It’s Wednesday, which means that the next chapter in The Book of Boba Fett has been released!
The series premiered last week and continues today with the second episode, titled “The Tribes of Tatooine.” This series seems to be telling one continuous story (compared to the ‘adventure of the week’ type serial of The Mandalorian), and though that makes it a bit harder to evaluate week-to-week, it’s still incredibly entertaining.
This was another really good episode, and I’m enjoying the fact that the creators seem to be playing the long-game with the story, meaning we’re only getting started. Let’s dive in to our review, but note that full spoilers are ahead!
Fennec Shand brings the captured assassin (a member of the Night Wind) before Boba Fett, who demands to know who sent him. The assassin refuses to answer, until Fennec drops him into the Rancor pit. Terrified, the assassin says the Mayor sent him… and he then realizes the Rancor is gone. But Fett and Fennec visit the Mayor and barge in unwelcome. The Mayor’s men kill the assassin, and the Mayor explains that these assassins can’t operate outside from Hutt space. He pays Fett for the bounty, to which Boba responds that he’s not a bounty hunter. The Mayor says that he didn’t send the men, but tells Fett to visit Garsa Whip’s cantina to find out what’s really going on. He does, and notices that Garsa is very nervous. She tells him that the twins have claimed their right to rule.
As they speak, a commotion is heard in the distance. Fett walks out to meet with the new arrival: twin Hutts, carried in on a litter, claiming that this planet belongs to them. Fett refuses, and the Hutts reveal their gladiator: Black Krrsantan! Not wanting any bloodshed, however, the Hutts say this matter can wait for another time, and they leave. But Fett and Fennec know that it isn’t over, and later Boba returns to his bacta chamber.
While in the bacta, Fett’s dreams continue. We pick up with Boba and the Tusken Raiders, with Boba being trained to fight with a gaffi stick. But one day a train rides by, with some Pykes shooting from it and killing several Tuskens and a Bantha. As the tribe burns the bodies of their fallen members that night, Boba sees a gang riding by on speeder bikes (the same one he saw in last week’s episode). He tells the Chief that if he takes a gaffi stick and rifle, he can help them defeat the train and will return by morning. He heads off alone into the night, arriving at Tosche Station, where the gang is hanging out, much to the frustration and danger of Fixer and Camie. Fixer tries to intervene, but the gang begins beating him up – at which point Fett arrives and makes quick work of all of them, wiping them out and then leaving without saying a word. He steals their speeder bikes and brings them back to the Tuskens, and he begins training them on how to ride.
When the train returns, the Tuskens are ready this time. Led by Boba Fett, they implement an elaborate plan to take the train down, with a raiding party riding out to meet the train on speeder bikes and other Tuskens giving them cover fire. Boba and the Tuskens manage to get atop the train and begin to make their way toward the front – with a lot of help from the elite Tusken warrior, who infiltrates the train and takes out the Pykes from the inside. Fett gets to the front of the train and manages to bring it to a stop. As the Tuskens raid and pillage the contents of the train, they hold the surviving Pykes captive. Boba says that the Dune Sea belongs to the Tusken Raiders, and that if the Pykes are going to run their spice through it, they owe the Tuskens a fee. He lets them go, alive, to take this proposal back to their syndicate.
That evening, in appreciation of his efforts, the Tuskens give Boba a gift: a tiny lizard, which will guide him. He is surprised at first, and even more surprised when the lizard jumps into his nose and goes into his head. Boba begins having a series of hallucinations, leading him to a tree, as images of him as a boy on Kamino and him in the sarlacc pit flash through his mind mixed with the the tree. The next morning he stumbles back to camp with a branch of the tree, and the lizard leaves his head. Boba is dressed in Tusken garments, and then is taught how to fashion the tree branch into his own gaffi stick. At night, as the tribe gathers around a fire, Boba participates in a ritual dance, now officially part of the tribe.
Just like the first episode, this one was mostly told through flashback, as two-thirds of the episode was about Boba’s time with the Tusken Raiders (and this week’s episode was considerably longer than last week’s, which was nice). The episode began with the present-day (and there’s a lot to talk about there, which we’ll get to in a moment), and then transitioned to the time with the Tuskens.
I love how this series is expanding on something The Mandalorian did as well, which is to bring more attention, characterization, and humanity to the Tusken Raiders. In the main films, the Raiders are characterized as brute villains, “animals,” as Anakin Skywalker calls them. But they are not just savage animals, and these shows are exploring that. They are actually very likable in this series, just a tribe of people trying to survive on Tatooine. They even note that while other tribes are warriors, they have remained in hiding. The elite warrior (the one who trains Fett) is awesome. The youngling is great too, and I loved his excitement for Fett when he returned from his ordeal with the lizard. The sequence where Fett trains them to ride the speeder bikes was hilarious and also really cool. And to see Fett emerging as a leader, one who is looking out for the Tusken Raiders and trying to help them, is a great development.
I also don’t think that this is just about showing us what happened to Fett previously but also foreshadowing what is to come in this series. The present-day storyline is making it very clear that Fett is in over his head. He’s got Fennec and two Gamorrean Guards, and that’s it. Not only is he out of his element as a crime lord, but he’s also severely outmatched. I expect he’ll try to remedy that in next week’s episode by trying to recruit Jabba’s former captains (as seen in the trailer), but I also think that Boba isn’t as helpless as he appears: he likely has an army of Tusken Raiders willing to come to his aid should he need it. I would not be surprised to learn that Fett helped the Tusken Raiders unite with other tribes and helped them gain more credibility and authority (perhaps this is even what leads him to Cobb Vanth, since Vanth’s settlement of Mos Pelgo established friendly relations with the Tuskens). And I also would not be surprised if part of Fett’s rulership as the daimyo of Tatooine is intended, at least in part, to help the Tuskens.
It was also interesting to see the Pykes operating on Tatooine, which I took as an indication of how much other syndicates and gangs are trying to take over the power vacuum left by Jabba the Hutt on the planet. And seeing the Pykes here in live-action, and for the first time in live-action without their masks, was great. I’m really glad we got to see the Pykes, and I wonder if we’ll see any more of what they are up to. And the interaction between Boba and the leader of this group, who pretends to not even know what spice is right before the Tuskens open a crate of it, was hilarious. I should also mention that the sequence of Boba and the Tuskens taking the train was great, and it was a thrilling action sequence that I honestly didn’t expect. But to see the Tuskens working together to take down the train was awesome.
One last thought about the dream part of the episode (which, as I mentioned, was the bulk of it) was that the speculation about who those people were in the trailers was confirmed: that was Fixer and Camie, at Tosche Station! The couple first appeared in a deleted scene of A New Hope, as friends of Luke Skywalker and Biggs Darklighter. There were some stories about what happened to them after that in Legends, but nothing yet in Canon – so it’s really cool to see them here, in the era after the fall of the Empire. This is the kind of cameo that most people won’t notice, and that’s fine – there’s absolutely nothing riding on it in this episode. But it’s a great nod to Star Wars fans who pay close attention to these things, much like the appearance of Max Rebo last week (and again in this episode!).
But Fixer and Camie weren’t actually the most notable appearance in this episode, nor was Max Rebo; that belongs to Black Krrsantan, the black Wookiee working for the Hutt twins. The Wookiee has appeared in Star Wars comics in recent years, and he’s a formidable foe – not one to mess with! It’s awesome to see a character from the comics make his live-action debut, and that’s one of the things I’m really appreciating about this series of shows from Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni: they are very inter-connected with the events of Star Wars that came before it, pulling in references and characters from the films, shows, books, and comics. It’s really rewarding for those of us who follow all of those things.
And it’s revealed that the Hutt twins are staking their claim on Tatooine, though we don’t know much about who these twins are. We know that the Hutt Ruling Council (except Jabba) was wiped out before the events of Return of the Jedi, as told in the War of the Bounty Hunters comic, but that certainly doesn’t mean all the Hutts were eliminated. So these Hutts presumably weren’t part of the Council, but now are staking their rightful rulership of Jabba’s kingdom. Which, of course, means that Boba Fett is in for a bigger fight than he expected. There is still the question of who sent the assassin, though, as he said it was the Mayor (and by the way, the whole sequence with the Rancor scare was fantastic), but the Mayor seemed to indicate that it was the Hutts. But my guess is that the Mayor is actually in league with them. But we’ll have to wait and find out.
Overall, this was a great episode. It seems like this series is going to build off of each episode in a much more streamlined and coherent story throughout the season, and I’m a fan of that. I think it’ll make it much stronger in the end, and it’s quite enjoyable in the meantime as well. I love how fresh and unique this feels, even with still being set on Tatooine, and love the authenticity to the Tuskens and their native ways. It’s fantastic.