The Book of Boba Fett returns to our screens with a second episode that continues the setup of the season. This is a spoiler review, so please check out our previous coverage of the series HERE.
We get back in the palace with Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison), Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen), and 8D8 talking about the territories Jabba maintained. Mos Espa was divided into three territories: the city center for the trandoshans, the workers’ district for the aqualish, and the starwort and upper sprawl for the Klatooinians. They theorize the hutts are behind the power move by Mok Shaiz. A water monger, Lortha Peel, soon comes in and petitions for help on a cyborg street gang that is stealing his water inventory.
Fett, and Shand with the gammoreans head out to resolve the issue. They meet with the cyborgs who say the water monger overcharges, and there’s no work. Fett pays off their debt at a reduced price and tells Peel to consider it handled, as well as to cut his prices. Fett says if there’s no work, they’ll work for him. and they all head back to the palace.
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We resume our flashback, where we see young Boba Fett watching Slave 1 take off from Kamino. Then, we see an adult Fett on his own bantha! He heads to Mos Eisley to head to the Pyke Syndicate’s place of business. The head Pyke states they can’t pay protection fees to both the speeder bike gang – Kintan Striders/Nikto sand riders, and the tuskens. Fett says he will resolve it, and he (head Pyke) will not hear from the sand raiders again. Fett returns to the Tusken camp to find it burning, with everyone dead. On one of the tents, the Nikto Sand Rider logo.
Fett burns the remains of the raiders, then walks away with his bantha, which ends the flashback. Because he was rudely awoken by Black Krrasantan! Bacta pouring on the floor, Fett is overwhelmed to the point of a Wookiee crush hug. With the help of Shand, the cyborg gang, and the gammoreans, they send Krrranstan into the Rancor Pit. Soon after, we see Shand and Fett talk about strategy, Fett says they need to make a move. Shand says to wait. But they don’t have much of an option, the Twins are here to apologize! They brought a rancor for the rancor pit!
The twins are clearing off Tatooine, stating the worthless rock has been promised to another syndicate. They offer Krrrsantan as tribute to Fett. Fett lets him go, offering the advice to not work with scugholes. The rancor keeper (Danny Trejo) and Fett talk about the rancor’s feelings, and personality. The keeper states they are gentle, emotionally complex beings unless attacked, and it is said the witches of dathomir rode them through the forests. Fett states he wants to ride him, and the keeper allows him to be the human the rancor will imprint on.
From here, Fett, Shand, and the cyborg gang with their phenomenally colored speeders in a land without color to go see mayor Mok Shaiz. The majordomo states after a threat that he may be able to rearrange some appointments, only to go into the office and lock the door. The majordomo speeds away, and Shand sends the cyborgs after him. An admittedly clunky chase scene occurs through the streets of Mos Espa until finally the attendant is taken down in a pile of meilooruns. He tells Fett the mayor is gone, and that he is working with the Pykes. One of the cyborgs spots a plethora of Pykes coming in on the starliner, and reports back to Fett and Shand. After getting off the holo with the cyborg, Shand states this is just the first wave. They’re going to war. Fett states they will be ready.
Showrunner Robert Rodriguez returns to direct this episode of The Book of Boba Fett, and admittedly this is probably the weakest episode, and script so far. Jon Favreau has written, solo and collaboratively all of the episodes for the show, and this one is definitely a weak script. Some moments catch better than others, but I’m trying to figure out why some of the dialogue is so cringy. Boba Fett wants to be a good person, and remain a true to form crime boss. As a result, this episode struggles to maintain that balance. He continues to take in strays, and I’m interested to see how that will play out. It could breed loyalty, but it could also breed resentment.
The split between flashback scenes and the present was better this time around, but it’s to try and drive home the punch the Pykes are here to stay. With Fett’s Tusken group all being killed, we have to wonder what will those scenes contain now? Rodriguez and Favreau have developed a pattern, so those scenes will stick around in each episode. The split between present in 9 ABY, and past in 4 ABY will probably continue as in this episode. And I don’t know what was with the chase scene, but that was entirely way too clunky.
Overall, “The Streets of Mos Espa” for The Book of Boba Fett isn’t a terrible episode. It does introduce Sophie Thatcher as a member of the cyborg gang. She’s definitely got a stand out performance in this episode. The cyborg gang brings some color to the streets of Mos Espa, and I can definitely appreciate that. Four more episodes to go, and so it looks like a war with the Pykes is coming. I wonder how everything will tie together. – Katie Rentschler
The Book of Boba Fett episodes 1-3 is now streaming on Disney+. New episodes air every Wednesday on Disney+.