Each week, Dom from @movienerdreviews will be recapping The Book of Boba Fett, now streaming on Disney+.
Episode 2: The Tribes of Tatooine
It’s been no secret since his run with Star Wars started that Jon Favreau is a fan of the western. It’s been said time and time again ever since this new crop of Star Wars shows started with “The Mandalorian.” They attempted it in film form with the much maligned Star Wars spinoff film “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” But I’d wager to say that you don’t get much more western than episode 2, entitled “The Tribes of Tatooine,” only this time, we’re not just pulling in the desert, gun slinging villains, loner heroes and survival. No, this time, Favreau and Star Wars newcomer director Steph Green opt to bring in elements from films like “Dances with Wolves” and “The Last of the Mohicans.”
In the present, Boba is continuing to see that his approach may not be the best, as he confronts the mysterious mayor, revealed to be an Ithorian, a common alien that’s popped up many times throughout the franchise’s history (also voiced by series executive Robert Rodriguez). Afterwards, the mayor points him back towards the bar where he visited last episode, only to run into not one, but two familiar faces: Hutts. More specifically, Jabba’s cousins who have come to reclaim the territory of their late cousins. And these crime lords do ride around on litters, something that Boba has continuously refused.
But then it’s back into dreamland/flashbacks in the Bacta tank, and oh man what a story we get. Fett is shown to have been living with the Tuskens who’s trust he earned in the previous episode for some time now, having learned their ways with digging for water and weapons training. However, as this is a western, there had to be a “Magnificent Seven” homage in there somewhere, as Star Wars on TV has already made at least 4 different references to it, going all the way back to 2008 with the first season of “The Clone Wars.” This time, the enemy comes in the form of a train that likes to pick off the technology-deficient Tuskens. After Fett successfully beats up some other conveniently placed nasty thugs and steals their speeders, what follows is so traditional to a Western that one could almost count the tropes on their fingers: training the Tuskens in technology they’re unfamiliar with before leading them on a revenge attack against the train in one of the more thrilling action sequences to have happened in the Disney+ saga of Star Wars television. It’s once again demonstrative of the visual storytelling that Favreau has shown to be so adept at, and it still never ceases to amaze me the level of technical brilliance they’re able to pull off in a medium that was originally conceived to sell soap ad commercials.
But what really hammers the point of this episode home is the last 10 minutes, which sees Boba going on a spiritual journey that brings past, present and future together. His entire journey with the Tuskens so far brings back other instances of films about outsiders that have been left behind or rejected by society and finding kinship with another group of people that have been largely ostracized/forgotten by the present. These types of films have become heavily criticized in the modern era for being “white saviour films,” one of many tropes that the internet has completely misunderstood and misused. Here, we see Boba beginning to understand exactly what it is that he’s done and what he can do going forward, giving a whole new light to a character that, for the longest time, was just a cool action figure with no real personality, who now is shaping up to have one of the more interesting journeys in Star Wars.