This post contains spoilers for The Book of Boba Fett Chapter 1
The Book of Boba Fett, the lone live-action Star Wars event of 2021, has finally arrived, and the premiere was quite the crowd-pleaser. This series isn’t just showing us what Fett (Temuera Morrison) and his pal Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) got into on Tatooine after the events of The Mandalorian Season 2-it’s also fills us in on what happened with our titular antihero after he was knocked into the Sarlacc pit in Return of the Jedi.
With the entirety of the premiere episode taking place on the desert planet of Tatooine-the place that we’ve spent more time with than any other far-off world in the Star Warsuniverse-it’s a safe assumption that The Book of Boba Fett will have plenty of callbacks and references to the franchise’s past. This first episode certainly gave us plenty over its 34 minutes. Let’s dig through them.
Jabba’s Palace and the Sarlacc
The premiere kicked off with a very familiar sight: the palace that formerly belonged to Jabba the Hutt in Return of the Jedi, taken by Fett and Shand at the end of The Mandalorian season 2. The pair are setting up their own little criminal empire, and the remote palace is their headquarters.
It’s an inspired choice, as Fett used to hang out in the palace as an enforcer for Jabba, and it was during that period that Han Solo knocked him into the Sarlacc pit, where he was seemingly doomed to die very, very slowly. But just as he did in the defunct Expanded Universe, he managed to fight his way out of it.
The stormtrooper in the Sarlacc’s belly
Curiously, during one of the shots in the Sarlacc’s belly we see a dead stormtrooper. Since there were no stormtroopers on Jabba’s barge in Return of the Jedi, this is likely a nod to the 1996 short story collection Tales from Jabba’s Palace. While that anthology is best remembered now for the original version of how Fett escaped the Sarlacc-a very different story than what we get in The Book of Boba Fett-it also included one called Shaara and the Sarlacc: The Skiff Guard’s Tale.
That one tells the story of a teenage girl who is chased by stormtroopers to the Sarlacc pit, where they’re all swallowed up. Don’t worry, though-the Sarlacc spits the girl back up, and kept the stormtroopers. So, it had a happy ending after all.
Boba Fett’s Attack of the Clones flashbacks
Fett, apparently still suffering from the effects of being partially digested in the belly of the Sarlacc, is sleeping in a healing pod-he’s being treated with the same substance Luke Skywalker was floating in after the wampa attack in The Empire Strikes Back. And while he’s in the pod, Fett has some flashbacks involving two locations from Attack of the Clones, which we see in brief clips.
The first is Kamino, the rainy ocean planet where the Old Republic’s clone troopers were made. Boba Fett, himself a clone of his father Jango, grew up there. The second is the arena on Geonosis where Jango was killed by Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson), and we see the scene where ten-year-old Boba is holding his dad’s helmet shortly after he was killed.
Director Robert Rodriguez makes a cameo
Rodriguez, best known for Spy Kids, Desperado and Sin City, directed a second-season episode of The Mandalorian and came back to direct The Book of Boba Fett premiere-but he also showed up in front of the camera near the beginning of the episode. Rodriguez played Dokk Strassi, a Trandoshan (the lizard guy) who was among those paying tribute to Fett and Shand early in the episode.
Dokk Strassi’s Wookiee pelt
Dokk’s tribute to Fett was the skin of a Wookiee-a nod to the historic rivalry between the species that actually comes from the now defunct Expanded Universe canon.
In Return of the Jedi, Jabba’s palace was guarded by a number of these green-skinned, pig-looking Gamorreans, and a couple of them managed to survive the upheaval in the years following Jabba’s death. Instead of killing them, Fett decided they’d be better off working for him-and they do end up being pretty useful later on in the episode.
Instead of going back to Mos Eisley, where several episodes of The Mandalorian took place, Fett starts his criminal endeavors off in Mos Espa-Anakin Skywalker’s hometown in The Phantom Menace. We don’t run into any of those old prequel faces this week, but don’t be too surprised if some-like Watto, Sebulba or some of Anakin’s childhood friends-pop up at some point.
The return of the Max Rebo Band
Max Rebo, the beloved blue elephant-looking guy whose band played at Jabba’s palace in Return of the Jedi, somehow didn’t die on Jabba’s sail barge and is still making music at the cantina Fett and Shand visit. But it looks like the Max Rebo band is a shell of its former self with only Max and two other members. So at least we were spared more of those weird CGI singers that were added in the Special Edition.
The Massiff (aka the Tuskens’ precious alien dog)
This reptilian space dog that guards Fett while he’s held captive by the Tusken Raiders originated from Attack of the Clones and made numerous appearances in the Clone Wars animated series.
The red Rodian
Star Wars fans know these funny looking Rodians very well. Greedo, the first of these we met back in A New Hope, was the subject of the particularly controversial “Greedo shot first” alteration in the Special Edition that we’re all still pretty annoyed by. But nearly every Rodian who has ever appeared on screen has been green, with rare exceptions like the yellow one from Solo. This is, as far as I can tell, the first time we’ve seen a red one.
Those sand melons
Remember those little things that the young Tusken Raider made Fett and the red Rodian dig out of the sand? Those are essentially sand coconuts, complete with electrolyte-replenishing milk inside. Interestingly, these things originated in a 2015 comic about Obi-Wan’s exile on Tatooine between the prequel and original trilogies. We also saw them briefly in the season 2 premiere of The Mandalorian.
Starting with the new moon on Sunday, January 22, this Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Rabbit. We’ve put together a guide on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Australia.
What is special about the year of the Rabbit?
As you might know, each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the moon and has a 12-year cycle. This year, we celebrate the year of the rabbit, known to be the luckiest out of all twelve animals. It symbolises mercy, elegance, and beauty.
What celebrations are taking place and how can I get involved?
There are plenty of festivals happening all around the country which you can get involved with. Here they are per state.
New South Wales
Darling Harbour Fireworks When: Every year, Sydney puts on a fireworks show, and this year, you can catch it on January 28 and February 4 at 9 pm in Darling Harbour.
Dragon Boat Races When: Witness three days of dragon boat races and entertainment on Cockle Bay to usher in the Lunar New Year. The races will commence on January 27 and finish on January 29.
Lion Dances When: Catch a traditional Lion Dance moving to the beat of a vigorous drum bringing good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year. The dance performances will happen across Darling Harbour on Saturday, January 21, Sunday, January 22, and Sunday, February 4 and 5, around 6 pm and 9 pm.
Lunar New Year at Cirrus Dining When: Barangaroo’s waterfront seafood restaurant, Cirrus, is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a special feast menu. Cirrus’ LNY menu is $128pp with optional wine pairing and is available from Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, February 5.
Auntie Philter When: Hello Auntie’s owner and executive chef, Cuong Nguyen will be dishing out some of the most classic Vietnamese street foods with his mum, Linda. All of Philter’s favourites will be on offer, as well as Raspberry Pash Beer Slushies and other cocktails being served at the Philter Brewing rooftop bar on Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, January 29.
Lunar New Year Festival When: Ring in the Lunar New Year with food, music, arts, and more on Sunday, January 22, from 10 am to 9 pm.
BriAsia Festival When: From February 1-19, Brisbane will come alive with performances, including lion dances and martial arts displays. There will be street food, workshops, comedy and more.
Chinatown Adelaide Street Party When: Adelaide is set to hose a fun-filled day celebrating the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, from 12 pm to 9 pm.
Crown Perth When: Across January and February, Crown Perth hosts free live entertainment, including colourful lion dances, roving mascots, and drumming performances. The restaurants will also throw banquets and menus dedicated to the Lunar New Year.