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‘The Book of Boba Fett’ could make up for the Tusken Raiders’ bad rep in Star Wars history

In the Star Wars movie trilogies, Tusken Raiders are cartoon native villains.

They’re recognized as one of the native sentient species of Tatooine who first seem in A New Hope, the place they assault Luke Skywalker for no motive till Obi-Wan scares them away with dragon noises. In Assault of the Clones they raid the Lars farm, kill Shmi Skywalker, and expertise a bit Darkish Aspect genocide at the palms of Anakin Skywalker, and that is just about it.

They’re faceless indigenous stereotypes, launched as senselessly violent. Whereas not deserving of Anakin’s slaughter, they’re thought-about disposable sufficient for a Galactic senator — Luke and Leia’s mother! — to have zero issues marrying a man who admits to killing “each single one of them…the ladies and kids too.”

Season 2 of The Mandalorian reintroduced the Tusken Raiders with a bit extra humanity. For the first time, they convey cross-species with signal language and are proven to coordinate with Tatooine settlers to take down a Krayt dragon. Additionally they have a extra particular and comprehensible position in Tatooine’s cultural history as an indigenous folks combating off colonizers who steal the planet’s sources.

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Paramount amongst these sources is water, which places the Tusken raid on the Lars moisture farm into a clumsy new context. The Book of Boba Fett continues the narrative of Tusken oppression by having Boba lead them a pyrrhic victory in opposition to the provide trains that run by means of their land earlier than they get slaughtered once more.

Boba’s time with the Tuskens ties into their unique position as Western “savage” stand-ins. The Hollywood trope whereby a lone outsider is captured by a maligned indigenous group earlier than proving himself worthy of tribal acceptance has been carried out lots of of occasions in fashionable storytelling — Dances With Wolves, Fern Gully, Avatar, Lawrence of Arabia, you title it — and it is traditionally related to white savior nonsense that ought to have stayed in the twentieth century.

The Hollywood trope whereby a lone outsider is captured by a maligned indigenous group earlier than proving himself worthy of tribal acceptance has been carried out lots of of occasions in fashionable storytelling.

Although the unique Star Wars (and lots of of its predecessor initiatives) are closely influenced by conventional Westerns, repeating that specific sample with Boba Fett and the Tusken Raiders is both an enormous crimson flag or a sign that The Book of Boba Fett is laying some groundwork for an additional subversion of the trope. 

The looming query behind all of The Book of Boba Fett is easy: Why did Boba Fett wish to take over Jabba/Bib Fortuna’s crime syndicate? Episode 4, which takes place lengthy after the Boba’s Tusken allies had been murdered, presents the skinny reply that he is “drained of working for idiots who’re going to get me killed.”

That appears affordable, besides for the proven fact that there are one million jobs between “bounty hunter” and “House Godfather” that do not contain working for idiots. Taking up a felony operation’s turf is a big enterprise, and so goes to conflict with the Pyke syndicate over a territory that did not should be Boba’s drawback in the first place. 

In his Episode 4 flashback, Boba’s first order of enterprise after getting his ship again is raining hell from the sky upon the bike gangs that terrorized his Tusken allies. Revenge is clearly one thing Boba Fett is comfy with, however taking out one gang is not precisely tit-for-tat with the centuries of Tatooine colonization that made the Tuskens susceptible to a number of genocides in the first place. What if Boba Fett’s need to take energy on Tatooine and take down the Pyke Syndicate is not essentially for the good of the planet, however an additional step in a plan to reshape Tatooine for the individuals who’ve been combating planetary outsiders for generations? 

A still from

Credit score: Lucasfilm, Ltd.

By way of the Book of Boba Fett, Boba has been proven to reject most of the trappings of gatra management (“gatra” is Star Wars’ method of saying “a gang’s turf”) in favor of an unadorned path in direction of conflict. It is virtually like he would not wish to be seen as having any particular declare to the territory and is engaged on an extended recreation — maybe a recreation the place he cleans up colonizing forces on Tatooine and palms the energy to another person when he is carried out. Somebody or a gaggle of someones, who had a declare on the land from again when Tatooine was an ocean. 

This is not to say that The Book of Boba Fett goes to rewrite Star Wars history and make Tusken Raiders a pressure for good in the galaxy. Cultural relativism apart, homicide and raiding is unanimously bad and it is clear that some Tusken offshoot clans should not be left in cost of an Arby’s, not to mention a planet. It is also clear that Star Wars is a universe the place folks blow up planets each different film or so, develop human kids in a lab to make use of as cannon fodder, and put a set of sex-starved wizards in cost of galactic peacekeeping.

Simply saying, the Tuskens did not do something Kylo Ren did not, and even he bought a redemption arc. 

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It’s potential that The Book of Boba Fett is prepared to make a press release about the grey areas between colonization and retaliatory violence, in addition to the ethical crucial to repatriate ancestral possession and keep away from perpetuating indigenous narrative stereotyping. That, or Boba Fett has secretly been jonesing after Jabba’s throne for years and simply variety of desires it. Both method, the subsequent few episodes of The Book of Boba Fett will probably be essential to discovering out simply how far Star Wars is prepared to interrupt away from the unique trilogy’s Western roots. 

The Book of Boba Fett is streaming on Disney+.

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