by @holocronGeorge and @holocronJosh
WARNING: This review contains spoilers for Chapter 2: The Book of Boba Fett
After an entertaining, albeit strangely paced, first episode, The Book of Boba Fett returned this week with a chapter that pushes shocks and reveals aside in favor of a touching tale of found family and indigenous pride. Chapter 2, titled The Tribes of Tatooine, once again splits its attention to two timelines of the infamous Boba Fett’s life. In the past, Boba’s relationship grows with the Tusken tribe as he helps fight off invaders. Meanwhile, following Boba’s capture of Jabba’s kingdom, he and Fennec confront threats to their throne.
Chapter 2 marks an improvement over its predecessor in both pacing and storytelling. The somewhat jarring switch from past to future to past from Chapter 1 is absent here in favor of an episode that places emphasis on Boba’s adventures following his escape from the sarlacc pit. This adds some stability to the narrative as we’re able to sit with Boba without being thrown into another time period. Chapter 2 surprisingly puts Boba and Fennec’s power struggle on Tatooine to the side. On a broader note, the inclusion of substantial flashbacks and less emphasis on what was teased from the show in The Mandalorian Season 2’s post-credits scene is definitely unexpected. And, while the introduction of Hutt twins and the live-action debut of Black Krrsantan (!!!) make the switch to the past for the rest of the episode leaving something to be desired, Chapter 2’s past-set narrative is captivating.
Before diving into those flashbacks, however, let’s talk about the events that unfold as Boba and Fennec try to strengthen their grip of Tatooine. After being teased in Chapter 1, The Mayor (voiced by Robert Rodriguez) makes his debut in typical Western / gangster movie fashion. It’s not long before another threat emerges with the arrival of Hutt twins staking their claim to the throne once held by their relative. And accompanying these Hutt twins is Black Krrsantan, the Wookiee bounty hunter who has appeared in various Star Wars comics. The entire standoff between Boba and the Hutts evokes similar tensions on display in gangster films, but with a Star Wars twist. The Hutts are beautifully designed, looking like a combination of the practical effects that brought Jabba to life in Episode VI and the animated Hutts seen in The Clone Wars. But, the most unexpected moment of the episode comes with the arrival of Black Krrsantan. Seeing characters from comics, books, or animation make their way into live-action (i.e. Saw Gerrera, Cobb Vanth, Bo Katan) is always brilliant, and Black Krrsantan is no exception. This plot soon comes to an end, however, as Chapter 2 shifts to flashbacks for the remainder of its runtime. Although the standoff and introduction of Black Krrsantan were great, it’s a shame this plot doesn’t progress more than it does, especially considering the pacing of Chapter 1.
Despite this, Chapter 2’s flashbacks are terrific as Boba’s bond with the Tuskens grows deeper. There are a lot of powerful themes at play here, and director Steph Green and writer Jon Favreau execute them extremely well. Boba’s growing relationship with the tribe feels genuine and earned, which beautifully culminates in Boba’s acceptance into their tribe. This evokes the plot of 1970 Western film A Man Called Horse in which an Englishmen is captured by and eventually grows close to the Sioux people. Star Wars has always done a great job mirroring real-world themes and events, and Chapter 2 of The Book of Boba Fett continues this trend. The episode’s focus on an indigenous people’s land under threat from outsiders resonates powerfully.
The Book of Boba Fett moves into its second chapter with an unexpected emphasis on flashbacks that carry plenty of emotional weight. Although the entertaining present-day plot is unfortunately short lived, Chapter 2 delves deeper into Boba’s bond with the Tusken people in a manner that is thoughtful and touching, while also touching on the struggles of indigenous people. The Book of Boba Fett’s latest installment is an excellent example of the range of storytelling opportunities afforded in the Star Wars universe and the depth of themes at play in a galaxy far, far away.
Images courtesy of Disney+ and Lucasfilm