All is not well on the streets of Mos Espa. Star Wars has always portrayed Tatooine as a seemingly lawless, highly dangerous place to be, and since Jabba the Hutt’s demise, not much has changed. Even Boba Fett, the assumed leader of Jabba’s territory, isn’t safe. In Chapter 3 of The Book of Boba Fett, “The Streets of Mos Espa,” audiences embark on an emotional journey that finally begins tying the show’s past and present storylines together.
The episode’s ending reveals Boba Fett may have inherited more than he bargained for when he relieved “Master Bib” of his throne.
There will be spoilers for The Book of Boba Fett Chapter 3.
War is coming
As a leader, Boba Fett has yet to earn the respect of the Mos Espa people. Informed of a biker gang stealing possibly Tatooine’s most valuable resource — water — Fett and Fennec Shand take to the streets to confront the “youths.” He ends up hiring them, which comes in handy later when the Hutts send Black Krrsantan to assassinate him in his own palace. But before Fett and his protectors can defeat and imprison Krrsantan, Fett’s flashback to the past reveals his tribe of Tusken Raiders was slaughtered, and the Pykes are to blame.
Fett acquires a rancor, sets Krrsantan free, and learns The Mayor has been working with the Pyke Syndicate, who believe Boba’s territory belongs to them. Fett disagrees wholeheartedly.
There will be war. And Boba Fett has seen what war can do to a galaxy full of innocents. If he did not believe stopping the Pykes was the right thing to do, he would not waste his time. It’s possible he doesn’t have much of it left.
A new perspective on the Tusken Raiders
Chapter 3 excelled particularly in its pacing, especially emotionally. The loss of the Tusken Raiders was heartbreaking, and was given the stillness and time it deserved. But it did not linger. And to have such a somber moment interrupted by a quick, violent pull back to the present set the tone of what remained of the episode perfectly. When the Tuskens fell, their attackers went on their way. Now, no matter where he turns, Boba Fett may never be safe again.
The brutal demise of the Dune Sea tribe holds a kind of emotional weight for viewers that many likely didn’t expect. Perhaps that’s the point. A few years ago, it wouldn’t have been easy to find a Star Wars fan who sided with the Tusken Raiders on anything. The Mandalorian kickstarted a fandom-wide shift in perspective when it portrayed interactions with Tuskens in a much more humanizing light.
The Book of Boba Fett continued the upward trajectory when it introduced audiences to a tribe of Tusken Raiders prone to violence only as a means of protecting and benefiting their own. These raiders were not the same beings who tortured Shmi Skywalker to her end. These were beings with a culture; values; customs. Fett earned their respect. He was adopted into their ways. They cared about him, and he returned the gesture.
Boba Fett’s Motivation
Every story’s main character needs a motivation to prompt their actions. Fett’s refusal to let the Pykes overtake his throne stems not from a need to keep the power he feels he’s losing, but instead from his knowledge that the syndicate has no respect for anyone but itself. He has seen the lengths the Pykes will go to assert dominance over everyone and everything it has it’s eye on. His hold on Mos Espa is not something he is willing to allow the Pykes to easily take from him.
Boba Fett may be a broken, disheartened man. But he knows what he stands for. He will not allow unnecessary death to reign in his territory again.
A different kind of Fett
The Book of Boba Fett is still not a story about a bounty hunter hungry for power as many assumed it would be. It is the story of Boba Fett — not the Fett everyone assumes him to be, but instead the Fett he chooses to be.
His bacta pod dreams are not a derailment of the plot but rather the foundation on which the entirety of his character are built. Boba Fett is no longer who you think he is. He may not have emerged from the Sarlaac a changed man, but his time in the desert changed the way he wants others to see him … and the person he wants to become.
Who he’ll be by the end of the story, only time will tell.
The Book of Boba Fett is streaming now on Disney+.