This review contains some spoilers.
Before I get into the review, I just want to quickly explain the reasoning why we have swapped from a non-spoiler review (like last week) to the now, mild-spoiler format.
In The Bad Batch, I kept the reviews spoiler-free, but this was extremely difficult at times, given my passion and love for all things Star Wars! While I always have the urge to deep dive into every scene and explain every little Easter Egg, I also don’t want to ruin the experience for people who read our content, but aren’t currently watching the things we talk about, but might do one day – I know there are a few of you! So, in this new style, I will explain some Easter Eggs every now and then and mention an overview of events in an episode, but it won’t be a full breakdown! Hopefully, these changes will provide a balance that suits everyone!
So, with that said, let’s move on to the review!
Picking up from last week, we learn that the assassin that Fennec capture is from the Order of the Night Wind, and after a great gag with ‘The Rancor’ we establish that Mayor Mok Shaiz was behind the attack – or was he? When Boba confronts Shaiz he indicates that it was not him, but it was more of a ‘family’ issue – we ‘family’ being the keyword! This realisation was soon brought to us on-screen by two of Jabba’s cousins arriving at Mos Espa, who are known as ‘The Twins’! It was great to finally see some decent-looking CGI Hutts! Are these the ‘big bad’ of the series? Possibly! It’s clear that they want control of Jabba’s assets and land. If the Hutts weren’t a big enough reveal on their own, we also find them in the company of a bad-ass looking Wookie warrior – who I believe is Black Krrsantan, a Wookie bounty hunter from the Star Wars comics and who, as well as being a gladiator – as mentioned by Boba here – was also under the employ of Jabba the Hutt. With the look this Wookie gives Boba, and given how much Boba seems to hint at, it would appear these two have some sort of a history with each other, and if this is indeed Black Krrsantan then it will be interesting to see if he appears in any of the flashbacks in future episodes, on top of the present-day storyline.
Regarding the scenes with the Tuskens, I think it goes without saying that this week’s flashback takes heavy influence from both Dune and Lawrence of Arabia! While this influence was obvious, it did not take away anything from the episode, and it was just as much its own things as it was paying tribute to other stories. We get some great training scenes with Boba and the unnamed, and female, warrior Tusken (played by stunt performer Joanna Bennett) as well as Boba continuing to integrate into the tribe.
The main plot of this story focuses on a train heist, a classic Western trope, which features some epic fight scenes, great action moments as well as plenty of humour! Boba steals some speeder bikes from the Nikto gang we saw raiding a homestead in last week’s episode who, in a great call-back, are found causing a problem inside Tosche Station! If you remember back in A New Hope, this is where Luke wanted to go to pick up some power converters! There is a deleted scene where Luke is at Tosche Station with his friends Biggs, Fixer and Camie – the latter of the two were also in this scene with Boba and the biker gang, albeit via re-casting! This was such an obscure reference, but it works for both the die-hard fans and casuals, as you didn’t need to know who these people were or what the place was – it is these types of Easter Eggs that I really love, the subtle ones that can work either way.
The Pyke Syndicate also make a reappearance, last seen in live-action in Solo: A Star Wars Story, and this could hint that, while The Twins are for now the primary ‘big bad’ of the season, we could see the Crimson Dawn come out of the shadows as the real power player – we shall have to wait and see!
As good and fun as the train heist was, for me this was an episode where, once again, the lore and rich history of the Tuskens and of Tatooine are at the forefront of the storytelling, and I loved every second of it! From a drug-induced dream sequence to Boba forging his own Gaffi stick, the attention and detail poured into the final ten minutes of the episode was incredible! This entire episode could have been just about the train heist and with the Tuskens victorious, that could have been the final scene. However, they decide to slow things down again and take the time to explore even more Tusken lore and traditions. This was an incredibly brave story decision, but one that I think was the right call. I believe introducing the audience to all of this will have significance with the story of the present day and we’ll finally understand why Boba is doing these things – becoming much more than a simple man making his way through the galaxy…
Overall, I think ‘The Tribes of Tatooine’ is up there with some of the best Star Wars TV episodes, including both live-action and animation. I genuinely loved this episode, from the pacing and story to the action scenes and Tusken lore – this episode had everything!