Setting the Stage – Review of “The Book of Boba Fett” Chapter 4 “The Gathering Storm”

In the latest episode of The Book of Boba Fett, titled “The Gathering Storm”, we as the audience are given the last of the flashback sequences, filling out the remainder of Boba Fett’s backstory leading up to his reveal in the second season of The Mandalorian. We also see Boba Fett tread lightly through dealing with the arrival of the Pyke Syndicate during the modern-day portion of the episode, as well as make an alliance with an unlikely figure.

Spoilers ahead, obviously, so don’t read if you haven’t watched the episode.

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Discovering that the Kintan Striders, the swoop gang that slaughtered the Tusken encampment Boba Fett had become a part of, were working under the orders of Bib Fortuna adds an extra element of weight to Boba and Fennec’s assassination of Fortuna. The passage of time is a bit wonky in this episode but it can be safely assumed that Boba spent years alone on Tatooine after the Tuskens were murdered trying to get his revenge. I was more than a little harsh in my last review regarding the “fridging” of the Tuskens and I still stand by that assessment. The fact that the writers of the show have given Boba justification for taking down Fortuna doesn’t change that it could have been handled in a much different way.

The majority of the episode was spent in the flashback timeframe. We see Boba find Fennec after her fight with Din Djarin during the first season of The Mandalorian. The sequence where Fennec is fitted with new cybernetics is some strong nightmare fuel, even though there isn’t any blood and guts involved. The heist to reclaim Boba Fett’s ship (which still hasn’t been given a new name yet) was also well-paced. It was a foregone conclusion that he would get it but there was enough tension to make the sequences entertaining. I particularly enjoyed the moment when Boba catches a droid, tells the droid his name, and the droid voluntarily shuts itself off.

By far, though, the moment that I found most entertaining was the return to the Sarlacc pit. There’s a heavy tension throughout the early portion of the scene, since we as the audience have been led to believe that Boba killed the Sarlacc during his escape. We find out how wrong that is as the Sarlacc awakens while Boba’s ship hovers over the entrance to it, using its tentacles in an attempt to pull the whole thing in. Given how large Sarlacc’s actually are, it’s not out of the realm of possibility the creature could have succeeded, if it weren’t for the quick thinking of Fennec to release one of the seismic charges. We also get an explanation for why Boba has been spending so much time in the bacta tank this season: his second trek into the bowels of the Sarlacc in an attempt to retrieve his armor left him covered in the Sarlacc’s acid.

The modern-day portion of the episode was largely setting up the upcoming war between Boba’s fledgling empire and the Pyke Syndicate. We see Black Krrsantan beat down a group of Trandoshan gamblers, including ripping off one of their arms (which lends credence to Han Solo’s statement from A New Hope). Krrsantan’s rage against the Trandsoshans is understandable, given the background information on how Trandoshans hunt Wookiees for their pelts. It also goes a long way to show that Krrsantan’s defeat at the hands of Boba’s gang and his dismissal from the Twins service is affecting the Wookiee. I’m not sure Boba hiring the Wookiee is the best idea but having a Krrsantan fighting for him is better than having the Wookiee fight for the Pyke Syndicate.

We also see Boba navigating the political waters with the other, smaller crime families in Mos Espa. It very much felt like the meeting in The Godfather, where the heads of the Five Families meet to discuss peace between the Corleones and the Tattaglias. The other crime bosses refuse to assist in defending Boba’s claim to the Daiymo position but they also promise to not take the side of the Pyke Syndicate as well, which is a dubious claim on their part. Given the Pyke Syndicate’s actions at this point in the series, it’s going to be in their best interests to cultivate the local crime bosses or remove them to be replaced by their own people. It wouldn’t surprise me to see these crime figures take sides by the end of the series. It could also be the same case as what the Twins are hoping for: the Pyke Syndicate and Boba’s gang fight it out and they all swoop in after the fact when both major parties are weakened.

I’m still onboard with the series and I’m intrigued to see how the story ends, even if I disagree with some of the storytelling options the writers have taken. The final few episodes should turn out some interesting twists, now that we’re done with the flashback story arc. 

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