The Book of Boba Fett, S1E1, “Stranger in a Strange Land”

The Dreams Have Started Again

Temuera Morrison as Boba Fett sits on the throne of Jabba the Hutt

The following contains spoilers for The Book of Boba Fett S1E1, “Stranger in a Strange Land” (written by Jon Favreau and directed by Robert Rodriguez)

The Book of Boba Fett S1E1, “Stranger in a Strange Land,” delves deeply into just who Boba Fett, the man, not the legend, is. This Disney+ show was highly anticipated after the antihero’s explosive introduction in The Mandalorian. Promised to be a sort of Star Wars Godfather crime saga, people were very excited about seeing what the titular bounty hunter would be up to, with his new companion Fennec Shand

Needless to say, the pilot episode is nothing like what one would expect, eschewing classic Star Wars action and adventure and instead delving deep into what makes Boba tick and how trauma has shaped his whole life. 

“Stranger in a Strange Land” opens with Boba Fett in a bacta-tank (which he apparently sleeps in), and we see his “dreams,” which showcase a flashback to his birthplace of Kamino and as well as the traumatic death of his father at the hands of the Jedi. We then see how he escapes from the deadly stomach of the mighty Sarlacc pit (a rare use of horror in a Star Wars film). 

The Book of Boba Fett S1E1 is divided up into two parts: the flashback portion that details his time with the Tusken Raiders; and the current time when he and Shand are taking over Jabba’s empire. Of the two, the far more interesting is that of the Tuskens—we get to see a glimpse into their culture, such as how they treat prisoners and how they are not as savage as we have been led to expect. 

Temuera Morrison as Boba Fett uses his flame thrower to escape the Sarlacc Pitt

Throughout his captivity, Boba gets to know the chieftain’s son, and a fellow alien captive. Boba is beaten and fails to escape several times. Each time, the raiders show Fett just how out of his league he is with the sand people. 

In much the same theme, we also see Boba finding out that he is not as respected as he once was on Tatooine, with the Mayor of Mos Espa openly defying his rule as the new Crime lord. It seems much has changed in the five years Boba has lived among the sand people. As he is collecting tribute in the city, he is attacked by a hit squad sent by the mayor and is viciously beaten—only saved by his two Gamorrean bodyguards, who drag him back to his bacta-tank.  

The episode comes to a conclusion as we see that Boba Fett saves the Tusken Raiders’ son from a terrifying sand beast, who kills Boba’s fellow captive and tries to take out the boy. Boba leaps into action and kills the beast, and rises on its back to swelling music, with the son of the chieftain looking on in fear at the man he has mistreated. 

However, in an odd turn of events, he spares the child and returns to the raider camp, where he is shown respect by the Chief. 

Xavier Jimenez as Tusken Chief hands a cup of water to Temuera Morrison as Boba Fett

Overall this episode was very slow, with a very meandering pace that is more interested in looking at Boba as a man than a legend. Fett is one of the most famous characters in Star Wars and calls for a solo project for him have never waned over the years. In this story, showrunners Jon Favreau Robert Rodriguez seek not to ride the coattails of Boba’s legend but craft a new one. This new Boba Fett is haunted by his past, as he is awoken by Fennec Shand and says, “The dreams have started again.” The Mandalorian already showed that Boba misses his father, and this show compounds that by showing that Fett dreams of his father’s death. 

The Book of Boba Fett is hinting at legacy and how Boba so far has none. He is a clone with no family, yet now he is now seeking the throne and power of Jabba’s empire. Fett seems like a changed man after his near-death experience in the bowels of the Sarlacc; he spared Fennec Shand, he spared Mando, and spared the child of his captors. He also says that unlike Jabba he seeks to rule with respect and not fear. 

The Book of Boba Fett seems to be telling a story of how the trauma that Fett endured has changed him and is now compelling him to create a legacy—one built on respect and power not fear and death. 

Temuera Morrison as Boba Fett and Ming-Na Wen as Fennec Shand fighting guards

While S1E1 delivers in rich themes, and answers to questions such as where Boba has been for five years and how he escaped the Sarlacc, it does move a bit too slow for its own good. Also shockingly bland is the action; when Boba exploded onto screens in Mandalorian S2, we saw him kicking ass and taking names—wiping out a whole squad of stormtroopers. However, the action choreography in his own show is very lacking, with an almost comical sequence of Fennec Shand and Boba fighting a group of shield-wielding assassins. What could have been an exciting scene turned into a generic succession of punches and kicks. 

That being said fans were treated to an excellent scene showing Boba’s escape from the Sarlacc, a horror filled moment as Fett awakes in the dark and dank stomach, where he is greeted by a decomposing body of a Storm Trooper. We get to see him steal oxygen from the trooper then use his flame thrower to tunnel his way out and emerge from the sands. Its a horrifying and very cool moment!

“Stranger in a Strange Land” delivers answers fans have been seeking but does so in a way that does not leave them asking for more. Perhaps Disney would have been better off debuting two episodes at once to showcase more of where the series is going. Boba Fett is a larger-than-life character, and he deserves a larger-than-life series. 

Written by Byron Lafayette

Journalist, film critic, and author, with a (possibly unhealthy) obsession with Pirates of the Caribbean, Zack Snyder and movies in general, Byron has written for many publications over the years, yet never shows his face. To partially quote (and mangle) Batman V Superman "If you seek his face look around you"

One Comment

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  1. Thank you for calling out the seemingly slow action sequences, you are the only reviewer I’ve seen do so. It really was almost comical, and bizarrely out of place.

    I am left hoping it is some sort of “artistic” representation of how the fights seem to Fett, that he has faster perception or such… but the show itself did nothing to support this hope 🙁

    The themes in the ep were really good and meaningful. It makes me hopeful for another season of significant stories for both the main and supporting characters.

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