“Chapter 2: The Tribes of Tatooine” spends more time in the past than the present, fleshing out and humanizing one of Star Wars’ oldest and most underdeveloped races, while delivering big in the action department.
This recap of The Book of Boba Fett season 1, episode 2, “Chapter 2: The Tribes of Tatooine”, contains spoilers.
You’ll recall that last week, Boba Fett’s tenure as daimyo of Tatooine didn’t exactly start as planned, and he was almost assassinated by a bunch of free-running ninjas. Luckily, thanks to help from his new Gamorrean guards and his faithful Bacta tank, he was able to survive, and what’s more is that Fennec Shand was able to capture one of the would-be killers. That’s where “Chapter 2” of The Book of Boba Fett begins, with Boba interrogating this prisoner, who remains tight-lipped other than to curse him in Huttese. 8D8 informs Boba that the man is of the Order of the Night Wind, a sect of very expensive assassins-for-hire with a sterling reputation. He won’t talk, since he fears no man. Fennec suggests he might fear the rancor, though.
The Book of Boba Fett season 1, episode 2 recap
She’s right. He’s so terrified of the rancor that he confesses he was sent by the mayor before the gate even opens to reveal the beast, which is perhaps just as well since there’s no beast there (Luke killed it The Return of the Jedi, remember?).
Fennec proposes going to see the mayor, and despite the faux-polite objections of his majordomo, Boba waltzes inside with Fennec, his guards, and the captured assassin, to find the mayor, an Ithorian named Mok Shaiz, playing dumb. Or perhaps he’s wiser than anyone realizes. Either way, he has the assassin killed — the Order of the Night Wind isn’t allowed to operate outside of Hutt space — and offers Boba some words of wisdom. Running a family is apparently much more complicated than bounty hunting, and he advises Boba to go to Garsa’s Sanctuary to see what he means.
What he means, in a roundabout way, is that there’s a leadership dispute. Jabba’s cousins, the so-called “Twins”, have decided they’re entitled to their relative’s former territory. They arrive on a bowing litter carried by several suffering assassins and have a shaggy-looking black-haired Wookie gladiator in their employ who seems to be itching for a fight. But one doesn’t break out straight away. Bloodshed is apparently bad for business, so the matter can be dealt with later, though one assumes bloodshed isn’t particularly far away.
When Boba returns to the Bacta tank, we return to the parallel narrative gimmick, continuing the flashbacks that detail Boba’s time earning respect among the Tusken Raiders. He learns to fight like them, with their gaffi sticks, and he begins to smile at their natural, free way of life. When a train roars past and its occupant shoot many of the tribe dead from the windows, Boba helps to incinerate their dead, then offers to take a rifle and a stick and stop the train himself. He acquires the Raiders transports by slapping around the Star Wars equivalent of a biker gang and stealing their speeders, and then teaches them to ride in an extended comedy sequence that got some laughs from me.
This is all setting up a big extended action sequence which is a delight, especially in how it builds a sense of camaraderie between the Tuskens (not to mention how it shows off the budget.) The train’s occupants are smuggling spice for one of the galaxy’s criminal syndicates and were indiscriminately murdering the “uncivilized” Tuskens to protect their route. Boba tells them that they’re no longer free to pass through the Dune Sea, the ancestral home of the Tuskens, without paying a toll, and that the fact they’re being left alive to explain this to their superiors is a token of “their civility”. It’s a canny line, that, and not only relevant in a galaxy far, far away.
Boba is given a gift for his leadership in taking down the train — a lizard that promptly crawls up his nose and triggers more visions of Kamino and escaping the Sarlacc pit. He wanders out into the desert, delirious, and returns with a big stick. His vision quest apparently successful, he’s clothed by the Tuskens and given his own gaffi stick, forged from the branch he returned with. Having been made an honorary Tusken, he leads the rest of the tribe in a ceremonial dance to close out the episode.