In its second chapter, The Book of Boba Fett cements itself as a series that cares about rich, cinematic storytelling.
Throughout its 50 minutes, “The Tribes of Tatooine” lays out key plot points in the present as Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) and Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) continue their awkward and messy journey to take over the planet’s underworld. But the episode spends most of its time in the past, with Boba in a bacta-induced dream showing his physical and spiritual journey to becoming one with the Tusken Raiders. These scenes make “The Tribes of Tatooine” one of the best episodes of Star Wars TV we’ve seen so far.
SPOILERS ahead for The Book of Boba Fett Episode 2, “The Tribes of Tatooine”
A warrior’s journey
As we saw in Episode 1, Boba escaped a slow and painful death in the belly of the Sarlacc, was robbed of his iconic armor by roving Jawas and was briefly held prisoner by a clan of Tusken Raiders. But after saving a young Tusken, the people of this desert warrior tribe release him and invite him to move freely among them.
In Episode 2, we dive into the physical and mental training Boba undertakes in order to become an official warrior member of this clan. This training includes learning to better communicate with the Tusken raiders via a form of sign language and learning how to properly fight with a Tusken gaffi stick.
At the end of the episode, Boba is invited to carve and forge his own gaffi stick after an intense, hallucinogenic spiritual quest that involves a little lizard crawling up his nose and inducing more flashbacks, this time to his father’s ship flying over Kamino and his father’s death on Geonosis, which we saw in 2002’s Attack of the Clones.
Boba’s training and dedication to the honorable warrior culture of the Tuskens also lead to them clothing him in their black robes, which explains the new “armor” he sported when he was reintroduced in The Mandalorian season 2.
The train heist
Much of the action of Episode 2 occurs during Boba and the Tuskens’ takeover of a high-speed train hauling spice and other cargo for the Pyke Syndicate. This high-level criminal organization has been seen previously in The Clone Wars and Solo.
When those aboard the train fire at the Tusken tribe, killing several of them and a bantha (way too many bantha deaths in this episode), Boba embarks on a mission to destroy the train. Because the clan doesn’t have any technology or machinery, Boba travels to a small cantina (Tosche Station!), takes out a local gang terrorizing the area and steals their speeder bikes.
Bringing some levity and humor to the episode, Boba teaches the Tuskens how to use the speeder bikes. After many falls and a hilarious shot of Boba bouncing up and down on the bike to show them that it’s like riding a bantha, they catch on.
Then comes the train heist, a high-octane, western-esque sequence full of blaster fire, skull-cracking hits with gaffi sticks and several explosions. The superb choreography and digital effects make it a joy to watch, although it feels similar to the train heist in Solo.
With a destroyed train behind him and the surviving Pykes on their knees in front of him, Boba becomes a bit of an uncomfortable “savior” to the Tuskens. Flanked by several Tusken warriors, he sits on a crate of goods and tells the Pykes that they must pay the Tuskens if they want to travel through the Dune Sea. The Tuskens, of course, have an ancestral claim to the sands of Tatooine as they’ve been there much longer than any other “off-worlder.”
Back in the present, Boba and Fennec try to get information out of the lone assassin they let survive in Episode 1. Tricking the man into thinking he’s about to get eaten by the Rancor under Boba’s throne (that Rancor was killed in Return of the Jedi), the assassin claims he was hired by Mos Espa’s mayor.
The man is a Night Wind assassin, and the town’s Ithorian mayor Mok Shaiz (voiced by executive producer Robert Rodriguez) doesn’t really deny hiring him. Boba heads to Madam Garsa’s establishment to learn more.
While at the cantina/casino, Boba learns that Jabba the Hutt’s cousins, called The Twins, have staked their claim over their dead family member’s territory. Of course, Boba says if they want his territory, they’ll have to kill him. The Twins don’t kill him right then because murder in the streets of Mos Espa would be bad for business, and the two Hutts leave.
But first we get a cameo from a certain menacing Wookiee that surely had Star Wars comics fans screaming and jumping off their couches. The towering, hulking, all-black Wookiee we see traveling with The Twins is none other than Black Krrsantan in his first live-action appearance.
Black Krrsantan is a fan-favorite regular in Marvel comics since his 2015 debut in Darth Vader and regular appearances alongside Doctor Aphra in her series. And he’s had some history with Jabba and with Boba in the comics.
The verdict on The Book of Boba Fett episode 2
It’s a treat to dig into Boba’s post-Sarlacc past, and even better to finally see the humanization of the Tusken Raiders. Mockingly called “sand people” in earlier Star Wars stories, the Tuskens have largely been depicted as caricatures of ignorant and prejudiced stereotypes of nomadic indigenous cultures. It wasn’t really until they got more screen time in The Mandalorian season 2 and now in The Book of Boba Fett that we can celebrate the culture of these fascinating characters.
“The Tribes of Tatooine” has a solid mix of action and adventure with a little heart and humor, giving us a new perspective on some iconic characters and bringing a beloved comic adversary into live-action. Morrison, of course, shines in the swaggering space Western scene we’ve been waiting for: a space cowboy strolls into a bar, beats down the local troublemakers and throws back a shot without losing his cool.
Though The Mandalorian sort of did this in its first two seasons, The Book of Boba Fett leans more heavily into the peoples and cultures of Star Wars that aren’t Jedi. As far as we can tell, this series will mostly take place on the desert planet of Tatooine, so epic space battles will probably be few and far between. The Book of Boba Fett is honing in on on the relatable heart of the Star Wars universe, with great results.