The Book of Boba Fett Modifies Its Friends in “The Gathering Storm”

This week we’re looking at new friendships! Timeline confusion! Inappropriate rinsing of stomach acids!

 

Recap

Fett is lying in his bacta tank and thinking about his actions following the mass murder of his Tusken tribe. After going to Jabba’s Palace to look in on his ship and finding it guarded, he heads out into the desert with his bantha steed. A moment later, he sees flares in the distance. He follows to their location and finds Fennec’s body left for dead. Boba takes her to a mod shop on the outskirts of Mos Espa and asks the worker there to fix her up or she’ll die. After handing over a sack of credits, the man gets to work and rebuilds Fennec’s insides.

The Book of Boba Fett, chapter four, The Gathering Storm

Screenshot: Lucasfilm

When Fennec wakes, Fett explains that he saved her in order to get her help: He wants to get his ship back, and he can’t manage it alone. They do recon, figure out how many people are guarding and working in the palace, and hatch a plan to steal the ship back. It’s a little touch and go, but they manage to free Slave I from the palace’s docking bay. Fett tells Fennec that she’s now released from his service, but she decides to stick around and see what his next moves are—the first one turns out to be exterminating the Nikto bikers. Then he takes them to the Sarlacc Pit, where he believes his armor is lying in wait. Searching the pit from the ship almost gets them eaten until Fennec explodes the thing with a sonic mine. Boba goes spelunking in its remains, but the armor is nowhere to be found.

Boba explains to Fennec that he wants to get rid of Bib and take over Tatooine’s crime syndicate. He believes that mercenaries are treated poorly by the people handing out their jobs, and is certain he could do better at it. Fennec says that she wants to stay independent, but Fett assures her that he will give her loyalty and a cut of everything they make if she stays with him. She suggests that the Tuskens made him soft, but Boba believes the opposite, and knows what’s possible with a “tribe.”

The Book of Boba Fett, chapter four, The Gathering Storm

Screenshot: Lucasfilm

When Boba wakes up from his bacta nap, he’s informed that he’s now fully healed. While there’s nothing to be currently done, he suggests heading into the city because it’s good for people to see him. At the Sanctuary, Krrsantan is drinking and getting angered at the sight of a crew of Trandoshans enjoying themselves. He gets up and begins to beat and slaughter them, only to have Garsa Fwip try to intervene and appeal to his better nature—Krrsantan isn’t interested. Fett compliments Fwip’s efforts and suggests that Krrsantan needs some work.

Boba and Fennec gather Tatooine’s minor crime organizers at their table to discuss what’s happening with the Pykes. Fett suggests that they all side with him, but they fail to see the value in that stance, so he offers a compromise instead—they refuse to turn against him and work for the Pykes in this fight. They all seem happy enough with that arrangement and leave. Boba tells Fennec he knows these people will only act in their own self-interest, and while they’ve got treasure, what they need is muscle. Fennec notes that treasure can buy them some muscle… and a choice music cue makes it clear that someone is about to hire Din Djarin.

Commentary

The Book of Boba Fett, chapter four, The Gathering Storm

Screenshot: Lucasfilm

Aaand we’re back to 87% flashback. Though, now that he’s all healed and doesn’t need any more treatments, I’m assuming those are over? Since, as we’ve seen, the past is just a bacta-recovery dream away. No more bacta, no more past. (That’s how the saying goes, I’m sure of it.)

If this episode proved anything at all, though, it’s that these shows have absolutely no interest in indicating passage of time in a reliable or sensical way. Fett was living amongst the Tuskens for years? Years? That’s a thing that maybe should have been made a lot clearer? Kind of makes that whole genocide thing seem underserved (which it already was, this just makes it worse). Kind of also makes it really confusing as to how all of these things could have possibly taken so long to come up. Was he living there for years before the Pykes murdered a bunch of them from their train? Were years the amount of time it took Fett to train them for the hijacking? Did the years occur after the train job and he’s only just going to collect their tribute from the Pykes now? WHEN DID YEARS HAPPEN? None of these possibilities are satisfactory because the plotting is extremely shoddy, and I’m gonna stay annoyed about it.

That’s without getting into the fact that it’s an extremely bad look to have Fett understand “tribe” dynamics from the Tuskens and frame that as a new strength he will take into leadership when they all had to die for his story to move forward. They effectively fridged an entire community of indigenous people for this narrative and really didn’t see a problem with it. You could have had him learn this from other Mandalorians, or from, you know, that entire clone army based on his dad—they’re both groups that believe in community and interdependence for strength. Even just a mention of either one would help to take some of the sting off of how the Tuskens are being used here.

The Book of Boba Fett, chapter four, The Gathering Storm

Screenshot: Lucasfilm

I mean, Boba’s already got all those ideals within him, doesn’t he? Mr. Excuse-Me-While-I-Cuddle-This-Bantha-and-Free-Her-Into-the-Desert-to-Go-Make-Tiny-Banthas? Just watching Fennec watch him with this constant expression of gruff dismay, you can see the inner workings of her brain going, sir, do you have any idea what your reputation is outside of this desert, sir, no one would believe me if I told them what you were doing here, sir, I am beside myself, make me deceased again, I cannot stay alive to watch this, did you really just tell me not to push your buttons, SIR.

She’s right to look askance, but she’s also right to stay, like I fully believe that Fennec’s thinking, welp, might as well see how this turns out, and if I’m instrumental in completely reconstructing organized crime in the galaxy, that could be a fun way to spend my next life, I guess. Everything’s weird now, alright? The Empire is gone after only being around for about two decades—anything is possible. Meanwhile, Fett is actually managing to insinuate himself expertly into the workings of things by being The Most Reasonable Guy. It was unclear in those first few episodes, but now we can see that this is what he means by respect—I’ll treat you like a person. I won’t ask for more than what makes sense. In return, I expect you to pay your taxes on time and do your job.

The Book of Boba Fett, chapter four, The Gathering Storm

Screenshot: Lucasfilm

So you know, if Boba Fett wanted to be my boss, I’m extremely down with that.

The idea of cyborg modification shops being like tattoo shops is probably my favorite thing they’ve shown so far on this series? I mean, the modifications done to Fennec are still wild (how can she eat food though?) but the conceit is great regardless, and the attitude of “pfft you need an appointment gtfo” is exactly the kind of vibe you’d get from any tattoo parlor in my neighborhood.

But I’ve also got questions about how Sarlacc stomach acid works and why both Boba and Fennec seemed to think he should just rinse that stomach acid off with water. Maybe a little bit of stomach acid is great for the skin? New Tatooine epidermal treatment? I’m guessing that Jawas would come up with something like that once they came across the corpse. Look for it in your local Mos Espa stores.

Bits and Beskar:

  • After making the comment last week about their use of a plot bit from The Courtship of Princess Leia, I’ve just learned that the book’s author, Dave Wolverton, died a few days ago. A salute to you, good sir.
The Book of Boba Fett, chapter four, The Gathering Storm

Screenshot: Lucasfilm

  • Why do all SF screen narratives with body mod plot lines inevitably feature some guy with a weird multitool arm, like who decided that was useful or cool, it genuinely seems like it would be the opposite.
  • Okay, so the bunny droid switched itself off, but like… is that the equivalent of playing dead, or more like the droid equivalent of suicide? I can’t decide which it would be from the droid’s perspective.
  • Of the two chef droids, one is EV-9D9 (who processed 3PO and R2 at the palace in ROTJ), and the other… is doing a very passable General Grievous impression with those cleavers.
The Book of Boba Fett, chapter four, The Gathering Storm

Screenshot: Lucasfilm

  • Obviously, Krrsantan has some anger at the Trandoshans per the usual feud, but it seems possible that there’s a more personal history at work, and that Trandoshans were perhaps in charge of the gladiator games he fought in? Or that he had to fight them regularly? There’s clearly stuff there.
  • Okay, I get that for dramatic purposes it’s fun to have rancor teen claw up through the floor and scare everyone, but… the ceilings of the cave area aren’t that low and the rancor’s not fully grown yet, so… I mean, I asked my partner how he thought the li’l rancor managed it, and without missing a beat he goes “They gave him a step stool,” which is an excellent visual, but also definitely not what happened.
  • Also, not to get stuck on our lorge friends, but Fett feeds both the rancor and the bantha these tiny bits of meat (which, kinda freaky that banthas eat meat in the first place), but they’re both huge animals and I would really love to know how one actually keeps them fed on a desert world.
  • MANDO DAD REUNION COMING. Sorry, I’m just excited to listen to their theme songs do battle.

See you next week!

Emmet Asher-Perrin hopes that bantha is doing great, though. You can bug them on Twitter, and read more of their work here and elsewhere.

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