‘The Book of Boba Fett’ Episode 3 Recap: The Streets of Mos Espa

·9 min read

“The Book of Boba Fett” turns the page to its next chapter. We’re still on Tatooine, land of sand and blood. And we’re still following the parallel narrative paths established in the first two episodes – one following Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) and his compatriot Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) as they navigate the political landscape on the planet (full of intrigue, subterfuge, and rubbery monsters); the other establishing Fett’s history on the planet Tatooine following the events of “Return of the Jedi.”

But what did we learn about Fett’s journey, both in the past and in the present? And, with the first season nearing its midpoint (weirdly the show runs for seven episodes), are there any more clues pointing towards its endgame? Read on to find out!

Massive spoilers for “The Book of Boba Fett” follow. Blast into hyperspace now if you want to avoid!

Uneasy Alliances

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Lucasfilm/Disney+

The episode begins with a creepy spider-droid skittering around outside Jabba’s Palace, now Boba Fett’s palace. Will it forever be Jabba’s Palace? Is this like the Staples Center, where nobody will ever call it by its preposterous new name (the Crypto.com Arena)? (Side note: the Sears Tower is now the Willis Tower. Not that anybody calls it that either.) Anyway, inside the palace the fussy torture droid 8D8 (voiced by the incomparable Matt Berry) is describing the current situation on Mos Espa to Boba Fett and Fennec Shand.

“After the sail barge disaster,” 8D8 explains, three factions divvied up Mos Espa, with separate gangs controlling different areas of the city (including the space port – that one is probably important). Together, the factions formed an “uneasy alliance.” 8D8 also states that the mayor, Mok Shaiz, probably didn’t send the ninja assassins that took up so much time in the first two episodes. Fennec thinks it was probably the Twins – Jabba’s cousins and heirs to the Hutt dynasty. But before they can talk any further, a visitor stops by the palace.

It’s a water merchant played by the great character actor Stephen Root (with a big bushy beard). He’s complaining about some hoods stealing his water; they’re half-man/half-machine (in his words), augmented by droid parts. And they’re no good hooligans! Also, he tells Boba Fett that “nobody respects you.” Boba takes it pretty well, all things considered.

They head into Mos Espa at night, which is an altogether moodier and more atmospheric version of the city. Jawas are lurking in the shadows, their yellow eyes burning like embers. Boba Fett and Fennec reach the gang that has been terrorizing the water monger’s business. They have a cool look, with various body parts replaced by droid equivalents. One of them is Sophie Thatcher, a breakout actress from Showtime’s “Yellowjackets.” They talk about how they’d like to work but there is no work, and they comment on the unfair prices the water monger is charging for the precious liquid. Their bikes are all primary colors, like something out of “Dick Tracy” or George Lucas’ own “American Graffiti.” (Can we please get Paul le Mat into the “Star Wars?” It’s not too late!) The gang sort of feels like characters that wouldn’t have been out of place in “Alita: Battle Angel,” the James Cameron-produced sci-fi epic from a few years ago that Disney now owns thanks to their absorption of Fox. It makes sense, too. “Alita” was directed by Robert Rodriguez, who also helmed this episode.

Finally, Boba Fett says that the gang will now work for him, which is a very cool thing to do. Boba Fett tosses the water monger some coins and says that he shouldn’t charge that much. Boba Fett’s cool new Technicolor gang rides off with him.

Back to the Bacta Tank

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Lucasfilm/Disney+

It wouldn’t be an episode of “The Book of Boba Fett” without some quality time in Boba Fett’s regenerating bacta tank. It’s amazing that we’re three episodes in and we haven’t really been given the full download on why he’s in the tank. Is it just the residual damage from being in the Sarlacc and his time in the desert? Or is there something more at play here? There’s precedent for the latter – in an earlier short story (now relegated to “Legends” status), Boba’s time in the Sarlacc gave him a form of cancer that was actively working to kill him. Whether or not that’s the case here remains to be seen.

Anyway he sees the watery clone fields of Kamino, before picking up more or less where his last flashback left off – he’s traveling on a Bantha across the desert. He arrives at Mos Eisley and asks “where the Pykes do business.” The Pykes are the fishy creatures from last week’s train robbery episode. He meets one of their leaders and talks about protection. Apparently the Pykes are also paying protection to the gang that Boba Fett has watched terrorize Tatooine with their thuggery and egregious graffiti tagging. Fett tells the Pyke leader that the Tusken Raiders have ruled over these sands since the beginning of time. The Pyke leader doesn’t care; he isn’t going to pay twice. Boba says he’ll sort it out and leaves.

When Boba Fett gets back to the camp, it’s been destroyed. Tusken Raiders and Banthas are dead. He is beside himself. He builds a funeral pyre and throws his newly crafted staffs into the flame. This sequence is really touching and an incredibly powerful inversion of the moment in the first “Star Wars” when Luke returns to the bombed out home of Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru. But before Boba Fett can get too lost in his feelings, his bacta tank is rudely opened and he’s tossed to the ground.

It’s Black Krrsantan (Carey Jones), the intimidating Wookiee bounty hunter introduced in the last episode! In the comic books, Krrsantan and Boba Fett have a long, complicated, very punchy history. There is a massive fight, with Krrsantan throwing Boba Fett all around his chambers. Eventually Boba Fett’s new gang shows up. It’s also worth mentioning that they all have cockney British accents which gives them a kind of Dickensian street urchin vibe that is very lovable. Anyway, they try to fight Krrsantan too. He’s unstoppable. Finally they get him near enough to the rancor pit trap door to open it. Fennec throws a small knife into his hand, causing Krrsantan to drop into the pit.

Next thing you know, Fennec and Boba Fett are having a feast. There’s a small droid outfitted with a little tray. Boba Fett isn’t interested. There’s a lot weighing on him. Fennec tries to cheer him up; they have the Hutts’ killer assassin in their dungeon. And they’re both still alive! They’re interrupted with a notice that the Twins are here.

Pets and Jets

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Lucasfilm/Disney+

Outside the palace, the Twins are waiting. “We came to apologize,” one of them says. And what’s more, they’ve brought Boba Fett a gift – a new rancor (!!!) and the rancor handler is played by none other than Danny Trejo. That’s right. Danny Trejo is now a part of the “Star Wars” universe. Does Paul le Mat seem all that absurd now? Boba Fett tells the Hutts that they need to get off world, to which they retort, “you don’t have to tell us, bro” (essentially). They’re headed back to their own planet, but not because he wants them to. There’s a gang war brewing, they suggest. The city has been “promised to another syndicate.” But who???

The guards bring Krrsantan out to return to the Twins; they say that Boba Fett can keep him. They can sell him back into gladiatorial combat. Instead, Boba Fett lets him go. When Fennec looks surprised, Boba Fett says the only alternative is to kill him. Still, Fennec says, the rancor is “quite the gift.”

Down in the pit, the rancor is looking sad, not moving on the floor. Danny Trejo (whatever his “Star Wars”-y name is won’t compete with the power of Danny Trejo) says that “he’s depressed.” He says that the rancor are “emotionally complex creatures,” and only become beastly when pressed. Finally, Boba Fett says that he wants to be able to ride the rancor, which is something that better happen by the end of this season so help me God. Boba says that he has ridden animals much larger, which is most likely a callback to the animated section of the “Star Wars Holiday Special,” where Boba Fett debuted and where he rode a giant dinosaur-looking thing. He orders a full ronto carcass be brought to feed his new pet. 8D8 interrupts, peering from behind the rancor, to say that the mayor’s office has told him that he’s booked solid for the next 20 days. Boba Fett doesn’t buy it.

Back in town, Boba Fett and Fennec march back to the mayor’s office. This time they’re flanked by their colorful new goon squad. The mayor’s majordomo (constant highlight David Pasquesi) and the clerk are there. The majordomo makes some lame excuse and then scampers back to the mayor’s office, but Boba Fett can tell he’s locked the door. When Fennec Shand and Boba get back there, the mayor is gone. They come around front to see the majordomo fleeing in a speeder; Boba tells the lollipop gang to go after him.

What follows is a very energetic speeder chase through the streets of Mos Espa. There are a bunch of droids (mouse droids, podracing droids, a C-3PO-ish protocol droid), and the gang uses their droid powers to try and get aboard the majordomo’s speeder. At one point one of the gang members crashes through someone carrying an oversized oil painting of Jabba. Finally, the coolest member of the gang (obviously Sophie Thatcher) winds up sending the majordomo into a fruit stand, and in a very “Back to the Future” moment his speeder is filled with loose fruit. Got him.

A giant spaceship approaches Mos Espa. One of the new gang members follows, only to see many Pyke representatives getting off the giant starliner. He reports to Boba via hologram. A war indeed is coming. “Then we will be ready,” Boba Fett growls.

Compared to last week’s episode, which was nearly an hour long, this week’s (at just over a half-hour) raced by. It packed a lot into that small package, though, and we can’t wait to see where things are headed next week.