Book of Boba Fett Chapter 4: The Gathering Storm
Director: Kevin Tancharoen
Writer: Jon Favreau
Air date: January 19, 2022
That was my overriding thought upon the conclusion of Star Wars The Book of Boba Fett: The Gathering Storm, which aired Wednesday on Disney Plus. The official halfway mark of this season also represented a high point of the show to this point, in my opinion.
The loop between flashbacks and the present day is fully closed, as the episode opens in the flashback period and tells the stories of how Boba Fett partners up with Fennec Shand, reclaims his beloved ship Slave I and decides to pursue becoming a Tatooine crime boss. The flashbacks conclude with the post-credits scene from the season 2 finale of The Mandalorian, which show Fett killing Bib Fortuna and sitting on the throne that once belonged to Jabba the Hutt.
There is so much good stuff in this episode's flashback sequences. Fett takes Shand to a mod shop where her blaster wounds are healed and replaced with droid parts. The techno music in this scene reminded me of the first nightclub Neo walks into in The Matrix (1999), where he meets Trinity for the first time.
Fett and Shand then storm Jabba's Palace and engage in a shootout with the guards to get back his ship. With Slave I now liberated, Fett goes about "settling some old scores." He easily takes out the biker gang we've seen in two previous episodes, the one thought responsible for killing the Tusken Raider tribe that took Fett in.
He then looks to get his armor back from the Sarlacc pit in a sequence I have wanted to see for years. Slave I hovers over the pit, only to have the creature awaken and attempt to consume the ship with Fett and Shand in it. We see the beast's beak as first articulated in the 1997 Special Edition of Star Wars: A New Hope. It's a thrilling and tense scene that concludes with Fett dropping a seismic charge (first seen in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones), killing the Sarlacc for good.
Fett successfully recruits both Shand and (in the present day) the Wookiee Black Krrsantan to lead his cabal. A dinner scene follows with the other families in charge of territories around Mos Espa. This scene is a direct callback to the first The Godfather film where Don Corleone, after the murder of his son Sonny, seeks to unite the five families of New York City. The other leaders of the families remain skeptical of Fett, but agree to unite against the threat posed by the Pyke Syndicate.
The final shot of the episode is Fett and Shand on a veranda, discussing the need for more firepower. The unmistakable musical theme of The Mandalorian is then heard, leaving the audience with a not-so-subtle hint that Din Djarin could soon be making an appearance in this show. Again, closing a loop.
Now that the flashback sequences are (most likely) done, the final three episodes of the season will plunge us directly forward in the timeline, with a looming battle between Fett and his (for now) unified crime factions taking on the Pykes.
This episode was heavy on plot and story advancement, but also took its time taking us deeper into this world. Some people have complained about how long some of these sequences are taking, but for me, it paces perfectly well, given the format. This is not a feature film, where so much has to be crammed into a two-hour window. We have this event series format to allow storytellers to linger a bit within the worlds they have created and played in. That's kind of the whole point of creating stories meant exactly for a streaming format.
I live in Michigan and have been an unconditional fan of Star Wars and Indiana Jones for decades. Follow me on twitter @bmonastiere
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