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The Book of Boba Fett

The Tribes of Tatooine (The Book of Boba Fett - S01E02) - Live Action Series

Series: The Book of Boba Fett

Title: The Tribes of Tatooine

Season: One

Episode: 2

Original Air Date: January 5th, 2022

Runtime: 50 minutes

Credits: Review & Text: Thomas; Page layout & Design: Chuck Paskovics

Discuss the latest Chapter! (Discussion)

"You've upset my sister!" SPOILERS.

Meet Rancor, the mouse

Reaction to the Book of Boba Fett pilot episode was somewhat more muted than for the other Disney+ Star Wars pilots when it was released last week. Reaction is still very much positive though, so most people seem to like it well enough. Still, the first episode felt weird, had some clunky fight choreography and amateurish editing here and there. So does the second episode find its groove and do we finally know what The Book of Boba Fett is actually about?

Amateurish acting is still a thing

Your appreciation of The Book of Boba Fett will depend on a few things. Do you like style over substance? Do you like it when Star Wars adapts, borrows and generously lifts material from other well known works? Now Star Wars has always borrowed from pre-existing material, but I feel The Book of Boba Fett does it much more so than any of the other Disney+ Star Wars shows. But I am getting ahead of myself, let's talk about plot first.

Not available as an action figure!

The episode has a much longer runtime than the pilot, 50 minutes instead of 37, so you might think it has much more plot. Unfortunately, it doesn't. This is what happens in "The Tribes of Tatooine": Boba interrogates the captured assassin who, after being threatened to get eaten alive by a Rancor (only, there is no Rancor, to the chagrin of Hasbro), implicates the mayor of Mos Espa as being responsible for the hit. Boba goes to the mayor, the mayor denies the allegations, has the assassin shot and instead points Boba to the cantina. Boba goes to the cantina where we meet the sexy orange Twi'Lek and the very sexy Jennifer Beals Twi'Lek who informs Boba that the "twins" have come to claim their deceased cousin's territory.

Oh, look! A EU character! Yay!

Boba leaves the cantina and as he enters the street we see a litter come around a street corner. Boba meets the twins who are accompanied by some security in the form of a EU wookie character who is now officially canon (not counting comics or books).

I want a plushie space hamster as my personal sweatband NOW!!!!!!!!!!

The twins are Hutts of course and Jabba's cousins. They want to take over, which Boba is not agreeing to of course. Things are at an impasse for now, since the Hutts don't want bloodshed (yet). Boba then gets very tired, goes back into his bacta tank and has a good nap, which provides the opportunity to treat the audience to a 30 minute flashback sequence.

Oh look, it's Toshe Station with Camie and Fixer! 'member?

So yes, the episode is really about the flashback and almost nothing happens in the present day storyline, again. In the flashback sequence Boba earns even more respect by the Tuskens. We see how he learns to fight with a gaffi stick in a long training sequence. Then the tribe gets harrassed by some freight train running through the desert which shoots at the Tuskens and kills a few tribe members. Boba gets an idea how to fight back, goes to Toshe Station, beats up the local Hell's Angels chapter, steals all their speeder bikes and returns to the tribe. Now we get a long training montage of Boba teaching the Tuskens how to ride a speeder bike. Then we are treated to a quite well choreographed and exciting train heist sequence when Boba and the Tuskens attack the train. They manage to stop the train, destroying it in the process.

Pykes and spice, like peanut butter and bread.

It turns out that for some reason the Pykes use the train to transport spice across Tatooine, instead of just taking a shuttle to the destination. Boba lets the Pykes go but brokers a deal with them. They are to pay some taxes now when they want to use the Tusken's territory for their spice running route.

Psychedelic lizards would probably enjoy great popularity everywhere.

The Tuskens are so impressed by Boba that the chief gives Boba a lizard as a gift. It turns out the lizard has psychedelic powers. It enters through the nose into Boba's brain (don't ask) and he then goes on your typical Native American vision quest at the end of which he finds a branch of wood. He returns with the branch to the camp where we then get to see a long sequence of how the brand is turned into Boba's own personal gaffi stick. Once it's finished Boba gets his set of robes and it appears Boba is now an official tribe member. And the episode ends.

I wanted to love the episode, I want to love the series. Sadly, I have some serious issues with the show. Again, your own personal enjoyment will depend on whether or not you enjoy style over substance and love seeing things lifted from other movies in a Star Wars setting. The episode is certainly stylish, it gives you all the cameos, callbacks, deep cuts and action you want. But in my opinion it falls short in the story department and stumbles mightily where it matters most: a good plot with a good mystery.

The Mandalorian had a very intriguing mystery with Grogu, his origin, his purpose and even some mystery involving Din Djarin's past. The Bad Batch has Omega as one central mystery, similar to Grogu she certainly serves some purpose which has not been uncovered yet. Nothing of the sort exists in The Book of Boba Fett. Episode 2 made it abdundantly clear to me that The Book of Boba Fett is a variation on Lawrence of Arabia with generous helpings of Dances With Wolves on the side. You need to care about how Boba became to be the person he is in the present day timeline. If you don't because you feel it really needs no explanation at all then the long flashback sequences may at best offer some mild entertainment but nothing of substance really.

Do we need gaffi stick training sequences? Do we need to see how a gaffi stick gets made? Do we need to see Boba's time with the Tuskens at all? Jon Favreau wants to give the Tusken a culture, more depth, which is all good and nice, but I have seen Dances With Wolves, I love this movie, but I really don't need the same thing in a Star Wars setting. Then we have Boba as Lawrence of Arabia who empowers the Tuskens to fight back and to fight for their land. Again, if I want to see that I watch Lawrence of Arabia, I don't need the Star Wars version of that. What I am implying here is that the flashbacks lack any intrigue at all, it's all very, very predictable. Even worse, the present day storyline is all about Boba going from his palace to place a, then place b, then back to the palace, then to place c, then to place b again only to get tired from all the walking so he needs to sleep in his bacta tank.

In my opinion Lucasfilm's or maybe Jon Favreau's crazy insistance on secrecy may have harmed the show. How so? I feel it's a victim of false advertising. Nothing, literally nothing in the teasers hinted at the fact that The Book of Boba Fett would be about Boba's time with a tribe of natives and how he would somehow get spiritual and peace loving and all rational and sensible, instead of being some bad ass anti hero who kills his way to the top of the crime world GTA style. If the marketing had been a bit more honest maybe expectations would have been different.

One big issue I have with the show is Boba's motivation. For anything really. Why would Boba want to become a crime lord instead of being the independent freelancer he has been all the time? Why would Boba, who was captured by the Tuskens as a slave and had to perform slave labor, no longer want to escape, why would he willingly return to the tribe even though a) he now has a gun b) a stick, and c) a speeder bike. I mean, what would you do? Would you willingly return to your captors because you now suffer from Stockholm syndrome or would you give Camie a big kiss, steal the clothes from one of the Hell's Angels bikers, hop on the speeder bike and ride to the next town to get off this miserable planet? Or at least go back to the nearest town where you can now work on getting your spaceship back? Why would anyone return to the Tuskens?

And let's talk about the Pykes. Imagine you are a Pyke, a member of some criminal organization that controls galactic drug trade. Some natives with rifles on some backwater planet manage to take out one of your spice transports, costing you bazillions of credits. Then they have the audacity to demand a tax from you if you want to keep using that route. What would you do? Option a) you pay the tax. Option b) you ready two or three ships and then blast the tribe to oblivion with an airstrike. Problem solved for all eternity. Drug cartels are known for their philanthropy and peace loving nature, right?

This lack of proper motivation for Boba and even various other characters/factions makes the flashbacks very, very tedious for me. Also, I am not in the least interested in Tuskens. If you are then the show is certainly a gold mine for you. But if you are not and if you feel the flashbacks are superfluous since you don't need to see how Boba learns to fight with a gaffi stick or teaches Tuskens to ride speeder bikes, then the show becomes quite tedious in places. It will also depend if you want Boba to see as Lawrence of Arabia who helps natives fight back and as John Dunbar who dances with natives around the fire.

Another weird thing is the acting. Some of Temuera's line readings felt a bit off to me. He manages intense and threatening just fine, but I feel some of his more normal lines felt a bit off. Then there's the weird receptionist in the mayor's office who felt completely out of place. In this moment the show looked and felt like a fan movie. Very weird.

Many people wanted to see Hutts in Boba Fett... they got them. They are as disgusting and creepy as you'd like them to be, the poor space hamster sweatband is comedy genius, but I have to say, boy, did the Hutts look bad. A notch better than the abomination we got in the A New Hope special edition, but the puppet used in Return of the Jedi looks a lot better than the wonky CGI Hutts almost 40 years later. The show is on a budget of course, a generous budget, but still less than a movie usually has. You see it in those scenes. I suppose animatronic/puppet Hutts would have cost even more, so they resorted to CGI. It's understandable, but still, it looks bad. In contrast the CGI Ithorian looked quite good.

Also, why do the Hutt twins come to Tatooine now? Years after Jabba's death? Why didn't they come to lay claim on their cousin's territory when Bib seized power? That, quite frankly, makes no sense at all and feels like very bad writing to me. What is the motivation of the Hutts to wait for four or five years and to let Bib do his thing and only to appear when Boba takes over? That does not make any sense to me at all.

On the plus side the action this time was great. Even though the attack on the train does not really add anything to the story, the sequence itself was well choreographed, exciting and one of the best action sequences in any of the Disney+ shows yet. Let's not try to think of the train heist in Solo of course, but still, it was well done and miles above and beyond what the pilot offered.

So where does that leave things? I feel underwhelmed. I may be in the minority here, it seems "oh look, Black Krrsantan", "oh look, Toshe Station!", "oh look, it's Camie and Fixer!" is more than enough to get people excited. I feel it's all style over substance though. I don't mind the callbacks, the cameos, the nostalgia, I like it like anyone else does, but story should always come first. And very little actual happens. The flashbacks are entirely predictable, the present day storyline is just Boba walking around town, getting tired of all the walking and thus taking a nap in a bacta tank. I really hope the remaining five episodes will drastically cut back on the flashbacks, focus a lot more on the actual story that matters and also become a bit grander, if it's all just about local crime on Tatooine instead of getting involved with Crimson Dawn or some other organization that makes this bigger than just Tatooine I would probably feel very underwhelmed. And lastly, why did Robert Rodriguez lie so blatantly about how much the teasers were showing? We are now two episodes in and we still haven't seen all the scenes from the teasers. It just makes no sense to lie about any of that. Also, I really wish Lucasfilm would resort to honest advertising and marketing. Star Wars Resistance greatly suffered from that as well. The marketing said one thing... only then the show was about something entirely else. Things like that can get you a bad Cinemascore in the movie world. Tell people what to expect. I expected very different things after the teasers.

Added: January 5, 2022
Category: The Book of Boba Fett
Reviewer: Thomas
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