The Stage Is Set for War

The plot of The Book of Boba Fett continues to unfurl at a surprisingly slow pace for a seven-episode series. In the third episode, “Chapter 3: The Streets of Mos Espa,” Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) finds himself dealing with two very different threats, and new information is revealed about the tensions rising between the different sections of Mos Espa. The episode was written by Jon Favreau and directed by Robert Rodriguez and it bears all of the hallmarks of Rodriguez’s more family-friendly films.

In the opening of the episode, 8D8 (Matt Berry) tells Fett and Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) about the little enterprise that Mok Shaiz has been running in the wake of Jabba the Hutt’s disposal. The city has been split into three districts, each overseen by a different family, and all are padding the pockets of Mok Shaiz.

Lortha Peel (Stephen Root), a water-monger, arrives to complain about a street gang of youths with cybernetic modifications that have been stealing his water supply, and he asks Fett to resolve the issue for him. So they set out to track down this rag-tag band of troublemakers and find them loitering on the streets of Tatooine and drinking the stolen water. The brightly colored hoodlums, led by Drash (Sophie Thatcher) and Skad (Jordan Bolger), balk at Fett’s attempt to convince them to get jobs. Apparently, there are no jobs in the worker’s district and they steal the water because Peel has been gouging water prices and selling it for an exorbitant rate. Rather than punish them for theft, Fett pays off Peel and offers the street gang employment. Because Boba Fett clearly went to the same school of leadership that Batman went to. Why fight the kids when you can just adopt them?

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In the bacta tank, Boba Fett reflects on his last days with the Tuskens. He ventures out to Mos Eisley to collect payment from the Pykes on behalf of the Tuskens. As he makes his way through the streets, there are two little Easter eggs for The Mandalorian: Peli Motto and her pit droids stroll by in the background, and the Stormtrooper helmets from “Chapter 5: The Gunslinger” are being mounted onto pikes. Naturally, the Pykes have already paid off the speeder bike gang, who claim ownership of the Tusken lands, and refuse to pay two parties for protection.

As Fett returns to the Tusken camp, he sees smoke in the distance and finds that the tribe has been attacked and murdered in his absence. It is disheartening that after two episodes of building up the Tuskens and presenting them with the respect that they previously hadn't been afforded to them in Star Wars media, they were reduced to a point of tragedy for the lead. To a certain degree, this was predictable given how heavily they leaned into this trope—his capture and later adoption into the tribe culminates in him becoming the last of the tribe—but it’s no less frustrating. The Tuskens have always been coded as the indigenous peoples of Tatooine and the show spent two episodes pulling from indigenous cultures, only to kill them off-screen to motivate the main character.

As Fett’s flashback/dream comes to a somber close, he is ripped out of his bacta tank by Black Krrsantan (Carey Jones), the fearsome warrior Wookiee who is at the disposal of the twin Hutts. Krrsantan poses quite the challenge for Fett, not only because he’s a massive Wookiee who is ready to punch, claw, and chomp him to death, but because he caught Fett in a vulnerable position and the ex-bounty hunter is pretty useless in a fight without his armor and weapons. Luckily the cavalry arrives in the form of his newly employed biker gang and the Gamorrean guards. They manage to distract Black Krrsantan enough to lure him away from Boba Fett so that Fennec can drop him into the rancor pit below. Who needs a rancor when you can have a screaming Wookiee under your throne?

Now, about that rancor. In the wake of Boba Fett’s second assassination attempt, Fennec attempts to talk some sense into him about ruling and leadership, but their breakfast conversation is interrupted by the arrival of the twins. The Hutts inform Fett that they are leaving Tatooine and have no intention to contest the throne now that they have learned a new piece of information. The seat of power has already been promised to another syndicate and they want no part in the oncoming war. As a parting gift and an apology for trying to kill him, they present Fett with a rancor whose keeper is played by none other than Danny Trejo. Rather than kill Black Krrsantan, Boba opts to let him go—undoubtedly forming an ally for a future showdown. Once the Hutts depart, Boba Fett heads down to the rancor pit to learn about his new pet and chat with the keeper about rancors. It’s an oddly placed scene in the middle of chaos, but it serves as a nice palette cleanser in between the Black Krrsantan fight and a fun car chase.

Boba and Fennec make a trip to visit Moz Shaiz and his Majordomo (David Pasquesi) attempts to make a quick escape. The street gang take off after him on their brightly colored speeder bikes and wreak a little more havoc in the streets of Mos Espa. They eventually apprehend the Majordomo and learn that Moz Shaiz has left the city and has formed an alliance with the Pykes. Because, of course, the Pykes are up to no good.

With three episodes behind us, there are some lingering questions about what exactly Boba Fett’s motivation is. He considers himself an ex-bounty hunter and he’s taken up this mantle as a crime boss in Mos Espa, but he is not good at it. At all. For a man who has been nearly assassinated twice, he seems far more content with finding work for a street gang of millennials and playing with his new pet rancor. I would happily watch hours of Boba Fett learning to ride rancor, but I want to know what inspired him to take over the Palace, become a leader, and stick around. They have the Firespray, he and Fennec could go anywhere, but they choose to stay and rule a contentious seat of power. A war with the Pykes is most assuredly on the horizon, so hopefully, Boba Fett figures out how he wants to lead, because in his current state—the odds are in the Pykes’ favor.

Rating: B+

The first three episodes of The Book of Boba Fett are streaming now on Disney+.

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Maggie Lovitt (148 Articles Published)

Maggie Lovitt is a lover of all things Star Wars and pop culture. She is a Weekend News Editor at Collider. During the week she is the Managing Editor of Entertainment at Your Money Geek. In her free time, she is the host of Starbucks Lovers: A Taylor Swift Podcast, a co-host at The Outer Rim Beacon and Petticoats & Poppies: History Girls at the Movies, and the host of Let's Talk About Star Wars on YouTube. When she's not wreaking havoc on the internet, she can be found writing screenplays and novels. Maggie is a member of the Hollywood Critics Association, as well as an actor and member of the Screen Actors Guild.

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