This week on The Book of Boba Fett, twin threats surfaced to claim Jabba’s turf, while in flashback we learned how Boba helped the Tuskens deal with a deadly problem. (Want scoop on Boba Fett, or for any other show? Email InsideLine@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.)
Given the decent-but-merely “whelmed” reviews of Boba Fett‘s short, somewhat predictable premiere, it is clear that Disney+ should have either screened both episodes for critics or released both on premiere day. Because “The Tribes of Tatooine” had a lot going on, and was a far superior, longer episode of television.
The current day stuff alone was intriguing, as Boba and Fennec learned that the would-be assassin they captured in Mos Espa was a member of the Night Wind, a league of elite assassins. He kept mum on who hired him, but when threatened with death (or worse) by rancor (albeit one that didn’t actually exist!), he claimed that the mayor ordered the hit.
Boba and Fennec headed into town to storm past the majordomo and into the office of Mayor Mok Shaiz, an Ithorian. Presented with the assassin he allegedly hired, Shaiz (using a universal translator gizmo and voiced by showrunner Robert Rodriguez) responded with a reward for the bounty hunter’s find, seeing as the Night Wind is not allowed to operate outside of Hutt space. Boba doesn’t take kindly to being dismissed as a mere bounty hunter, and makes clear that he now controls Jabba’s criminal empire — and as such, any mayor serves as the daimyo‘s pleasure. Shaiz responds that “before you threaten me, you should ask yourself: Who really sent the Night Wind?” He then nudges Boba in the direction of the Sanctuary.
Boba, Fennec and their Gamorrean guards head to Garsa Fwip’s cantina and ask the proprietor what’s what. She is a bit surprised that they have not gotten wind of who is in town — The Twins, as in Jabba’s cousins. And as processional drum beats echo outside, Boba and Fennec return to the street to see The Twins carried on a litter by some 20 men. What follows is some debate about who is the rightful heir to Jabba’s territory, with the Twins producing a document, and Boba recounting how he took it from Bib, who had grabbed it in the wake of Jabba’s demise. The male twin says that his impatient sister thinks they should simply kill Boba, as a mean-looking gladiator Wookie — known in Star Wars lore as Black Krrsantan (or “Black K”) — steps forth to present himself. But when Boba holds firm in his stance, the male Hutt decides that bloodshed is bad for business, and this matter will be settled later.
That was but a fraction of the episode, however. Boba then hit the Bacta tank again, and his latest memories of his time with the Tuskens recounted how one day, whilst being trained in the use of the gaffe stick, a “long speeder” (or smuggler train) rumbled by in the distance. Windows on the train slid open and gunmen began mercilessly picking off Tuskens and their Banthas as it passed by. That night, in the wake of the assault and after spying some speeder bikes pass by in the distance, Boba asks the chieftain to let him go off and pursue a plan to stop the train the next time it comes around. The chieftain agrees, and Boba pays a visit to Tosche Station, where the Nikto bikers are bullying a terran couple (Camie and Fixer, deleted characters from A New Hope). Wielding a gaffe stick and rifle, Boba steps in and easily kicks all of the ass, then absconds with several speeder bikes.
Boba goes about training the Tuskens on how to operate the bikes, in an amusing training sequence involving some accidental “reverses,” pratfalls, and squees of both fright and delight. When the train next comes by, Boba and the Tuskens give chase on the bikes and attempt to board it, while other Tuskens pick off the gunmen popping up in the windows. It is a long, thrilling sequence in which some Tuskens are lost, yes, but Boba and others eventually clamber onto the train roof and pick off some more gunmen, all as the droid engineer repeatedly fires up the thrusters, abruptly lurching the train forward (and also scorching the occasional Tusken).
Boba makes his way to the engineer’s cab and orders it to stop the train, but the droid bails with a hop out the window. Boba scrambles to make sense of the controls, then uses his gaffe stick to leverage the control stick all the way back, bringing the train to a halt. After, the Tuskens loot the train, while Boba decides to spare the Pykes who had been shooting at them/protecting the smuggled goods, including
melange Sansarran spice. Boba explains that the Dune Sea is the Tuskens’ indigenous home, and as such the Pykes will now “pay a toll” if they wish to keep crossing it. (He then sends them to march single file toward the sun, with but one black melon each to quench their thirst.)
That night, the Tusken chieftain holds an intimate ceremony in which Boba is gifted with a tiny lizard… that then leaps into his nostril and burrows into his brain, to serve as a “guide.” (Even since Wrath of Khan, such scenarios give me the heebie-jeebies. Poor Chekhov.) What follows is a trippy sequence in which Boba seeks out a remote tree, whose limbs entwine him — and that is juxtaposed with memories of him being entangled by the innards of the Sarlacc. Boba breaks free of the branches and snaps off a large one. The next morning, we and he realize it was not just a psychedelic dream but reality, as he marches back to the camp with that branch in hand. He is then coached to carve the branch into the base of his own gaffe stick. And after being outfitted in his own Tusken wrappings, he partakes in a fire pit ceremony, and dances ritualistically with the others.
What did you think of Boba Fett Episode 2?