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The Book of Boba Fett premiered Wednesday, December 29, on Disney+, and it’s off to a satisfying start—especially if you’re a Return of the Jedi fan. The 38-minute episode, “Stranger in a Strange Land,” guest-stars Jennifer Beals (Flashdance) and Matt Berry (What We Do in the Shadows), with Robert Rodriguez directing from a script by Jon Favreau. Ludwig Göransson and Joseph Shirley supply a fantastic score in the tradition of The Mandalorian, and David Klein (Chasing Amy) serves as director of photography.
Two stories are told in parallel, exploring Fett’s (Temuera Morrison and Daniel Logan) past through flashbacks as well as his new reign as daimyo on Tatooine, in the palace that once belonged to crime lord Jabba the Hutt.
How can you watch ‘Boba Fett’?
In order to watch The Book of Boba Fett, you need to subscribe to Disney+, the platform that serves as the online home for all things Star Wars. You can watch Disney+ using streaming devices, desktop browsers, a wide range of mobile devices, smart TVs, and video-game consoles.
A subscription to Disney+ costs $7.99 per month or $79.99 for the full year, though you can save by signing up for the Disney Bundle with ESPN+ and Hulu, which gives you access to all three streaming services for just $13.99 a month.
What happens in this episode of ‘Boba Fett’?
The episode opens with familiar shots of Jabba’s old palace outside Mos Espa, an empty throne, and, finally, Boba in a healing pod filled with bacta. As he sleeps, he dreams of the stormy oceans on Kamino, his homeworld, and of his father’s death years earlier on Geonosis. Then we find him deep in the belly of the Sarlacc on Tatooine, where we saw him devoured in 1983’s Return of the Jedi. He searches the darkness for some means of salvation, finding only a dead Imperial stormtrooper whose armor has begun dissolving inside the beast. Boba unplugs the suit’s emergency air supply and steals a few gasps of oxygen from the tubing.
With his strength back for a moment, he punches a hole through the creature’s stomach lining and puts his flamethrower to use. He collapses in the sand outside the pit, and, come nightfall, the local Jawas strip him of his father’s Mandalorian armor. He appears pale, powdery, covered in fluids: like a newborn.
The next day, he’s discovered by a band of Tusken Raiders, his skin chapped from the desert sun. They feed him a dribble of something rich in nutrients to get him on his feet, then bind his hands with rope and drag him back to their small camp. After being beaten with gaffi sticks, Fett awakens next to a Rodian and a sleeping massiff. When the hound-like creature stirs, Boba knocks it back out and uses its teeth to cut himself free. He offers to do the same for the Rodian.
Instead, the other prisoner hollers to alert their captors, and one of the Tuskens’ warriors (played by Joanna Bennett, a stuntwoman from Zack Snyder’s Justice League) challenges Boba to one-on-one combat. The Tusken claims victory, and the show jumps back to the present—five or six years after the original Star Wars trilogy.
“Wake up, boss,” says Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen).
“The dreams are back,” Boba tells her.
Various leaders from around the planet have come to pay tribute to the king in green. They arrive bearing cases of coins, promises of friendship, a pair of Gamorrean guards, and what appears to be a Wookiee’s fur coat. Here, Boba is advised by 8D8, a droid that served in Jabba’s torture chamber in years past. (What a treat to see Matt Berry voicing that action figure you played with constantly at age seven.) One of the visitors is a Trandoshan named Dokk Strassi, played by none other than showrunner Robert Rodriguez. “That’s weird,” Boba says. “I used to work for him.”
“A thousand tidings to the new daimyo,” Strassi says. “May you never leave Mos Espa.”
The mayor of the city, Mok Shaiz, doesn’t come to pay his respects at all; he instead sends his majordomo to collect tribute. “Shall I kill him?” Fennec asks. But no.
Later, Boba and Fennec head into Mos Espa to meet with the owner of the cantina, Garsa Fwip (Beals), who is surprised by his arrival—he chose to walk, rather than be carried on a litter in the manner of the Hutts and other nobles. “Things would go a lot smoother if you accepted their ways,” says Fennec.
The bar’s staff cleans their helmets, and then fills Boba’s with gold and silver coins, while the two bounty hunters meet with Fwip. “I have replaced Bib Fortuna,” Fett explains. “I’m just here to introduce myself and assure you that your business will continue to thrive under my watchful eye.”
Out in the streets, Boba and Fennec are ambushed by half a dozen masked assassins brandishing red-orange energy shields. With plenty of help from their new Gamorrean guards, they take down four of their attackers, and the remaining two begin to flee; Fennec pursues them onto the rooftops. “Alive,” Boba insists. Shand kicks one of them off a roof, but manages to take the other prisoner.
Back at the palace, in the bacta tank, Boba dreams once again of his time in the Tusken camp. A Tusken child puts him to work digging for small, cactus-like bulbs in the desert, which the natives harvest for their water. While they dig, Boba scolds the Rodian who ratted him out earlier. If they could just reach Anchorhead, Boba says, he’d be able to get them both passage off-world.
As the conversation comes to an end, the Rodian finds a scaly claw buried in the sand—and disturbs a large, six-limbed monster like something out of a Ray Harryhausen movie. It crushes the Rodian, and prepares to do the same to Fett. But the Tusken intervenes, giving Boba a chance to make his move. Using the long chain around his ankle, he strangles the creature to death, and the young Tusken carries its head back to camp, yelling excitedly—in a language neither Boba nor we yet understand—about how the Mandalorian felled the beast.
The Tusken chief hands Fett a bulb of water as a show of respect, and the bounty hunter takes a luxuriant and much-needed drink.
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This article originally appeared on Reviewed: Book of Boba Fett recap: Episode 1, ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’