The second episode of The Book of Boba Fett continues both storylines that were put into motion last week. Robert Rodriguez and John Favreau unravel the story of how its titular character survived the fall into the Sarlacc Pit and his future ventures like the new Daimyo of Tatooine or at least trying to keep some control over Mos Espa. The series tries to juggle the political underworld and flashbacks to Boba’s time stuck in the desert with Tusken Raiders. Last week, it had a bit of a struggle keeping a fine balance between the two. Does it manage to make up for it this time around?
This week’s entry had a strong beginning, as we finally meet the Mayor – who was oddly teased as a mystery but turned out to be someone we saw in the trailers – and who will most likely be Boba Fett’s main antagonists. It was never going to be an easy task to take over Hutt’s territory, but his aim of leading without fear might become a much more difficult task. As the name of the episode, “The Tribes of Tatooine” implies, this episode mainly sets up a lot of elements that’ll probably come into play later on. For now, it still leaves you questioning what the future has in store for the series.
The episode has a very straightforward structure this time around, as it’s split into two halves. We already covered most of the first, but the second continues Fett’s travels into his past. Temuera Morrison continues to carry the show with his reserved but powerful performance, as he has to act alongside the Tusken Raiders that stick to their native tongue. There are bouts of silence that are quite powerful in a media landscape filled with mostly exposition. There’s an interesting concept at play, as we get a closer look at their culture and how they survived in the desert.
Yet, the drawback is that this storyline fills in blanks that most could’ve put together themselves. There’s a lack of connectivity, for now, to understand why we’re spending so much time with the Raiders and how it may connect into the overarching plot. There’s a strong hint at the end, and I believe the pay-off may be quite an emotional one given his strong connection to the sand inhabitants, but it does come at the cost of the series’ overarching pacing.
So far, the biggest selling point of the series is Morrison and the further exploration of Tatooine’s culture. The advantage of long-form storytelling gives us these smaller moments that have a stronger impact on this galaxy being more than just its main heroes, which also makes it stand out from the more character-focused story in The Mandalorian. Even with uneasy pacing, the episode offers some strong moments that continue to explore Fett’s role in the galaxy.
I do believe that we haven’t scratched the surface yet and this episode had a stronger core narrative, even if it was split into two separate storylines. There was a surprising amount of humor thrown in that added some nice levity to the otherwise very reserved approach to storytelling. It’s funny how the series generally focuses on action-packed set pieces with calmer, character, and world-focused elements mixed in-between. Also, who knew that even the desert would have its biker gangs.
The second chapter is a step up from before, even if it still feels like there could’ve been a stronger balance between its two main storylines. Morrison‘s reserved take on the character continues to carry the show but there’s slowly a need for justification seeping in on why we’re spending this much time. Most could’ve connected the dots on how he survived, which makes the dragged-out nature of these flashbacks questionable, for now. Here’s hoping that the next episode offers a clearer picture. For now, while interesting from a world-building standpoint, it does undermine the more interesting crime lord plot that has yet to really get going.