The Book of Boba Fett: Chapter 2: The Tribes of Tatooine
January 5, 2022 5:41 AM - Season 1, Episode 2 - Subscribe

Boba Fett faces new challenges on Tatooine.

Current day: Fett discovers a pair of Hutts have laid claim to Jabba's criminal empire.

Flashback: Fett gradually ingratiates himself to the Tusken tribe.
posted by EndsOfInvention (80 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Honestly this ought to have been the first episode. Loved the action sequences, the meditation on Tusken culture (especially the haka at the end!), and Fennec bringing the deadpan humor. I also really liked that mad-lad fighting partner, I hope we see more of him.
posted by orrnyereg at 6:01 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


That was Camie and Fixer at the bar, previously only seen in an Episode 4 cutscene.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 6:04 AM on January 5 [9 favorites]


Liked this episode a lot more than the first. Good to see the Tuskens getting more... humanised? sentientised?

Hoping to see some nice overanalysis of the Tusken Curved Stick on historical weapons YouTube soon.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 6:24 AM on January 5 [5 favorites]


I found myself thinking they were leaning too much into the "A Western! In space!" theme but I thought the same about The Mandalorian and I still really enjoyed that.

I love how much they're expanding on Tusken lore and culture. The hallucinogenic brain-lizard was hilarious. It'll be interesting to see if they keep up the heavy focus on the flashback segments as they go and keep Fett vs the Hutts as almost a side-story.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:31 AM on January 5 [7 favorites]


I think the problem with current-Fett is that a heavily armed, invincibly armoured super-warrior with a bunch of lackeys isn't really easy to empathise with. Past-Fett as a unarmed guy regularly getting the crap beaten out of him has enough vulnerability to be interesting. But the more they level him up, the less sympathetic he gets.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 7:22 AM on January 5 [4 favorites]


a heavily armed, invincibly armoured super-warrior with a bunch of lackeys isn't really easy to empathise with.

I’m coming to the conclusion that Fett’s takeover of the Hutt syndicate will all be for the benefit of the Tuskens—possibly him finding out what happened to all the missing water on Tatooine. I think the series arc is some kind of colonialism reparation metaphor.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 7:49 AM on January 5 [20 favorites]


That was Camie and Fixer at the bar, previously only seen in an Episode 4 cutscene yt .

Good lord, so it is. The original deleted 1976 Camie was played by Koo Stark, briefly famous for briefly dating Prince Andrew, who is... not so briefly notorious now.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:54 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


And I honestly thought the Lower Decks mention of Xon was going to be the deepest cut I would see in a giant sf franchise. Looks like two can play at the “character rescued from the cutting room floor in the seventies” game.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:03 AM on January 5 [3 favorites]


1970s Antihero: that's an interesting idea. The flashbacks to his childhood seem to have a repeated theme of losing his father so maybe he comes to see this Tusken tribe as an adoptive/replacement family.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:36 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


The nasally-fitted lizard inducing a vision quest was great, as was the train droid.

The Ming-Na Wen side-eye as the Hutts approached was spectacular, and the Wookiee gladiator is from a Vader comic. Is Doctor Aphra next? Triple Zero?!?
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 12:19 PM on January 5 [8 favorites]


I think the problem with current-Fett is that a heavily armed, invincibly armoured super-warrior with a bunch of lackeys isn't really easy to empathise with.

I was thinking about this too, and decided "side character you mostly know for one thing embarks on a late career change" was a weird premise for a series. The thought that he has a specific goal in mind other than "Take over a criminal empire" is a good one. Watching the hero embark on a long-shot mission to make (a) world better makes a lot more sense than watching him opportunistically seize power as a warlord.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 12:22 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


I still can't shake this image of Favreau looking at himself in the mirror one morning and thinking, I could be Boba Fett. And then writing the character as a Colonel Kurtz in the desert. Getting some big Brando vibes from this.
posted by Stanczyk at 2:54 PM on January 5 [7 favorites]


I feel like if any Tuskens watch this they might have a problem with the human-savior trope.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 3:27 PM on January 5 [29 favorites]


I dunno. I wasn’t really into this. Yeah, I guess the battle was...okay. But that’s kinda faint praise.

The whole setup of this weird-ass speeder train rolling through Tusken land doesn’t make any sense. The train moves far too fast for the Tusken’s to attack (without a human stealing bikes for them, anyway) So, why in the hell would the guards on the train take potshots at them as they speed through? For that matter, transporting anything on a train makes no sense in an age of space travel.

And Fett the character is still just...dull.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:42 PM on January 5 [5 favorites]


They might have a problem with it, but I expect them to be fridged at some point.
posted by cuscutis at 3:42 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Because they don't see the Tuskens as people. It is a heavy handed Native American analogue with the Bantha as Bison.
posted by cuscutis at 3:45 PM on January 5 [13 favorites]


For that matter, transporting anything on a train makes no sense in an age of space travel.

Why not? We have space travel here on Earth, now, and still it's more efficient to use trains to transport stuff than shoot it through the air/space.
posted by axiom at 3:53 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


I... just don't know about this show. I don't know if it is because it's not what I was expecting (basically, a Star Wars spin on gangs and crime syndicates jockeying for territory in Tatooine) but I'm having trouble getting into this. I think a story exploring the Tuskens and their culture could be interesting, but not with the white saviour stuff.

I was excited for this, but I really think Boba Fett is much cooler and more interesting the less we know about him.
posted by synecdoche at 5:55 PM on January 5 [7 favorites]


Presumably, Fixie and Camer must be absolutely enchanting then.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:20 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


The Tusken Raider stuff is far more interesting than anything else here, or in the Mandalorian, imo.

It's drawing even more on heavily Lawrence of Arabia than The Mandalorian, and continues to drink deeply from Dune's well.

Still, there's a lot of really silly stuff. But that's all of the Star Wars universe. The speeder train makes no sense. Maybe the spice and water can't be transported by air/spacecraft? There was a whole lot of empty space in there. Whatever. Engaging the train was pointless, at least prior to Boba Fett showing up. It seems the train wasn't just taking pot shots for the fun of it all, but rather it gets hit regularly, and they're being defensive. If they were just shooting from the train just out of evil enjoyment, it's more sensible for the Tuskens to just hide behind the dunes than try shooting back. Maybe that's just not in their nature? Yeah, whatever.

I'm also one of those who was always puzzled by the popularity of Boba Fett. It began from the very beginning, when he first showed up in the Christmas special in animated form. All the deep fans were just getting stiffys over the character, but there wasn't much o know about him, and what we did know was that he was that he was a not very redeeming character. For whatever reason, fans just seemed to love him. Go figure.

I was digging on the cantina band still gigging after all that time. The combo even added a Gittler guitar. I like to imagine they go out back in the alley during breaks and smoke a joint, and occasionally have to sit out a couple gigs because their instrument is in hock again.
posted by 2N2222 at 8:07 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


I liked this SO much better than the first one. The backstory is enchanting somehow, the raiders are fascinating. Where do the Tuskens live? I mean...tents or caves, or...? Any time they show them they're all just sprawled about on the sand with a single bantha somewhere in the frame. No shelter or shade of any kind.

Boba earning and then fashioning his fighting stick thing was my favorite part of the episode.

The assassin of the Nightwind being dropped into the rancor pit was funny. I mean, you kind of know there is either nothing, or something tiny and cute, on the other side of that gate. I was actually expecting the womprat-type thing but was secretly hoping for Grogu. It doesn't make a lick of sense that he would be there but I am always hoping for Grogu, it doesn't need to make sense ;)
posted by the webmistress at 8:14 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


I think a story exploring the Tuskens and their culture could be interesting, but not with the white saviour stuff.

I know it reads this way, but can it really be a "white saviour story" if the lead is a Maori actor? I know that seems like splitting hairs - and the Tuskens are the natives to this planet in the way people with ships who visit aren't. But couldn't this be a story of a clone - not native to anywhere - helping a native tribe to gain equality/power?

I think I'd be more inclined to agree with "white saviour" if this was James Cameron's AVATAR because that's a white guy. But science fiction has some latitude to address these things without being one-on-one analogies, doesn't it?
posted by crossoverman at 8:40 PM on January 5 [15 favorites]


Much stronger episode than the first. I was irritated to spend so much time away from the crime show stuff that best distinguished this show from The Mandalorian, but damn if the stick forging scene didn't get me back on board. Not super interested in a heroic Boba Fett still; I really want this to a show about dirtbags doing dirtbag stuff.

I was digging on the cantina band still gigging after all that time. The combo even added a Gittler guitar. I like to imagine they go out back in the alley during breaks and smoke a joint, and occasionally have to sit out a couple gigs because their instrument is in hock again.

Oh man, a Star Wars pawn shop full of beat up old instruments is an environment I'd love to see. Seriously, it's time to fast track production on THE MELODY OF MAX REEBO.
posted by EatTheWeek at 9:34 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Seriously, it's time to fast track production on THE MELODY OF MAX REEBO.

Will repeat my comment from earlier today on last week’s episode: only here for it if they make the name of the music genre current-day canon, not something forgotten with the EU.

The references to pipeline conflicts, #landback, etc were pretty stark. I dig that angle on what would otherwise be a pretty typical western.
posted by supercres at 11:06 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Yes “Lawrence of Arabia”, but isn’t it really a lot more like “Dances With Wolves”? Maybe nobody remembers that movie. It’s about a U.S. Army officer who is taken in by an indigenous tribe in the Old West and helps them to resist the army. “Waterworld” auteur Kevin Costner stars and directs. Won a bunch of Oscars.
posted by chrchr at 11:34 PM on January 5 [7 favorites]


I was writing an angry post about how this is absolutely a white savior plot but I actually talked myself out of it. I think the reason it isn't has nothing to do with Temuera Morrison's ethnicity and everything to do with the manner in which he swept in to solve their problem. He isn't more enlightened, more modern, or smarter. He was just the only one willing to walk into a bar, murder a bunch of biker bullies, and steal their motorcycles. I don't think the white savior trope holds the same power if the only reason the white savior is effective is just that he is a very bad person with no compunctions about killing a bunch of strangers to get what he wants.

I'm not entirely satisfied with this analysis, because I think it's too subtle a distinction, but I'm less mad than I was when I finished watching the episode.

I was thinking earlier today what a funny troll of SW's right wing fanboys it would be if this series were essentially "Boba Fett: Literal Social Justice Warrior" and so far that's how this is shaping up. We'll see. I'm not convinced, but I'm not ragequitting this week.
posted by potrzebie at 12:09 AM on January 6 [7 favorites]


Oh man, a Star Wars pawn shop full of beat up old instruments is an environment I'd love to see. Seriously, it's time to fast track production on THE MELODY OF MAX REEBO.

yes please!

Disney I will buy a shipping container of funko bop droids if you do this.
posted by Sauce Trough at 1:20 AM on January 6


everything to do with the manner in which he swept in to solve their problem

I think you touch on a key repudiation of the saviour narrative here - motivation. Fett didn't sweep in, isn't on planet to bring the Good Word to anyone, and was really just minding his business when he was captured by this tribe, after being literally stripped of his identity.

My read is he's trying to figure out who he is, and along the way pushing back against injustices as he's able to.
posted by coriolisdave at 1:46 AM on January 6 [6 favorites]


Yes “Lawrence of Arabia”, but isn’t it really a lot more like “Dances With Wolves”?

Maybe, but the direct visual references to LoA make it an undoubted influence. The train attack, the looting of the train, BF walking out of the desert after his lizard induced journey.
posted by biffa at 3:55 AM on January 6 [4 favorites]


Other reasons mitigating this against being simply a white-saviour (or human-saviour) plot are that Fett is not shown as being more competent than the Tuskens (after a lifetime as a bounty hunter he gets to be able, after much training, to hold his own with them in melee combat) and that the benefit he brings is the privilege of his experience in using and fighting from vehicles rather than any innate superiorty. This is in stark contrast to, say, Avatar, where it seemed that Sully had no justification for being better than the Na'vi at taming the Turok.

And yes, I've already seen this being nicknamed Dances With Banthas.
posted by Major Clanger at 4:41 AM on January 6 [6 favorites]


Fett didn't sweep in, isn't on planet to bring the Good Word to anyone, and was really just minding his business when he was captured by this tribe, after being literally stripped of his identity.

I mean, same with the Dances with Wolves dude, and basically for Lawrence of Arabia. This still reads very "technologically advanced outsider enlightens the noble savages," and I find it pretty unpalatable personally. I did enjoy the hallucinogenic brain lizard, though.
posted by whir at 8:05 AM on January 6 [3 favorites]


Oh, apparently the stick is a Gaffi Stick or Gaderffi and is loosely based on a Fijian war club.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 8:07 AM on January 6


Would Favreau write a colonialist white-savior story with a Maori in the lead role if he wasn’t going to subvert it hard? Unless he thinks that merely casting Temuera Morrison is sufficient to subvert the trope? I certainly hope that there’s more to it than that.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 8:59 AM on January 6 [1 favorite]


I was digging on the cantina band still gigging after all that time.

I am puzzled by he number of people who conjecture that the band that we see in the first episode here is somehow the same band we see in the cantina in the first film. Playing a new arrangement of the same melody, yes, one Bith member, yes... otherwise half the number of musicians and no instruments in common. Weird. The London Symphony Orchestra covered Gimme Shelter but I can still distinguish them from the Rolling Stones despite there being some white guys in both.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:40 AM on January 6 [4 favorites]


The haka (if it can be called that) after the stick forging scene made me a little teary. Go ahead and laugh at me.

Also, it's not only "Lawrence of Arabia" but also "A Man Called Horse."
posted by holborne at 11:16 AM on January 6 [4 favorites]


I am puzzled by he number of people who conjecture that the band that we see in the first episode here is somehow the same band we see in the cantina in the first film. Playing a new arrangement of the same melody, yes, one Bith member, yes... otherwise half the number of musicians and no instruments in common

Right, we really can't say which band is which, with the scant images we have to go by. Exactly the sort of thing a show about the Tatooine music scene could dig into! For the sort of mid level acts that seem to get these cantina gigs, I'm kind of picturing a Band of Theseus situation, with members cycling in and out, depending on who is available, working, and able to work together. Or maybe it's more like the bands back in my college town, where it's tough to say where one band ends and another begins because a bunch of them share the same drummer.

What is making music like when you need to account for the ears of a thousand worlds in the room? Or perceptions of sound that don't involve ears at all? What sort of notes do you include for people who feel for extra vibrations through their feet like an elephant, or can hear high frequencies like a bat? And how does that all impact the execution of a musician's artistic vision? And how do you make a living at it on a crime riddled outer rim world in a galaxy caught in a forever civil war? You could probably get a whole episode out of just having a few old timer musicians sitting around a table after hours comparing best practices for when a fight breaks out at the show.
posted by EatTheWeek at 12:28 PM on January 6 [5 favorites]


> Fett didn't sweep in, isn't on planet to bring the Good Word to anyone, and was really just minding his business when he was captured by this tribe, after being literally stripped of his identity.

I mean, same with the Dances with Wolves dude, and basically for Lawrence of Arabia.


Well, no? At least for DwW - the dude is literally the embodiment of military force projection at the far edge of colonial expansion

(can't speak for LoA, never seen it)
posted by coriolisdave at 1:09 PM on January 6 [3 favorites]


I still don't know if I like like this show or just like watching it. Maybe that will do.

Entertained by the appearance of the Hutt twins, who reminded me of Cosmo and Pucci Lavish. I got curious and read a bit about the Hutt species, which is basically supposed to be a race of crime lords, and that made me wonder a lot of things. For one thing, how did they get started? How physically threatening is a Hutt? Somebody had to at least start out as scary in that business. Do they move as fast as snakes? Wouldn't that be cool? If they don't, what stopped their people from turning on them in the early days?

Anyway, nobody asked me, so.
posted by Countess Elena at 1:36 PM on January 6 [2 favorites]


It is the case with both Dances With Wolves and Lawrence of Arabia that the protagonist is a white soldier in a massive colonialist army. I would argue that none of these things are true for Boba Fett in Tatooine.

He is not white – neither played by a white actor, nor anything analogous to "white" in the sense of unmarked, socially dominant ethnicity in the Star Wars universe. Mandalorians are absolutely marked as such by other people in-universe, almost every time they've appeared in a film or series since Episode 2. They follow an ancient ethnoreligious tradition that marks them as different everywhere they go, and they are not part of any of the major power structures, whether Republic, Imperial, or New Republic, though they interact with them occasionally.

Fett is not a soldier when he comes to Tatooine, nor (to my knowledge as an Extended Universe non-reader) was he ever a soldier. He does not come on behalf of any government, only himself.

Fett is also not arriving as a colonialist, or with any sort of ideological agenda, unlike the protagonists of Dances With Wolves and Lawrence of Arabia. So this is definitely a bit different, although also clearly drawing from both.

I'd say that this series so far is definitely in dialogue with the white-savior narrative (or as the Everything Is A Remix guy likes to call the genre, "Sorry About Colonialism"), but also is subverting it in significant ways. I think it's really interesting, not only to have an indigenous person play the protagonist, but to reference that actor's actual ancestral culture to inform the indigenous culture in the show (cf. the haka-like dance mentioned above). A person of a marginalized ethnicity, played by an indigenous-ethnicity actor, relating to different indigenous people in the context of technologically advanced (literal) aliens playing the part of the colonizers. There's a lot of respinning of traditional narratives from Westerns and white-savior-anticolonialist stories going on here. The first episode was kinda meh for me, but this second episode really has me intrigued now.
posted by skoosh at 1:52 PM on January 6 [13 favorites]


He is not white – neither played by a white actor, nor anything analogous to "white" in the sense of unmarked, socially dominant ethnicity in the Star Wars universe.


It’s not about race in this case, but socially he’s certainly a member of the socially dominant space faring, planet hopping class whereas the Tuskans he’s living among are not. Maybe it works better to think in terms of colonialism. Fett is of the social class of the colonizers and the Tuskans are colonized indigenous people. Fett can — and later will — march into Mos Boop Beep and return to his life of bounty hunting and hyperspace lanes. None of the Tuskans can do that due to their social condition.

It’s undeniably a white savior narrative. It’s ok to like it in spite of that. It’s also ok to not like it because of that.
posted by chrchr at 2:29 PM on January 6 [10 favorites]


Coming to Disney+ next year: THE ADVENTURES ~𝓸𝓯 𝓽𝓱𝓮~ BRAIN LIZARD
posted by JHarris at 3:10 PM on January 6 [14 favorites]


Mos Boop Beep!
posted by JHarris at 3:12 PM on January 6 [3 favorites]


how many noses has that lizard been up? Do they wash it after each spirit quest? Does each tribe have its own lizard? Does it have a cute name?
posted by jazon at 3:30 PM on January 6 [8 favorites]


So, did Fett pull an actual physical limb from a hallucination tree?
posted by Thorzdad at 3:46 PM on January 6 [4 favorites]


It’s not about race in this case, but socially he’s certainly a member of the socially dominant space faring, planet hopping class whereas the Tuskans he’s living among are not.

This issue is the same one encountered in decades of Star Trek, where everyone seems to be human with some funny bumps on their forehead. I can only blame this on the shocking overrepresentation of humans among actors.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:49 PM on January 6 [5 favorites]


You could probably get a whole episode out of just having a few old timer musicians sitting around a table after hours comparing best practices for when a fight breaks out at the show.

I want to see what happened to Wuher, the original bartender from the cantina. (“Hey! We don’t serve their kind here... your droids — they’ll have to wait outside.”). We see in The Mandalorian that he has been replaced by a droid. That’s gotta sting.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:56 PM on January 6 [3 favorites]


It feels like the show is much more interested in telling the back-story than the current-day story? which I'm kind of OK with because the the current-day story is so littered with "hey, remember this" references -- the castellated blast-door of Jabba's palace! dropped into the rancor pit! two Hutts! hey look, a Wookiee! that it started to feel more like fan-fiction.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 4:40 PM on January 6 [2 favorites]


This isn't the show I thought I was going to get -- Boba Fett becomes Tatooine Michael Corleone -- but it seems a mostly-enjoyable, easy watch for now. That misuse of the wood chisel bugged the hell out of me though. [#ChiselTruther rant deleted]

I think my biggest problem is Temuera doesn't have a captivating screen presence. The little bits we're getting of Ming-Na Wen and Jennifer Beals are a helluva lot more interesting. Heck, let them two be the leads in a Star Wars crime syndicate series, and even when the writing is lack, they'd still manage to sell it with charisma to spare. (Throw in Cara Gee as a freighter pilot smuggler and you'd really have something.)
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 5:42 PM on January 6 [9 favorites]


I want to see what happened to Wuher, the original bartender from the cantina
It looked very much to me like the bartender in the bar fight in this episode was this dude
posted by coriolisdave at 7:30 PM on January 6


having gone and looked oh wow no, but he reminds me of SOME one
posted by coriolisdave at 7:38 PM on January 6


The lizard is super cool but if I’m going to trip out I’d really rather watch something more compelling than “Attack of the Clones”.
posted by chrchr at 7:50 PM on January 6 [4 favorites]


Yeah, that’s not Wuher. Looks a bit like the ill-fated Porkins (if he had survived the Death Star run).

If you look at the deleted scene from 1976 that 1970s Antihero posted, the production designers have done a remarkable job of recreating the set there. Yes, after 45 years, we have finally seen the Tosche Station where Luke was to pick up his power converters.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:03 PM on January 6 [4 favorites]


I think you touch on a key repudiation of the saviour narrative here - motivation. Fett didn't sweep in, isn't on planet to bring the Good Word to anyone, and was really just minding his business when he was captured by this tribe, after being literally stripped of his identity.

I dunno. Isn't this really par for the course in the white savior narrative? I feel like it's almost always a two part thing: The savior figure is/becomes an outsider in the dominant culture for some reason, is tossed among the indigenes (rarely by choice), finds community and learns from them in part one. In part two they rise to their natural position--leadership--and their adopted people under "white" leadership have more success than they've ever had on their own. You can quibble on details but it's Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai (alcoholic captured by Samurai) or Sam what's-his-name in Avatar (paraplegic out of options.)

Star Wars treated the Tuskens like "Indians" from a 1950's Cowboys and Indians movie, savage raiders who were cowardly, superstitious and violent. This feels like it upgraded to A Man Called Horse or Dances with Wolves. It's progress sure, but it just strikes me as a weird model to adopt in 2022.
posted by mark k at 11:19 PM on January 6 [5 favorites]


They really should've done like Hawkeye and dropped both of these first two episodes right up front to get us started.

Would Favreau write a colonialist white-savior story with a Maori in the lead role if he wasn’t going to subvert it hard? Unless he thinks that merely casting Temuera Morrison is sufficient to subvert the trope? I certainly hope that there’s more to it than that.

One thing I thought about, a lot, while watching this episode (besides the Lawrence of Arabia/Dances with Wolves parallels, and my brief moment of "Is that Black Krrsantan? Cool!") was the fact that in the old Bioware Knights of The Old Republic video game they did some interesting fleshing-out of the Tuskens' (and Jawas') attitude towards colonizers. It's all non-canon, now, so there's no guarantees they'll keep any of it, but basically: Tuskens and Jawas have no respect for the outsiders because they know all outsiders are temporary. Tatooine is utterly un-colonizable, due to something inexplicable about the nature of the world - machines fall apart faster than they're supposed to, ores that get mined there just end up being impure or otherwise unusable, and the wildlife is, well, as we've seen, pretty damn hostile, and all in all it's just impossible to turn a profit running the kind of resource-extraction business that is, fundamentally, the only real reason to try and colonize Tatooine in the first place. It's made pretty clear that there's been many, many past attempts to colonize Tatooine to extract its resources, and they've all failed (and in KoToR, which is set long before the "modern" Star Wars era, you show up pretty close to the end of a big mining conglomerate's recent and failing attempt).

Anyways, the Tuskens in KoToR are scornful of these outsiders and their machines because they understand that whole way of life isn't sustainable on Tatooine. It just doesn't work out, long-term; so the Tuskens don't give a shit about or bother to develop diplomatic or trade relationships with off-worlders because the off-worlders will inevitably all pack up and leave in a decade or two, anyways, once all their machines fail them - just to be replaced by a fresh batch of would-be colonizers in a couple more centuries. (The Jawas are less openly hostile but essentially view off-worlders' stuff as a resource for them to extract.) I don't remember if it's explicitly stated but it was definitely implied that the Tuskens have a traditional oral history that goes back centuries if not thousands of years, kind of like Aboriginal Australian tribes.

That's all pre-Disney and so non-canon now, but I'm sure they're aware of it (especially since Disney is working on developing stuff based on that era) and if they keep even some of that in play here (though I don't know how the "where's the missing water" stuff works with that), then Tatooine becomes a more complex place; it really becomes kind of an Afghanistan-analogue, a graveyard of empires where over centuries various colonial powers have repeatedly encountered their own limits. Ultimately, even Boba Fett may find that he can't really change Tatooine, no matter how noble and savior-y his intentions are. I won't be shocked if he and Fennec are leaving Tatooine by the end of the season. (I have this vision of Ming Na Wen patting him on the shoulder and telling him "Forget it, Boba, it's Tatooine.")

I also really liked that mad-lad fighting partner, I hope we see more of him.

Boba's badass sparring partner is played by Joanna Bennett, a stuntwoman with an impressive resume, who has posted that the character is a "she".
posted by mstokes650 at 12:04 AM on January 7 [12 favorites]


This issue is the same one encountered in decades of Star Trek, where everyone seems to be human with some funny bumps on their forehead.

I know this is a joke, but I think this a good starting point to contrast the two franchises. (TNG explained that the reason most/all Trek species look the same is because of a shared ancestry on a planet millions of years earlier. This is why I'm a bit annoyed about recent Trek series designing their aliens to look more Star Wars-like.)

But anyway, the problem that Trek can sometimes have, even though the Federation is made up of many member worlds full of many different alien races, is that because the Federation is dominant in the Alpha Quadrant, even with its Prime Directive in place, sometimes it can feel like a colonial narrative when dealing with "primitive races". The Federation is advanced. The Federation is exploring "strange" "new" worlds that are not "strange" or "new" to the people who live on them.

Star Wars, on the other hand, doesn't really have this. Each trilogy includes an undercurrent of trying to overturn the massive power structure in place at the time. Palpatine overturns the Senate. The rebels fight the Empire. The First Order destroys the New Republic and the resistance have to battle them. Against that backdrop, even though the series is deeply inspired by Westerns, it hasn't really fallen into the trap of a colonialist narrative.

This hews closer, because the Tuskens were always the "other" and effectively the Native Americans in the Western movie canon. People refer to Boba Fett as a Mandalorian but in the live-action series to date, even though yes, Jango *was* a Mandalorian, Boba isn't really a part of that culture. (Yes, yes, I should watch The Clone Wars, but until then... I'll focus on his live action backstory and appearances.) He's one of thousands of clones. He lost his father at a young age. He's been a bounty hunter most of his life, as far as we know. Though he might be born of *a* "dominant culture" in the SW universe, he's not *of* that culture. He hasn't got the Mandalorians at his back waiting for him to make the Tuskens like him so they can steal their desert.

All that said, I can see Favreau is trying to use the tropes and tell a different kind of "stranger works with the natives" narrative and it could still go horribly wrong, but at the moment, I think it's going okay. From a subtextual point of view.

Plot-wise, it needs lots of work.
posted by crossoverman at 2:03 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


Maybe different lizards show different movies? Does he have one with “Singin’ In The Rain”, or do they only have Star Wars movies?
posted by chrchr at 8:04 AM on January 7 [6 favorites]


Also...Were all of the creatures surrounding the dreamquest tree Fett went to intended to be Jawas? Those glowing little eyes sure seemed to indicate such.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:32 AM on January 7


Yeah — check the concept art in the credits at about 49:35, where the are explicitly a number of Jawas visible.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:22 AM on January 7 [1 favorite]




Historical weapons youtuber Matt Easton has just posted a video on Historical Weapons in The Book of Boba Fett.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 12:08 PM on January 7 [2 favorites]


I really like seeing the Tusken culture and lifestyle fleshed out, I'm definitely more interested in that storyline than the modern-day crime lord one. It's definitely treading close to a White Savior story, but I'm willing to give it room to say something interesting.

I never got the impression of Fett as "unstoppable badass" -- I mean, he's tough, but he's no Trandoshan. He always struck me as someone who lived more by his wits, and by picking his battles carefully.

The biggest plot fail for me was the assassin spilling the beans. As deaths in the Star Wars universe go, being eaten by a Rancor is surely one of the quickest and least excruciating. Even if that guild is overrated, he's clearly prepared to die, and surely would know that his employer (or the guild itself) would do the job if his captors don't. I'm prepared for his confession to turn out to be false, but I can't really see Fett and Fennec being taken in by that either.
posted by bjrubble at 2:42 PM on January 7 [3 favorites]


The stick-making scene made me laugh a bit, the way Fett kept looking at the Tusken to check if he's doing it right. I was hoping that one clip in the montage would be the two of them laughing together and drinking wine over a couple of slices of cheesecake, or maybe Fett trying on a series of different outfits while the Tusken made humorous gestures of disapproval.

Re: the water on Tatooine -- I didn't get the impression that the water was mysteriously missing, just that the off-worlders were stealing it, doing an "I drink your milkshake!" on the locals.
posted by Saxon Kane at 8:39 PM on January 7 [3 favorites]


WAS it Black Krrsantan though? I had the same reaction but was that meant to be him or just some other huge black wookiee?
posted by potrzebie at 12:49 AM on January 8


Does he have one with “Singin’ In The Rain”, or do they only have Star Wars movies?

Fingers crossed for "Love is Waiting".
posted by The Tensor at 1:11 AM on January 8


The stick-making scene made me laugh a bit, the way Fett kept looking at the Tusken to check if he's doing it right.

The part where he was scraping off wood from the inside of the curve in the stick made me facepalm.
posted by The Tensor at 1:12 AM on January 8


WAS it Black Krrsantan though? I had the same reaction but was that meant to be him or just some other huge black wookiee?

The Wookieepedia people have it listed as him.

I suppose that the costumes department would not make such a costume for a single thirty-second-long appearance, so I am sure we will see him again.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:07 AM on January 8 [2 favorites]


Although I have yet to read much of the Vader comics, I understand Black Krrsantan had a dramatic confrontation with Obi-Wan at one point. The Kenobi series is slated to be out later this year (although it will be taking place about 15 years earlier than this). Perhaps we will see him there as well.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:23 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


Perhaps the Tusken Raiders are Mandalorians....
posted by jenkinsEar at 8:31 PM on January 8


So, why in the hell would the guards on the train take potshots at them as they speed through?

Why would the colonizing power viciously murder the indigenous population for no reason?

I refer you to all of humanity's history of colonialism. They do it because they consider the Tusken no better than animals and it's easy for them.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:23 PM on January 9 [8 favorites]


So, why in the hell would the guards on the train take potshots at them as they speed through?

I thought we were meant to understand that some Tuskens — maybe not this tribe — had threatened or attacked the train in the past, so now the syndicate running the train thinks of them all as acceptable targets, even if they are just standing around peacefully.

As His thoughts were red thoughts suggests above, this seems totally in character for just about every colonizer-colonized relationship in history.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:44 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


was really just minding his business when he was captured by this tribe

That's a really strange way of saying "was dying in the desert when he was saved by this tribe."
posted by mediareport at 7:03 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]


We can debate how much Morrison being Māori subverts the clear and obvious cliches of the Mighty Whitey/Hollywood Natives tropes in this episode (*waves goodbye to folks dropping down that rabbit hole*) but one thing that is also clear and obvious after these first 2 episodes is that Jon Favreau has mostly just rehashes in his toolkit after being given the reins of the live-action TV Star Wars world. Where are the exciting new stories? Creating Baby Yoda was it, apparently.

Star Wars treated the Tuskens like "Indians" from a 1950's Cowboys and Indians movie, savage raiders who were cowardly, superstitious and violent. This feels like it upgraded to A Man Called Horse or Dances with Wolves. It's progress sure, but it just strikes me as a weird model to adopt in 2022.

Yep. I wouldn't even call it that much progress. The "let's hit all the obvious cliches" approach to the Boba/Tusken story was so predictable and dull and a little gross (the dance scene at the end was at least a pleasant cliche to watch, but the rest were mostly yawners, including the Savages' Drugs Are A Wild Ride thing). It a fun enough watch over dinner, and I've got the Hulu/Disney bundle for another month so I'll keep going, but I have no faith that Favreau has some marvelous subversion of the genre's cliches up his sleeve. He's pure paint-by-numbers at this point.
posted by mediareport at 7:43 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


Man, I can NOT get into this show. I was hoping it would go all GOT (or even Ertugrul) and talk about alliances and business partners and so on- no one ACTUALLY thinks they can drop out of the sky, kill a king, and then just slot into his spot as ruler, do they? Do they? No allies? No income? No armies?

And the Tusken Raiders/ Lawrence of Arabia thing is just... weird and uncomfortable.

I did enjoy the training montage of speeder jumping, though. Apparently people in this universe AREN'T just born knowing how to jump between wobbly vehicles going 110mph.
posted by small_ruminant at 1:09 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


So far it feels like the goal of the show is to prove that Boba Fett is a tough guy, which is not something I care about. The conversation about needing permission to kill a Hutt makes it sound like Fett has a backer. If he does have outside support that the Mos Espa notables don't know about, that's interesting. If he really did just set up camp in Jabba's palace, that is also interesting. Either would be more interesting than trying to guess that pretty basic piece of the plot.

I did enjoy the nightclub owner paying Fett tribute in pennies. In his helmet. Making it useless for the ambush. Oops.
posted by mersen at 5:20 AM on January 12


As first mentioned by mstokes650, the Wookiee is Black Krrsantan; he was introduced in the Darth Vader comic in 2015, created by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca. I mention this because I wasn’t expecting an indie comic writer I follow to casually write:

> Turns out, you either die a hero or live long enough to see the internet get all thirsty over a wookiee you made up.
posted by Pronoiac at 7:09 AM on January 12 [2 favorites]


The conversation about needing permission to kill a Hutt makes it sound like Fett has a backer.

My assumption is that if you don't get permission from the Huttese... government? Ruling crime family? all Hutts will be after you if you kill one of them.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:05 AM on January 12


My first thought: Hutts are an endangered species
posted by Pronoiac at 8:10 AM on January 12 [8 favorites]


The conversation about needing permission to kill a Hutt

The Hutts were fairly well fleshed out in Clone Wars. They operate similarly to the Five Families Mafia system. Which was designed to keep everyone in their territory / monopoly and eliminate those unprofitable gang wars. One key rule was you couldn't kill a boss, or any of his key men, without getting permission from the Families. If anyone did kill a boss without permission, they were supposed to be hunted down and destroyed.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 9:33 PM on February 8


There's a couple of things that complicate the "white savior" narrative. Boba Fett is in an interesting junction of identities. On one hand, the Empire is very fascist. They have a concept of a master race: humans. The Empire, with a few notable exceptions like Admiral Thrawn, is run exclusively by humans. Unlike the relatively multicultural Republic. So in that sense, Boba Fett represents the privileged race. In some respects, he represents the colonizers and oppressors.

But on the other hand, Fett is a clone. Clones were essentially slaves in the Republic and continued to be slaves in the Empire. Fett in some respects was lucky. He was raised in a family for a time, and was not going to be forced into lifelong military service like millions of his clone brothers. But he can still identify with their plight.

And in more ways than one. The Empire eventually eliminated most of the clones. And it looks like he's already suffering from one of the drawbacks of being a clone: rapid aging. Clones, at most, have a lifespan of about 50 years. Assuming they survived the endless battles they were forced into.

For me, these conflicting identities muddy the waters a bit. Plus, there's his personal backstory of how the Jedi killed his father and left Fett, as just a mere child, to fend for himself. Clone Wars had young Boba show up at one point attempting to get his revenge on the Jedi. All of this lore combined makes the story more sympathetic to me. It's not white savior exactly. Something more nuanced. Something like: a member of an oppressed group within the colonizing system escapes and aids an oppressed group outside of the system.

It's not exactly that either, but that's much closer. He certainly isn't Lawrence, or Kevin Costner, or even Paul Atreides. He never came from a place of personal privilege and power. He was never an agent of the system unless you count that one time he worked with the Empire in order to kidnap Solo and collect the bounty.

At any rate, I'm only on episode 2 so will be interesting if they resolve this further. I think it's an interesting situation. And the backstories set up in Clone Wars and the rest of the Filoni-verse add some nuance that's easily missed if you haven't seen them.

And I hope they do address the rapid aging Boba Fett seems to be going through. His father's death was only 22 years prior to the Tusken storyline. He looked like he was 12 when his dad died, and should be looking around 34 now. He obviously doesn't, and it would be nice if they acknowledge the clone aging process at some point as an explanation. That would add a tragic dimension. At 34, he's got less than 20 years left.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 10:26 PM on February 8 [2 favorites]


Psychedelic brain lizards? Really?
posted by medusa at 10:02 PM on February 25 [1 favorite]


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