!
Camie and Fixer – Aside from Black Krrsantan, the biggest character cameo/Easter egg came in the form of Camie and Fixer. Die hard Star Wars fans will know of these characters as Luke’s friends he meets up with at Tosche Station. They only ever appeared in a deleted scene from A New Hope, which wasn’t even brought back for the Special Editions later on. Kinda neat!
Ralph McQuarrie – The iconic painter’s influence continues to have a strong presence on the current Star Wars projects, with one Tusken scene taken straight from his concept art for the original film.
Kamino Again – Tribes of Tatooine once again gave us a glimpse of Kamino through young Boba’s eyes, this time definitely bringing together a sequence never seen before.
Water on Tatooine – During the trippy halucination sequence the brings Boba to the specific tree needed to make a Gaffi stick, we get a quick glimpse of how Tatooine used to be. Namely, when water openly flowed on the planet. This is a quick confirmation that Tuskens have been on the planet since those days. It’s a small thing, but a fun bit of lore that originated in the old Expanded Universe (and even mentioned in Knights of the Old Republic).
Boba Hates Spice – Another fun Legends/EU callback comes from Boba seeming to hate the Spice drug. In Tales of the Bounty Hunters collection of short stories, it’s one of the main reasons Boba seemed to hold a more personal grudge against Han Solo. He even tells Leia, “Spice is illegal! It’s euphoric, it alters moods, and the use of it leads to the use of worse substances, and a man who will run spice will run anything!”
In this episode, he threatens the Pyke leaders’ life based on what they were transporting across the desert. Subtle, and I might be looking into it too much, but certainly seems to pay homage to some of the older Fett stories.
Worrt – We see another sand creature in this episode, jumping out from the Tusken camp, trying to flee. It’s hard to get a good look at it, but I’m about 95% sure it’s a Worrt, the frog looking creature seen outside Jabba’s palace in Return of the Jedi.
Kessel and Mustafar – Small things, but it’s always cool to get name drops for familiar planets!
I have no doubt I missed some, so be sure to let me know what else you saw!
Overall, I certainly enjoyed this episode more than Chapter 1. Stranger in a Strange Land was decent enough for a setup/pilot, but felt like it was missing something. Even though we still don’t have much more information to go about the overall story of the show in Tribes of Tatooine, I was way more engaged on just about every level. From the character dynamics (Temuera and Ming-Na manage to do so much with very little), to the stepped up action, and the hints of what’s coming, it’s an impressive episode I already feel the need to revisit.