Last week, it looked like The Book of Boba Fett got its footing as a show. The flashback sequence that took up much of the episode gave us a suitably epic train hijacking akin to old western films. Boba’s vision of confronting his past trauma was fascinating, and the forging of his own Gaffi Stick marked a turning point in his character. However, the specter of events in present-day Mos Epsa had to be addressed, which meant that this week, the show took place almost exclusively in the present day. Sadly, in perhaps an unintentional mirror of Boba’s attempts to establish himself in Mos Espa, the show stumbles through the streets as we get a (mostly) forgettable episode. 

Building Loyalty

The Book of Boba Fett Episode 3-Go Go Boba Rangers!
Source-Disney+, Tumblr

In another example of how the locals don’t respect Boba’s rep, a local water vendor comes asking him for help with some local thugs. It’s pretty clear, though, that the man’s just using Boba as a means to take care of his own problem, i.e. like a bounty hunter. Boba Fett isn’t having any of that, though. His time with the Tusken Raiders taught him that it’s better to make friends and allies than shoot everyone. So, he meets with these droidpunk teens, learns they only did because the guy’s gouging the water price, and hires them on the spot. While also paying back the man for less than half of what those cyborg teens stole.

Boba Fett’s still in a precarious situation in Mos Espa, with his base a shadow of what it was under Jabba. He knows he needs more followers, so rather than do what the people in charge want, he gets help from the disenfranchised. This could come back to bite him, but for the moment, this seems like the smart move. Boba gets some good manpower, just in time to save his life from a Wookie bounty hunter.

Never Upset a Wookie

So last week, Jabba’s cousin’s brought this Wookie bounty hunter, Black Krrsantan, with them, and he’s tough. He worked with Boba once and even gave Obi-Wan a hard time. It’s only thanks to his followers that they capture him, much to the Twins’ dismay, and even then, it’s through guile rather than brute force. Han Solo was right:

Except it looks like that whole arc with the Twins is moot, as they’re pulling out of Tatooine. The Mayor of Mos Espa already promised Jabba’s territory to another crime group. As a truce, though, they give Boba a gift: his own Rancor!!

Ride the Rancor!

The Book of Boba Fett Episode 3-Boba Fett's New Rancor
Source-Disney+, Tumblr

The Rancor (which I have dubbed Mr. Cuddles) is the best part of the entire episode. Most people know Rancor’s as the scary monster that tried to eat Luke, but that’s like comparing an attack dog to a regular pet one. They’re pretty chill unless you make them mad, and as we’ve seen in The Bad Batch, they can be very friendly to people. In both the old Expanded Universe and new canon, people have ridden Rancor’s as mounts into battle; the Dathomiri Witches were famous for it. Now, Boba wants to learn how to ride one.

The Book of Boba Fett Episode 3-Can we Keep It?
Source-Disney+, Tumblr

This was the absolute highlight of the episode, getting to see Boba Fett be so affectionate with this giant, misunderstood creature. It also doubles as massive foreshadowing. In the pilot, Boba got criticized for not coming in on a litter. Riding a Rancor, though, would be a real way for him to project power and badassery.

Too bad he’s lacking that in the rest of the episode.

Mos Espa Embarrassment

Besides almost getting killed by Black Krrsantan, the Mayor of Mos Espa hightails it out of town, and his majordomo tries to do the same. What follows is a chase scene that was low-stakes, very boring, and meant to justify why Boba has those droidpunk gangsters. That, and to set up Boba’s big rival for control: the Pyke Syndicate.

In this week’s flashback, it’s revealed that the Pykes never honored their promise of paying tribute to the Tuskens. Instead, they seemingly back the gang that Boba fought, burning down his adoptive Tusken village and killing everyone there. 

The Book of Boba Fett Episode 3-Rip Tusken Village
Source-Tumblr, Disney+

As someone who was fascinated by this nigh-unprecedented look into the culture of the Tusken Raiders, this was such a huge letdown. While we knew that Boba would be back on his own by the time The Mandalorian rolled around, I hoped we’d see more of these Tuskens in the show. Instead, they got the rug pulled out from under them just to show us how ruthless Boba’s opposition is. As the episode ends, the Pyke’s start to arrive on Tatooine in force, and Boba and Fennec have no choice but to go to war with them.

The Book of Boba Fett Episode 3-The Pykes Arrive in Mos Espa
Source-Tumblr, Disney+

Next Week Needs to Be Better

Overall, this episode was a massive letdown. The fights were lame, Boba Fett continued to be nothing like fans have thought him to be for years, and the droidpunk Power Rangers felt out of place. Their cyborg limbs look too nice to be on Tatooine! The one redeeming part of this episode, though, was the Rancor. The idea of Boba Fett riding one into Mos Espa is so badass, and will hopefully happen before the season’s out. As for the rest of the season, we better get more action as Boba Fett goes to war. Favreau, Filoni, you delivered with Mando. Do the same with Boba Fett.

I Give “The Streets of Mos Espa” a 2/5