Star Wars Explained is our ongoing series where we delve into the latest Star Wars shows, movies, trailers, and news stories to divine the franchise’s future. This entry explores Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett Chapter 1 (“Stranger in a Strange Land”) and considers the suspects seeking Lord Fett’s head. Yes, prepare for SPOILERS.
Escaping one’s past is an impossible task. You may be the baddest bounty hunter in the galaxy, but you’re still somebody’s son, and when you close your eyes at night, your nightmares are populated with your father’s severed head. Much of Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett‘s premiere episode is preoccupied with known yet unseen history. It’s a neat reminder of the hell our hero has journeyed, but it’s his present-day quest to replace Jabba the Hutt that has us the most ponderous.
Why does Lord Fett (Temuera Morrison) seek the crime boss throne? Who has the most to lose if he achieves this dream?
The Book of Boba Fett Chapter 1, entitled “Stranger in a Strange Land,” hides those questions within a very fan-servicey flashback. Finally, we witness Boba Fett pull himself free from the Sarlacc pit. It looks mostly like we thought it would. We then see the Jawas peel his armor from his nearly catatonic body, their future resting with Cobb Vanth in The Mandalorian. And the bulk of the flashback solidifies Fett’s relationship with the Tusken Raiders, explaining how he got that nifty, Stormtrooper-crackin’ gaffi stick.
The series has one goal, to justify those childhood fantasies and establish the background character as a significant element in the Star Wars tapestry. It’s a fun romp for folks who grew up squeezing their Boba Fett action figure, knowing he’s cooler than George Lucas ever allowed him to be. Director Robert Rodriguez tackles Chapter 1 with a “So There” intensity, the action validating expanded universe make-believe. For many, until it’s sealed in live-action, it’s not legit.
Boba Fett, the Wannabe Daimyo
While the flashback sequences in The Book of Boba Fett Chapter 1 offers vindication for longtime obsessives, they don’t really deliver anything we didn’t know regarding Boba Fett’s larger story. He got out of the pit. It was hard. Good for him.
The real interest lies in what comes next. Fett is attempting to entrench himself on Tatooine. He’s not alone in this endeavor. Jabba the Hutt’s absence created a vacuum, and many gangsters have risen to power. Fett tells his bodyguard sidekick Fennec Shand (Ming–Na Wen) that he would like to rule with respect, not fear. She basically tells him, “Good luck with that.” But she doesn’t depart his side. A life debt is a life debt.
With assistance from Jabba’s old 8D8 droid (voiced by Matt Berry), Fett demands the Tatooine underworld to pay tribute. Some do. Dokk Strassi (voiced by Rodriguez) offers a curtsy as well as a Wookie’s pelt. Some don’t. The Mos Espa mayor sends an underling (David Pasquesi) in their stead and requests a tribute from Fett for setting up shop so close to his town.
Much to Shand’s disappointment, Fett doesn’t kill the messenger and lets him slink away. He informs Fett to expect “another delegation in the near future.” Dun dun duuuun.
Fett and Shand venture into Mos Espa to meet with Garsa Fwip (Jennifer Beals) and offer her casino their protection (hey, Max Rebo!). She greets them with smiles and coin, but beneath that gleam lurks a threat. When they leave her place, they’re immediately greeted by masked killers, credited as “Night Wind Assassins.” The name doesn’t ring any bells within Star Wars lore, but their get-up looks somewhat familiar.
Who Unleashed the Night Wind Assassins?
The Night Wind Assassins could serve several masters. They could belong to Dokk Strassi. He may have come bearing gifts, but the one-time Boba Fett boss can’t possibly feel good groveling at his former employee’s feet. Fett’s quick death would save him long-lasting embarrassment.
These assassins could also belong to the Mos Espa mayor. Their envoy told Fett to expect another delegation. The words may have been innocent enough, but the subordinate was spitting venom. The mayor is going to be a problem.
Garsa Fwip’s smile hid fangs. The coins she filled inside Boba Fett’s helmet were most likely a distraction. Look at these pretty objects and pay no attention to the killers on the rooftops.
However, the Night Wind Assassins’ attire and weaponry look similar to the Crimson Dawn duds seen in Darth Vader #15 from Marvel Comics. Not only that, but Ludwig Göransson‘s main theme for The Book of Boba Fett contains an echo of John Powell’s Crimson Dawn theme from Solo: A Star Wars Story. These goons will feature prominently if this series is indeed a deep dive into Star Wars‘ criminal lore.
The Dangling Crimson Dawn Plot Thread
As we saw in Solo: A Star Wars Story, the ex-Sith Darth Maul (Ray Park) ran the Crimson Dawn crime syndicate behind the Emperor’s back. Maul positioned Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany) as the faux clan leader, but when he got dispatched during that film’s climax, Maul promoted Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) to run things. Sadly for Maul, in Star Wars: Rebels, he finally discovered that he was the lesser fighter when Obi-Wan Kenobi struck him down in the desert.
The Book of Boba Fett suddenly offers a chance to snip that dangling Solo plot thread. Maul may be dead, but Crimson Dawn is probably thriving under Qi’ra’s command. Boba Fett playing Hutt on Tatooine will quickly gain her attention. The Night Wind Assassins being stage one in her strike to put the bounty hunter in his place.
The Book of Boba Fett Chapter 1 ends with Fennec Shand capturing one of the assassins alive. We should know rather soon who pulls this thug’s leash. If not Qi’ra, then somebody is working for her. She should rule as Maul did, from the shadows.
The Fett Family Legacy
The answers behind the attack are on their way. The bigger question, though, could be a longer-time coming. Why does Boba Fett want to rule in Jabba’s place? Is he simply tired of living paycheck-to-paycheck? In Fett’s nightmares, we may peek at a glimmer of understanding.
It all goes back to daddy, Jango Fett. He owes his father a legacy. Jango birthed the Clone Wars from his genetics. What can Boba Fett do to equal such a measure?
Stealing a piece of the galaxy through its underworld is quite the flex. It’s a move that would elicit pride and approval from Jango. Boba Fett’s nightmares may back off if he can keep that throne warm for longer than a week.
Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett Chapter 1 is now streaming on Disney+.