The galaxy’s greatest and deadliest bounty hunter has made his long-awaited return to the “Star Wars” galaxy in a big way.
Warning: Possible Spoilers Ahead
The events that transpire in the latest “Star Wars” spin-off series “The Book of Boba Fett” take place right after the end of “The Mandalorian’s” second season. After the feared bounty hunter (Portrayed by Temuera Morrison) has usurped the throne of crime lord Jabba the Hutt after eliminating Jabba’s right-hand man, Bib Fortuna.
“The Book of Boba Fett” tells a story about a bounty hunter turned newly christened crime lord, or Daimyo as he is referred to. Boba has his work cut out for him more so than he did when chasing quarry across the galaxy. In addition to dealing with crime lord business with his partner, Fennec Shand (Portrayed by Ming Wa Wren), Boba also is dealing with flashbacks from his past.
The Episode, titled “Stranger in a Strange Land,” begins with several cinematic scenes of Jabba’s Palace. The palace’s familiar and dark caverns are shown along with the throne that once belonged to the feared crime lord Jabba. But then an unfamiliar yet beautiful room in the palace is shown. This room has tall windows that overlook the scorching sands of the desert planet of Tatooine.
In this room, a bacta tank in the middle of the room, and in that tank, is the bounty hunter himself — Boba Fett. For some reason, Fett is healing in the bacta tank and is experiencing several flashbacks of his past, including his childhood on the water world of Kamino, as seen on “Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones.” We also see a flashback of young Boba on Geonosis grieving the death of his father Jango Fett. In this scene, it is clear Fett isn’t who he used to be and the only way for him to go forward is to explore his past.
For those of you new to the “Star Wars” universe, bacta is a substance that is used to heal wounds. The bacta tank is first seen in “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back,” when Luke Skywalker was placed in one after his injuries he sustained during his fight to survive the dangers the ice planet Hoth threw at him in the form of a Wampa and snow storm. While Boba is submerged in the bacta tank, he has several flashbacks to the time he escaped the Sarlacc.
In the two bacta scenes from the beginning and ending of the first episode, the director Robert Rodriguez seemed to have ripped a page from the highly acclaimed CW TV series “Arrow.” In “Arrow,” Oliver Queen (Green Arrow), portrayed by Stephen Amell, has several flashback scenes of his ordeal on the island of Lian Yu (which means suffering) after being shipwrecked from his yacht, The Queen’s Gambit. I feel that using the bacta tank along with the “Arrow” approach, as I like to call it, was a great way to start off with “Book of Boba Fett.”
These flashback scenes also show us that the days of Fett being a puppet on a string are starting to fade from consciousness as the dominos of his machinations are in place. Though it’s clear, the past is still haunting him. In my opinion, I feel the “Arrow-esque” flashbacks serve to show that Tatooine is Fett’s own “Lian Yu” as it is also his “Star City.” Like Amell’s Oliver, Fett experiences rebirth through the suffering he experiences.
In one of the flashback scenes, we see Boba Fett, clad in his Beskar Mandalorian armor, stuck inside the belly of the Sarlacc (courtesy of a blind Han Solo hitting him in the back of his jetpack). Boba can barely breathe, but, to his luck, he finds a body of an Imperial Stormtrooper and uses the breathing apparatus from the trooper’s helmet to transfer oxygen to his helmet. Next, Fett uses his flamethrower to upset the Sarlacc’s stomach and can escape. Fett crawls out of the sand, where we see the destroyed Sail Barge that once belonged to Jabba. Fett crawls to safety away from the pit only to lose consciousness.
In the next scene, we learn how Boba loses his armor. A Sandcrawler comes up to the unconscious Boba, and a group of Jawas strips the bounty hunter of his battered Mandalorian armor that once belonged to his father, Jango Fett.
After he is deprived of his armor, he is taken prisoner by a group of Tusken Raiders dressed in black robes. If you have seen Season Two of “The Mandalorian,” you’d have noticed why Boba was wearing black Tusken Raider robes and carrying a cycler rifle and a gaffi stick.
I feel that when Boba eventually retrieved his armor in “The Mandalorian” season two, episode six, “The Tragedy,” he incorporated the Tusken robes with the armor to pay respect to the Tuskens that would eventually help him survive.
However, Boba’s rapport with the nomadic Tuskens starts off rocky. He tries to escape the Tuskens but ends up getting recaptured. Even more interesting, the Tuskens have a youngling be Fett’s warden.
Fett’s time with the Tuskens shows a more vulnerable version of the most feared bounty hunter in the galaxy. While he is still a formidable fighter, he is not as dangerous without his iconic armor since the Tatooine desert throws a lot at him. He gets beaten up by Tusken Raider younglings, gets handled by a Tusken warrior, and is very thirsty for water (not surprising since his homeworld of Kamino is a water world).
However, Fett begins to slowly bond with the Tusken youngling as he helps him search for water. The two also witness a homestead that resembles the Lars Homestead (Luke’s childhood home) getting raided by thugs. The bond seems to be further solidified when he saves the boy from a reptilian creature that kills a fellow prisoner, a Rodian who acted cowardly. Fett tried to help escape. Fett’s slaying of the beast and the rescue of their own also earns him the respect of the Tusken Raiders.
When Boba is outside the bacta tank, he is adjusting to his new life as the new crime lord of Tatooine. Alongside his assassin and occasional advisor, Fennec Shand, “Lord Fett” wants to rule with respect rather than with fear like his former employer. It is clear that Fett is not running on the “Make Tatooine Great Again” ticket, but he wants to keep all the businesses and local governments in line so that his empire can grow.
Even under the era of the New Republic, it matters little to Fett as long as “cooperation makes everyone rich.” After all, he is a capitalist. We see this as he interacts with Garsa Fwip, a female twi’lek (Portrayed by Jennifer Beals) who owns a Catalina called the Sanctuary. The twi’lek gives him her tribute in the form of New Republic credits filled inside Boba’s helmet. However, it would seem that not everyone shares Fett’s vision.
On a hilarious note or tangent, I want to point out that Boba gets knocked out three times during the flashback scenes. The first time he gets knocked out is by one of the Jawas who strips him of his armor, the second time was by the Tusken Raider Youngling, and the third time was by one of the Tusken Raiders warriors.
We first see this when Fett is collecting tribute from businessmen, former employers, and politicians. The first hint of discontent is from the majordomo Mayor of Mos Espa, the hometown of one Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, who demands that Fett pay the mayor tribute. Being the crime lord, Fett does not take this too lightly since the crime lord is the one who gets paid tribute. However, he advises Fennec to spare the majordomo but keep an eye on him.
A more notable example is when a group of assassins corners Fett and Shand. We do not know from where or from whom these assassins come. Could it be Prince Xizor’s Black Sun or, perhaps, Qi’ra’s Crimson Dawn?
It would make sense as to why it could be Crimson Dawn. If you notice the assassins, they were wearing magenta-colored robes, indicating allegiance. It would make sense because during the events of ”War of the Bounty Hunters” and “Crimson Reign” comic book arcs, Qi’ra’s Crimson Dawn has become a force to be reckoned with. Would this mean the return of Emilia Clarke’s Qi’ra in the “Book of Boba Fett?” Is she playing yet another chess game against Boba as she did against the Rebel Alliance, Empire, and the other criminal syndicates?
And another question that many viewers are probably asking: why is Boba Fett in a bacta tank at the beginning of the episode? Could he be experiencing some sickness that he slowly developed after escaping the Sarlacc? Or could it have to do with his DNA somehow degenerating since he is a clone of Jango Fett?
In the now non-canon “Star Wars: Legacy-Bloodlines,” Boba Fett had become the new Mandalore and was around 70-years-old, but he was ill due to clone degeneration. However, Fett is eventually cured via bone marrow transplant of a former clone trooper who lived to be about 140-years-old by reversing the advanced aging process. If “The Book of Boba Fett” is using this arc, is this a way of introducing Fett’s twin “sister” Omega from the “Bad Batch” series? Will Alpha finally meet Omega?
I am looking forward to the next episode to see if Boba experiences more flashbacks while bathing in the bacta tank and where his new endeavor, the new crime lord, takes him.
The show is streamable on Disney+.