The Book of Boba Fett Episode 2 Review
Now this is more like it, Disney! Admittedly, last week’s premiere of The Boba Fett wound stumbling out of the gate. There were problems with the story structure, and some fans felt that Boba wasn’t acting like the badass we know him as. While the pacing could’ve gone better, I argued that this whole season is about Boba putting himself back together. This week, though, was a major improvement for the show. Not only did it improve the overall story-telling, but it gave us something that fans didn’t even know we needed. For the first time in decades, we got an in-depth look into the lives of the Tusken Raiders.
Also, Favreau and Filoni are really keeping in touch with their love for old western movies.
The Hutts Move In on Boba’s Turf
In the present day, Boba Fett interrogates the remaining assassin about who hired him. Following an amusing call-back to Jabba’s second-favorite method of execution, they’re off to intimidate the Mayor of Mos Espa. It doesn’t work out, but that’s the least of Boba’s problems.
In a surprising twist, Jabba’s Cousins show up to lay claim to what’s left of his empire, as they were the ones who sent that assassin. However, Boba refuses to back down, and the two sides leave following a tense standoff.
If you’re familiar enough with Star Wars, then you know how pissing off the Hutts could be a fatal mistake. The Republic, Jedi, and even the Empire gave them a wide berth. Luke and his allies beat Jabba because he underestimated them, a luxury that Boba does not have. If he ends up going to war with the Twins, he’s gotta make sure not to anger the Hutt Cartel.
Now, we seem to have the actual conflict of the season. Boba has to put the twins in their place, and the only way to do that is by building his own empire.
All of that takes backseat, though, to the real meat of the episode. Another bacta session, another flashback, and this one takes up the rest of the episode.
Tusken Raiders: More Than Meets the Eye
For decades, little has been known about the infamous Tusken Raiders, and for good reason. Most people are too scared to speak to them due to them hating outsiders. Most probably know them for being the ones who killed Anakin’s mother, which led him to kill an entire village in response. However, there’s more to the Tusken Raiders than savagery, and The Book of Boba Fett is proving that.
Hard lands breed hard people; that’s a proven fact in both fiction and real life. Considering the threat of outsiders with better tech, few resources, and a harsh desert climate, is it any wonder why the Tusken Raiders have to be so tough? They have to fight to survive, and sometimes, even that’s not enough. Case in point, a hover-train that goes through the lands of the Tuskens that took Boba takes pot shots at them. They can’t do anything about it!
Boba Fett, though? He can, and does. One bar brawl later, and he comes back with a bunch of speeder bikes, a gift to the tribe. After what is likely the funniest scene in the episode, Boba puts his plan into action: they’re going to take down the train.
The Great Hover Train Robbery
Dave Filoni’s a huge lover of old western films, and as executive producer, he got to go to town with that in this episode. The extended chase and fight sequence that serves as the climax screams “old western,” but unique enough to be Star Wars. It’s well-paced, has good tension levels, and the fighting is superb. It’s a masterpiece. Down the train goes, along with its Pyke masters.
If Boba Fett wasn’t welcome in the tribe before, he is now. He teaches the tribe how to fight against off-worlders, and they teach him their own combat styles. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. As an added bonus, they also send him on a drug-induced trip through his mind that shows some of his worst memories. It’s a cool way to touch on Boba Fett’s psyche, if you ask me.
The final moments of the episode are also very pivotal to Boba Fett’s growth. Somehow, he got a tree branch from his vision, and the Tuskens show him how to craft it into their signature gaffi sticks. It’s a very cool moment of world-building and really sheds some light on the Tusken Raiders.
Good, But Its Dune is Showing
As far as episodes go, this was a major improvement on the first one. However, it is not without its flaws, though that is not really the show’s fault. It’s one of the influences on Star Wars.
Last fall, we got the first part to a new cinematic adaptation to Frank Herbert’s Dune, one that is actually good. Dune was actually a big influence on Star Wars, and nowhere is this felt more than on Tatooine. An outsider taken in by natives, teaches them to fight other outsiders, all taking place on a desert world. It’s not hard to seem the similiarities. And now that Dune is back in the public eye, people are going to draw comparisons more frequently.
That said, this doesn’t detract from the episode as a whole. It’s well-written, the fighting’s awesome, and the setup for future conflict is handled well. No doubt Boba Fett will have to go to war with the Hutts before the season’s out. May that be a battle for the ages: Mandalorian vs. Hutt! Until then, these flashbacks will keep giving us more to learn about one of sci-fi’s most enigmatic cultures.