The Book of Boba Fett had some ground to regain after last week’s episode, “The Streets of Mos Espa,” revealed that the writers had made the disappointing decision of killing the Tuskens off as soon as they no longer served Boba Fett’s journey in the series outside of the emotional resonance of their deaths.
For fans like myself who’d celebrated the flashback storyline that focused on Boba’s welcome into the Tusken tribe, the choice to murder them and spend a spare few moments to burn their bodies as their culture dictates was not only distasteful but also a writing choice that brought down the quality of the show.
It’s a point that’s been detailed across the web especially by fans from indigenous communities. Even Temuera Morrison and Ming-Na Wen spoke about the writing decision during an interview. Going into episode 4, “The Gathering Storm,” the question of whether or not The Book of Boba Fett could dig its way out of this hole arose, at least for me.
The decisions made in episode 3 track through unfortunate tropes, however, the fourth episode does a solid job righting the ship despite this drawback in the series. This is due in large part to Ming-Na Wen’s scene stealing portrayal of Fennec Shand.
Fennec Shand elevates The Book of Boba Fett episode 4
Major spoilers ahead of The Book of Boba Fett episode 4
“The Gathering Storm” opens on Boba in the bacta tank, a familiar scene for this series that’s conditioned its audience to prepare for a flashback upon seeing it. As has been typical of The Book of Boba Fett, the storyline set in the past didn’t disappoint.
Though he was without the Tuskens, Boba wasn’t alone for long. In the midst of trying to figure out how to infiltrate Jabba the Hutt’s castle, the bounty hunter came across Fennec Shand. Star Wars fans who’ve seen The Mandalorian must have been excited once they saw flares light up the night sky; I know I was.
It meant we were finally going to be let in on how Boba saved Fennec after a run in with Mando and an upstart bounty hunter named Calican left her hanging on by a thread. Cocky rookies are always an issue no matter the genre or series, but I digress.
By the time Boba made it to Fennec’s side she was knocking on death’s door, so he took her to a mod parlor to save her life. The engineer there outfitted her with a mechanical apparatus in her stomach region where she’d been shot. It’s what is keeping her alive.
Most likely that fact and mods being a part of the culture of this universe is why Fennec didn’t wake up horrified by this modification. She took it on the chin like it was nothing and listened as Boba explained what happened to her and that he needs her help to get back his firespray gunship.
Fennec agreed and suddenly “The Gathering Storm” turned into a heist episode complete with the Star Wars equivalent of a Snitch. What made it so good is Fennec’s piece of tech would have actually lived up to that name as it flitted around Jabba’s palace and recorded footage.
Unsurprisingly, the place was well guarded just like Boba was worried about, however, the duo’s mission was just beginning. They snuck into the palace through the sewer and into the kitchen where there was a funny fight sequence with three droids.
Through this entire scene from the moment Boba and Fennec infiltrate the palace to when they finally reach the ship, Fennec was the MVP. She’s slit a droid’s throat, took on multiple combatants, made the guards regret they woke up that morning, and ensured she and Boba escaped with the ship.
What makes Fennec great is that she’s cool, fierce, formidable, and good for a one-liner. Her dynamic with Boba is respectful but also light and a bit quippy. They’re both humorously exasperated with one another sometimes and it makes for such good banter and chemistry on-screen.
After the mission, Fennec decided to stick along for the ride with Boba which saw her witnessing him enacting vengeance on the bikers who killed the Tuskens. Earlier in the episode she questioned the bikers ability to take out the tribe which is something we’ll most definitely circle back to in the coming episodes but for now Boba has avenged his found family.
There’s also a stop by the Sarlaac pit in an unsuccessful quest to get Boba’s armor back that’s clearly just there to reveal to the bounty hunter that his armor isn’t there and showcase Fennec’s brilliance. Honestly, if episode 4 didn’t turn you into a Fennec Shand fan or stan by the end then I don’t know what to tell you because she amazing.
The flashback storyline ends with Boba and Fennec discussing next steps. Boba says that he wants to start his own house because the people who contract bounty hunters are essentially idiots. Some of the missions they’ve gone on in their careers could have been avoided had their clients shown a modicum of forethought or sense.
It’s Boba’s desire to change how things are run, and he wants Fennec with him. He explains that his time with the Tuskens made him strong and that no one can get too far in life without a tribe to call their own.
When the bacta tank opens this time, it seems like it will be the last as it’s made clear that Boba is now fully healed. If that’s the case then it looks like The Book of Boba Fett is finally heading toward becoming the crime drama that was promised.
After a quick detour to the Sanctuary to pop in on Krrsantan who’s raring for a fight despite Garsa’s attempt to talk him out of ripping off one of her customers arms, we’re treated to a family dinner with the lords of Mos Espa.
Boba is gracious as ever, only flexing his power when needed via his new pet Rancor who has a feeding hole strategically placed under the table. He wants an alliance against the Pykes, but he’ll settle for the lords remaining neutral in this fight. They agree though I have a feeling someone is going to betray him.
Next episode we’re likely to see Boba and Fennec’s preparations for war. Boba already offered Krrsantan a job and Fennec mentioned that they could buy the muscle they need. There were rumors that Mando could make an appearance in the series, if that’s true then his upcoming fight with the Pykes would be the perfect time for him to show up.
Who do you think will make a cameo in The Book of Boba Fett with war on the horizon? Let us know in the comments below!
Stay tuned to Dork Side of the Force for more The Book of Boba Fett news and coverage. New episodes of the series are available to stream Wednesdays on Disney+.