Saturday, January 22, 2022

‘The Book of Boba Fett’ Recap: Episode 1 “Stranger in a Strange Land”

The long-awaited premiere of The Book of Boba Fett is finally here, a Star Wars live-action series that sees the infamous, legendary bounty hunter reinvent himself on Tatooine alongside the mercenary Fennec Shand. The first episode, “Stranger in a Strange Land,” tells two stories simultaneously — the current state of Boba Fett’s new rule on Tatooine and what really happened to Fett after he was eaten by the Sarlacc in Return of the Jedi (a question that has been plaguing fans since his surprising revival in The Mandalorian). Let’s take a look at some of the major takeaways from the first episode.

Surviving the Sarlacc

Boba Fett is plagued by nightmares as he restlessly sleeps inside of a bacta pod (which is why he’s looking far less rough than he did in The Mandalorian). And thus, an untold story that has been a mystery to Star Wars fans since 1983 is finally shown. We see Boba Fett as he finds himself in the belly of the Sarlacc. After stealing some air from the breathing tube of a lifeless stormtrooper, Fett uses his flamethrower to escape, and he digs his way through the sand to the surface.

He passes out from exhaustion afterward. As night falls, a pack of Jawas arrives in their sandcrawler and pilfers all of his armor (which would then end up in the hands of Cobb Vanth, as seen in The Mandalorian). Later, Tusken Raiders find him and take him prisoner. Fett is forced to walk behind the banthas on foot through the deserts of Tatooine. The Tuskens keep him tied up at their encampment, but he manages to break free from his bonds and makes a run for it. The Tuskens quickly catch up to him, and one of them challenges him to a fight, easily defeating him with their swift movements.

Just a day in the life of Tatooine’s new crime lord

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Fennec wakes Boba Fett up and tells him that it’s time to start the day. Residents have arrived to pay their respects. Fett takes his spot on the throne with Fennec standing beside him. Dokk Strassi comes to welcome him to Mos Espa, which is quite awkward for both of them considering that he used to work for the Trandoshan. The mayor’s majordomo then presents himself in the mayor’s stead, though Fett is displeased to find that he has not come bearing a tribute. Rather, the mayor expects Fett to pay him. (“What? I’m the crime lord. He’s supposed to pay me.”) They send him away empty handed.

Two Gamorrean guards are brought in next. They used to work under Jabba and then Bib Fortuna, and they refused to surrender after both were killed. While they have been brought in as tributes, Fett proclaims that torture is not a part of his agenda as a ruler, despite 8D8’s insistence that he needs to project strength in order to be accepted as a daimyo. Instead, Fett sees an opportunity in the undying loyalty of the guards, and he offers them a job — which Fennec thinks is a bad idea.

Ruling with respect

Fennec continues to be confused by Boba Fett’s choices as they venture out into the streets of Mos Espa, something that Jabba rarely did. While she insists that he should be brought out on a litter, Fett has no interest in being carried around like a noble. Jabba may have ruled with fear, but Boba Fett intends to rule with respect.

In an effort to keep Jabba’s empire intact, they have begun to make their rounds. They pay a visit to Garsa Fwip at the Sanctuary, but shortly after they leave, they’re ambushed by a group of assassins. They manage to gain the upper hand once the guards arrive, and Fennec captures one of them to bring in for interrogation.

Fett proves himself

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Fett is weakened after the surprise attack from the assassins, and he tells the Gamorrean guards to get him back to the bacta pod. He continues to dream, and we see more of his time with the Tuskens. A Tusken child brings Fett and the other prisoner, a Rodian, to dig for water in the relentless heat of the desert. The Rodian eventually comes across a strange body part, which turns out to be attached to an angry sand creature. While the Tusken, the Rodian, and the massiff that accompanied them seem unable to do anything, Fett manages to kill the creature with his chains.

The Tusken returns to the encampment, triumphantly holding the head of the sand creature. Fett walks beside them, holding his chains. The child parades around with the head, taking all of the credit for the kill. However, the leader of the Tuskens seems to recognize that it was likely Fett that defeated the creature. They walk over to him and hand him water.

The next episode of The Book of Boba Fett will premiere exclusively on Disney+ on Wednesday, January 5. Stay tuned for our weekly coverage, including episodic recaps and more.

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