Boba Fett never came across as much of a diplomat in the original Star Wars trilogy. Personally hired by Darth Vader to root out the Millenium Falcon, then overseeing the attempted murder of Luke Skywalker over the Sarlacc Pit, these aren’t exactly the actions of a leader who wants to “rule with respect.” The Book of Boba Fett episode 2 continues the series’ reframing of the character, which is more a reflection of who viewers want him to be, and not how he was portrayed in the films.
The Book of Boba Fett: Episode 2 review
The first episode introduced us to a Boba who has taken over as daimyo of Tatooine, taking Bib Fortuna’s place atop the throne that he himself lifted from Jabba the Hutt. Boba’s haunted by recent memories of escaping the Sarlacc which, all things considered, didn’t look particularly traumatic compared to the other tragic fates that can befall members of the Star Wars galaxy. Boba’s change of heart from a ruthless bounty hunter to an empath continues to not take place on-screen; in episode 2, flashbacks reveal that he instantly buddied up with the Tuskens who were previously holding him captive.
In the present day, Boba is attempting to find out who ordered his assassination. His swift investigation handily leads him straight in the direction of Jabba the Hutt’s cousins, who briefly appear to stake their claim as the series’ antagonists, alongside a Wookiee who’s far less cuddly than Chewbacca. The Book of Boba Fett has shown an early strength in populating its world with a cast of misfits, with Tatooine looking like the Cantina scene writ large. For the most part, Star Wars has used its alien characters as window dressing, but here we get to spend more time with them and become more entrenched in their culture. They look great, too, with the show utilizing an excellent combination of practical and digital effects.
This is particularly true of the Tusken Raiders, with Disney’s rehabilitation of the Sand People continuing here. As previously displayed in The Mandalorian, the Tuskens have been misrepresented as mindless barbarians, with Disney retconning George Lucas’ own take on the race to give them a more rounded, interesting culture. The Book of Boba Fett goes one step further, with them now being afforded individual personalities, along with further insight into their traditions and the unique problems they face as natives of the sand planet.
And sandy that planet is. Star Wars’ preoccupation with Tatooine, a place that was intended to highlight Luke Skywalker’s boring life before he joined the Rebellion, is further evidenced in the Book of Boba Fett. No wonder Anakin hated sand; this series is downright obsessed with it, always leading our heroes back to this desolate planet rather than sending them on new adventures in unexplored territory.
The Book of Boba Fett Episode 2: The final verdict
I’m yet to be convinced that exploring Boba Fett’s story immediately after his escape from the Sarlacc was the right approach here; we didn’t really need to know how Boba escaped the pit and, in many ways, removing that air of mystery hurts the character. On its own terms, The Book of Boba Fett nearly tells an interesting story of how the tight-knit Tuskens help the previously lonely Boba understand the value of community. However, the series has thus far chosen not to go in that direction, in favor of Boba helping the Tuskens because he’s apparently a naturally nice guy. The bounty hunter who was previously hired by Space Hitler to capture Space Jesus?— a nice guy.
Still, The Mandalorian initially started out as a seemingly pointless series of adventures until it became something far larger and more meaningful, so perhaps this will be the case for The Book of Boba Fett. And if not, well, at least the aliens look cool.