The latest episode of The Book of Boba Fett fills in the final flashback gaps, while prepping the stage for all out war. Let’s break it down!
It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for more Book of Boba Fett action. Today’s episode, The Gathering Storm, brings in some solid action while filling in the last bit of story gaps between Boba’s escape and ultimate meeting with Din Djarin in The Mandalorian.
How I Met Your Master Assassin
As has been the case with a number of episodes in The Book of Boba Fett so far, the bulk of today’s episode focuses on the flashback part of Boba’s journey. After losing his tribe to the marauding Nikto gang, Boba understands he needs to reclaim some of his past in order to settle some scores and move into the next phase of his life.
Namely, he needs his ship and armor back. Doing so, however, won’t be easy as he discovers while staking out Jabba’s Palace (where his ship is being kept) and discovering the big amount of guards working there. He’s going to need a hand.
Thankfully, as he wanders back through the desert atop his trusty Bantha (Boba being a devoted animal lover is something I never knew I needed to see), he comes across Din and Toro Calican’s battle with Fennec Shand from the first season of The Mandalorian. Well, he sees their flares in the sky from a distance, and arrives in time to find a wounded Fennec left for dead.
From here, we get to see how Boba managed to save Fennec; taking her to a “mod shop” on the outskirts of Mos Eisley. While not exactly the same kids he teamed up with in the previous episode, these Mods are clearly apart of the same group who like to modify themselves with droid parts.
Personally speaking, I think the idea of the Mods are neat, and aren’t even necessarily new additions to Star Wars lore in general. It would make sense for a younger crowd of counter-culture people would seek out ways to enhance themselves and differentiate from everyone else. Sure, it might seem strange to see it on Tatooine, but what else are punk kids looking to stand out supposed to do on a desert planet run by criminal organizations?
Anyway, after saving her life, Boba recruits the master assassin to help him infiltrate Bib Fortuna’s palace and reclaim his “Firespay gunship.” She reluctantly agrees to help and the two Bounty Hunters, who clearly know each other’s reputations, head off to dole out serious ass-whoopings.
Breaking and Entering
I gotta say, the action in today’s episode was a big step up from previous ones. It makes sense considering Kevin Tancharoen (who developed that Mortal Kombat YouTube series) directed The Gathering Storm. In fact, much of this episode felt more competently directed, stepping up the framing, pacing, and overall style.
Anyway, from Fennec scouting out the palace using her tiny droid, to busting in through the kitchen, this entire sequence felt like a big heist going down. When things don’t work out exactly as planned, it’s awesome to see how the duo handle things, while giving Fennec some excellent fight sequences to show off her badassery. Seriously, seeing her take down the thugs from the ship’s ramp was just a lot of fun.
Beyond that, it’s just neat to once again see the Slave I (who knows if they’ll keep that name or not, but who cares) in action. Sure, we saw it in The Mandalorian, but finally getting to see it fly around in Boba’s own show feels like seeing something we’ve been missing.
From here, Boba’s first line of business is to settle the score with the Nikto swoop gang…Which he does, rather quickly. To be honest, I feel a bit torn on this overall scene and how it plays out.
On one hand, Boba Fett dealing with the swoops so efficiently (no speeches, no drama, just pew pew) feels like the exact kind of cold, calculating, maneuvers you’d expect from him. On the other hand, however, it felt over too soon. We’ve spent the past three episodes seeing them as general threat to Boba and his life after the Sarlaac, and having them wiped out in a few seconds feels like wrapping up the plot point a bit too nicely/succinctly.
Anyhoo, they’re gone now and as Fennec states, it’s not likely the Niktos were the real culprits behind the Tusken slaughter. So there’s still a chance for vengeance waiting out there (likely against the Pykes) for Boba to take advantage of.
With that matter settled, it’s time to find his armor, so Fett returns to the last place he remembers having it: the Sarlacc. This sequence is just dumb fun. I mean he knew he had his armor on when he escaped, so why he thinks it’s back down there doesn’t make the most logical sense. Regardless, it gives us a really cool sequence wherein the Sarlacc (with the beak!) gets sonic boomed into oblivion. Loved it.
Even if it made little sense, I absolutely adored the sequence and hollered when the seismic charge went off. In all, the entire flashback does an excellent job showing the dynamic between Boba and Fennec, how they work together, and how their partnership grows into what we see.
I love the idea Boba presents about wanting to work together for something more than the solitary life of a bounty hunter. I especially enjoyed the conversation between them where Fennec says he went soft, only to have Boba explain the Tuskens made him realize he’s stronger with a “tribe.” People who will actually work with him and seek to take care of one another beyond being hired for a job.
It’s an aspect that seems tied to his original Mandalorian roots, explains a bit more about his different ruling style, and could set the stage for more teaming up to come (I’ll come back to this in a bit). In this, we see Boba Fett come around to the point we saw him in The Mandalorian, and seemingly closes out our trips to the past in the show. He’s even told upon waking he’s fully healed and no longer needs his daily Bacta treatments; which have served as the means of entering the flashbacks in the show.
The latter part of The Gathering Storm brings us back to the present time, showing Boba keen to consolidate his power before he wages war against the Pykes inching on his territory. The first stop, is getting some more muscle behind him, which leads him back to Black Krrsantan, who’s hanging out in Madam Garsa’s Sanctuary.
Most Wookiee’s don’t care for Trandoshans, but Krrsantan has more reason to hate them than most (as detailed in parts of his backstory in the comics). We get to see this on full display as he goes wild and attacks the Trandoshan patrons at the gambling table! Even as Garsa attempts to calm the situation, Boba arrives in time to see the aftermath and offer the Wookiee bounty hunter a new job…
Which leads to the dinner table conversation we’ve previously seen in the trailers. Boba has gathered the other crime families on Tatooine together in hopes of making an alliance against the Pykes. It sounds like a decent offer, but even Boba’s reputation isn’t enough to convince them to assist (even with a Rancor underneath them).
Rather, Boba has to settle for the other families promising to stay out of the way while he deals with the Pykes. Of course, it’s hard to trust the word of various crime bosses, but it seems in their own best interests to keep the power play between Boba and the Pykes purely between themselves.
The problem, however, is Boba finds himself short on manpower. Even with the Mods and Black Krrsantan, Boba and Fennec don’t have enough bodies to go against the army the Pykes have sent to Tatooine.
*The Mandalorian Theme Intensifies*
The episode ends with Boba saying he needs more help, and wouldn’t you know it, a very familiar theme can be heard playing just before the credits kick in. It seems pretty clear that Boba will be turning to his Mandalorian friend, Din Djarin to help him with his current troubles.
Last year, we exclusively reported that Din would be making an appearance in The Book of Boba Fett (though we weren’t sure in what capacity), but the ending to today’s episode teases that appearance coming sooner rather than later. With all the help needed, it would make sense for Boba to reach out to the Bounty Hunter’s guild in general, bringing not only Din to his side, but potentially bringing in some of the more iconic bounty hunters from the past (Bossk, Dengar, IG-88, etc).
Hell, maybe we’ll even see Cobb Vanth show up to help! Honestly, I don’t know for sure who we might see aside from Din, but I’ve heard in the past about this show getting wild. Considering this episode also brings to a close ALL of the footage we’ve seen in the trailers, that means we’re going into these final three episodes completely blind. So there’s no telling the craziness which might unfold.
We know they’re definitely prepping for a battle, and the result of that could lead to an all-out Crime Syndicate war (I’m still convinced the Pykes aren’t at the top of things). Either way, I’m interested to see what we can glean about the current state of the galaxy as Boba’s story incorporates characters beyond the desert planet.
We have no idea what Din has been up to since coming into possession of the Darksaber and Luke took Grogu away. While I doubt Book of Boba Fett will get into that aspect too much, it’ll be neat to get a glimpse of what he’s been doing since we last saw him. Hell, according to a recent report from Bespin Bulletin, Din’s got a fancy new ride. Whatever hints we get there, could open up the possibility of learning more about other things happening in the New Republic.
I don’t know if I just happened to miss a bunch of things, or there weren’t as many to find, but it felt like The Gathering Storm was a bit lighter on the Easter eggs than previous episodes. Here’s what caught my attention:
Culinary Grievous – One of my favorite moments when Boba and Fennec break into the Palace is when the multi-limbed chef droid turns into a killing machine. There’s almost no way the whirring knives aren’t a call back to General Greivous’ from Revenge of the Sith. Just a fun visual.
LEP-Series service droid – It’s been really neat to see the amount of things from animation have made the jump to live-action thanks to these shows. The latest is the LEP servant droid (the bunny!), a line of droids that originated in The Clone Wars series. It being a ratcatcher was hilarious in the show, and just cool to see the design translated into live-action.
Stephen “Thundercat” Brunner – The Grammy winning singer/bassist portrays the man running the “Mod Parlor” who fixes up Fennec. He joins a growing list of celebrities who appear in cool ways thanks to these shows.
Cooper Dominic Zee – Speaking of cameos in the Mod Parlor, one of the younger patrons in the scene is none other than Ming-Na Wen’s youngest son, Cooper.
Yuzzum – Fennec Shand mentions the Mayor’s Majordomo was “singing like a Yuzzum” in terms of giving up information. The reference is to an alien species from Endor, introduced in Return of the Jedi. They even appeared somewhat regularly in the old Ewoks cartoon show! They didn’t become known for their singing prowess, however, until the Special Edition musical sequence in Return of the Jedi.
Overall, I enjoyed Chapter 4 quite a bit better than last week’s episode. In fact, it feels like it brings the “prologue” of the show’s story to an end in grand fashion. That said, the pacing on the series overall has felt a bit…rough. I can certainly appreciate a slower burn story, and I enjoy seeing a “smaller” Star Wars story being told on screen, but it’s odd to get just over the half-way point and only now getting the bigger plot point being touched on.
While I’ve enjoyed each of the episodes, the story so far feels like it would have worked better with the binge release method, rather than weekly releases. I know, it’s strange coming from me, a big proponent of the weekly release method, but some stories certainly benefit from knocking it all out.
It’s hard to complain too much about getting new Star Wars content every week, having grown up through two eras where Star Wars was “done.” That said, I’m not feeling as much excitement every week as I had with The Mandalorian, or even Marvel’s Disney Plus series. I have fun while I’m watching the episode, but when the credits roll, I don’t feel that overpowering need to see what comes next…That is until today’s episode.
With Din more than likely on the horizon, and the promise of Boba Fett riding a RANCOR looming, The Gathering Storm helps set the stage for big things.