While the failed assassination attempt on Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison), and the mystery of who may be behind it only deepens in this episode’s opening scenes, the main thrust of this week’s episode is another flashback to the time Boba spent with the Tusken Raiders who have taken him in and are now seen to be treating him as one of their own. And, while this episode serves up the Star Wars universe’s equivalent of A Man Called Horse, it’s not before we get the fan-baiting entrance of not only the mayor of Mos Espa but also the cousins of Jabba the Hutt and, from the comics, Black Krrsantan. A bounty hunting Wookie who first appeared in Dark Vader #1 (2015). Boba’s is finding it’s tough being the new crime lord on the block, that’s for sure.
But, back to Boba’s trials and tribulations amongst the Tusken Raiders. And a group of Sandpeople who are far more formidable than any you’ve even seen before. And while that may be jarring, it is satisfyingly explained later on in the episode.
As well as being trained, Boba returns the favour by helping the tribe attack a desert train that often travels through their territories, taking pot shots at these indigenous people. The train attack is straight out of any number of classic Westerns, but this time it’s the natives that are cast as the heroes, as well as the people who have true rights to the land. Hard core Star Wars fans will recognise the enemies as the Pyke Syndicate, transporting spice across the desert wastelands. Another set of characters introduced to the Star Wars mythos through the Star Wars: The Clone Wars cartoon series (2013), and who were most recently seen again in The Bad Batch show too.
But, enough of the Easter eggs. This episode was a pure Western dressed up in sci0fi robes and a story that echoes not only the film, A Man Called Horse, in Boba’s adoption by an indigenous tribe of people, but wallows in other Western tropes too. Yes, it informs us of Boba’s more recent character development, especially with the quintessential spiritual awakening which also features in a good number of Westerns too, but it also acts as a great way to keep fans in a state of suspense too. The more time we spend in the past is less time spent in the present and the more interesting story of Boba’s prospects amongst so many ne’er-do-wells.
Visually, it remains stunning. Mos Espa is an immense, thriving city while the Tusken Raiders are given an air of respectability that they’ve never known before now. A new perspective on a familiar set of iconic, but clearly misunderstood characters. Even though they did kill Anakin’s mum and, in many ways, are somewhat responsible for the whole rise of Darth Vader and his part in the evil galactic Empire. Just not these ones.
The Book of Boba Fett is streaming now on Disney+ with new episodes dropping every Wednesday.