A name that strikes fear into the hearts of even the most unsavory characters. A bounty hunter who evades defeat and returns from the brink of death. Just self-serving enough to earn a protagonist’s side eye, yet capable of ambiguous morality. Boba Fett™ and Fennec Shand™ are two of a kind. And together, they are creating their own empire of crime.
The Book of Boba Fett™ takes place about five years after Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi™, and directly following season 2 of The Mandalorian™. In the first episode, “Stranger in a Strange Land,” burning questions are answered and new conflicts are set in motion. We also begin to see a different side of a figure who for so long had been viewed as a silent villain.
How Boba Fett Survived the Sarlacc Pit™
Opening shots of an empty palace give way to a lavish bedchamber, where Boba lies in a bacta tank™. Memories of his father’s death plague him. But ever since Boba reappeared in The Mandalorian, fans have been wondering: How did he survive the Sarlacc pit? Once described by Jabba the Hutt™ as a desert beast that will digest its victim over the course of a thousand years, this sandy death trap surely seemed to be the end of the galaxy’s most feared bounty hunter.
However, a flashback shows Boba alive (but not necessarily well) in the belly of the beast, before he uses his flamethrower to vanquish the Sarlacc from within and make his escape. A decomposing stormtrooper was not so lucky. Boba claws his way out and emerges through the sand, gasping for air and exhausted. As he lies there, drying out under the harsh twin suns, he’s not alone. First, Jawas™ stop by at night and ransack his armor. Next, a more dangerous desert dweller discovers Boba’s desiccated body — a band of Tusken Raiders™.
The Tuskens drag Boba across the desert back to their camp, where he is tied to a stake (a setup that is sadly familiar to those who remember Anakin Skywalker’s™ mother, Shmi™). A Tusken child is charged with guarding Boba and his fellow prisoner, a nameless Rodian™. When Boba attempts to escape, the Rodian alerts their captors, who give Boba a chance to fight one of them. In his weakened state, Boba quickly loses.
All of the previous scenes were nightmares that haunt Boba because we next see him being woken up by Fennec. She leaves him as he gets out from his bacta tank and prepares to meet those who have come to pay him respects. Now, having killed Bib Fortuna™, Boba is the ruler of the criminal underworld — the Daimyo of Mos Espa™. And his audience awaits.
The third visitor to the throne room is expected to be Mayor Mok Shaiz™ but instead the political leader sends his majordomo to greet Boba and Fennec. Whereas the other visitors brought gifts and promises of loyalty to the court, the mayor’s representative brings nothing. In fact, the majordomo expects Boba to present him with a gift for the mayor. Though Fennec offers to kill him, Boba sends him away. Next, two Gamorreans™ are presented who served Jabba and Bib. In a display of mercy, Boba decides to hire them rather than kill them.
These courtroom moments prove to be critical in Boba’s replacement of Jabba. While Jabba used torture and fear as the sources of his power, Boba does not. “I intend to rule with respect,” he says to Fennec.
The Sanctuary and the Rooftop Chase
Boba’s strategy begins to feel like a mistake when he draws some judgement from the locals of Tatooine™. Even Fennec expresses some doubt, telling Boba, “Things would go a lot smoother if you accepted their ways.” Instead of entering Mos Espa on a litter carried by his entourage, he walks in to the city by foot. As he greets Garsa Fwip™, the Twi’lek™ proprietor of The Sanctuary, Boba is once again met with doubt. Fwip is visibly unimpressed by Boba but still extends an offer of hospitality to the new daimyo.
Outside The Sanctuary, Boba and Fennec are ambushed by mysterious assassins. Just when it seems like the duo has met their end, the two Gamorreans that Boba had spared arrive to offer backup and overpower the assassins. Boba manages to escape after sending Fennec on a rooftop chase to capture one of the assassins for information.
Boba to the Rescue
As Boba is assisted back into his bacta tank, we see another flashback to his time with the Tusken Raiders. That same Tusken child is tasked with taking Boba and the Rodian out in the desert. They witness the vandalization of a moisture farm before the child forces the two prisoners to dig for black melons under the sand. While they’re digging, the Rodian uncovers a patch of scales beneath the sand, before claws and then an entire foot is revealed. Soon, a reptilian hexapod erupts from the ground and crushes the Rodian.
As the sand beast prepares to kill the Tusken child, Boba intervenes and uses his chains to choke the creature before it can harm the child. They bring back the beast’s head to the Tusken camp and a leader of the tribe offers Boba a drink from a melon, signaling newfound respect.
This first episode of The Book of Boba Fett not only provided the fast-paced action and atmospheric world building of The Mandalorian, but it also opened a new window into Boba himself. While those around him judged his approach to ruling the criminal underworld, his flashbacks and the Gammorreans prove that his methods might have surprising results. Perhaps there’s more to this classic Star Wars antihero than meets the eye.
What was your favorite moment of The Book of Boba Fett premiere? Do you think Boba will be successful? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!